Citizenship Law

Federal Law Gazettes
Federal Law Gazettes© REGIERUNGonline/Stutterheim

Acquisition of German Citizenship

German citizenship law is based on the so-called principle of descent. This means that German citizenship is primarily acquired due to descent from a German parent. Since the year 2000, it is also possible for a child Born in Germany to foreign parents to acquire the German Citizenship.

German Citizenship for the Second Generation Born Abroad after 2000 (§ 4 Para. 4 StAG)

The second generation born abroad after 2000 is not a German citizen automatically. Children born abroad to German parents who themselves were born abroad after 31.12.1999 will only become German if their birth was registered within one year from date of birth.

Naturalisation in Restitution cases

On 20 August 2021 the Fourth Act Amending the Nationality Act entered into force, creating a legal claim to naturalisation within the framework of reparations for persons who were affected by National Socialist persecution and therefore lost or did not obtain German citizenship but who have no entitlement to the restoration of German citizenship pursuant to Article 116 (2) sentence 1 of the Basic Law, and for their descendants. The Act also includes a ten-year right of declaration, under which children born to a German parent after the entry into force of the Basic Law who, due to the regulations in force at the time of their birth, were excluded in a gender-discriminating manner from acquiring German citizenship by descent at birth have the option of obtaining German citizenship by making a simple declaration.

If you have any questions about German citizenship law, please contact the diplomatic mission responsible for you.

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