Acquiring German Citizenship

Hi there,

I'm actually living in France and planning on getting French citizenship, but I've been doing some research into citizenship laws and I have a quick question about Germany's law here.

Specifically, when one naturalizes as a German citizenship, you're required to renounce your previous citizenship. How does the German government verify this? For example, if you're a US citizen, do you have to go to an American consulate, renounce, and present the paperwork to Germany?

If you can provide any links to verify this, it would be helpful, but personal experience is fine, too :)


One doesn't always have to renounce their citizenship. Sometimes dual citizenship is possible. America used to allow this only until the age of 26 and then you had to decide for one. Unofficial exceptions were often made for Israelis with USA connections since they are barred from traveling in some Muslim countries. But the USA laws changed and now dual citizenship with many other countries is possbile if they reciprocate. Germany however has gone the other way, making it more difficult. The reason one can't hold dual USA/German citizenship is now due to German restrictions. I have an American friend, living in Germany who got dual Irish citizenship because a grandparent of his was Irish although he has never even been there. And his Irish passport gives him advantages in Germany since it is in the European Community. I have "unlimited" residency in Germany as I am married to a German woman. But despite having my home and work here, if I leave for more than one year, I have to re-apply and first (again) have a 3 year conditional residency. My American/Irish friend wouldn't have this problem. Another friend is from Argentina and he got dual citizenship with Germany since they consider Argentina a third world country with a history of military repression. So, one needs to check out the specifics of the countries involved and such laws do change over time. Since I wrote this, my status changed. Germany had to revise some of the rules for immigrants according to European guidelines. Having had legal residency here for more than 15 years, when I got my passport nenewed and needed a copy of my residency permit it was chnaged. I now get a Niederlassungserlaubnis rather than a unbefristeter Aufenthaltserlaubnis, the difference being that I no longer lose my residency if I leave for a year or more.

Hi, I have friends who have USA/German citizenships. They were born in the USA but had German parents.
It may be different if there is no 'blood' involved. The law probably changed recently because of the end of the compulsory military service in Germany.
I will try to gather some more info.

The Germans are generous about awarding citizenship based on "German" blood. If one's parents or even grandparents were German, then it should be relatively easy - without requiring one to give anything up. But without this relationship, it seems to be diferent. I have been here long enough and I could pass the tests for German citizenship but don't want to give up my American passport to do so.

hallo hope somebody give there opinions regarding in my concern im a filipino who lives in philippines 22 years old and my boyfriend is from berlin germany were both males we just need to know what are we going to have for we to get married in berlin germany any help? thanks in advance

According to German rules, double citizenship for non-EU citizens is (other than by birth) only allowed if the other country places unreasonable (from a German standpoint) conditions onto giving up its citizenship.
If that does not apply to you, you have to renounce all your other citizenships (and show proof that you did so) before you are actually given the German one.

Thanks to everyone for the replies. I appreciate it.

Here is the german citizenship quiz with official questions:

Questions are really easy but not without understanding german language of course.

My grand parents left Germany in 1938,  arrived in Colombia where my father and I were born, what should I do to obtain German citizenship?, my father died long time ago before he could make  any arrangements, how should I proceed?

Contact your nearest German embassy to ask about the formalities and documents required.

it's probably best to ask your nearest german embassy what documents they require. i am assuming they need at least the birth certificates of your grandfather + father.

Here are list of requirements (in german). … _node.html (official) and inoffiicla but with better overview … buergerung

One of the most important requirement is speaking german language (at least B1 level).
The other one is living in Germany for more than 8 years.

My child's father is a German who lives in Germany. he decided to recognize his paternity of the child after so many years, which went well, all was coordinated by the consul himself.
Paternity docs are up to date. we were asked to process application for German passport for the child so we can relocate to Germany at the request of my child's father. He provided all requested docs but soon is one year gone the consulate cannot give us any inquiry concerning issuance of passport.

Please what should i do? Help!!!, my child needs to start school time is not on our side. Our family has to come together.

inquiries :

My child's father is a German who lives in Germany. he decided to recognize his paternity of the child after so many years, which went well, all was coordinated by the consul himself.
Paternity docs are up to date. we were asked to process application for German passport for the child so we can relocate to Germany at the request of my child's father. He provided all requested docs but soon is one year gone the consulate cannot give us any inquiry concerning issuance of passport.

Please what should i do? Help!!!, my child needs to start school time is not on our side. Our family has to come together.

Is your child recognised as German citizen (as children of citizens automatically are, by birth)?
If so, applying for a passport at the embassy is a mere formality and should not take long. Have you submitted all required documents and paid the fee?
If you are applying for citizenship, this can take a long time and is processed in Germany, not by the embassy.
In any case, you need to ask the embassy about the status. What do they say?

Thank you very much for your comments.

My child has been recognized by his father all the process was handled by the consul we sent document to and from Germany and the passport fees are paid already since 2013, he even encouraged me to request for my visa as well, which i did.

I have been to the consulate about this matter several times. but they told me that they do not know the status.
Who else to contact.
They even insist that i learn deutsch , which i did and past A1 Zertificat,
What else to do?

I am afraid only the embassy can help you there. Sorry!

I appreciate your help,


I am an American with a German mother. I moved her with my son last July, I am also an independent consultant with contracts and statements to prove earnings. I have gotten a couple of extensions on my visa and would like to stay here in Germany. The Auslanderamt herein Stuttgart said I need to go to Koln to apply for dual citizenship, I called BVA there and they said no it can be done in Stuttgart.

Does anyone have experience with this, and if so hat is the best way to navigate this. I can tell you now they do not understand the life of an independent consultant.


If you can prove that your mother is German then you have a guaranteed right to German citizenship and in this case dual citizenship. Just not sure how it is done. If they say in Köln that it can be done in Stuttgart, then ask them exactly which office and get the address and phone number. Unlike their reputation for efficiency, government officials often seem to get things wrong, so best to be informed of your rights. It sounds very strange and unlikely that one could not do this in Stuttgart. I would think google would find such an answer for you pretty quickly.

Thanks Tom! I did ask, I just need to do more research and find the right office. I appreciate your help and encouragement!

Kindest regards,


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 he 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?

Any informed advise and assistance on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

You are not entitled to German citizenship, since you were born by a foreign mother out of wedlock and before 1993. (In that year, the legal situation changed and it became possible for people like you to have German citizenship if the father accepts his parenthood and becomes legal - as opposed to just biological - parent).
Thus you need other reasons for getting German citizenship, e.g. living in Germany for 8 years (and you'll have to renbounce your other citizenships then).


So if my father does take 'Parenthood' that Just him acknowledging that I am his son? If I were to renounce my current citizenship, how long could this take? Would I be allowed to live in Germany with my father? Is that what would be required? Or can I live on my own, I and on which grounds would I be allowed to?

Your assistance is appreciated

There is a difference between legal and biological parenthood. Your biological father could legally accept being your father (if you don't already have another legal father), but that would make no difference in your case, because an adult foreigner cannot get a family reunion visa based on the father (except maybe if he's incapacitated and you are the only caregiver available).
I cannot tell you how long renouncing your current citizenship takes - ask your country's authorities - but this should under no circumstances be done before you have another citizenship approved (being stateless is no fun!).
To live in Germany, you would have to get your own visa on your own merit, e.g. by work or marrying a German. Usually after living here for 8 years (7 years if you show above average social integration and language skills) you can apply for German citizenship.

Unfortunately, many countries have such rules that discount the value of a father if he was never married to the mother. Theoretically, if your mother would still marry your biological father, then you might have grounds to apply for citizenship - but I assume that is not likely after all this time. But while your father might not be able to help you get citizenship, German law requires biological fathers to pay for many things for their children. Theoretically, a certain level of child support for the past might be able to be claimed against his estate which he might have to reimburse you for.  I have no idea if there might be time limits that would invalidate this. Yet if he dies, you might have a valid claim that would have to be settled before his assets would be further distributed as inheritance - something which you might also be legally due. Rights of inheritance do not expire but one should make it known before assets are already given away! I do NOT know the legal details of such things but want to suggest they might be worth looking into and might be some consolation to the fact that your birth situation does not afford you German citizenship. Another, legal strategy, assuming your biological father is willing, is to have him legally adopt you. Again, the details I don’t know, especially for someone who is already an adult but I believe it is possible and might give you automatic citizenship.

FelixNuevos - I'm 4 years late (as I just moved here) but...did you ever go through with this process?  After 2012, I think the laws changed.  I'm currently processing a visa for my partner (Chinese national) and we're also a same-gender couple (legally married).  Hope all is well!

This thread has been inactive for over a year.
I recommend you start your own, new one to get better replies.
Alternatively, search for other relevant threads - the topic has been discussed many times!

New topic

Questions and answers about formalities

Ask your question
Hello guys, I am looking for a sponsor
By Kisame
What can i do to come and live in Germany
By tallgirlro
Filipina wants to work as a nurse
By Ann29_1229
Work in Germany with Romanian residence permit
By Mann123

Expatriate health insurance in Germany

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Germany

Moving to Germany

Find tips from professionals about moving to Germany

Travel insurance in Germany

Enjoy a stress-free travel across Germany

Flights to Germany

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Germany