The German citizenship law is based on the “principle of family origin”. This means that German citizenship is not acquired by birth in Germany, but on the basis of the German citizenship of one of the parents.
Apart from the principle of origin, German citizenship can be acquired through naturalization or for other reasons.
Below we will detail information about the procedure for retaining citizenship and losing German citizenship.
A new law has entered into force
The fourth law to change the German citizenship law entered into force on 20.08.2021. In this law, a right to compensation established by law was created for the victims of the Nazis’ persecution measures and for their descendants, but they were not entitled to citizenship according to Article 116, paragraph 2 of the Basic Law.
In addition, the law includes a right of declaration for a period of 10 years that grants children who were born to a German parent after the entry into force of the Basic Law, and who were discriminated against on the basis of gender at the time of their birth due to the guidelines that were valid in those days, and therefore could not acquire German citizenship upon their birth. This right allows them to receive German citizenship through a simple declaration.
|Acquisition Method||Eligibility Criteria||Notes/Comments|
|Family Attribution||– Children born in marriage to a German father from 01.01.1914 to 12.31.1963.<br> – Children born to a German mother within a marriage after 01.01.1964 and before 12.31.1974, if otherwise stateless.<br> – Children born in marriage as of 01.01.1975 if one parent is German.<br> – Children born to a German mother in a marriage after 01.04.1953 and before 01.01.1975 with an existing citizenship who could declare their wish to receive German citizenship before 12.31.1977.<br> – Children born to a German parent after the entry into force of the Basic Law on 23.05.1949, who were discriminated against on gender grounds and couldn’t acquire German citizenship at birth can obtain citizenship through a declaration for a 10-year period.||Eligibility depends on the child’s birthdate and parental status.|
|Purchase by Birth Out of Wedlock||– Children born to a German mother out of wedlock since 01.01.1914.<br> – Children born to a German father out of wedlock as of 01.07.1993 with a valid acknowledgment of paternity.<br> – Children born to a German father out of wedlock before 01.07.1993 could acquire citizenship through a declaration, provided paternity was proven, their permanent official residence in Germany for three years at the time of declaration, and the declaration was made before turning 23.||Eligibility depends on birth circumstances and acknowledgment of paternity.|
|Acceptance by Virtue of Adoption||– Starting from 01.01.1977, German citizenship could be acquired by adoption from a German parent.||Eligibility depends on adoption date and circumstances.|
|Inadmissibility Due to Birth Outside Germany (Intergenerational Gap)||– Children born outside Germany on or after 01.01.2000, whose parents are German citizens, will not acquire German citizenship unless it would make them stateless or if declared at an authorized German representation within one year.<br> – Descendants of naturalized citizens based on Article 116/II/Sentence 1 of the GG Law Book are not subject to these regulations.||Children born outside Germany may not automatically acquire citizenship.|
|Naturalization by Eligibility (Article 116 of the GG Law Book)||– Descendants are eligible for naturalization under Article 116 of the GG Law Book.<br> – No naturalization test required.<br> – The grandson can submit an application for (re)naturalization without their parent or grandparent having to request re-naturalization.||Eligibility for naturalization under Article 116 GG is available for descendants.|
Eligibility is extended according to Article 116 Paragraph 2 Sentence 1 in the GG Law Book
Special regulations for naturalization apply to those persecuted by the Nazi regime whose German citizenship was denied them on the grounds of race, religion or political views in the period between January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945. These people and their descendants are entitled to naturalization according to Article 116/II/1 of the Book of Laws – the Basic Law GG as part of the compensation.
Comprehensive information on this subject can be found on the website of the federal administrative authority, the “Bundesverwaltungsamt”.
With the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court from 20.05.2020 – the circle of those entitled was expanded according to Article 116/II/1 of the GG Law Book.
From now on are considered descendants according to Article 116/II/1 in the GG law book as well
- Children born in a marriage before 01.04.1953 to German mothers who were forcibly deprived of their citizenship and to fathers who are not German citizens.
- Children born out of wedlock before 01.07.1993 to German fathers whose citizenship was forcibly revoked from them and to mothers who are not German citizens.
Applicants who meet the above criteria and whose application for naturalization according to Article 116/II/1 of the GG Law Book was previously rejected according to the law that was in effect until now, may submit a renewed application informally. The Embassy/Consulate General will be happy to assist them in submitting the application.
Obtaining citizenship by virtue of family attribution
Please pay attention to the information listed below that refers to children born outside of Germany and whose parents were also born outside of Germany, on or after 01.01.2000.
Purchase by virtue of birth within the framework of marriage
Children born in marriage between 01.01.1914 and 12.31.1963 acquired citizenship only through their German father.
Children born to a German mother within the framework of marriage, after 01.01.1964 and before 31.12.1974, acquired German citizenship only if they were otherwise stateless.
Children born in marriage as of 01.01.1975 acquired German citizenship, if one of the parents was German.
Regarding children who were born to a German mother in a marriage after 01.04.1953 and before 01.01.1975, and who already had citizenship, there was a possibility to declare that they wished to receive German citizenship. The deadline for delivering this statement was on 12.31.1977 and has ended.
New: With the fourth law to change the German citizenship law that entered into force on 20.08.2021, a right of declaration was also created for a period of 10 years (Section 5 of the Citizenship Law) for the children born to a German parent after the entry into force of the Basic Law on 23.05.1949, who were aborted on Gender background at the time of their birth due to the guidelines that were valid in those days in the then version of the Citizenship Act (RuStAG), therefore they could not acquire German citizenship at birth. This right allows them to obtain German citizenship through a simple declaration to the competent authority on citizenship. The right to receive German citizenship through a declaration also applies to the descendants of those people.
Purchase by virtue of birth out of wedlock
Children born to a German mother out of wedlock acquire German citizenship through the mother since 01.01.1914.
Children born to a German father out of wedlock acquire German citizenship as of 01.07.1993, in case there was, among other things, a valid acknowledgment of paternity.
Children born to a German father out of wedlock before 01.07.1993 could acquire citizenship through a declaration, if paternity was actually proven, if their permanent official residence at the time of the declaration had already been in the Federal Republic of Germany for three years and if the declaration was given before they turned 23 years old.
Acceptance by virtue of adoption
Starting with the date 01.01.1977, there is the possibility that the German citizenship was also bought by virtue of adoption by a German parent. Further questions should be directed to the representative of Germany to which you belong.
Regarding children adopted by a German parent between 01.01.1959 and 12.31.1976, it was possible to acquire German citizenship through a declaration until 12.31.1979.
Inadmissibility due to birth outside Germany / “intergenerational gap“
Children born outside Germany, whose German parents, i.e. their father or mother are German citizens, who were born outside Germany on January 1, 2000 and later, basically no longer acquire German citizenship. This regulation is only valid if it would make them stateless persons or if the parent or guardian declares the birth at the authorized German representation within one year. (In accordance with Article 4, Paragraph 4 of the Citizenship Law)
The descendants of a German citizen, who were naturalized based on Article 116, Paragraph II, Sentence 1, of the GG Law Book as part of compensation in the field of the Citizenship Law, are not included in the “intergenerational cut” regulations.
|Right to Compensation for Victims of Nazi Persecution and Their Descendants||A right to compensation was established for victims of Nazi persecution and their descendants, who weren’t previously entitled to citizenship under Article 116/II/1 of the Basic Law (GG Law Book).|
|Right of Declaration for Children Aborted on Gender Grounds||Children born to a German parent after the entry into force of the Basic Law on 23.05.1949, who were discriminated against on gender grounds at birth due to the guidelines of that time, can obtain German citizenship through a simple declaration for a 10-year period. The right also applies to descendants.|
|Extended Eligibility under Article 116/II/1 of the GG Law Book||Special regulations for naturalization apply to those persecuted by the Nazi regime between 01.30.1933 and 05.08.1945 based on race, religion, or political views. This includes descendants. Expanded criteria include children born in a marriage before 01.04.1953 to German mothers who lost citizenship and fathers who aren’t German citizens, and children born out of wedlock before 01.07.1993 to German fathers who had citizenship forcibly revoked and mothers who aren’t German citizens.|
Naturalization by eligibility according to Article II 116 of the GG Law Book
In the case of naturalization according to Article 116 GG, there is no need to pass a naturalization test.
Every descendant has the legal right and can demand its realization. Thus, for example, the grandson can submit an application for (re)naturalization, without his father/mother and/or grandfather/grandmother having requested re-naturalization.
If you wish to submit your case for review, please send the following questionnaire by e-mail to the German Embassy.
Please make sure that you have attached the necessary documents for the treatment, such as a photocopy of a passport, a document attesting to the German citizenship of the family’s ancestors. The embassy will review your case and then inform you of your options regarding re-naturalization and will also guide you on how to proceed. You will receive a letter on this subject within three weeks.
The government authority in Germany responsible for your naturalization request is located in the city of Cologne and is called
Questionnaire to check eligibility for applying for German citizenship
Making an appointment for naturalization
As soon as a positive decision is made regarding your naturalization, the embassy will inform you that you can make an appointment so that they can deliver the official certificate to you.
Expanding the possibilities for citizenship for the descendants of the Nazis
Through the fourth law to change the German citizenship law that entered into force on 20.08.2021, a right to compensation established by law was created for the victims of the Nazi persecution measures who were not previously granted the right to naturalization according to section 116, paragraph 2 of the Basic Law (section 15 of the Citizenship Law). The right to obtain German citizenship is also valid for all descendants of those persons.
Those entitled to citizenship according to Section 15 of the Citizenship Law are people who were persecuted on the basis of their political opinions, race or religion in the period between 01.30.1933 and 05.08.1945 and in this context lost their German citizenship, renounced it, or were denied German citizenship under these circumstances.
- People who lost their German citizenship or renounced it before 26.02.1955, for example due to an application for foreign citizenship, relinquishment upon request or marriage with a foreign citizen.
- People who were denied the possibility of acquiring German citizenship by law due to marriage, legal recognition or group naturalization of members of a German ethnic group.
- People who were not naturalized after applying or were generally denied the possibility of naturalization, which would have been possible if they had applied.
- People who gave up or lost their permanent residence in Germany, if their permanent residence already existed before January 30, 1933 or, in the case of those who were children, even after that.
The right to citizenship also applies to descendants.
Detailed information on the naturalization of the descendants of the persecuted Nazis can be found on the website of the Federal Administrative Authority, the “Bundesverwaltungsamt
|Naturalization by Eligibility under Article 116 GG Law Book||– No naturalization test required.<br> – Descendants can request (re)naturalization.<br> – Application review by the German Embassy.<br> – Contact Bundesverwaltungsamt Köln for naturalization requests.|
|Making an Appointment for Naturalization||After a positive decision on naturalization, the embassy will inform you to make an appointment for receiving the official certificate.|
|Citizenship for Descendants of Nazi Persecution Victims||Detailed information available on the website of the Federal Administrative Authority, the “Bundesverwaltungsamt.” Eligibility for descendants of victims of Nazi persecution under Section 15 of the Citizenship Law.|
Obtaining citizenship according to a declaration according to Section 5 of the Citizenship Law
Through the fourth law to change the German citizenship law that entered into force on 20.08.2021, a right of declaration was also created for a period of 10 years (Section 5 of the Citizenship Law) for the children born to a German parent after the entry into force of the Basic Law on 23.05.1949, who were discriminated against on the basis of gender At their birth due to the guidelines that were valid in those days in the version of the citizenship law at that time (RuStAG), therefore they could not acquire German citizenship upon their birth. This right allows them to obtain German citizenship through a simple declaration to the competent authority on citizenship. The right to receive German citizenship through a declaration also applies to the descendants of those people.
The eligible group includes people who were born after 05.23.1949 and they are:
- Children of a German parent who did not acquire German citizenship at birth (children born before 01.01.1975 within the framework of marriage to a German mother and a father who is a foreign citizen, as well as children born outside the framework of marriage before 01.07.1993 to a German father and a mother with foreign citizenship),
- Children who were born to a mother whose German citizenship was revoked according to Article 17, No. 6 of the then Citizenship Law RuStAG – before 01.04.1953, due to her marriage to a foreign citizen before the birth of their child,
- Children who lost their German citizenship acquired at birth by legal recognition and recognized according to German law, as a result of the initiative of a foreign citizen, according to Article 17, No. 5, of the then RuStAG Citizenship Law before 01.04.1953,
- Also the descendants of the children according to the details in the three previous sections.
People, whose permanent place of residence is outside Germany, can submit the declaration directly at the Federal Administrative Authority, the “Bundesverwaltungsamt” or at the authorized local German representation. The declaration will enter into force as soon as it is received by the competent authority for citizenship matters (ie in the case of residence outside Germany by the authority of the federal administrator, the “Bundesverwaltungsamt”), if the additional threshold conditions have been met.
For people who were born before 05.23.1949 and did not acquire German citizenship at birth due to the discrimination based on gender in the then version of the Citizenship Act (RuStAG) and their descendants still have the possibility to become naturalized according to Section 14 of the German Citizenship Act.
|Form F||Application form for those aged 16 and over.|
|Form FK||Application form for children under 16 years of age.|
|Appendix V||Information on German Ancestors.|
|Power of Attorney||Authorization to complete a procedure in citizenship matters.|
If you belong to this eligible group and you live outside of Germany, you can apply for naturalization at the authorized German representation in your place of residence. There you will be given appropriate advice and your request will be sent for further processing to the Federal Administrator’s Authority. However, we note that precise conditions must be met in order to become naturalized. That is why we ask you to pay attention to all the comments regarding the conditions, the midrashim documents and the costs detailed in the information bulletins of the Federal Administrator’s Authority, before submitting the application.
Certificate of German citizenship
As part of the German citizenship verification procedure, the authorized federal administrative authority, the “Bundesverwaltungsamt”, checks whether you have German citizenship. The test will cost, when and how you acquired the German citizenship and if you have not lost the German citizenship.
If it can be verified that you have German citizenship, you will be issued a certificate attesting to German citizenship, a “citizenship certificate”.
Form F: Application form for those aged 16 and over
Minors over the age of 16 are considered to have the same status as adults in matters of the Citizenship Law; They must provide all their statements themselves.
Form FK: Application form for children under 16 years of age
In the case of a minor application, all legal guardians must sign the application.
Appendix V: Information on German Ancestors
A page to complete information in case the German citizenship derives from family roots or adoption.
Power of attorney to complete a procedure in citizenship matters
Please fill out the forms legibly and in German.
Which documents are needed and which documents should be attached to the application?
You must always attach a simple photocopy of your most recent/up-to-date German and foreign (if any) identification document/passport. The document must include the photographs of the pages where your picture appears and where your personal details are.
Submitting additional documents depends on the reason for immigration on which your citizenship is based. The common reason for obtaining citizenship is being a descendant of German ancestors. Many events in the life of the applicant, but also in the life of his ancestors, can be significant regarding the acquisition or loss of German citizenship. This can involve personal and family events (such as a birth or marriage) and/or political or legal developments (such as group naturalization during World War II or obtaining foreign citizenship).”
|German and Foreign Identification Documents||A simple photocopy of your most recent identification documents/passports with relevant personal details and photographs.|
|Additional Documents (Depending on Eligibility)||Additional documents may be required based on the reason for immigration, which can include personal, family, or political/legal events affecting citizenship.|
How to submit the documents?
Official certificates must be presented in the original or as an official photocopy that is a true copy of the original or a notarized copy. The photographs must show the document in its entirety, that is, its front and back sides. Photographs and uncertified copies are not recognized. The certificates of origin can only be returned at the end of the process if you specifically requested it. Therefore, we recommend sending only copies with appropriate authorization. In addition, you are requested to attach a complete set of simple photographs (without certificates) that include the application form and the attached documents.
If the documents are not written in German or English, you also need the translation of the document into German by a qualified translator (notarized) along with a certificate of its fidelity to the original.
Please, pay attention to the additional information of (in the brochure above).
What fees are charged?
The process is subject to payment of a fee. The cost of the fee for a German citizenship check, including the issuance of a citizenship certificate, is usually 25 euros, and the amount is collected at the time of the decision on the application. The denial of the request will cost 18 euros. Even if you withdraw the application after it has already been processed, you will have to pay 18 euros.
|Circumstance||Eligibility Criteria and Details|
|Purchase by Marriage||– Women from foreign countries who married German husbands received German citizenship between 01.01.1914 and 03.31.1953.<br> – Special regulations applied for marriages between 01.04.1953 and 23.8.1957.<br> – Marriage between 24.08.1957 and 31.12.1969 allowed acquisition of German citizenship at the time of marriage or through a declaration.<br> – Starting from 01.01.1970, marriage is no longer an automatic basis for obtaining German citizenship; spouses receive concessions in the naturalization process.|
|Purchase by Sitting||– On August 28, 2007, changes to the Citizenship Law introduced regulations for obtaining citizenship by virtue of sitting.<br> – If the German authorities treated a person as a German for 12 years without their causing it, German citizenship can be acquired by virtue of good faith.<br> – A person could rely on the principle of good faith if they were continuously issued with German identification cards or citizenship cards during this period and beyond.|
|Purchase by Legal Status Regulation||– Regulating legal status refers to the parents of a child born out of wedlock entering a marriage union after the child’s birth. This can also be achieved through a court decision declaring the child’s legal status.<br> – Children born between 01.01.1914 and 06.30.1998 could acquire German citizenship through legal status regulation.<br> – The regulation was largely deleted from laws on 01.07.1993 and completely deleted on 01.07.1998.<br> – The German High Court for Administrative Affairs stated that the loss of German citizenship no longer applies to children born to a German mother out of wedlock who regulated their legal status after 31.03.1953.|
For your attention:
This special arrangement is not valid if you have previously refused to receive Israeli citizenship as part of the process of immigrating to Israel (according to section 2 (c) 2 of the Israeli Citizenship Law) and therefore did not automatically become naturalized within three months of submitting an application for an immigrant certificate.
Therefore, in these cases, if you do not want to lose your German citizenship, it is necessary to submit an application to continue holding German citizenship at a later date, if you wish to receive Israeli citizenship at a later date, as this is considered an application for receiving foreign citizenship.
a way of action
Are you interested in submitting an application to continue holding German citizenship? Please read the relevant information bulletin of the Federal Administration Authority,
The “Bundesverwaltungsamt” in Cologne. Federal Administrative Authority,
The “Bundesverwaltungsamt” in Cologne is the authority responsible for applications from Germans living permanently in a foreign country.
Please send the following documents to the embassy:
- A completely filled out application with a detailed explanation for sections 5 and 6
- A certified copy of your passport (the page with the photo + the page with the Israeli visa) The confirmation can be done at a notary of your choice or at the embassy –
- If necessary, additional documents to verify the information you provided or the receipt of German citizenship
- Confirmation from the Israeli authorities that you have not yet acquired Israeli citizenship – can be obtained at the Ministry of the Interior,
- A copy of all submitted documents
Opinion of the embassy
Since the embassy has to give an opinion on your request, it is possible that after receiving the documents we will invite you for a conversation at the embassy. Only after you receive the confirmation of the continued possession of the citizenship, you can apply for the Israeli citizenship, if you do not want to lose the German citizenship. From our experience it appears that until receiving the certificate confirming the continued possession of German citizenship, about a year and a half will pass.
Additional circumstances for obtaining citizenship
Purchase by virtue of the marriage of a foreign citizen with a German citizen
Women from foreign countries, who married a German husband, automatically received German citizenship between the dates 01.01.1914 and 03.31.1953.
Special regulations apply to women from foreign countries, who married a German husband between the dates 01.04.1953 and 23.8.1957.
In case of marriage between 24.08.1957 and 31.12.1969 there was a possibility to acquire the German citizenship at the time of marriage or afterwards through a declaration.
As of January 1, 1970, marriage is no longer an automatic basis for obtaining German citizenship. Starting from this date, spouses of German citizens only receive concessions in the naturalization process.
|Official Certificates||– Certificates must be presented in the original or as official photocopies that are true copies of the original or notarized copies.<br> – Documents should show the front and back sides in photographs.<br> – Photographs and uncertified copies are not recognized.<br> – Certificates of origin may only be returned upon specific request.<br> – It is recommended to send only copies with appropriate authorization.|
|Translation of Non-German/Non-English Documents||If documents are not written in German or English, a translation into German by a qualified translator (notarized) is required along with a certificate of fidelity to the original.|
|Fees for the Process||– The cost for a German citizenship check, including the issuance of a citizenship certificate, is typically 25 euros, collected at the time of the application decision.<br> – The denial of the request costs 18 euros.<br> – If an application is withdrawn after processing, 18 euros must be paid.<br> – Special arrangements apply if there has been a prior refusal to receive Israeli citizenship as part of the immigration process.|
Purchase by sitting
On August 28, 2007, changes to the Citizenship Law entered into force. The main points of the new regulations deal with the application of the “Arrangement for obtaining citizenship by virtue of yeshiva”. If the German establishment has treated you for 12 years as a German according to the citizenship law, without you causing this treatment, you can rely on the principle of good faith. That is to say: if during this period and beyond, you were continuously issued with German identification cards or German citizenship cards, your citizenship German is automatically bought by virtue of sitting.
Purchase by virtue of legal status regulation
Regulating legal status is the entry into the marriage union of the parents of a child born out of wedlock, after the birth of this child. Regularization of legal status can also be done by a court decision, which declared that it is a legal child. Obtaining German citizenship will in principle be done according to the regulations applicable to children born in marriage.
Between the dates 01.01.1914 and 06.30.1998 it was possible to acquire German citizenship also by virtue of “regulating legal status”. This regulation was largely deleted from the number of laws on 01.07.1993 and completely deleted on 01.07.1998. Additional questions should be addressed to the German representation to which you belong.
The German High Court for Administrative Affairs in Leipzig stated in its above judgment that the provisions of the law for the loss of German citizenship in cases of regulating the legal status of a foreign citizen, no longer apply and cannot be retroactively applied from 04.01.1953.
Accordingly, children born to a German mother out of wedlock and a father with foreign citizenship who regulated their legal status after 31.03.1953, did not lose their German citizenship.
|Loss Category||Eligibility and Details|
|Loss due to Marriage||– German women who married a foreign citizen before 23.05.1949 lost their German citizenship, even if it left them stateless. In some cases, re-nationalization may be possible.<br> – German women who married a foreign citizen between 23.05.1949 and 31.03.1953 lost their German citizenship only if it didn’t leave them stateless.<br> – Since April 1, 1953, marriage to a foreign citizen is no longer a reason for losing citizenship.|
|Loss due to Receiving Foreign Citizenship||– The most common reason for losing German citizenship is acquiring foreign citizenship following a personal application.<br> – Immigrating to Israel and receiving Israeli citizenship can also lead to loss of German citizenship in some cases. It is advisable to apply for confirmation of continued German citizenship before acquiring Israeli citizenship if necessary.|
|Loss due to Enlistment in a Foreign Army||– As of January 1, 2000, a German citizen loses citizenship if they voluntarily enlist, without the consent of the German Ministry of Defense, in a foreign army or an armed organization of similar status in a foreign country while holding citizenship in that country.<br> – Dual German-Israeli citizens who voluntarily served in Israel beyond mandatory service without prior consent between January 1, 2000, and July 5, 2011, lost their German citizenship automatically. This could have been avoided by obtaining consent from German authorities before service.<br> – The law changed on July 6, 2011, and dual German-Israeli citizens no longer lose their German citizenship under Section 28 of the Citizenship Law if they began service voluntarily after this date. No need for consent application since then.|
|Loss through Adoption||– As of 01.01.1977, the adoption of a German child by parents who are foreign citizens can be a reason for the child losing German citizenship.<br> – Children adopted before this date by parents with foreign citizenship did not lose their German citizenship as a rule.<br> – Further details can be obtained by contacting the German Embassy.|
|Loss due to Relinquishment||– A German citizen may renounce citizenship if they have multiple citizenships, provided it does not result in statelessness.<br> – A written statement is necessary for renunciation, and it comes into effect only upon approval by the competent authority and issuance of a certificate.|
|– German citizens in Israel wishing to renounce their citizenship can send the declaration to the authorized federal administrative authority through the German Embassy.|
Confirmation of non-acceptance of German citizenship
Issuance of a certificate of non-acquisition of German citizenship (certificate that you are not a German citizen).
If you live outside of Germany and need confirmation that you are not a German citizen, the federal administrative authority, the Bundesverwaltungsamt (BVA) can
In Cologne to check further on your request, if indeed you are not a German citizen, and accordingly issue you a certificate of non-acceptance of German citizenship.
Loss of German citizenship
The German citizenship law specifies many reasons for losing citizenship. However, in some cases a certificate can be issued for the continued possession of German citizenship.
Loss due to marriage
German women, who married a foreign citizen before 23.05.1949, lost their German citizenship, even if as a result they remained stateless. In some cases they can be re-nationalized.
German women, who married a foreign citizen between the dates 23.05.1949 and 31.03.1953, lost their German citizenship only if as a result they were not left stateless. Since April 1, 1953, marriage to a foreign citizen is no longer a reason for losing citizenship.
Loss due to receiving foreign citizenship
The most common reason for losing German citizenship is receiving foreign citizenship following a personal application. Immigrating to Israel and receiving the Israeli citizenship that entails can also in some cases lead to the loss of German citizenship. If necessary, you can submit an application for confirmation of the continued possession of German citizenship through the German Embassy, before acquiring Israeli citizenship.
Loss due to enlistment in a foreign army
Pursuant to Article 28 of the German Citizenship Act (StAG), as of January 1, 2000, a German citizen loses his German citizenship, when he enlists of his own free will and without the consent of the German Ministry of Defense or a body authorized by it, to a foreign army or an armed organization of similar status of a foreign country , and he also holds the citizenship of this country at the same time.
This reason for the loss of citizenship particularly concerned holders of dual German-Israeli citizenship, who undertook of their own free will to serve in Israel beyond the mandatory service prescribed by law, in the period between January 1, 2000 and July 5, 2011, without obtaining prior consent according to Section 28 of the German Citizenship Law. In doing so, they automatically lost their German citizenship. The loss of citizenship occurred at the beginning of the voluntary service. The loss of citizenship could have been avoided if they had taken care to obtain the consent of the competent German authorities before the start of the voluntary service.
On July 6, 2011, the law regarding German-Israeli citizens was changed, and since then the assumption that the necessary approval according to Article 28 of the Citizenship Law has been automatically given has come into effect. This means that citizens with dual German-Israeli citizenship no longer lose their German citizenship according to Section 28 of the Citizenship Law, if they began their service of their own free will after July 6, 2011. Since July 6, 2011 there is no longer a need to submit an application for consent according to Section 28 of the Citizenship Law .
|Confirmation and Issuance of Certificate||Details|
|Process for Confirmation||– If you live outside of Germany and need confirmation that you are not a German citizen, the Federal Administrative Authority (BVA) in Cologne can verify your non-German citizenship status and issue a certificate of non-acquisition of German citizenship.<br> – This certificate confirms that you are not a German citizen.|
|Loss of German Citizenship||– German citizenship law specifies various reasons for losing citizenship, but in some cases, a certificate can be issued for the continued possession of German citizenship.<br> – This includes loss due to marriage, receiving foreign citizenship, enlistment in a foreign army, loss through adoption, and relinquishment of German citizenship.<br> – The circumstances and eligibility criteria for each type of loss are explained in the previous table.|
Loss through adoption
As of 01.01.1977, the adoption of a German child by parents who are foreign citizens can also be a reason for losing German citizenship. Similarly, children adopted before this date by parents with foreign citizenship, did not lose their citizenship as a rule. For more details, please contact the German Embassy.
Loss due to relinquishment of German citizenship
A German citizen may renounce his citizenship, if he has multiple citizenships. The condition is that the waiver will not cause him to remain stateless. In order to regulate the waiver, a written statement is necessary. Certain legal restrictions must be taken into account. In any case, the waiver will come into effect only if the competent authority has approved it and issued an appropriate certificate in the matter, which was delivered to the applicant for the waiver. German citizens, living in Israel and wishing to renounce their German citizenship, can send the declaration of renunciation to the authorized federal administrative authority, through the German embassy.