Ministers of the Interior of each of Germany’s states have decided on a national rule regarding naturalization tests. After months of discussions, they have decided on six requirements:
Applicants have to have lived in Germany for 8 years, have not been sentenced to more than certain amount of social hours or fines, have to attend a class for naturalization, have to declare loyalty to the German state, have to be willing to be questioned regarding membership in radical organizations and need to know enough German. Some ministers had wanted to include tests. However, test can be given as part of the classes required. Some of the tests previously promoted asked questions that even many German intellectuals were not able to answer with certainty. The new accord seems to allow each state to design classes as they see fit. This is dangerous, as there is no national outline. Tests could include multiple choice as well as role plays or other question types.
In the US classes regarding citizenship are offered and prepare immigrants rather well for naturalization interviews. Besides, naturalization is often a way of gaining access to social benefits within the United States. In Germany, most immigrants receive benefits even without German citizenship and are unlikely to acquire German citizenship, since it requires giving up one’s original citizenship.