German Citizenship

German Passport

German Citizenship

The German rules on citizenship were thoroughly revised with the entry into force of the amended Nationality Act (Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz) on 1 January 2000.

The German Law on Nationality and Citizenship is rather complex and has undergone many changes in the past. However, some aspects have remained the same. Please make sure you read and understand the information provided below before contacting your competent German Foreign Mission.

Non-acquisition of German nationality for children born abroad to German parents

Non-acquisition of German nationality for children born abroad to German parents

Children born abroad do not acquire German nationality by birth if their German parent(s) were themselves born abroad after 31 December 1999 and at the time of the child’s birth were ordinarily resident abroad, provided such children acquire another nationality upon birth. Children that fall into this category may acquire German nationality retroactively from birth if their parents register the birth with the German authorities before the child’s first birthday.


General information on the acquisition German citizenship

In general, German citizenship is not established through birth on German territory but by descent from a German legal mother and/or a German legal father.

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General information on the grounds for loss of German citizenship

There are several ways to lose German citizenship; please find further information regarding the loss of German citizenship here.


How can I obtain a certificate proving my German citizenship?

If in connection with a passport application your citizenship status cannot be clearly determined by the German diplomatic or consular mission you may need to apply for a German certificate of citizenship (“Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis”) before a passport can be issued. In some cases, for example when joining certain positions of German public service, a citizenship certificate may also be required by law.

The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin was opened in May 2005

Restored Citizenship (Article 116 par. 2 of the Basic Law)

Information on obtaining/re-obtaining German Citizenship for former German Citizens and their descendants who were persecuted on political, racial and religious grounds between 30 January 1933 and 8 May 1945.

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If you live in the United Kingdom, possess British (or another) citizenship in addition to your German citizenship, and, for certain reasons, wish to renounce German citizenship, you must file an application via the Embassy in London or the Consulate General in Edinburgh.

Please Note

Although the information on this website has been prepared with utmost care, we cannot accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein.

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Deutsche Version

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Hier finden Sie die deutsche Version dieser Seite.

Citizenship: Frequently Asked Questions

Citizenship: Frequently Asked Questions

Should you have further questions about German citizenship, please consult our FAQ with answers to some of the most common questions.

Contact us


Click here to get in contact with the German Embassy in London and the Consulate General in Edinburgh.

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