Infographic: German Citizenship Law

My FAQ on German citizenship law is one of the most-visited posts on my blog, with hundreds of comments and questions already and new ones being added almost every day. This large amount of text seems to be confusing for some. So I put together an infographic on German citizenship law which visualizes the four main routes to German citizenship and to a German passport.

If you have additional questions, I will be happy to answer them. I would however appreciate if you could support this blog. Thank you!

Infographic German Citizenship

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in German Law, Germany, Immigration Law, Law and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

321 Responses to Infographic: German Citizenship Law

  1. Pingback: 10 FAQ on citizenship law in Germany | The Happy Hermit

  2. Maryam says:

    Thank you; this infographic is very useful. :-)

  3. Very well done, to both of you. Clear and easy, yet informative. Bravo!

    • Maryam says:

      Hello John
      Thank you for the comment. We both think that would be quite helpful for many people as nobody wants to spend time and go through all the FAQ in the blog.

  4. natalie says:

    thanks for you answer my quiz. my other quiz is that have been in germany for past 8years and l have all the requirement someone needs to apply germany citizenship. but at the moment l dont work but my ex germany man is working but we are living differents place we are not yet divorce. is this possible for him to help me with his welfare paper to apply citizenship.

    • If you are living and registered at two different addresses, it would be hard for you to argue that your marriage is still fine, which is a requirement for the easier naturalization for spouses of German citizens according to § 9 StAG.
      Because you have been in Germany for more than 8 years, you could thus apply under § 10 StAG and § 10 I no. 3 StAG requires that you are not on welfare (although there are also exceptions if it’s not your fault that you are on welfare).

  5. natalie says:

    thanks for the good idea. Another question is that lam having small baby one year old with my boyfriend and he refused to take full responsibility of this baby. he is a germany who working in swissland, what can l do to make him pay child support for his baby , should l sue him to court or what can l do.

  6. natalie says:

    okey thanks

  7. Marianne Cosgrove says:

    Looks like i lost my german citizenship when I took the american 3 years ago. I did not know I will loose my german status. i have 3 children who have both(american and german) without the stress to choose which one to keep.Myyoungest son and his girlfriend are having a baby soon.Will this baby have german citizenship ?

  8. Eden Bendorf says:

    If I understand your graphic correctly, I have German citizenship through my father who was born in Germany. Is there anyway to prove this citizenship if I decide to moved to Germany?

    • You would need to prove your father’s German citizenship and your descent from him. Does he have a German passport? While not proof, that would be a strong indicator. Is he listed on your birth certificate? Again, not necessarily proof, a strong indicator.

      The option of receiving citizenship by being born in Germany was only introduced in 2000 (and applied retroactively to people born since 1990: § 40b StAG). So your father would have had to derive his citizenship from his parents.

    • Eden Bendorf says:

      His passport has since expired. He is listed on my birth certificate, I have a copy of his birth certificate, and his mother’s birth certificate. Unfortunately his father’s birth certificate is missing. The Berlin Archives sent me a letter stating it might be due to the war but they do not have it. I have a copy of their marriage certificate so maybe that could help? Also would I be able to obtain a German passport with this information?
      Thank you for your help!

  9. Alcantra says:

    Can someone get a german citizenship if someone impregnated a german woman?

  10. Deanne says:

    If my daughter obtained a German Passport (she was born 1970) because her father is German and her passport reflects her maiden name which she chose to revert to after her divorce, can her children acquire a German Passport, although they have a different surname, i.e. their father’s surname? Thanks for a very informative site.

    • Yes, they can. The name is not an issue, it can have been changed repeatedly, as long as you can prove that you are still the same person.

    • Deanne says:

      Thank you – that is good to know. Have a great day :-)

  11. VOGT says:

    my father is a German citizens. he was born in Germany and he is a German and I am now 21 and I want to have a German citizens . how long will it take me to become a citizen

    • If your father was a German citizen at the time of your birth, you should have automatically become German when you were born.

  12. VOGT says:

    He is still a German. I am now 21 how long will it take me to become a citizen.

    • I really think I answered that already: If you were born to a German father, you ARE a German citizen from your birth on. You do not need to BECOME a German citizen at all.

  13. VOGT says:

    But my country of birth is Ghana,for which i am still in Ghana. What are the steps involve in order for me to travel to Germany and obtain my German Passport? I humbly need guidance.

  14. Manfred says:

    I have on question, I was born in the philippines and my father is german, my mom is filipina. I was born on 1991, Is it possible for me to get my citizenship here in germany without learning much german? I have lived here for 3 years since i was 19. I am studying in a university, I was told that I could get my Citizenship if I stayed in germany for 3 years before i turn 23.. im turning 23 on april, what are my chances?

    • Manfred says:

      and my parents are not married, But I have lives my life alongside my father and mother even while they were separated.

    • If you father officially acknowledged paternity, then you received German citizenship at the time of your birth already.

    • Manfred says:

      I dont think my father arranged this when I was born, so now, the German embassy in the Philippines required me to stay in germany for 3 years before i turn 23.. I am currently holding a Filipino passport.

  15. Arianna says:

    Good, so my little half german cousin is a german citizen too..good, good.

  16. Pingback: “half-German” | The Happy Hermit

  17. ppittman2014 says:

    Thank you, I’ll look forward to reading it, you’ve been very helpful.

  18. Usman says:

    I m from pakistan and pakistani national, i just married a german national girl who is living in pakistan from few years, we both want to go in germany, please explain me how i get german nationality and get pr in germany , so we enjoy our remaining life happily in germany.

    • You would need to move to Germany and get a residence permit first, and then after several years (minimum 3) you can apply for German citizenship.

      I will put up a separate FAQ on getting the residence permit, as soon as someone will mail me one of the books from my wishlist to do so.

  19. Iyawo says:

    I am a german national, living in Germany and married to a nigerian citizen. I like to apply for the nigerian passport. Is the dual citizenship possible without loosing the german passport?

    • Sie müssen vor Erwerb der nigerianischen Staatsbürgerschaft eine Beibehaltungsgenehmigung nach § 25 II StAG einholen, andernfalls würden Sie durch die Einbürgerung in Nigeria die deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit automatisch verlieren.
      Sie müssen dazu nachweisen, wofür Sie die nigerianische Staatsbürgerschaft benötigen und welche Bindungen an Deutschland Sie weiterhin unterhalten werden.

  20. Iyawo says:

    Danke für die promte Antwort.

    Wenn der Verlust der deutschen Staatsangerhörigkeit automatisch erfolgt, wird demnach die deutsche Staatsangehörigkeitsbehörde durch die Behörden in Nigeria über die Ausstellung des nigerianischen Passes informiert?

    Wie es scheint, ist die Bewilligung der Beibehaltungsgenehmigung eine Ermessensfrage, Flexibilität in Bezug auf die jederzeit mögliche Ein- bzw. Ausreise wird vermutlich kein ausreichendes Argument für die Erteilung der Beibehaltungsgenehmigung sein?
    Ich benötige die nigerianische Staatsbürgerschaft für die Bindung an Nigeria, der Ehepartner lebt und arbeitet dort. Außerdem für die rechtlichen Belange in Punkto Besitz- und Erbrecht. Unser Kind hat ja keine Einschränkungen diesbezüglich, da es bereits nigerianischer Staatsbürger ist. Meine Bindung an Deutschland bleibt durch meinen nach wie vor ständigen deutschen Wohnsitz erhalten.

    • Nigeria wird Deutschland im Normalfall nichts mitteilen, so daß Sie natürlich das Risiko eingehen könnten. In vielen Fällen geht das gut. Wenn Deutschland aber irgendwann durch Zufall von ihrem nigerianischen Pass erfährt, dann ist es zu spät. Das Risiko ist also nicht hoch, aber die Folgen wären verheerend. Unter anderem bräuchten Sie dann ein Visum für Deutschland.

      Da Nigeria visumspflichtig ist, finde ich durchaus, daß das ein Grund ist, v.a. wenn Sie öfter nach Nigeria reisen. Wenn Sie zudem konkrete Vorteile punkto Erbrecht und Eigentumsrecht vorbringen können, stärkt das Ihren Antrag aber noch viel mehr.

      Ich bin gerne beim Abfassen von Anträgen nach § 25 II StAG behilflich, berechne dafür aber eine Gebühr von 250 €.

  21. Vanessa Melchers says:

    I wish there were more such “Germany How to” infographics out there :) In a little less than 2 years I will apply for German citizenship under the German spouse argument (I am Canadian and we married in 2013). Do you know what are the average processing times if the application is in order? (i.e. by then I will have my BAMF integration course certificate, proof of residence, financial stability, etc). Thank you!

  22. Nick says:

    Just a quick question. I have my Grandfathers Naturalization Papers (Einburgerungsurkunde) issued in 1940 during the war. Do you think this gives 100% proof of his citizenship or would it just be an indication of citizenship in the same way that a passport is?

  23. Sevia says:

    I have a question. My father was a German citizen (and still is) when I was born in the US. It sounds like I get automatic citizenship, however I have no papers to prove it. Am I allowed to just get a German passport? or do I have to establish some other citizen eligibility first?

    • You might need to apply for a certificate of citizenship (“Staatsbürgerschaftsnachweis”) and after that you can apply for the passport, which is only a travel document, no document about citizenship.
      You can do this at your nearest German Consulate.

  24. Pingback: 18 Fabulous Infographics On Germany | Infographics |

  25. Raymond Walheim says:

    I am a citizen of the USA. I was born here, as were my parents and grandparents. My Great-Grandparents were born in Germany, but became naturalized citizens in the early 20th century. I have deep German roots, and have considerations of buying a second home in the region of my ancestors. I was curious about duel citizenship, though it appears from your FAQ that this may not be possible. I do not have any intention of giving up my USA citizenship, but with the duel residency, it would be useful to have a German passport. Is this possible?

    • Whether you actually have German citizenship already or not depends on when your great-grandparents got naturalized, if your grand-parent had already been born by then and whether you can derive German citizenship from your paternal or your maternal line.

      If you do not have this (dual) citizenship by birth, then it would be hard to get it now unless you fall under the exception outlined in no. 8 of my FAQ on naturalization from abroad.

      I should point out that you do not need German citizenship for purchasing property in Germany and for living there. You can get a residence permit instead.

  26. Christopher Zoellner says:

    I’m a Brazilian national and my great-grand parents from my mother’s side were German. Years ago, all my uncles got a dual German citizenship but at that time I was denied it because my father’s family is from Portuguese descent and it seems that only foreigner descendants of a male German relative could be allowed to have a dual citizenship. Is it still true? Aren’t there any changes in the law?

    • Yes, the law has changed in 1975. Since then, German mothers can pass on citizenship as well, irrespective of the father’s citizenship. However, this law does not apply retroactively (laws usually don’t).

      In recent years, Germany has however begun to rectify this problem and has been allowing the children of German mothers born before 1975 to naturalize without having to give up their other citizenship. (See. no. 8 of these FAQ on naturalization from abroad.) – In your case, this would only help if your mother was still German at the time of your birth, i.e. if she could derive her German descent from a paternal line and if German citizenship had not been lost after leaving Germany.

  27. Chak says:

    Andreas, Great work, thank you very much for the information. I have a question about my status.
    I have lived in Germany for 6 years, did my masters and PhD, then I left Germany for 2 years to work as a postdoctoral fellow in Canada. Now I would like to return to Germany, with a decent employment offer from a very good institute. I would like to know from you, should I decide to obtain German nationality, will my 6 years of stay in Germany will count towards my citizenship a? Or should it be just a 8 years continuous fresh stay in Germany? By the way, I have a German proficiency level of B1.

    Thank you for your reply, much anticipated.

    • Of your previous stay in Germany, up to 5 years can be counted towards the residency requirement (§ 12b II StAG), under the condition that they helped you to get integrated in Germany. Having studied and/or worked in Germany and having learned the language is the prime example for this, so I would say that you will have 5 years recognized.

  28. Sana says:

    I am living in Germany for 7 years already, and i got my PhD from German University. However , all these years I am on a scholarship (I am a scientist), meaning I do not pay taxes. Is there any way to get a Blue Card or another kind of residence permit in case my current contract ends? Do I have to leave Germany the very same day as my contract ends? thank you in advance for your help…

    • The Blue Card or residence question depends on the kind of job you would get and the salary. If you have to leave in between depends on the type of residence permit you have now. (I am not going into the details here, because this post is already getting lots of comments on citizenship law and I don’t want to mix it up with residence and work permit questions too much. I’ll be happy to post FAQ on Blue Cards and residence permits once somebody mails me a book from my wishlist in order to motivate me.)

      If you are thinking of applying for German citizenship, you don’t need to worry about having received scholarship. You don’t need to pay taxes in Germany in order to become a citizen. Scholarships count as regular income and they are no welfare payment. However, if you think that you might find a job soon, it would be better to wait with your application for citizenship because it’s more straightforward with an employment contract. With a scholarship, the immigration office’s main concern will be what you’ll do once it expires, so you would need to show a long-term funding plan.

    • Smokey says:

      HI Andreas, Firstly, thank you for all your useful and painstaking advice. I read this with great interest. I have been angemeldet in Germany for the past 9 years. For 6 of them I was married to a German. I spend a lot of time in the UK, where i am a citizen, and in other EU states. My income is from my UK rental property business and self employment in the UK. So, i haven’t been paying taxes in Germany, but in the UK instead. I also have a UK pension, and the DE Rentenversicherung know this. I also have DE private health insurance. I believe i am eligible for a Daueraufenthaltskarte in Germany, do you think it would be more useful for me to apply for dual citizenship, or am I not eligilble? My aim is to live full-time in Germany, with my German partner, and with the possibility to work in Germany – if Brexit allows! Thank you.

  29. Jesse Knight says:

    Hi Andreas, your work here has been amazingly informative and I was wondering about the following:

    My German grandmother became a naturalized American citizen in 1959 after giving birth to my father (1957) and my uncle (1956). My father passed away about 10 years ago having done nothing to either affirm or renounce his German citizenship (he wouldn’t have realized he was a German citizen). Presumably, he would have been a German citizen at birth and would have passed his citizenship on to me and my siblings. I have birth records for everyone (grandmother, my father, and myself) and was wondering if this is all I would need to apply for a certificate of citizenship (“Staatsbürgerschaftsnachweis”). Am I likely to run into any problems with my father having passed away early? Also, with my grandmother being a woman, are there going to be difficulties with citizenship passing along matrilineal lines?

    Thank you so much for your time!

    • Before 1975, only fathers could pass on German citizenship (with exceptions for unmarried mothers), so your father’s citizenship would depend on his father’s. It sounds like he was American and the US citizenship would then have prevailed, with the German line stopping there.
      Your father could later have applied to get naturalized in Germany without living there (see no. 8 of my FAQ on naturalization from abroad), but this possibility does not extend to the next generation.
      Sorry that I don’t have better news.

  30. Maye Contreras Collignon says:

    Dear Andreas Moser
    Thank you kindly for sharing this wonderful information!
    I would like to ask you, (perhaps you know) if my grandfather was born in Rostock Germany early 1900s am I still able to apply for the german passport even if my Dad passed away already?


    • That depends on whether your grandfather still had German citizenship at the time of your father’s birth and on whether your father still had German citizenship at the time of your birth. For example they could have lost it by applying for the citizenship of another country.

      If you e-mail me with all of the details and mail me one of the books from my wishlist, I’ll be able to give you a definitive answer for your specific situation.

  31. syedirshad says:

    hello friend

    i want to marry German girl and i need citizenship so please help me

    my E-mail : –

  32. Taralyn says:

    hello, my mother was a German citizen and Father american and I was born in 1950 in USA. Can I claim German citizenship by descent? I’m reading other websites that say ‘only if born after 1953’ or ‘born after 1977’. So much conflicting info, I just need to ask.Thanks

  33. Hallo,

    My opa (89) is a WWII veteran and still a German citizen. He and my oma (deceased) moved to the US in 1954. My dad (58) was born in the US and never claimed dual citizenship. I am 23 (in a month) year-old student. I had been living in Italy and want to continue my studies in europe, possibly move to Germany someday. My mom’s family line is German as well, but from generations back.

    Would my dad first have to apply for duel citizenship before me or can I apply directly?
    Can I get dual citizenship or have to renounce my US citizenship?

    Would my chances be increased if I were studying in German/learning the language?
    How many years does it generally take?

    It is impressive how you maintain this site. Thank you for providing all the information and answering everyone’s questions.

    Vielen Dank,

    • Good decision to stay in Europe! It’s a very diverse and beautiful continent and you save a lot in tuition fees. :-)

      It sounds like your father got German citizenship by descent automatically. Because it sounds like he never applied for US citizenship (because he got it automatically at birth), he never lost his German citizenship.
      Thus your father passed on the German (and the US) citizenship to you when you were born. You don’t need your father to apply for anything, although if he is interested, it might be easier if you both apply for a certificate of citizenship together. With that certificate of citizenship, you can then obtain a German passport.

      Note that you are not applying for naturalization, so you don’t need to prove any language skills and you don’t need to renounce your US citizenship.

    • Andreas,

      Thank you for the reply, recently visited Berlin and love the country even more!

      Before, I had thought my opa had maintained his citizenship because he was still receiving a pension and social security. However, he willfully immigrated to the US and it took him nearly 10 years to obtain US citizenship. The German Missions states this is a likely cause of loss: (still have to research more to confirm his status.)

      Would this interrupt my dad having a natural citizenship through descent? And block me from apply for a passport?


    • If your grandfather applied for and obtained US citizenship before your father was born, then the chain of German citizenship was indeed broken. If your grandfather applied for US citizenship after your father had been born, then it doesn’t have any retroactive adverse effect on the German citizenship that had already been passed on.
      Your own citizenship then obviously depends on that.

    • Evanny Henningsen says:

      Hello again!
      This is a message for those interested in the process I went through to successfully obtain dual citizenship in the U.S. My experience is fairly niche. The main idea is to collect as much documented proof as possible and to make sure you fit within the immigration law requirements. Good luck to you all!

      Fortunately, my grandfather kept very good documents and the process was fairly easy — especially after my initial confusion and concerns were answered here!
      (I highly recommend donating to Andreas or adding him on Patreon if you can. Good work is deserving of monetary praise – especially in an honor system such as this.) Following suit, my father, brother, and cousins were able to get dual-citizenship as well.

      1. Find your Consulate General of Germany – mine fell under Chicago’s jurisdiction. You can also find a closer honorary consulate to notarize all your documents if travel is an issue.
      2. Search their website for articles regarding dual-citizenship requirements. Email them for clarification and confirmation of eligibility. If English or German is your second language – find help to write your emails to ease communication and make it as simple as possible for the consulate to help expedite the process.
      3. Download/Print and fill out the form.
      4. Create copies of paperwork/documents prooving your unbroken lineage. Besides my birth certificate, passport, parents birth certificates, marriage license, and passports; I included my grandparents original German and most recent US passports, their marriage license, and birth certificates (which included their parents’ names and birth locations), his U.S. naturalization (he was naturalized aka lost German citizenship after my father was born which means my father was automatically a dual-citizen since the US law abides by jus soli). We fell into a small loophole that allowed for dual-citizenship through the paternal side from a select date range. The paperwork proves an unbroken line of lineage.
      5. Get a passport photo that follows the requirements.
      6. Make an appointment within two weeks in advance, bring copies of paperwork, money to cover fees (over $200 for two of us) and get there early.

      After the appointment, there were a couple amendments I had to mail in. Once all was corrected, it took several weeks and the original paperwork/documents with new passports arrived in the mail. I am up for renewal already – fortunately, this appointment only requires just my passport and a form this time and lesser fees. There is another layer of paperwork you can go through at the consulate to have your records stored in German which takes about two years to process, yet can help solidify your standing as a German citizen.

      P.S. Andreas,
      I could not find my other post regarding the “Lebenspeschemmgung”. We cannot find any paperwork regarding it either. The German consulate offered an alternate spelling that did not answer our question. So, we’ll let sleeping dogs lie and assume it was his (now suspended) war pension and not a life insurance policy.

    • Thank you very much for recounting the process and of course for your generous words about my blog!

      Could it be that you mean a “Lebensbescheinigung”? That is simply a proof of live, issued by the consulate for Germans living abroad and receiving a pension.

  34. kosovar says:

    Hello i have one question. I have born in Germany at 1995 and i stayed there six years can i get german citizenship.Also my sister and my brother has born in Germany, my sister has born in 1996 my brother has born in 2000 Pleas answer me i need your opinion.

  35. Tara says:

    Hello Andreas, Thanks for all the great information…. I have spoken to several lawyers and still don’t have a clear answer. I have lived with my family(from the middle east) for 4 years in Germany and I work as board member with a multinational company here. We do not speak much German as the work environment is English and my son goes to an international school. We have bought a beautiful house in Germany and absolutely love living here. I know that part of the criteria for receiving a German citizenship is passing the German test but could you please advise if there is any loophole we could use? Is there anyway we can get a citizenship without passing the test? Do you recommend going down the blue card route? Thanks so much in advance for your response!

    • There are exceptions for people who can’t read or write, for old people and for handicapped people. An exception can be made for applicants whose naturalization is in Germany’s particular interest (Nr. VV-StAG), but that is mostly applied to sports stars or applicants who can provide vital intelligence information about their home country.

      Considering that the regular residency requirement is 8 years and that you only need to get to B1 level, it’s really not that hard. Even with only 15 or 20 minutes of studying every morning, you can get there. Then you try to speak more of it every day and you will draw motivation from the conversations in which actually understood what the German speaker said. Because you can take the A1 and A2 tests before, you have these incremental steps to measure your progress and to keep you motivated. Yes you can!

    • Tara says:

      Dear Andreas,
      Thanks for the response.
      I really want to learn German as its no fun living here without it…. just cant find a minute to do it ….
      What you said actually motivated me. 15-20 minutes a day? Yes I can!!
      I also read about your trip to Iran…… Very interesting. You probably also noticed that its the capital of Plastic Surgery of the world!
      All the best and thanks again.

    • For Italian, I found the book from ASSIMIL the best one. They also have one for German, so that might be worth a try.

  36. Sami says:

    Hello dear I am citizen of EU my passport is Finnish and my wife is a family member of the EU citizen , from 2 years we are living in Germany in last October 2014 my child was born in Germany can you tell me is my child allso can get a German citizenship ? thanks

  37. Mohamed says:

    hello dear,

    I born for german father and egyptian mother in 1988 and up to now i don’t have any passport so i can prove i’m german or i lost it

    • Then you should apply for one now.

    • Mohamed says:

      that means i can apply for passport from german embassy in egypt or i need proof. I’ve my father citizenship docs. that prove that he was german on date of birth plus his german passports.

    • Exactly, you can go to the German Embassy in Cairo.

      You will need proof of your father’s German citizenship and proof that you are his son (for example your birth certificate).

    • Mohamed says:

      sorry for more questions but i never been to germany so it will be a problem for me and also am now 25 yrs and also egyptian birth cert. is enough registers in exterior ministry

  38. Michael Gall says:

    Hi Andreas, My mother is an ethnic German (Donauschwaben), she was born in Deutsch-Zerne in 1937. Deutsch-Zerne unfortunately no longer exists, it is now Crnja, located in the autonomous province of Vojvodina, Serbia. After WWII her family was in concentration camps which they eventually escaped. She spent a brief time with relatives in Austria prior to emigrating to the US. I was born and raised in America, but I now live in Croatia (married to a Croatian National). My question for you is whether decedents of ethic Germans (not born on German soil) Donauschwaben whose families have emigrated to America can still obtain German passports/become German citizens? For what it’s worth, I know that my maternal grandmother’s family was from Bavaria, and my maternal grandfather’s family was from the Alsace Lorraine region. Also, what documentation would be required as proof to obtain a passport? Specifically I am interested for myself, as an American, and for my daughter, who is already a dual citizen of the US and Croatia. I would also like to share this information with my wider family and other Donauschwaben communities in the US and Canada?

    • Bojan says:

      hi Michael! have you found any information about it? i am in similar situation.

    • Tony says:

      Hi, I have a similar situation as both my parents were Donauschwaben but emigrated to Australia after they were released from the camps. Any information would be very helpful.

  39. Hi Andreas! I have a son his father is German but im still married and my annulment is on going. I got pregnant when my BF invited me for 3 months to stay with him in Germany we have ultrasound and records from OB Gyn in Germany. My son used his father Surname on his Birth Certificate here in the Philippines with his Signature and Acknowledgement of paternity at the bsck of his BC. We want our son to get german passport. What can we do? Im still married here in the philippines nut just waiting for the decision of my annulment. I know that in german law the legal father is still my current husband even we are separated for 9 yrs already. Please help me.. Thanks.

  40. Michael says:

    My father died in Germany recently. Although I kept his birth certificate and death certificate and my confirmation as inheritor but I did not keep his personalausweis nor his reisepass. I think my aunt may have handed them into the authorities. I got my staatsangehoerigkeit and reisepass in the 1980’s. In order to renew my reisepass at the embassy where I am registered I see I have to provide not only my full birth certificate and parents marriage certificate but also my deceased fathers reisepass. Any advice about what I can do about this?

    • First, you can try without it. I also get my German passports from embassies or consulates because I live abroad, and all I ever had to provide was my birth certificate and my last passport.
      Second, you can contact the authority which issued your father’s passport and ask them to confirm this fact to the embassy.

  41. Andrew says:

    I am the father of a German child from Jamaica and went to work outside of Germany for more than 6 months! At the moment I have a German Nationalitate Card, will I loose it?

    • What is a “German Nationalitate Card? Do you mean your residence permit?

      I’d like to open a separate list of FAQ on residence status in Germany because under this thread we already have tons of citizenship questions and we shouldn’t confuse and mix these two subjects. I will set up the new FAQ as soon as you mail me one of the books from my wishlist.

  42. Hi,

    My grandmother was born in Chemnitz in about 1907 and moved to the US about 1914, how can I found out if she surrendered her German passport? If she did, is there any way for me to become a German citizen?



    • 1) You could ask her (if she is still alive).
      2) You could find out if she ever applied for US citizenship. If she did, she automatically lost her German citizenship in the process (§ 25 I StAG).
      3) Because mothers could not pass on German citizenship before 1975 (with some exceptions), it might not even help if your grandmother was still German when your mother/father was born.

      If descent does not work, then you do of course have the option of applying for naturalization, but you would need to speak German for that and Germany would require you to give up your existing citizenship(s) (again with some exceptions).

  43. Tabitha Kunze says:

    unsere ersten 3 kinder sind ind deutschland geboren,vor ueber 20 jahren sind wir nach Indonesien gezogen.Dann kam eine finanzielle krise…und schliesslich gab mein mann die deutsche staats angehoerigkeit auf und unsere 5 kinder bekamen mit ihm indonesier.ICH BIN IMMER NOCH DEUTSCHE.Unsere tochter ist inzwischen 25 und allein erziehend mit 2 kindern.Die letzten jahre waren sehr tough und unsere tochter wuerde gerne selbststaendig sein und in der lage sein fuer ihre kinder zu sorgen.Ist es moeglich ihre deutsche staats angehoerigkeit zurueck zu bekommen.Wir haben schon einige erkundigungen eingezogen aber da sie auch keine ausbildung hat sagte man uns die chancen stehen nicht gut.wo muss mann nachfragen..was muesste man beantragen..welchen zwingenden grund kann man angeben.Wir waeren sehr dankbar ueber jede hilfe….

  44. Ciaran says:

    I am living in another country, but lived In Germany for 6 years and was born there. My dad lived there for 23 years and mother lived there for 13 years. But they are from a different country. Can I obtain german citizenship ?

    • It depends on your parents’ citizenship, your citizenship, your country of residence, the year you were born, your parent’s immigration status at the time of your birth, the place of your birth and your German language skills.

  45. Dorothy says:

    I was born in Germany to Ghanaian parents but I was brought to Ghana before I turned 2.can I attain dual citizenship?

    • That depends when you were born, how long both your parents were in Germany at the time of your birth, what immigration status they had and how old you are now.

      Do you speak German? If yes, you can of course also apply for naturalization, although you would be required to give up your existing citizenship unless you could argue that one of the exceptions applies in your case.

    • Dorothy says:

      My parents lived there for about 2 years before I was born but afterwards, my dad left Germany with me and my mum has been in germany since then.I was born in January 1993.I’m 22 years old now.I don’t really know about my parents’ immigration status.can I still attain the dual citizenship?

  46. Dorothy says:

    Ok, thanks

  47. Axel Ambrosius says:

    All of my family on my father’s side was German for hundreds of years. My great grandfather and grandfather were both medics in the German military , I believe both served in each World War. My father was born in Gerrmany but after World War 2 moved to the Americas because of the state of Germany. I have both my father’s and grandfather’s German birth certificates, and a long detailed and documented history of my German bloodline, yet when I was born my father had citizenship of another country other than Germany. Am I eligible for German citizenship or a passport?

    • Your father could only pass on German citizenship if he still had it at the time of your birth.

    • Axel Ambrosius says:

      I dont know if he renounced German citizenship, but he became a citizen of Mexico , and probably was a citizen of Mexico at the time of my birth. So it is possible that he lost his German citizenship? Even if we have a long line of German family, and still have family in Germany?

    • If he applied for naturalization in Mexico, he automatically lost his German citizenship (§ 25 I StAG), even if he did not actively renounce it.
      The lineage before does not count once the line has been broken.

      Of course you can always apply for naturalization in Germany, but then you would be required to give up your Mexican citizenship.

  48. shaikh says:

    Hi Andreas,
    My husband has lived in germany with resident permit from 2001 to 2005 then he went to us for 2 years athen again 2007 to 2011….now we live in india but want to go back to germany….we have done german B1 n integration course in 2009…..we would like to apply now for nationality is it possible to apply or do we have to live in germany again for 8 years?

  49. shaikh says:

    We have lived in germany for5 years with 2 yearsin Us n 5 years in germany n then 3 years in india.. now we r again in germany n want to apply ..does those 10 years count or do we have to again fullfill 8 years rewuirement?we have language certificate n integration certificate…..

  50. shaikh says:

    Thnx alot Andreas for the reply.

  51. hatem says:

    Hi Andreas,
    I would like to congratulate you on a very great blog and for helping everyone.
    I see that your knowledge is really remarkable regarding this topic and that it is fair and unbiased.
    In 1998, I moved to Germany to study and I spent around 3 years studying till I got my master degree in Engineering then I got my green card and worked in a German company for another 2.5 years. I got a good offer to join the branch of same company in another country in Asia which I could not refuse and I moved there. When I was moving in 2003 I was informed that if I decide one day to come back to Germany the years I spent in Germany will not be counted in case I want to apply for a permanent residency or the citizenship. Now i have seen in your recent answers that this is not the case, so either the information was wrong or the law has changed since then. so what happened?
    Then I checked the law you referred to “STAG 12B” and it says maximum 5 years not mentioning anything about studying. Also what I know is that you need to be working and paying pension insurance for 60 consecutive months to get permanent residency which is needed to apply for the citizenship, so how come studying years count? Also I checked another law “AufenthG 9b” which mentions the studying time but will be counted as half and not full. So what do you think, which is the right one? or are these different?
    the last question if you are still holding in there :) is that when I was told previously that these years will not be counted I decided then to take the pension insurance back as I did not make any sense to leave it there. Do you think that this may make a problem in counting the years I spent in Germany in case they are actually counted?
    Thanks for your patience

  52. Jorge H Unger says:

    Andreas, Thank you very much for your useful information. I have been reading several of your FAQs.

    I have a question regarding German citizenship. My grandfather was German and gave birth to my mother in Mexico in 1944. After that, he became Mexican and had to resign his German citizenship (as far as we know). My mother has never applied for a german passport up to this point. I was born in 1981 in Mexico (still living there) and I’m very interested in obtaining a German passport for both and possibly move to Germany in the future. From all I have read in different places I believe I do have a chance of success, but I’m not sure if maybe I’m missing something. If that’s not the case and I’m able to prove a German citizenship “by birth”, do I still need to prove that I master the language (which I still don’t)? What’s your overall take on my situation? I deeply appreciate your guidance.

  53. tata says:

    I was born in 1977 on American soil (Texas) to an American soldier and a German citizen. My mother is living in the U.S. with a green card and retains her status as a German citizen. Does this mean that I have dual citizenship?

    • tata says:

      I’d like to add a few comments.

      I lived with my parents in Germany from age 18 months until 9 years. This seems relevant as it is mentioned a few times in your site. I attended German school for 2 years and while my language skills are rusty, I’m confident that if immersed, I’d quickly pick up German and be fluent again.

      I’m interested in learning about my own status because I’m considering teaching English in Germany. If I AM a dual citizen, what document of my own can prove that so I can travel to Germany and stay without a visa?

      My older brothers were born in 1970 and 1971. The brother born in 1970 was born on a US armed forces base in Germany and his birth certificate is a German birth certificate. The brother born in 1971 was born in Wisconsin, USA. From what I’ve read here, my eldest brother and I likely have dual citizenship while our middle brother doesn’t? Interesting.

    • Yes. You obtained both citizenships at birth. You will need to get a certificate of citizenship from the German consulate and with that you can apply for a German passport.

      As you are German by birth and not by naturalization, you don’t need to pass any language test or fulfill any other criteria.

  54. junior says:

    Sorry to bother you my son is born in a German soil, But I was told that I cant obtain a birth certificate just because i presented a Nigeria court birth certificate which my own birth certificate, I was told by German city Hall that it will cost me 665eur and I will pay this money if i don’t pay my child to legalize my birth certificate in Nigeria which likely take 6mouths or more my child will not have his German birth certificate. Now I will not pay this 665eur to investigate me in my own country and I want my child birth certificate which my own right. this is another way of suppression

  55. 李志锋 says:

    excuse me, can i ask a further question, do you know is that any day requirement to stay in germany in a year(mean that how many day can i leave outside germany during a year)if i want to apply for the german citizenship? thank you

  56. Starr says:

    Wow that is a lot of information, great graphic too. I am a bit wary, as my Grandfather was born in Germany, as was my Grandmother. Her birthplace was swallowed up during the fighting during the World War. If fact, she was there during one of the dictators speeches and almost lost my Uncle Bill on a visit there. The day they were going to leave to come to the states, she told my Grandfather to go get Billy. They found out later that two days later that young boys were being taken from families to be put into the youth camps. So I’m glad they didn’t leave him.
    Now my Grandfather was here with his parents, he was 17 and enlisted using a friends birth certificate. But I was also told that a week before he turned 18 they sent him home, which he returned a week later with his papers to re-enlist. I would believe from that that he was born here, cause someone said that he couldn’t join if he wasn’t a citizen.
    I was told he was born in Germany, I even have a copy of the record where he was coming back to America with my Grandmother and her brother – I think it was from them coming through the Ellis Island place.
    My Grandmother never gave up her citizenship, remaining a German. But I guess that won’t qualify me since she’s female. My Grandfather sired my mother in 1943, most of the 5 kids were had at home. My Grandfather took care of it while they waited for the doctor to show up. I was born in 1963. Would my mother still be able to pass on her German citizenship from her father? I think he was duel, because he seemed to go back and forth to German and the US.
    Is there something I can fill out to find out if I qualify?

  57. Lilli says:

    My Boyfriend is Canadian and I am German. Can he aply for a German Passport if we gonna marry?

  58. Karen Meixner says:

    My daughter qualifies for a German passport. Her father is German and held a German passport at the time of her birth and her grandfather was born in Augsburg. Her father refuses to give her a copy of his passport. We have supplied the German embassy in London with her father and her grandfather’s birth certificates. The German embassy has contacted Munich (her fathers birth place) and they will not verify that he held a German passport. The embassy have come back and said it is now up to my daughter to provide this proof before they can proceed with her application. Please advise us on how we can get a copy of his passport or any other way we can show he held a German passport at the time of her birth (which I know for a fact that he did).
    Thank you for your helpful site!

    • You actually don’t need to prove that the father ever had a German passport, only that he had German citizenship at the time of your daughter’s birth. Your daughter can obtain this information from the “Einwohnermeldeamt” in München or whatever is the current or was his last place of residence.

  59. Jeanne says:

    Andreas –

    Thank you for this helpful site! I have a question. My husband’s father was adopted by a German man when he was about 17 years old around 1965/66. Legally, my husband’s grandfather is German. Is there anything my husband can do to receive dual citizenship? Would his father have to claim anything?

  60. Back says:

    Is this too long of a line for German citizenship through descent? My great-great-great grandfather was born in Germany (Lippe-Detmold). He came to the US around 1860, so before a unified Germany. My great-great grandfather was born in the US (1863) before his father applied for American naturalization, so he would have both German and American citizenship if the laws can extend that far. This would carry on to my great grandfather, grandfather, father, to me, theoretically? I have other parts of the family that are another generation or two more recent, but this is the straight paternal line.

  61. pippa sue. says:

    i have a dougther with german, now shes 12 year old. The father was sight birth certificate but he nerver support us since my dougther was born. Can i sue him for a child support from Phillipines? or what can i do to get a financial help from him.
    Thank you very much

  62. Virginia says:

    Hi I’m Virginia and I have a 21 month old son with my German boyfriend my concern is in my son’s birth certificate his father sign a Philippine paternity and we want to get a german passport for him.As of the moment his dad is not in Germany due to his work as a seaman would it be possible for his dad to apply forGerman paternity even if his not in Germany now?We think of we had not so much time for we are planning to visit Germany in August. Thanks.

    • No problem. You can apply for a German passport for your baby at the nearest German embassy/consulate.
      It’s not necessary for the father to be there in person, but because a lot of documents will be required from him, it will be easier to do it when he will be ashore.

  63. Eva says:


    I left a comment on here awhile back and wanted to give a follow up of my german citizenship application results.

    My Opa moved to the US after marrying and received naturalization after my father was born, hence there was not a break in lineage.

    Booked an appointment. Printed and filled out the application forms from the consulate website; brought money, Opa and Oma naturalization documents, birth certificates, passports new and old, marriage license (with their parents names and birthplaces), parents birth certificates, passports/IDs, marriage license, my license/passport and birth certificate, and a family tree outlining my lineage. I do not speak German yet, that was not a problem and gave a sensible reason for wanting to obtain dual citizenship. After 8 weeks they arrived in the mail.

    Best of luck,

  64. Rilind says:

    Hi Andreas..wanna ask a question here
    I was born in Germany in 1995 to non german parents, and after 6-7 years we got back to my parents hometown Albania…I still know the German language pretty good…
    I’ve searched a lot and I know that it’s impossible for me to get German citizenship alone from that..Now i applied for a student summer job and I got a schengen visa to work in germany for 3months..So my question is if i go like this for 2-3 years[with only student contracts] to work will it be easier for me to apply for naturalisation, I mean will I have a higher chance on getting a residence permit for example or anything else..Thanks in advance

  65. Brad Scott says:

    Hello Andreas

    Thank you for your time, and hopefully you can assist me. My situation is that i am a 36 year male born and living in South Africa, with a South African citizenship.
    I have just found out, through a paternity test done in Germany, that my biological father is a German citizen, and has been all his life. My mother is a South African citizen, and has been all her life. They have never been married.

    Am I entitled to apply for German citizenship and what is the probability of my application being successful?

    Your advise and assistance on how to proceed from here would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards

    • Unfortunately it’s too late for that. Paternity would have been needed to be established by your 23rd birthday (§ 4 I 2 StAG).

  66. Devbio says:

    Hi Andreas,

    The 8 year rule doesn’t apply in Bavaria if you are a student during that period. Here they say you need to be an employee during the whole period to be eligible for Citizenship. I applied for citizenship for my newborn baby because I have been living for 10 years in Germany. But I was denied as I was a PhD student for 5 years with visa 16. What I find strange is that I was paying renteversicherung and other taxes like normal employee during my PhD as I have TvöD contract but seems like it doesn’t count. The way I understand it looks like an exception only in Bavaria. I would appreciate your comments on this.

    • I know that Bavaria sometimes counts the time spent as a student with 50%, this is the first time that I heard that it would not count at all. Notwithstanding the fact that you were employed, I find this rather dubious because the federal citizenship law does not make any distinction between studying and working.

      You have two options:
      (1) File your application and request a decision in writing. If your application will be denied, we will take it from there.
      (2) Move to another state and apply there.

      I usually recommend option (2) because option (1) just makes the lawyer rich. :-)

    • Devbio says:

      Thanks for the reply.

      Everything depends on your case manager in Germany. Because when I applied for NE one year back I was denied because of the student issue. Then few months back my case manager has changed. The new one just asked for rente (which I was paying from the begining for 8 years) along with other required documents and she granted NE. Seems like with Einbürgerung I am in bad luck.

      Moving to another state is difficult as I can’t change to a new job at the moment. Is there any other way?

    • You can officially “move” if someone in another state lets you use their address. Whether this is credible depends on where in Bavaria you work and how long it would take you to get to work every day.
      But why can’t you change jobs? You are a free person in a free country.

      Otherwise, I would really recommend to apply and to insist on a written decision. Very often, the bureaucrats easily say no, but when they have to give reasons in writing, they have to think more carefully and maybe even look at the law. You do however have to be prepared for the decision to take a long time.

    • Devbio says:

      The problem is in my line of work (Postdoc in biology) getting a job is complicated. The next step largely influences the step after. Next year I might even move to Netherlands (It’s all because of the career and sh*t like that).

      I am also considering ‘officially’ moving for the sake of it. But I have no clarity about that. Is it mandatory that it is reachable to your work place. Can I get away by saying I have a collaborative work to do in the new place in an university (I will have no documents to prove of course) and eventually I will be moving completely once the work comes to fruition.

    • Where in Bavaria do you live?

    • Devbio says:

      In Freising (near Munch).
      I just wonder as I have NE, does the Bürgerbüro guys care about my work.

    • That location makes it practically impossible to come up with a convincing living-in-another-state story.

    • Devbio says:

      I have a friend’s friend story that I want to share. He was in similar situation and he seems like he just managed by moving to another state just ‘officially’. Far from his work place and he says no one ever asked him why you are not living close to your work place. He is forcing me to try this but I am not quite sure if it would work. I don’t want to invite unnecessary attention but it is quite tempting for me as I don’t need to go to Auslanderämt in the new place to extend my visa if I could convince the Bürgerbüro. But on the other hand when I apply for my kid’s passport then that might rise some questions. This is so disheartening.

  67. Mat says:

    I’m going to try and take advantage of your generosity in sharing your abundant knowledge in this topic: My Jewish maternal grandmother was born in Hamburg and left Germany after 1933, sometime before 1939 for what I hope are obvious reasons. My mother, her daughter, however, was born in 1952 in America and neither claimed/reclaimed German citizenship. Would I be potentially eligible for citizenship as a descendant of my German grandmother?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Most probably not. Before 1975, only German fathers could pass on German citizenship. So even if your grandmother hadn’t lost her German citizenship (e.g. by becoming naturalized in the US), it would not have been passed on to your mother.
      Your mother could still apply for naturalization in Germany under eased terms (see no. 8 of my FAQ on naturalization in Germany from abroad), but this would not extend to her adult children.

    • Mat says:

      Bummer… I guess it’s not worth writing to Cologne, eh?
      Anyways, Thanks so much!

  68. Brendan Decker says:

    Dear Andreas.

    Please help me. My sister and I have spent the last 6 months collecting documents and are about to make an appointment to apply for German passports.

    We are South African born 1964 and 1966 and resident in South Africa. Our paternal grandparents were both born in Germany. My grandfather was born in 1900. He emigrated to South Africa in about 1926. We do not have his passport. We have his German birth certificate South Afican ID and a letter from the South African authorities that he never naturalised here. I know that at the time of his death he was receiving a German pension but no proof.

    From my understanding the ancestral claim to a German passport is through the male line. All we have of my grandmother is her passport and registration as an alien during the second world war.

    We have all the relevant South African paperwork; birth, marriage and death certificates.

    Will we be able to get a German passport and thereby be able to work in Germany and the other EU countries?


    Brendan Decker

    • What about your father? Did he ever get naturalized or do anything to lose his German citizenship?

    • Brendan Decker says:

      Andreas he was born in Souh Africa and was a South African citizen.

    • Did your father automatically gain South African citizenship by birth (ius soli) or did he have to apply for it (naturalization)? In the later case, he would have lost his German citizenship in the process.

      You will need to show an uninterrupted chain from your grandfather to your father to you. You cannot skip one generation and base your claim on your grandparents.

    • Brendan Decker says:

      Thank you Andreas it was ius soli.

    • Then you should definitely go for it!

      Regarding the required documents, just take everything you have right now. You never know what the particular consular official will ask for additionally after you hand in your application. They will let you know and we’ll take it from there.

    • Brendan Decker says:

      Hi Andreas

      At long las we saw the German consulate this morning. We have the documents required except one. They want my grandfathers passport to see when he entered South Africa. Apparently there is some requirement that changed in 1924. If he entered later than 1924 then it is plain sailing. I feel somewhat deflated, we dont have his passport or any official document that can tell us when he entered South Africa.

      The consulate staff suggested I search shipping records out of Hamburg.


    • Shipping records or the records from his hometown in Germany. They might have recorded his emigration.

  69. Brendan Decker says:


  70. W. Walther says:

    Is it possible for me to reclaim my German citizenship given my situation?
    I was born in Germany in 1951. Both my parents were German citizens, however they were not
    married. My mother immigrated to the US in 1953, but I was left in Germany with my grandmother
    until we also immigrated to the US in 1958.
    My mother became a US citizen around 1960 but I did not. A couple of years latter; when I was
    11 years old, I was made a US citizen through naturalization.
    The question is, since I was a minor at the time would I still be considered a German citizen given that I did not renounce my citizenship it was renounced for me?
    The second question is, what do I need to do to get my German citizenship back?

    Thank You
    W. Walther

  71. Yakov Blum says:

    Hi Andreas,

    I’ve been trying to figure out if I could be eligible for German citizenship. My maternal grandparents were both Jewish Germans who left Germany shortly before the war (late 1930s). They left for Palestine and then emigrated to the US in the early 1950s. My grandfather wasn’t naturalized there till 1959. My mother was born in the US in 1956. I was born in Israel in 1983.

    Would I be eligible for German citizenship restoration? If my grandfather hadn’t been denaturalized, my mother would have been born a German citizen through him, and then since I was born after 1975, I would have been too… right?

    Thanks so much for your help — I haven’t been able to find a specific case like this online.

  72. Tye says:

    Hello I am wondering if you can give me some advice.
    My great-grandfather was German and moved to Australia. My grandfather, father and myself were born in Australia.
    Can I qualify for German citizenship/passport from my lineage?

  73. Niks says:

    Hi Andreas Moser, please can you help me in this regards, i move to Germany since 2011 and married my German wife since 2010 in England, so i have been living with my wife since 2011 here in Germany and i have been to German language school for 3 and half year, acquiring German knowledge up to C1, i pass my Einbuergerung test, with flying colours 33 out 33, also integration test, 25 out 25. Here is my problem i applied for a German passport, becos i could only get a job and start working February this year 2015. And the letter i receive from auslanderbehoerder state that my application could take within 6 month from when i applied. So becos my resident permit and my passport is going to expire this month October 19, my wife went to the auslanderbehoerder to ask the process of my application becos we haven’t heard anything from them. and the woman in charge said that i cannot become German citizen unless i have work 12 month.
    Please Mr Andreas Moser are there any place were it is written in the German Gesetzt that i have to work 12 month, when i have fulfil all the requirement to naturalise as a German citizen.
    i will so much appreciate your reply to my concern.

    • Glückwunsch zu den hervorragenden Testergebnissen und zu Ihren guten Sprachkenntnissen!

      There is no statutory requirement that you have been working for 12 months, but § 8 I Nr. 4 StAG requires that you are able to support yourself and your dependents. Work is one way to do that, of course, but if you receive a scholarship or run a business or have savings these are other possibilities of supporting yourself which would also need to be accepted.
      How have you been financing your life?

    • Niks says:

      Thanks for the reply, what i meant is that , i have been working since February this year, Feb./2015. when i applied for the German nationality, then i was told that i have to work 12 month first before i could be naturalise.

  74. Dell Stein says:

    Dear Mr. Moser
    I am from West Coast of Vancouver , Canada. I am studying in my Master at Hochschule Ingolstadt. Since I am staying in Germany for the last 4 years (from 2011) and going to marry my German Girlfriend at January 2016. So in this situation my questions are :

    1. Since I am living in Germany for the last 4 years with a student visa , so after my marriage will I be able to apply for the German citizenship ?

    2. Or, If I will get the Daueraufenthalt , then after how many years I will able to apply for the German citizenship ; Since I am living in Germany for the last 4 years with a student visa ?

    3. My Hochschule education will be finished at February 2016 in Wintersemester 2016 . So as a German Hochschule graduate will I need any Integration course or German language test ?

    4. Can I apply for Höherer Dienst with German Daueraufenthalt ?

    I thank you in advance for replying my post and wish you a nice day.

    Best Regards
    Dell Adnan Stein

    • These are a LOT of questions. In this case, I would appreciate a donation (see the button on the top right) before I devote quite some time to answer them.
      Thank you!

    • Dell Stein says:

      Dear Mr. Moser,
      Thanks for your reply.
      I appreciate your work and for the time you want to give and think about my questions, that’s why I have sent you a amount of donation through paypal.
      Waiting for the reply of my questions and I wish you a nice day and of course thanks in advance for replying !

    • Thank you for your donation!

      1) + 2) Without being married, the minimum residence requirement for naturalization is 6 years. You can get naturalized faster (after 3 years of residence) if you are married to a German, but in that case the marriage must have been lasting for 2 years at least. So, in your case, the marriage doesn’t make much of a difference for the residence requirement.

      3) If your studies were in German and you will graduate successfully, you don’t need a language test. In that case, you probably had to pass the language test at the beginning of your studies already and your graduation will show that you have improved.

      If your degree is taught in English, then you will of course have to pass the language test. If you want to get naturalized after 6 years, you will need to have a B2 level.

      The citizenship test cannot be replaced by a university degree (only by a German high school diploma). But you needn’t worry, the citizenship test is really easy and you can prepare for it because all the questions are online.

      4) Yes, you can, but it depends on the specific job or career. Some jobs are restricted to German citizens, like in the intelligence service, the military and so on.

    • Dell Stein says:

      Dear Mr. Moser,
      I am really confused ABOUT MY QUESTION number 2 —- which is —— which type RESIDENCE PERMIT I will get IMMEDIATELY after marrying my German Girlfriend in January ,
      IN SHORT MY SMALL QUESTION IS …..since I have currently holding a residence permit with student visa for the last 4 years ?…….so….My current Student residence permit will convert to which type of residence permit IMMEDIATELY after my marriage ? :

      1) will it be a TEMPORARY residence permit (spouse visa) with a time period of 3 years ?
      2) or, will it be a Daueraufenthalt or Permanent residence permit IMMEDIATELY AFTER MARRIAGE?

      Because if I will get a spouse residence permit from student residence permit then I have to again separately apply for Daueraufenthalt or Permanent residence permit …..because IN THE TIME OF NATURALIZATION I HAVE TO HAVE A Permanent residence permit not any Spouse permit ! IS THAT CORRECT ??

      Thanks in advance and have a nice day.

    • Once you get married, you can change your type of residence permit to a spouse-sponsored residence permit (§ 28 AufenthG), but you don’t need to because you will also still be a student. Eventually, it’s advisable to change it because the family-based residence permit comes with a full work permit (§ 27 V AufenthG).
      Initially, that residence permit would still be a temporary residence permit.

      You do not need a Niederlassungserlaubnis in order to apply for naturalization. The family-based residence permit is sufficient (§ 10 I no. 2 StAG).

    • Dell Stein says:

      Hey, I just found something interesting in the…….Gesetz über den Aufenthalt, die Erwerbstätigkeit und die Integration von Ausländern im Bundesgebiet (Aufenthaltsgesetz – AufenthG)§ 28 Familiennachzug zu Deutschen
      IT SAYS :
      2) Dem Ausländer ist in der Regel eine Niederlassungserlaubnis zu erteilen, wenn er drei Jahre im Besitz einer Aufenthaltserlaubnis ist, die familiäre Lebensgemeinschaft mit dem Deutschen im Bundesgebiet fortbesteht, kein Ausweisungsinteresse besteht und er über ausreichende Kenntnisse der deutschen Sprache verfügt. § 9 Absatz 2 Satz 2 bis 5 gilt entsprechend. Im Übrigen wird die Aufenthaltserlaubnis verlängert, solange die familiäre Lebensgemeinschaft fortbesteht.

      SINCE I AM STAYING IN GERMANY From September 2011 …so I am holding a residence permit(for study) ….SO ACCORDING TO THE RULES AFTER MY MARRIAGE CAN I APPLY FOR Niederlassungserlaubnis OR Daueraufenthalr?

    • Because this thread has already more than 1,000 comments, I’d like to restrict it to citizenship law and not answer questions on residence permits. This will have to wait until I set up a separate list of FAQ.

  75. JacobF says:

    Hello Andreas!

    I am an Australian citizen, having migrated to Germany two years ago. I am about two start a two year Master programme. My German is already C1-C2, and I am contemplating acquiring German citizenship through naturalisation in several years time (from my understanding, I would be able to apply after six years instead of eight, as I would fufill the intergration and language requirements).

    However, I do not wish to lose my Australian citizenship. All my family live there, I have investments there and I may have employment opportunities there. Would I be able to somehow keep my Australian citizenship?

    Thanks in advance! :-)

    • No. You would need to show an exceptional hardship by losing your Australian citizenship, which is not the case here:
      – You won’t lose your Australian family and you can still visit them anytime. The Australian visa is easy to obtain and free of charge.
      – You won’t lose your investments. Foreigners can hold investments in Australia.
      – If you want to work in Australia, you can apply for a work visa. Lots of foreigners work in Australia.
      There may be some inconveniences, but none that reach the level of “extreme hardship”.

  76. ABEN says:

    Guten Tag Herr Moser.

    1886: My GREAT grandpa was born Kleve, Germany. (i have birth cert from Burgeramt)
    1912: My grandpa was born in Koln, Germany (i have birth cert from Burgeramt)
    1930’s: Both moved Indonesia (Dutch East Indies)

    1946: Grandpa married a woman of DUTCH descent.
    1948: My mother born in Indonesia. (I have her birth cert stating ‘Registered as a European’)
    1951: Mum moved to New Zealand (on her mothers Dutch passport in 1951)

    1970: Mum married a kiwi guy.
    1973: I am born… (jetzt ich mag Deutschland und die Franziskaner Weissbier)
    1978: Mum became New Zealand citizen (i have all official documents)

    2003: I became Australian citizen.

    From reading your FAQs, I THINK my application is ok…Except, how can I prove my grandpa’s citizenship OR nationality? Which documents? I have birth cert’s but MAYBE they were both just born in Germany but nationals of somewhere else.

    It is driving me crazy that i can’t seem to find other info.

    Can you assist us all to know (on FAQ page) what Documents / combination of documents might be accepted as proof of ancestral links. How to get them? Could birth certs be ok, even though they might not prove jus sanguinis to Germany.

    Brilliant work on the website and safe travels.

    Regards, Aben

    • I don’t want to put up a list of documents because so much depends on the time and place someone was born and on other circumstances. Also, it really depends a bit on who receives the application.

      The case of your grandpa for example sounds like he may already have been drafted for military service (the draft was re-introduced in 1935), or we could try to find some of his university or professional records.

      Alternatively, we can focus on your great-grandfather because he might have served in World War I and the military records would indicate citizenship.

      Or maybe they were politically active and ran for a seat on the city council once (which would have required German citizenship at that time).

      Basically, the more you know about them and about German history, the more ideas you will get. But then, the big hurdle is finding these documents.

  77. armie cortez says:

    Hi to you Andreas,I just have 1 question,
    I want to ask this thing as being part of my concern to a very close friend,she have a German boyfriend and they have a beautiful girl kid 4 years old,they are living now ( in a relationship) almost 5 years now,I asked her few months ago if He’s planning to bring her in germany this coming next years, she just answer me “maybe not coz he’s still married to her ex German wife 10 years ago but that are separated emotionally not on the paper ” (including the years they are together) so here is the question!, *is it possible that he can bring them in Germany (she and their kid) even he is still married to his ex German wife ??
    i will be glad if you will answer my question,it will be a good help for her. 😊

    • Because this has nothing to do with citizenship law, could you post this question on my general FAQ on working with me as a lawyer, please?

      And please mention the citizenship, country of residence and immigration status of everyone involved.

      Lastly, I do appreciate small donations for answering questions. Thank you!

  78. Joseph says:

    Hello Andreas, My Great-Grandfather was german and came to the usa around 1903. My grandfather and father were born here. Is it possible for me to get a German passport?

    • Yes, if your great-grandfather, your grandfather and your father didn’t lose their German citizenship before the respective next-in-line was born (see many of the answers above for details).

  79. Nina Pieper says:

    Hello, Andreas:
    Per your May 6 reply to Raymond Waldheim, I have a very related situation.
    Born in US, 1962
    Father, born in 1917
    Grandfather (Dad’s dad):
    1) born in 1897(?) in Latendorf

  80. Nina Pieper says:

    Part II, continued:
    (Forgive me–I hit “send” prematurely):

    Grandfather (Dad’s dad):
    1) born Latendorf, 1897(?)
    2) emigrated 1912
    3) married 1914(?)
    4) first son (my father) born 1917
    5) naturalized 1932

  81. Nina Pieper says:

    Sorry! Hit “send” again by accident:
    Part III:
    *I have copies of the above documents Vis-a-vis (broth cer fixate is a copy of a copy from a cousin)
    *i have also viewed two U.S. Military registration cards for both WWI & II, but my grandfather did not fight or participate in either war.
    *will it matter if my father was in WWII? He did not go or fight overseas but enlisted and stayed stateside as part of a research team in Army Air Corps in Nevada.
    Would you mind giving me your opinion on my chances for dual German-US citizenship? What else might get in my way, and what is my next step? I’m in the process of obtaining my father’s broth certificate from the Chicago area, but I do not know how to get my grandfather’s in Germany.

    Thank you so very much,

  82. Hillary says:

    HI Andreas!

    Question- My Opa was an american citizen and met my Oma when he was in the military and stationed in Munich in the 60’s. Then they moved here in the late 70’s. My mom and uncle were both born there and both had dual citizenship until they were 18 but gave it up when they had to make the choice and chose to stay in the states and go to college here. My Oma was a dual citizen up until 2005, I think… that’s when she became an American citizen. We are still close with all of her family over there and I am trying to make strides in moving to Germany or somewhere else in Europe if I can get a job, which would be easier if I had a German passport, from what I understand. Would it be possible for me to do that with my family history or did I miss that boat since my mom gave up her dual citizenship before I was born? I’m just trying to understand this process!

    Thank you,

    Hillary Lancaster

    • By whom and when was your mother asked to decide between her two citizenships? And to whom and how did she make the declaration of her decision?

    • Hillary says:

      She said she doesn’t remember- but I asked my uncle and he said “you lose it if you don’t apply for it.” Is that true?

    • No, that’s not true at all.
      Honestly, it sounds to me like your mother could still be German without her realizing it. If it was passed on to you depends on when you were born. If you were born after 1 January 1975, you automatically would have become German in that case. If you were born before, you would need to apply for naturalization (see no. 8 of my FAQ on naturalization from abroad).

    • Hillary says:

      I was born in ’87. So children of an American citizen and a German citizen aren’t presented with paperwork or anything when they turn 18? I did read a comment on another post of yours where someone said they were presented with paperwork to choose but didn’t know any better so they chose to keep their American status.

      How could we find out if she’s still German since she apparently has no idea. This would make this whole process so much easier. I would love to get back to Bavaria and stay a little while!

      Thank you for your help with this… you sure do seem to have a wealth of knowledge in this area, that’s for sure.

    • The only dual citizens who have to choose are those who are born in Germany to two foreign parents, but who receive German citizenship due to ius soli.

      But in your case, you would have received both citizenships by ius sanguinis, and none of them has priority over the other.

      You can go to the German consulate and apply for a citizenship certificate. Once you get that, you can obtain a German passport.

  83. Zach M says:

    My family immigrated to the US from Germany 3-4 generations ago and i plan on moving back for work after I get my degree next year. Is there a way for me to keep my US citizenship and get DE citizenship. If yes, how so? How long? (without marriage)
    -I inherited a lot and will never need government assistance
    -I hold property in the US
    -I speak read and write German fluently

    • I love it when people write “I am sooo rich,” but don’t make a donation before asking a question. :-)

    • Zach M says:

      Unfortunately I don’t become “sooo rich” until my 21st birthday next year. Until then i’m just your average broke college student.

    • Zach M says:

      At which time I would be happy to make a generous donation lol.

  84. Immanuelle says:

    Hello Andreas,
    My husband and I have been working in Germany for 2.5 years. Due to our low salaries and high rent, we would like to apply for Bonuscard, Wohngeld or social housing. Both of us have EU passports but we hope that we can also get the German Citizenship after 6-8 years.
    If we claim the above-mentioned benefits, will we fail to obtain the German Citizenship even both of us have a job? Thank you very much.

  85. Tahri says:

    Hi, i got married very recently with a german lady , in August 2015 to be precise , im working in multinational company and i would like to go to Frankfurt to work there .
    My question is : what is the fastest way and procedure to apply or to get german passport.

  86. Musaasizi Peninnah says:

    Hello. I have been married to a German National and living in germany for the last 3 years and I hold a befristet Aufenthaltserlaubnis which is due to expire in January 2016. What happens next, am I entitled to German Pass right away or is it a must to that I have to first apply for the unbefristet card before I get a German Pass? And if I get the unbefristet first, after how long am I allowed to apply for the Pass?
    Thanks in advance

  87. Diana says:

    HI Andreas
    My mother was born in Germany, came to the US in 1954 and was still a German citizen when I was born in the US in 1958. She later became a US citizen (in 1963 or 1964, I don’t have the documents right in front of me but do have them). She is deceased. I live in the US but am interested in obtaining German citizenship if I am eligible. I would not want to give up my US citizenship at this point (though I may change my mind about that, depending on how our 2016 presidential election turns out.) I have no living family in Germany. I have my mother’s original German passport and my birth certificate, showing that she was my mother. I am pretty certain I have her birth certificate or possibly a baptismal certificate, but since she was born in 1925 and grew up in the Kinderheim in Koeln-Suelz, I am not sure how possible it would be to obtain any birth record documents that I don’t have. Am I eligible for German citizenship, and if so, how arduous and/or expensive of a process is it? Can I do it without first moving to Germany? Thank you for any assistance or information you can provide,
    Diana Spain
    (donation made)

    • Dear Diana,

      thank you very much for your donation!

      In short: You are eligible to apply for German naturalization without living in Germany and without having to give up your US citizenship.

      In detail: Although your mother was German at the time of your birth, this citizenship was not passed on to you automatically because until 1975 only German fathers could do so. In order to rectify this past discriminatory policy, Germany allows children of German mothers (like you) to get naturalized without having to live in Germany (the first big exception) and without having to give up your other citizenship (the second big exception). You do however need to fulfill all other criteria for naturalization, the main ones being:
      – You need to speak/read/write German fluently. You will need to show this by passing the C1 test, which is at quite a high level. If you have been speaking German at home, you should however be able to pass that test, maybe with some preparation.
      – You need to show that you will be able to support yourself in case you moved to Germany. You do this either by pointing to savings or a pension or your qualifications which would enable you to find employment in Germany.
      – Lastly, the more ties to Germany you have, the better. This includes family, visits, attendance of German schools and cultural institutions.

      The process is not very arduous or expensive, it just takes a long time because there is a large backlog of applications. Particularly the language requirement often requires that you wait a few months/years before you can take the test. But because there is no cut-off date or no deadline to this naturalization option, there is no rush either.

    • Diana says:

      Thank you so much for your reply, Andreas! I am not fluent in German, unfortunately, but I do speak some and could rectify several of the issues at once by spending more time there studying the language. I do have some friends there and visit at least every couple of years. I am so encouraged by the news that this might be possible. The rush is, of course, my advancing age!
      Vielen Dank! You may hear from me again (with another suitable donation) if I have further questions.

    • At the website of the Goethe Institut, they have sample tests for all levels, so you can see where you are. Luckily, there are also plenty of free resources for learning German, e.g. at Deutsche Welle, so you don’t really need to pay any courses or teachers.
      It’s more a matter of time and dedication, as I myself am realizing once again as I am trying to learn Spanish now.
      Viel Erfolg!

  88. Leandro Sanchez-Grauert says:

    Hi! I have german ancestry dating back to my great great grandfather who came to south america in the mid 1800s. His son, my great grandfather, was born in 1880 in south america but I don’t know if he was registered in the consulate as it was stipulated by the german migration law until 1901. Does that breaks the line of german heritage? Is there any possibility for me to restitute my ancestry, if necessary, in order to get the nationality and/or passport? Please I would be grateful if you could answer those questions apart from giving me information on any detail I could be missing.

    Thank you in advance
    Leandro Sanchez-Grauert

    • Hello Leandro,
      you will need to investigate with the consulate(s) if your great-grandfather was registered with the German consulate or if he had German passports.
      If not (or if you cannot prove it), then the line was broken if the next in line was born after your great-grandfather had lost German citizenship. In this case, there is nothing to overcome this. Once the line is broken, it’s over.

  89. Heba says:

    Dear Moser,

    My Father was German by neutralization , came back to Egypt by 1983 and was still a German citizen when I was born in the Egypt in 1985. He was German and Egyptian. I live in the Egypt but am interested in obtaining German citizenship if I am eligible. I have my fathers’s original German passport and my birth certificate, showing that he was my father. Am I eligible for German citizenship, and if so, how to process is it? Can I do it without first moving to Germany? Thank you for any assistance or information you can provide,

    • Yes, you are German because you were born to a German parent.

      You can go to the German consulate in Egypt and apply for a certificate of citizenship and then for a German passport. You do not need to move to Germany, nor do you need to pass a language test or anything.

  90. Alex Mallari says:

    My Father is German and my Mother is Filipina. Im legally adopted now here in the Philippines in the age of 30yrs. old. I’m applying very soon for my German Citizenship will there be any problem that will cause if i get adopted here in Manila?

  91. Lena says:

    Dear Andeas,

    Is very helpful your inforgraphics and your commitment to all the people looking for an answer regarding this matter. I would like to know if my german cousin can pass me her nationality? Is not my intention to life in germany, however a german passport could help me a lot in the UK as it is part of the EU. Could that be possible?

    Thank you so much,

    Kind regards,


  92. Brian Tait says:

    Hi Andreas,

    My mother and I have spent a lot of time on your website. Thank you for all the information; we have donated $20 via your website as a thank you for this trove of information and to ask you a brief question (well 2 actually):

    If a German man lost citizenship in South Africa between 1882 (arrival) and 1893 (death) by not registering as a German citizen, can that citizenship be ‘reinstated’ retroactively based on the 1913 nationality act section 13?

    If that German’s daughter (also born in Germany, 1882) did not register as a German citizen in South Africa either before or after 1913, can that citizenship be ‘reinstated’ retroactively, again based on 1913 nationality act section 13?

    Brian and Elise

    • Dear Brian & Elise,

      thank you for your kind words and for your donation!

      (1) I am not sure how you would have invoked § 13 RuStAG 1913 for the benefit of someone living in South Africa. That section concerned former Germans (who had lost their citizenship) who had moved back to Germany. It never applied to (former) Germans living in South Africa.
      (2) Because this exception was due to discretion of the “Reichskanzler”, it cannot be applied retroactively, for who knows how the “Reichskanzler” would have decided in your ancestors’ case.
      (3) Lastly, the RuStAG 1913 cannot be invoked anymore today because it it no longer a current law. It has been replaced by the StAG of the Federal Republic of Germany.

      Sorry that I don’t have better news.

  93. lea bowers says:

    If I am reading this correctly, my daughter is automatically a dual citizen because her father is, even though she was born in the US… And I would be as well except for the fact my mother was born to a Married, German Citizen Mother in the US between 1953-1973 which made her ineligible for citizenship – unless my grandmother had applied on her children’s behalf in the short span of 1975-1977. So, could my mother become Naturalized IF she had at least level B1 German language skills, no criminal record and not welfare dependent, took the course and passed the exam WITHOUT the residency requirement or having to denounce her US citizenship? What about me as a grandchild? Would the exceptions apply to me becoming Naturalized as well or am I the same as one with no connection to Germany?

    This is all very interesting! Thank you for this info. (I looked all over for the ‘donation’ link, couldn’t find it. Using a smartphone not computer.)

  94. Anonymous says:

    Hi Andreas,
    I am an engineer (with Masters and PhD degrees) working for a worldwide known Space & Defense company. I have been living in Germany since May 2011. I have lived 4.5 years in Munich and 4 months ago I moved to Ulm with my family. I am still working for the same company. I speak German at B2 level. I did not make the exam yet. I am not required to make an integration course as I already have an unlimited residence and work permit. My question is, is there any chance to apply for citizenship in 5 years? Next month I will complete 5 years in Germany.

    Many thanks in advance.

  95. kai says:

    Ok I read I was born in germany to a German mother I stayed in Germany till 8 yrs old had a German passport now 20 yrs later I’m in the USA for them 20 with a visa am I a German citizen I never became a US citizen

  96. Riyaz says:

    Regards Mr. Moser,
    I have to say you are doing a really great job. As per your CV you have been quite impressive. My question here is: I m soon going to be studying in Germany for a period of 3 years. I would most probably get an extension of a year to look for employment. Do you think, if I mastered the German language upto the B1 level, can I apply for the German Citizenship in 4 years? and what are the chances?

    • Thank you!
      I will be happy to answer your question once I receive a donation to my Paypal account (see the “Donate” button on the top right).

  97. Anonymous says:

    I am from Ghana ,I had a baby with a German woman though we lost him at birth . Is there any chance of having resident permit ?

    • The easiest way to a German residence permit is to get married to your German girlfriend.

    • jitendra says:

      I will be going to be studying in Germany for a period of 3 years. I will get an extension of a year to look for employment. Do you think that If i learnt the German language till B1 level, can I apply for the German Citizenship in 4 years?

  98. Anonymous says:

    Hi , thanks for your answers , it’s really helping a lot . My question is , how possible is it to get resident permit with my son’s death certificate , though he died at birth . He has so far been buried and I have the death certificate .

  99. Wim Kotzé says:

    Hi, thanks for a great site. My wife’s long dead great grandfather was born in Germany in 1800’s. His son was born in South Africa in 1915. The son married a German woman, born in Germany, my wife’s grandmother. Their daughter was born in 1949. She married a South African, and my wife was born in 1976.

    Am I right that even though we can easily obtain the documents from my wife’s German born grandmother, that would not count because her daughter was born before 1975. Naturally we would then be looking at my wife’s Great Grandfather. All the passes were father to child. The first mother to child pass was therefore in 1976, so my wife would be able to inherit from her mother. The concern is the great grandfather. Is this true that he must have left after 1904. I am not sure when he left. He never formally renounced citizenship, and naturalization was quite informal in those days. I will have to find out whether her grandfather was born before his dad naturalized (if he ever did).

    Am I right that naturalization and the 1904 rule (if there is such a rule) are the only obstacles here? (Assuming we can proof the rest).

    My wife’s mother, and my wife, still speak German. Would this count as circumstantial proof that they considered themselves German? I can coincidentally also speak the language well, but that I assume would not count for anything.

    • I’ll be happy to reply to this in detail once I get a donation through the Paypal button on the top right of the page. Thank you!

  100. Mark Noll says:

    I’d like to obtain dual citizenship with Germany. My father had dual citizenship until his passing in 2010. I don’t know when he obtained his U.S. citizenship, but he never renounced his German citizenship. I haven’t a clue where his U.S. citizenship papers are. Who can I contact to prove that he was still a German citizen at the time of his passing?

    • You can contact me, for example, but I would need to know how he obtained both German and US citizenship in order to know if he still had both. (German citizenship can be lost without renouncing it.)

  101. Oli Gabriel says:

    Hi Andrea, I’m in dire need of help. I’m from Africa and married my German wife in my home country. We’ve been living and working in Deutschland for more than three years. I worked as a delivery man and, during the work some packages were declared missing. I sincerely don’t know anything about it but I agreed to pay the debt in monthly instalment (to avoid bad record, as advised by my wife).

    Another case was, however, brought up later on (internet betrüger). My home was searched by the police, but nothing was found – since I didn’t steal anything and have nothing to hide, but the case was taken to court (definitely still ongoing but I haven’t heard a response for months). My 3 years visa expires in 2 months from now and my wife advised – again – that due to the ongoing case in the court, I should simply apply visa extension, instead of the naturalisation – as planned. Additionally, my wife is making it worse for me now as she threatened for divorce as soon as I get the visa extension.

    The mind-bugging question now is; since I’ve given up everything about my home country to live and build life and family with my wife, can I still apply for nationalization to be a german citizen ?

    A colleague at my new, but unpleasant work, stressed that I can’t apply for citizenship again for the next ten years, but should try unbefristed visa. Is this the best chance I have?

    What chances do I have if she eventually puts in for the divorce?

    My life is totally unsettled at the moment and the situation seems scarily hopeless. Please, I need help on this because I’m a victim of bad luck at the edge of success.

    • It’s not true that you can only apply for naturalization once every 10 years.

      With an ongoing criminal case, there is no point in applying for naturalization now. We have to wait for the outcome.

      If you will be separated, you cannot benefit from the 3-year timeframe, but you would need to live in Germany for at least 6 years to qualify for citizenship.

    • larney7 says:

      OK… Thanks

  102. Joy says:

    Am a single mother
    with two kids,my kids have German passport but l myself have 3 years resident permit and l have been living in Germany since 2006 and
    was working till 2008.l put to birth 2009 so l stop working,the kids are 7 and 3 years old last three months later got job which am working right now but my money is not enough to pay my rent so job centre support me with helf of the rent .my question now is it possible for me to get a German passport
    I have my B1.

  103. Christina says:

    Ich wollte Ihnen kurz meine Situation erklären, ich weiß nicht ob sie mir vielleicht helfen können.

    Ich habe eine Amerikanische Staatsbürgerschaft, bin aber in 1987 in Deutschland geboren. Zu der Zeit waren meine Mutter und mein Vater beide Amerikanischestaatsbürger.
    Davor war meine Mutter Deutschstaatsbürgerin. Ich bin in Deutschland aufgewachsen, und meine ganze Familie auf meiner Mutter ihrer Seite wohnen auch alle in Deutschland.
    Mit 14 bin ich nach Amerika gezogen. November 2015, bin ich mit meinem Mann nach Deutschland gezogen weil ich zurück in meine Heimat wollte und zu meiner Familie.
    Ich habe meine Arbeitsstelle in Amerika behalten und arbeite jetzt von Deutschland aus. Daher konnte ich eine Aufenthaltserlaubnis bekommen die für ein Jahr gut ist. Danach muss ich die wieder verlängern.

    Ich wollte wissen ob es nicht irgendwas gibt dass ich tun kann um eine unbefristete Aufenthaltserlaubnis zu bekommen oder etwas anderes wo ich in Deutschland bleiben kann, ohne auf meine Arbeitsstelle in Amerika angewiesen zu sein.

    • Sie können einen Antrag auf Einbürgerung in Deutschland stellen, weil bis zu 5 Jahre Ihres Aufenthalts als Kind/Jugendliche für die notwendige Aufenthaltszeit von 6-8 Jahren (je nach Niveau Ihrer deutschen Sprachkenntnisse) anerkannt werden können (§ 12b II StAG). Allerdings müßten Sie dabei auf Ihre US-Staatsbürgerschaft verzichten.

      Die Möglichkeit einer unbefristeten Aufenthaltserlaubnis hängt weitgehend von Ihrer Arbeit, Ihren Qualifikationen und Ihrem Einkommen ab. Dazu müßte ich mir Ihren Fall genau ansehen. Ich berechne 400 EUR für solch eine Beratung.

    • Christina says:

      Some major events happened in our life that deviated us from continuing this process, I would like to get more information about our case, since we did not get much accomplished. could we please continue with my case,
      Best Regards, Christina, and Paulo

  104. John Davies says:

    My mothers father came to the United Kingdom in the 1940s as a prisoner of war. He remained in the UK, met a British wife and my mother was born in the UK.

    My mothers father died in 1988, my mother was born in 1953 in the UK. I was born in 1989 in the UK.

    1) Is my mother automatically entitled to German Citizenship?

    2) Am I able to apply for German Citizenship?

    Thanks in advance!

    • I assume your mother’s father was German? I’ll be happy to answer your question once I receive a donation of at least 50 EUR to my Paypal account. Thank you!

    • John Davies says:

      Yes he was German. I will contact you now.

  105. Keith Nickol says:

    My grandfather served as a Major in the first world war as a doctor and gained the iron cross first class. I have heard that the grandchildren of those who served are entitled to German citizenship. Please is this true?

    • No. You citizenship depends (among other factors) on your parents’ citizenship, which in turn depends on their parents’ citizenship.

  106. Stomata says:

    Hi Andreas,
    I read on your CV that you worked in the US Army JAG. It seems then that you were an officer in the US Army. This would mean that you hold US citizenship, only, as JAG requires a security clearance that in turn requires the renunciation of other citizenships. Correct?

  107. Irina Spreng says:

    Question re reinstatement of german citizenship. I am 47 years old and born in Germany to 2 german parents. My mother divorced my father and remarried an American. I was 8 years old at the time. Am I still a citizen of Germany? Most likely not. My mother gained citizenship thru marriage with American and I was naturalized as well. However I am not certain that my mother ever gave up her german citizenship before she passed away.

    • I would need to know the exact time line because different laws were in place at different times. I would also have more questions about your naturalization process. You can e-mail me at I charge 200 EUR for a consultation by e-mail.

  108. eric elias says:

    Re Citizenship 116
    I am of the impression that unless there is CASE LAW I am not eligable for German citizenship
    even though many Generations of Jews on my mothers side from Pomerania/ German Reich.
    ie Inheritence on mothers side applies only since 1953. I was born GB 1949 .
    Grandparents reached GB via Sachsenhausen in 1939 and my mother came as 19yr old alone and independent of Kindertransport in 1938. ie I would like to think I can inherit from grandfather but study of Mutiple Ntionality and International Law by Alfred Michael Boll sound it is aNO
    I can inhereit Austrian nationality from my father even though he left Vienna when it was part of Greater Germany but their paperwork is designed to make one wait years and pay a lot.
    Encouragement please in these post Brexit days

  109. Benjamin Williams says:

    Hello Andrea,
    I am Benjamin Williams. Presently, i am in Nigeria. My Daddy lived in Germany for Nine years, attended his High School in Germany, got married to my Mum in Germany and as well gave birth to me in Germany on the 17th Nov, 1977. I was as well been paid some amount of money here in Nigeria from German Embassy until i am 18 years of age. The only documents in my possession right now is my Birth Certificate and some of his marriage documents and Passport. Please, i need to know if i am a German Citizen with the information stated above. Thanks

  110. Jose Rojas says:

    Hello. My wife was born in Mexico in 1983 to a German father. Parents married after she was born. But his name appear as the father in her birth certificate. Can she obtain German citizenship from her father, and furthermore our children obtain it from wife, or even possibly from grandfather. Wife and children are US citizen. Children by birth, wife by naturalization.

    • That’s a bit tricky.
      I would need to know if the father acknowledged the paternity officially before the parents were married. A birth certificate is not enough.
      And I would need to know what year your wife was naturalized as a US citizen and when your children were born.
      I would appreciate a donation of at least 40 $ to my PayPal account before I analyze this case. Thank you already!

  111. Karthika mathyalagan says:

    I have question i was born in germany lived there for 10years and my parents are non germans and have not recieved the visa to live there and we were deporterd in 2004
    We was under german welfare and our case regarding the visa was going on in the court

    Now im in srilanka i want to know wether i can apply to go back and get the citizenship

  112. Nina says:

    Thanks for your helpful blog and thorough FAQs. Here is my story and request for your expertise: I was born in the US in 1967 to a German mother and American father. I have never tried to “claim” my German citizenship, nor did my mother do that for me after my birth. (I put “claim” in quotes because I’m quite sure your response will be that one is or isn’t a German citizen and one only has to choose to document or realize one’s citizenship by, for example, applying for a passport.) Is the fact that I am not already a German citizen because I was born abroad to a German mother not a German father? I was always told by my parents that I am not a German citizen and, in fact, didn’t have the possibility to be one. From thoroughly reading your helpful blog, I have begun to understand that, in fact, I may already be a German citizen (or that I could have been if my mom had applied on my behalf to recognize my citizenship after my birth). And if I am not, then I can become one through naturalization using the § 14 StAG clause.

    Here’s one catch though: my mother became a US citizen about 10 years ago and in so doing had to give up her German citizenship (or at least was lead to believe that she would have to and did!) If I understand correctly, that doesn’t matter and I am still entitled to German citizenship by naturalization using the aforementioned § 14 StAG. So far so good? Is there anything I’m missing? One last detail just to really confuse things: I am married to a Swede, have three children who have both US and Swedish passports, and we live in Italy (on and off for a total of 5 documented years with residency permit but more if you include the undocumented time).

    Just to recap very specifically, my questions would be A) am I already a German citizenship if born to a German (at the time of my birth) mother? and B) if the answer to A is no, am i a shoe-in for German naturalization via § 14 StAG? and C) will my two over-18 children be able to request naturalization after I do or would that only have worked if I applied for myself and them at the same time while they were under-age, because they fall down on the requirement that your parent was a German citizenship at your birth? and D) my youngest is 11, so I could apply for her naturalization together with mine. She was born in Italy and will soon qualify for Italian citizenship, which she would like. Do I understand correctly that there is no harm in applying for German naturalization and then later applying for her Italian citizenship as well, because the law allows one to have multiple citizenships within the EU?

    Thanks in advance for your help. I have been exhaustive, but in doing so posted a rather long message by now. Sorry if it’s too much :-)

    P.S. Ich spreche fließend Deutsch, nur habe ich hier auf Englisch geschrieben damit jeder, der den Blog liest die Frage und Antwort verstehen kann. Meiner Kinder sprechen alle drei auch gut Deutsch.

    • The short answers:
      A) No.
      B) Exactly. In this context it helps that you speak fluent German.
      C) It would only extend to minor children.
      D) Absolutely correct.

      In Nr. 8 meiner “FAQ on naturalization in Germany from abroad” befindet sich der Link zu den genauen Anforderungen für den Einbürgerungsantrag in Ihrem Fall.

    • Anonymous says:

      Herzlichen Dank! Jetzt noch eine letzte Frage: in dem Antrag zur Einbürgerung muss ich beweisen, dass ich fähig bin, mich und meine Familie finanziell zu unterhalten. Ich bin Hausfrau und mein Mann hat kein regelmässiges Einkommen. Wir leben von dem Geld, was wir vor vielen Jahren gespart haben, als wir beide in Informatik arbeiteten und das große Glück hatten, uns zur richtigen Zeit mitten in dem Software Boom zu finden. Was schlagen sie mir vor, wie ich beweisen soll, dass ich und meine Kinder von meinem Vermögen leben können? Ich habe die gleiche Frage schon im Konsulat gestellt, aber die Beamtete dort war sich nicht so 100% sicher. Könnten sie mir eventuell sagen, auf welchem Niveau das Vermögen stehen sollte, damit es reicht, um zu beweisen, dass ich nicht zu Last des Deutschen Staats werde und in welcher Form (Immobilien, Aktien, Bankkonto) der Staat das Vermögen bevorzugen würde?

    • Vor der Beantwortung von Folgefragen würde ich erst einmal eine kleine Spende für diesen Blog bevorzugen. ;-)

  113. chad seiber says:

    My great grandpa moved to the US in 1890. His son, my grandfather was born in 1926 and wanted to move back to Germany but because of a small incident (WWII) stayed in the USA. Can I reclaim my citizenship? Seems screwed up that I can’t be German because of Hitler.

    • Of course your grandfather could have moved to Germany after 1945. ;-)

      But the answer depends on whether any of your ancestors ever got naturalized in the US. In that case they lost German citizenship (§ 25 I StAG) and we would need to look if the next in line had already been born.
      I would need an exact timeline of all your ancestors, with dates of birth, marriage, birth of net in line, naturalization and so on. You can e-mail me at and I charge 100 EUR for such a consultation.

    • Pere says:

      Hi Mr Moser,
      Can you please help me.
      My Polish wife want to acquire German citizenship after 7 years of living in German(integration course completed) we have been living together(Register in the same address) for 6 years and we have 2 children together,the oldest is 6 years old,But we just got married in January 2016,I am a Ghanaian and I have been living in Germany for 6 years.I want to ask if it’s possible we apply together

  114. dorthie says:

    Can someone born in Germany in 1993, to non German parents without residence permit, gain citizenship

  115. Anonymous says:

    Hello Mr Moser,
    Since my previous question was ignored by you.
    I would like to ask,what are the criteria you use in choosing the questions you answered?

  116. Bene says:

    Hi Andreas,

    I stumbled upon you blog by accident, but I got hooked — very informative and well written content. Thank you!

    Could you point me somewhere where I can learn more about the exceptions regarding residency in Germany before becoming a citizen by naturalisation? I’m German, but my wife is citizen of a non-EU country and we’re looking into ways to get German citizenship for her as well. However, we’re currently living in a different EU country because of my job, and this won’t change for the foreseeable future.

    Any tips and resources (in English or German) are highly appreciated.

    Best wishes,

  117. I am needing to know if it is too late for me to pursue German citizenship. I was born in 1967 to a German mother and an American father in Germany. I was on the German consulate’s web site in Houston that states there were three years when my parents could have obtained German citizenship for me — 1975 to 1977. Does this mean that the opportunity is lost? The consulate’s web site seemed to support that. The individuals at this consulate are some of the rudest there are to get an answer. If I take on this battle with them, I want to be sure that I have all my information since I can’t rely on them. THANK YOU!!!!!

    • You fall under this tricky clause where you didn’t automatically get citizenship, but you have an easier path to German citizenship. You can apply for naturalization without living in Germany and you won’t be asked to waive your US citizenship. You do however need to speak fluent German.
      For more details, see no. 8 of my FAQ on naturalization in Germany from abroad.

  118. Danyal says:

    Hello Sir,
    i want to know that.
    I am a foreigner and i get the german citizenship on naturalisation base. is it by law allowed to me to get another asian country citizenship?
    or if i get any asian country citizenship then what will happen?
    is which situation i will loss my german citizenship?
    or is there any option for me to remove my asian citizenship and remain a german citizen.

    best regards

  119. Michael L Gronewaller says:

    I was born in Freising Germany in 1964 on a closed miltary base to a German citizen and an American service member. Half my family is German, but I am a U.S. Citizen, and only inheritor. My German aunt wants to make me the sole inheritor and executor of the will, and I would like to claim dual national status to facilitate legal affairs in Germany, although the U.S. Government forced me to choose citizenship at the age of 14, while a resident of Germany. My mother is natural German, but recently became a full American citizen. What is the best claimant path to manage the probate affairs as the sole inheritor and executor (full power of attorney) for the German estate, which includes investment assets, irregular (rare art) assets, and real estate?
    I was born November 6, 1964, and believe I have “dual national” rights, in spite of the forced yield of dual citizenship at the age of 14. I lived in Germany for 14 years as a military dependent.

    • 1) Before 1975, German mothers did actually not pass on German citizenship if they were married to a foreign citizen.
      2) If your parents were not married, you did get German citizenship from her. I would need to look exactly at what happened when you were 14. It sounds a bit odd.
      3) Obviously, you have full inheritance and other rights in Germany even without German citizenship. That wouldn’t really out you under any restrictions, except that you would need to get a visa if you plan to stay in Germany for more than 3 months at a time.

      So my advice would depend on (a) whether your parents were married in 1964, and (b) what exactly happened when you were 14. If you have any paperwork pertaining to that, you can e-mail it to me at, preferably with a link to this comment, so I can connect it.

      I charge 400 EUR for a full consultation which will look at whether you already/still are a German citizen and/or your chances of obtaining (re-)naturalization as a German citizen with permission to retain your US citizenship.

  120. Anonymous says:

    I am 26 year old and i was born in pakistan and my father was a german national for 30 years and he died 4 year back. Now i want to apply for german passport. Can i apply for german citizinship or not ???? If yes than how ?

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  122. Nina Brazer says:

    Dear Andreas, my brothers both derived citizenship from my mother they were born in 1977 and 1979, I was born in 1970 is there anyway that I can petition for German Citizenship?

  123. Anonymous says:

    My Jewish father was born in Carlsbad in 1912 (and was german speaking) in the Sudetenland and spent 5 years in a concentration camp. He received a German pension after the war till he died in 1995. Can I claim German citizenship (I am a UK citizen).

    • That depends on your father’s citizenship. Do you know if he ever had German citizenship and/or Czechoslav citizenship?
      If you don’t know, I would start by looking at the paperwork relating to the pension.

  124. Anonymous says:

    Czechoslovakia didn’t exist in 1912 but rather came into existence after 1918. I guess that it was part of Austro-Hungary so he would have had their citizenship. I will look at the pension details. Thank you.

    • Good point, but that citizenship may have been changed automatically into Czechoslovak citizenship once the country came into existence.
      Because all possible citizenships are EU citizenships, it’s worth to consider each possible avenue.

  125. Sarah says:

    This is all very interesting. I do have a question that I am not entirely clear on. My boyfriend’s maternal grandmother was German. He doesn’t know the particulars except that his grandfather was an American GI and brought her back with him from Germany after WWII. From what I’ve read here, he would have German citizenship if she had been stripped of hers but would not have citizenship if she renounced it, correct? How can he find this out which it would be? I don’t believe she ever went back to Germany after she left. Thank you so much.

    • You are alluding to Art. 116 II GG, which is the restitution option.
      Another one is the descent option. It would depend on when his grandmother had his mother, if the grandmother was married at the time and if she had already acquired US citizenship at the time, and then the same information for the time when the mother gave birth to your boyfriend.
      Lastly, I would appreciate a donation once you have this information, so I can devote some time to analyze your boyfriend’s case. Thank you very much in advance!

  126. Manfred says:

    My father was born in Germany in 1932. In his early 20’s he moved to South Africa, but maintained his German citizenship. He then moved to South West Africa where he stayed until his death in 1999. In 1990, South West Africa gained independence and became Namibia. My father thus took up Namibian citizenship in 1990. I was born in 1968. I thus qualify for German citizenship as my father was still then German?

  127. Faisal says:

    Hello Andreas,

    I am in Germany on student visa since October 2010. I have completed my Masters degree and currently doing PhD on scholarship. My wife came to Germany in October 2015 and she started the job and got the blue card. I also changed my visa status from student to blue card spouse visa but still doing PhD on scholarship.

    Now me and my wife are planning to apply for the Permanent residence permit as she has completed 21 months and Integration course (B2+ Einburgerung/lebens in Deutschland test). Hopefully we will get the Permanent Resident Permit.

    My question is:
    I will complete 7 years in October 2017, I have also done orientation course (B1+ Einburgerung/lebens in Deutschland test). My scholarship will also end in October 2017. Can I still apply for German naturalization, as my wife is doing job (unlimited contract). I mean can I show my wife salary as a family earnings (can I claim my spouse earning as securing living for me as well)

    Your clarification, will be highly appreciated.


    • Hello Faisal,
      I’ll be happy to help once I receive a donation or a book from my wishlist. Thank you!
      What are your professional/academic plans for the time after the PhD?

  128. Drin says:

    Hi, can you tell me please if years as a student in Munich counts towards 8 years of obtaining german citizenship, i know that for the other parts in Germany those years count, but i heard that in Bavaria it is different?

  129. Sonia says:

    Hi Andreas Moser,

    I live in Australia with my Father. My Father was born in Germany to a German mother who lived in Germany from birth until age 41 & a Yugoslavian Father out of wedlock in 1945. My Fathers parents married in Germany 2 months after my father was born. It is unknown if his father was still a Yugoslavian at the time of his birth & unknown if he ever acquired German Citizenship at a guess his father was still a Yugoslavian according to the shipping records when they emigrated as refugees to Australia in 1950. The family lived the rest of their lives in Australia as refugees from Germany from December 1950 & they all eventually naturalised as Australian citizens in 1961. The only original documents I have available from my Aunty (Dad’s sister) are my German Grandmother’s birth certificate / my grandparents German marriage certificate / my grandmother’s Refugee Proof of Identity Certificate obtained in Germany & Visa certificate for Australia & her 1961 Australian Naturalisation Certificate. I also have my Dad’s birth Certificate & Australian Naturalisation Certificate.

    My questions are:

    – is my Father entitled to re-instate his German Citizenship ? It’s unknown if his mother ever registered his German Citizenship in Germany when he was born.

    – If my father does get to aquire his German Passport / Citizenship from “decent of a parent” clause under German law – would I then be entitled to apply to achieve a German Passport / Citizenship too ? My Father unfortunately was Australian at the time of my birth in 1972 – he was 16years old when naturalised in 1961 with his mother & sister (but please bear in mind they were refugees & had no choice but to gain the Australian citizenship )- I’m assuming back in 1961 they had to give up their German Citizenship at the time of naturalisation in Australia ? & Dual Citizenship was possibly not allowed ? – With this in mind I’m wondering if there are any allowances for German Refugees who Emigrated to Australia in 1950’s & had to give up their citizenship.

    Would both my father & I still be considered for German Citizenship/ naturalisation?

    If not – what would be required for him to obtain German Citizenship/ passport ? & what would be required for me to obtain German Citizenship/ passport ?

    Our goal is to be able to achieve dual citizenship – Australian / German if possible.

    Your help & advise would be greatly appreciated


    • That’s actually a very complicated question, requiring quite a bit of research and time to sort out.
      I would therefore appreciate a donation of at least 70 EUR through the Paypal button on the right. Thank you very much!

  130. James says:

    Hello am new here and i found here very interesting.
    I have a question to asked which really doubts me.Am a non German and i live now for almost 2yrs, but am in a relationship with a a German citizen (girl ) whom we divided or agreed to married but, i don’t know where to start or what are required of( eg).Documents for the process and how long it would take for the Government to approve,
    And can having a Child with a German Citizen grant you a stay( eg) German pass and access to work ?
    I would be glad if my doubts ar cleared. Thanks

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  132. Anonymous says:

    thanks for making me to understand something about Germany. I still question about my situation right now that my child was born here in Germany but unfortunately as a refugee they ask me to leave Germany can my child uncle give stay to my child?

  133. Erin Wagner says:

    My grandparents were both born in Germany but immigrated to Australia many years ago having to renounce their citizenship to become Australian citizens. Does this mean I am ineligible to apply for a German passport as they are no longer German citizens?

    • That depends on the situation at the time of your birth. If one of them still had their German citizenship at the time, you qualify. If not, then unfortunately not.

  134. Nick Green says:

    Hello Andreas,

    My friend (non-EU citizen) married a German citizen in 2017 in Germany, she lived in Germany for 2 years (2015 and 2016) but lived in another EU country in 2017, she has since returned to live in Germany with her husband in 2018. Her level of German is excellent and she is planning to stay in Germany for at least the next 10 years. Does the 3 year residency in Germany for becoming a naturalized citizen need to be continuous? or does her previous 2 years of residence count towards this 3 year requirement?


    • The previous 2 years can count (§ 12b II StAG) and usually count if they were relatively recently and if she still speaks German fluently.

    • Nick Green says:

      Great, thanks Andreas. Yes she does still speak German fluently and i would guess that they count as recently.

  135. George says:

    I was born a dual US & German citizen through my father in the 1960’s. I have a German passport, etc. We’ve thought that my mother was also German through her father. She doesn’t care about confirming it. She’s 80, has no desire to travel, and nobody else can benefit. But, lately her German citizenship has come into question. Her father was born out-of-wedlock in West Prussia in 1904. In 1913, her father’s mother married a Russian citizen while living in the US. My grandfather was raised by his West Prussian grandmother in the US, and he was not adopted. Would his mother’s marriage cause him to lose his German citizenship. Or, since he took no action himself, would it remain in tact until he naturalized in 1940? I’m thinking that a child generally cannot lose German citizenship. Maybe I should no longer say that I was born to two German citizen parents?

    • Uff, that’s a complicated situation. I would need to research the laws in place at those times, so I would appreciate a donation of at least 70$ to my Paypal account (see button on the right). Thank you very much in advance!

  136. Oliver says:

    Hi Andreas
    My parents were both born in Germany, but were required to give up their citizenship when they migrated to Australia in 1965. I was born here (in Australia) in 1970. Is there any way I can apply for German citizenship? Perhaps my father (who is still alive) could regain his German citizenship (and become a dual citizen) and therefore pass this on to me?
    Thanks for your help.

    • That wouldn’t work, because he could only regain it by applying for (re-)naturalization, which would have no retroactive effect to 1970.
      Also, Germany would expect him to give up his Australian citizenship.

    • Oliver says:

      Thank you for your reply.

  137. Jennyfer says:

    I have a child nearly 2 years old. I just want to know if she can go to Germany with a Mauritian passport to stay there forever. Her Father is a German . and I want to know if as a Mauritian I can live there also with my family forever . I mean my husband daughter and me.

    • If your daughter’s father is German, the first thing would be to get a German passport for your daughter. It would make everything much easier.

      And then, you and her can move to Germany.

  138. Cecilia says:

    My kids were born during our stay in Germany between 2007-2012, after that we lived in Argentina (2013-15), Spain (2015-16) and Ireland (2017 to date). So we are thinking to go back to Germany by the middle of 2017 headhunters are calling him ;). So to decide, I would like to know if the previous 5 years count for application to German citizenship? Or do we have to start to count again? Then, since my husband was the one working the whole time (I did a postdoc with a fellowship for 2 years and worked 10 months after that), he will be the only one allowed to apply at the beginning, and then the kids and then me? I googled for the § 12b II StAG and the first link was broken and the second one worked… So I know is there, I am just wondering if maybe something changed in the meantime. Then about the integration course when I went to the VHS they told me that I should not do them, because I had a university degree, etc and the course was to basic for me. They told me that I should take the normal German DaF lessons. I did A1, A2 and B1 in the VHS. I also have taken the Goethe Zertifikcat B1 and was planning to do the B2, do I still have to do the integration course or only part of it to learn the legal system, etc.

    Thank you so much!


    • Hello Cecilia,
      I’ll be happy to answer your questions, I am just waiting for a donation to keep this blog going. My Paypal is Thank you very much in advance!

    • Cecilia Vasquez says:

      Hi,  I just made a donation to the PayPal account. Here is the ID of the transaction 

      | | | | | | Transaction ID: 5PJ89606VG098290A |






      Many thanks! Cecilia

  139. Alix says:

    If a German mother renounced as a condition of her spouse’s job (and without legal advice) prior to the birth of the child and the child was born in wedlock prior to 1975, is there any opportunity to obtain naturalization for the child or a grandchild? All prior ancestors are German on the mother’s side (all deceased). Fluent German speakers…

    • If none of the parents was German at the time of your birth, then there is hardly any chance, except in very special circumstances. (See the FAQ on naturalization abroad.)
      I would need to know much more about you and your ties to Germany to determine if you have a shot at naturalization. Fluency in Germany is already a good asset, though.

  140. Mustafa says:

    Thanks a lot for this page. It cleared my point of view. But I am still trying to figure out when I can apply for German citizenship.
    – I have Turkish citizenship.
    – I have a German Certificate from TestDaf (Level 3, means my German is between B2.2 and C1)

    – I have lived in Germany in different time periods.
    * Sep 2006 – Aug 2007 > As exchange student in Gießen Friedberg FH
    * May 2008 – Dec 2012 > I have worked in Frankfurt with permanent contract in a German company.
    * May 2018 – present > I am living in Cologne with permanent contract in a German company. I have received my work permit as BLUE CARD, which is valid till 2022. According to Blue Card rules, I can apply for permenant residency on March 2020. (After 21 Months Period, because of German language certifcate)

    Based on this information (and assuming I will continue to work), when can I start my residency process? Can I start right away or wait for 1 – 2 years period?

    Thanks in advance,

    • Mustafa says:

      Sorry. Not my recidency process… my citizenship process…
      The total time i lived in Germany is approx. 6.7 years…

    • Overall, you need only 6 years of residence because your level of German is so high. (You would still need to pass the citizenship test, but that shouldn’t be a problem with your language skills and your experience of living in Germany.)

      Of those 6 years, up to 5 years can be from a previous stay in Germany (§ 12b II StAG) if that stay was conducive to integration. This was definitely the case with both your stays because they do not date too far back and you learned German there.

      That means that you are ready to apply for German citizenship now.
      Viel Erfolg!

    • Mustafa says:

      Hello Andreas,

      Thanks a lot for your answer. I have seen in previous posts that you keep this blog on with donations. I made a donation as well.. “1944-5602-3105-8405”

      I have 1 following question.
      You have given the reference to related law about my previous stay.
      Is there another law that references the total duration of stay accepted as 6 years when it comes to German level?
      Everywhere, it is referenced as 8 years duration of stay required to be able to apply for citizenship.

      It would be better to take this with me to consultation about my application.

      Thanks in advance,

    • Thank you very much for your donation!

      The shortening of the 8-year requirement to 7 years (with B1 and integration course) or to 6 years (with B2 and good integration) cannot be found in the Citizenship Act itself. But it is referenced in the internal guidelines (“Verwaltungsvorschriften zum Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz”) under no. VV-StAG.

  141. Robert says:

    Hello Andreas,
    My wife and I have recently acquired German citizenship via naturalization.
    Our daughters (5 and 2 years old both born and raised in Germany) unfortunately, couldn’t do it because, by law, they need to be at least 7 years old in order to resign their Venezuelan citizenship.
    Can we somehow request dual citizenship for our daughters? or in the worst case, what should be the procedure for them to follow in order to get German citizenship?
    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Anonymous says:

      Dual citizenship Edit
      Dual nationality is permitted under Venezuelan law as of Article 34 of the Constitution of Venezuela.[3] According to article 7 of the Nationality and Citizenship Act, Venezuelans with dual nationality must enter and exit Venezuela with their Venezuelan passport.[4]

      German law generally discourages dual citizenship, but it does not always require that applicants renounce their citizenship before becoming German. Citizens of other EU member states have the right to dual citizenship inside the bloc. Of those 112,211 naturalized German citizens in 2017, almost 39,000 came from EU member states and 99 percent kept their original nationality.

    • Robert says:

      Hi Andreas,
      Thanks for your quick reply.
      My wife and I renounced to our Venezuelan citizenship in order to get the German one.
      Our kids couldn’t renounce as they need to be at least 7 in order to give up Venezuelan citizenship (Venezuelan law).
      Now, they’re Venezuelan and we’re Germans. That`s why we need advice on the procedure to be followed so our daughters can have:
      a) Dual citizenship; or
      b) German citizenship
      Thanks again for your help and support.

    • Anonymous says:

      My next question is, did you and your wife renounce your Venezuela citizenship or do you both now hold two passport, Venezuela and German passport.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry it was not a reply from Andrea, it was a reply from someone who also follow Andrea on this Blog. Because I thought I can contribute due to having gone through similar situation. But I thought children become German from the day their parents naturalized as German. Enlighten me.

    • And to Mr/Ms Anonymous:
      I appreciate your interest in this blog and I want to keep the comments open to everyone. I also welcome people sharing their stories.
      But a “similar situation” is of no help to someone in a different situation. The details matter. I would therefore find it better to refrain from answering questions because, as you have seen, it’s just confusing and costs me more time to read through everything.
      But again, thanks for following!

    • Hello Robert,

      first of all, please disregard the comments from “Anonymous”, who doesn’t seem to be a lawyer.

      As you know from your and your wife’s application, Germany usually insists that you waive your primary citizenship in order to become a German citizenship.
      The same applies to your children, unless they fall under the exception of § 4 III StAG, which would require that either you or your wife were residing legally in Germany for 8 years before the birth of the respective child.

      But German law knows a few exceptions from the requirement to give up one’s primary citizenship. One exception, quite logically, is made for countries that don’t allow their citizens to waive the citizenship (because otherwise, people from those countries could never acquire German citizenship by naturalization) or who make it very hard to waive citizenship.
      In the end, the question will probably be: Is it an extreme hardship for your children to wait another 2 or 5 years? If yes (and this question may be answered differently in either case), then Germany would accept dual citizenship.

      I would be happy to look into your specific situation and into the case law, but I see another problem: Together with you, your children could have been naturalized. But now, they will have to meet the requirements themselves, which includes 8 years of residence (which can be shortened to 7 or even 6 years, depending on their German language abilities).
      At first sight (and I haven’t looked into this more deeply yet), it therefore seems to me that the chance was lost when you got your naturalization without the children, and now they have to wait until they are 7 anyway, regardless of the Venezuelan citizenship issue.

      Lastly, even if this is not the answer you were hoping for, I do appreciate any support to keep this blog going.

  142. Lou Lou says:

    Hello, please help!
    Quick question, what are the special circumstance when applying for Naturalization in Germany? after living here for 8 years but my on and off partner whom I live with receives Hartz IV and therefore my name is attached, I am a freelancer and also worked regularly on short term employment. They didn’t ask for any Jobcentre information and I hoped that he wouldn’t still be claiming hartzIV by now but with the pandemic, he can not work therefore is not earning his own money, I have worked super hard in the last few months and have saved some money to tie me through, however, I think he will continue to claim Hartz IV and because we still live together I will be attached to this!
    Im so confused, and worried this will hinder my application please help.

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