5 benefits of having German citizenship 

5 benefits of having German citizenship 

by Erin McGann

Updated August 1, 2022

If you already have German residency, what are the benefits of having a German passport? German citizenship makes living, studying and working in Germany much simpler, as well as giving you the ability to live, study and work anywhere in the European Union without extra paperwork. With the added benefits of being able to vote in elections, enter politics yourself and work in the civil service, as well as being able to retire anywhere in the EU, it’s easy to see the advantages of having German citizenship.

1. Living and working easily in Germany
2. Taking advantage of affordable education in Germany and the EU
3. Being able to live and work across the EU
4. Participating in politics
5 .Retiring in Germany or somewhere else in the EU

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1. Living and working easily in Germany

There’s a lot of paperwork involved when you move to a new country, and to be able to work legally in Germany, you must have some kind of work visa or residency permit. This involves a lengthy and expensive process to renew every few years, depending on your status. However, if you become a German citizen, you never have to do it again! It also makes it much easier to start your own business and simplifies the paperwork if you’re a freelancer. There are some jobs that you can only get as a German citizen as well, like jobs in the military and some civil service positions. 

2. Taking advantage of affordable education in Germany and the EU

Germany has excellent post-secondary education options, and it’s extremely affordable, with no tuition fees at public universities. There are still administration fees as part of what’s called a ‘semester contribution’, but this rarely exceeds €300 per semester. It’s worth noting that anyone can apply for these places at public German universities, but students do need to secure a residence permit first. With German citizenship, you’re good to go right away. 

3. Being able to live and work across the EU

Being able to move to any of the 26 other nations in the European Union without a visa is a huge benefit of German citizenship. You’re free to take up opportunities in France, the Netherlands, Italy, Slovenia or wherever else at short notice. You can even decide to work remotely from a beach in Croatia for two months if you like without worrying about the legalities of your status. 

4. Participating in politics

Even a residency permit doesn’t give you the right to vote in federal and state elections in Germany, but if you become a citizen, you gain full voting rights. Not only that, you can stand for election yourself as long as you have fluent German skills, either for a seat in the European Parliament, German Bundestag at the national or Bundesland level, or even for city council. 

5. Retiring in Germany or somewhere else in the EU

As a German citizen, your freedom of movement also applies to where you decide to retire. Maybe a warmer climate appeals in your golden years? There are many places to choose from: southern France, Greece, Spain, Malta and more. Depending on the countries where you have been working, and where you decide to retire, your pension payouts can change. It’s worth doing some research ahead of time so you can make an informed choice about where you intend to settle down. 

There are definite advantages to German citizenship

If you’re able to, getting German citizenship has lots of advantages in terms of making it easier to work in Germany or anywhere in the EU, giving you the right to vote or stand in an election, accessing affordable education and retiring anywhere in the EU. Also, obtaining German citizenship is a notoriously long and complicated process, especially if you’re aiming to have German dual citizenship- that is definitely not an easy task. However, exceptions are possible in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, it’s likely you would have to give up any other citizenships you hold, and that’s only a decision you can make. Regardless, your German skills need to be at least B1 to successfully apply for citizenship, and this language level will open up opportunities for studying and working too. 


Erin McGann is a Canadian freelance writer focusing on travel, living abroad, parenting, history, and culture. After nearly a decade living in the UK, Erin settled in Heidelberg, Germany with her husband and son. Dragging her family to every castle and open-air museum is a favorite activity, along with sewing, cooking, and weaving. You can check out her travel blog, and follow her obsession with half-timbered houses on her Instagram account.

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