German Citizenship

Our main fields of expertise
Since 2010 our law office represents clients living in Germany and abroad in obtaining German citizenship. Our main areas of expertise are naturalizations for descendants of persons who were persecuted by the Nazi regime and had to flee from Germany after January 1933, applications for clients who can obtain German citizenship based on their residency in Germany and/or marriage to a German spouse, naturalization of former German citizens living abroad, as well as helping children born to a German parent who did not obtain German citizenship by birth.
Descendants of German Jews and Jews living in Germany
By Article 116 section 2 of the German Constitution (Basic Law), descendants of persons who were expatriated in the Nazi era (1933-1945) by laws that were enacted by the Nazis are entitled to reclaim their German citizenship. The German courts and authorities in the past decades excluded descendants of persecuted persons from this entitlement if by the time the descendants were born, they would have not have obtained German citizenship by the general citizenship regulations of that time. For example, children born before 1 April 1953 to persecuted German women who married a non-German were excluded from obtaining German citizenship. But in 2020 the German Federal Constitutional Court finally made it clear that this approval practise contradicts the German Constitution. Therefore, many applicants who were previously rejected, are now entitled to German citizenship based on the expatriation of their ancestors. In addition, in 2021, the German parliament passed an amendment to the German Nationality Act which grants many descendants of persecuted persons German citizenship. Especially those Non-Germans who were excluded from obtaining German citizenship between 1933 and 1945, and also former Germans who lost German citizenship by former regular laws influenced by their persecution. For example, descendants of all Jews who were residents in Germany before January 1933 and had to flee from Germany in the Nazi era can apply for German citizenship based on this regulation. But also, those former Germans that lost German citizenship until 1955 for example by applying for another citizenship. Further groups of persecuted persons and their descendants are eligible if the Nazis excluded them from special or collective naturalization regulations based on the persecution. If the claim is not based on the German Constitution (see above) the citizenship authority will request a record of good conduct from the country of residence to exclude severe criminal charges. Our procedure
Regular naturalization for residents in Germany and / or spouses of German citizens
According to the current legal regulations regular naturalization is possible after 6 to 8 years of legal residence in Germany (if a number of additional requirements are fulfilled). In many cases it is still necessary to give up the previous citizenship when obtaining German citizenship. But a pending amendment to the citizenship should allow dual citizenship in general in the future and also shorten the minimum residence period for naturalization. We often help when problems occur as regards the required identity documents, proof of sufficient income, multiple citizenship or communication with the citizenship authorities in general.
Naturalization of former German citizens living abroad
In the past many German citizens have lost their citizenship since they obtained another citizenship without prior approval by the German government. According to the German citizenship law applying and obtaining a non-EU citizenship leads to automatic loss of German citizenship, even if the person is not aware of this regulation. This regulation most likely will be cancelled in 2024 – but all former citizens who were affected by this rule in the past need to apply for re-naturalization to get back their German citizenship. We often help with the very difficult procedure of re-naturalization.
Children of German citizens who did not obtain citizenship by birth
Children of German mothers and their non-German spouses did not obtain German citizenship by birth until 1975 in Germany. The same was true for children of German fathers who were not married to the non-German mother until mid 1993. As a result, children of German women and parents who were not married often could not get German citizenship in the past. After the German Constitutional Court had ruled that the according regulations most likely are discriminatory and contradict the German constitution, a right to obtain German citizenship by declaration for children of German citizens born after May 1949 was introduced in 2021 (valid for 10 years only!). We are happy to help with according applications. Our Fees
For enquiries reg. the entitlement to German citizenship for descendants of Jews from Germany or other person who were persecuted by the Nazi regime we ask that you fill out the following questionnaire / family tree: This will allow us to make a pre-assessment of your case without charging a fee and to send a suggestion for next steps. For all other citizenship cases please send a short summary of your situation / questions to our office by e-mail