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Note: Report of birth to obtain German citizenship abroad

13.08.2015 - Press release

Affected are those who were born outside of the limits of the Federal Republic of Germany and whose parents were also born abroad after the December 31st of 1999, if their habitual residence is not Germany. Children with these characteristics will not automatically obtain German nationality by birth anymore. Exceptions to this general rule are possible in cases of imminent statelessness.

Non-acquisition of German nationality for children born abroad to German parents pursuant to section 4 (4), first and third sentences, of the Nationality Act

(correct as of April 2016)

Under what circumstances will my child not acquire German nationality automatically?

Your child will not automatically acquire German nationality by birth if

  • You (both German parents) were born abroad after 31 December 1999,
  • Your child is born abroad,
  • You (both German parents) are ordinarily resident abroad [1] at the time of the child’s birth and
  • Your child automatically acquires a foreign nationality upon birth.

[1]If you are ordinarily resident abroad, it is immaterial that you have retained a residence in Germany purely for registration law purposes.

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What do I have to do to obtain German nationality for my child?

You must apply for the birth to be registered in the register of births at the competent German registry office before your child’s first birthday. This deadline is deemed to have been met if the application is received by the competent German mission abroad within the one-year period. The application may be made by one parent alone.

To apply to register your child’s birth you must submit the following documents:

  • A fully completed and signed application form
  • Your child’s foreign birth certificate
  • The parents’ birth certificates
  • The parents’ marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • The parents’ passports/ID cards
  • Proof of a valid acknowledgement of paternity, if the parents of the child are not married to one another

Please note that your child cannot be issued with German identity papers until a complete application for registration of the birth has been submitted.

If you have any queries, please contact the consular section of the German mission abroad responsible for your place of residence.

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