Welcome

German citizenship by naturalization

Article

German citizenship can also be acquired by naturalization. However, naturalization of persons residing outside of Germany is only possible in exceptional cases.

mobile Generationen
Weltkugel und Familie© www.colourbox.com

Naturalization, i.e. applying for and being granted German citizenship, is usually meant for persons who currently live in German and have lived in Germany continuously for several years. Nat­u­ral­iza­tions of persons liv­ing abroad on the ba­sis of dis­cre­tion are rare and need to be of spe­cial in­ter­est to the Fed­er­al Re­pub­lic of Ger­many.

In general, those applying for naturalization must give up their foreign nationality. There are exceptions for nationals of EU member states and Switzerland as well as for those whose German citizenship is restored.




The following exceptions allow naturalization of persons living outside of Germany:


Former German citizens who between January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945 were deprived of their citizenship on political, racial, or religious grounds are entitled to (re-)naturalisation. This also applies to their descendants (children, grandschildren, great-grandchildren) if those would have become German citizens if their ancestor had not been deprived of his or her German citizenship.

More Information regarding restoration of citizenship in these cases can be found

.


Those who were born after May 23rd, 1949 and before January 1st, 1975 to a German mother and a non-German father and whose parents were married at the time of birth, may apply for naturalization even while living outside of Germany.

The process requires among other things proof of substantial ties to Germany, very good command of the German language and passing a citizenship test.

Those who were born after May 23rd, 1949 and before July 1st, 1993 to a German father and a non-German mother and whose parents were not married at the time of birth, may apply for naturalization even while living outside of Germany.

The process requires among other things proof of substantial ties to Germany, very good command of the German language and passing a citizenship test.

Former German citizens who lost their citizenship by applying for a foreign citizenship after January 1st, 2000 can apply for (re-)naturalization while retaining their foreign citizenship. This application has to be presented within 12 years after having lost German citizenship and the process requires proof of substantial ties to Germany, very good command of the German language and, in some cases, passing a citizenship test.

Former German citizens who lost their citizenship by applying for the citizenship of another EU-Country or Switzerland and who continue to live in the European Union or in Switzerland, can apply for (re-)naturalization while retaining their foreign citizenship. This also applies to minor children applying together with a parent.

Related content