Parents of a German child born abroad are not legally required to register the birth in Germany. A German birth certificate is helpful but not always necessary for a passport application. It is also no proof of German citizenship. (exception: see information box below ).
However, Germans born abroad are still advised to have their birth registered in a German civil registry. Once the birth has been registered, a German birth certificate can be issued. A German birth certificate can be used in Germany and Europe without further authentication, whereas a Canadian birth certificate might have to be legalized for use in Germany.
Legalization of Canadian Vital Statistics Certificates
Foreign birth certificates might also include information regarding the name or parents of a child which are either not valid under or incompatible with German law. In case there is any doubt, only the registration of a child’s birth in Germany can definitively determine the question of name and parentage of a child. Together with the application for registration of a birth, a name declaration or declaration of consent to an acknowledgement of paternity might be necessary.
The parents of a person, the person, and their spouse and children have the right to apply for the registration of the person’s birth.
Which civil registry is competent?
Applications for registration of birth are processed by the civil registry at the current or last place of residency of the child or applicant in Germany.
If the child or applicant never resided in Germany, the Standesamt I in Berlin will process the application and issue the birth certificate.
If your place of residency is in Canada, you can hand in the application for the registration of birth via the consulate general in Toronto or Vancouver. In order to do so, please book an appointment using our appointment system.
What are the documents I need to provide with the application?
(all documents must be provided as originals and two copies*)
- Filled out application form, not signed
Erklärungsformular Deutsch, barrierefrei / Declaration form in German, accessible OR
Erklärungsformular zweisprachig, nicht barrierefrei / Declaration form bilingual, not accessible
- Birth certificate of the child (Canadian birth certificates have to include the names of parents, so-called “birth certificate with parental information”)
- If parents were not married at the time of birth of the child: proof of acknowledgement of paternity (if the child was born in Canada: “certified copy of birth registration” or “copie d’acte de naissance”)
- If parents are married: Official marriage certificate (if married in Canada: issued by Vital Statistics; marriage certificates issued by religious institutions or marriage license / proof of solemnization of marriage are not sufficient)
- Birth certificates of both parents (“birth certificate with parental information”)
- Valid passports of both parents, German parent/s have to provide a valid German passport
- Valid permanent residence card (front and back) or valid Canadian visa of the German parent/s
- If parents have lived in Germany before: proof of deregistration of German parent/s from last German residence (Abmeldebestätigung)
- If child is older than 14 years: valid passport of child
- If applicable: Proof of dissolution of parents’ marriage or prior marriages of each parent (court decree or death certificate of former spouse)
- If the German parent was naturalized in Germany: certificate of naturalization
- If the German parent was naturalized in Canada: Canadian certificate of naturalization + “Beibehaltungsgenehmigung”
Translations of foreign – non English – documents have to be submitted in German. Civil status documents originally issued in English are accepted by German civil registry offices in most cases. Please note, that the competent civil registry in Germany may request translations of foreign documents in Germany language.
In certain cases, the application for the registration of birth might have to include a name declaration. In theses cases, all legal guardians / parents must appear in person before the consulate. If the child is 14 years or older, the child has to be present as well. Additional fees do appear.
The fees for the recording of a birth and the issuance of the requested birth certificates are set by each individual German state and therefore can vary. In most cases, the following fees apply:
The basic fee for recording the birth in the birth register is € 80.00. This amount increases by € 80.00 if foreign law must be observed. The current fees for a birth certificate are € 12.00, for every additional copy of the same document which is ordered at the same time, the fee is € 6.00. These fees do not have to be paid with the German mission abroad where the application is submitted but has to be transferred to the registrar's office at a later point of time. The registrar's office will forward the necessary account information upon receipt of the application.
In addition, the Consulate General charges the following fees. These fees are payable during the appointment at the consulate:
Toronto fees and Vancouver fees
Certification of signature on application form if name declaration/name change is needed
Certification of signature on application form if name declaration/name change is not needed
Certification of copies of relevant documents
Both payable when applying at the Consulate, in cash (Canadian Dollar).
Exact fees in CAD depend on the current CAD/EUR exchange rate.
** If another civil registry but the Standesamt I processes your case, the fee may vary.
The German consulates in Canada cannot influence the processing times in any way and can not give any information on the status of an application. At the Standesamt I in Berlin, the processing can take up to 36 months. Processing times at other civil registries might vary.