A noncommercial collection of information about citizenship, dual citizenship and multiple citizenship

[Please refer to How to Read a Country Entry for help interpreting this material. It was produced prior to March 2001 as part of a US government report entitled Citizenship Laws of the World. The accuracy and depth of these country listings varies significantly, and some information may be incorrect. At best, this page presents only part of the story for a particular country. Additional information for this country may be available in Country Information]
Important Notice:
The information on this page is believed to be at least partially incorrect or out of date. Additional information may be available in Country Information.


CITIZENSHIP: Based upon German citizenship law, the principle of descent from the parents (jus sanguinis), and, after January 1, 2000, jus soli.

BY BIRTH: Birth within the Federal Republic of Germany does not automatically confer citizenship. However, from January 1, 2000, citizenship will be acquired by birth in Germany if one parent has lived in the country for eight years.

BY DESCENT: Child born in wedlock whose father or mother is a citizen of Germany. Child born out of wedlock whose father is stateless or unknown and whose mother is a citizen of Germany. Child born out of wedlock to a foreign woman and a German father will be granted German citizenship upon the legitimization (recognition) of the child by the German father.

BY NATURALIZATION: At the discretion of the German naturalization authority; 8 years residence in Germany is a requirement.

DUAL CITIZENSHIP: In principle, not recognized. Exceptions: German citizens abroad who acquire another citizenship can forego the automatic forfeiture of their German citizenship by obtaining a decree from the German authorities permitting them to retain their German citizenship. After January 1, 2000, dual citizenship is allowed until age 23.


VOLUNTARY: The law allows Germans to petition for a release from German citizenship if they have applied for the acquisition of foreign citizenship and the authorities of the foreign state have stated that they will be naturalized. Petitions may be directed to the federal government in Germany or the nearest German Embassy.

INVOLUNTARY: Voluntary acquisition of foreign citizenship without having received a decree from the German authorities permitting concurrent retention of German citizenship.

ANY QUESTIONS concerning citizenship, or requests for renunciation of citizenship, should be directed to the address below:

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Consular Section 4645 Reservoir Dr., NW Washington, DC 20007

Embassy Telephone: 202-298-4360 Fax: 202-471-5558





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