Obtaining German Citizenship

Naturalisation Enlarge image Naturalisation (© picture-alliance/ dpa/dpaweb) In general, German citizenship is not established through birth on German territory, but through descent from a legally German mother and/or a legally German father.

German citizenship may have been obtained through the following:

German citizenship acquired through birth in wedlock

Children born in wedlock between January 1, 1914, and December 31, 1974, acquired German citizenship only if the father was a German citizen at the time of their birth.

Children born to a German mother in wedlock between January 1, 1964 and December 31, 1974 only acquired German citizenship if they would have become stateless otherwise.

Children born in wedlock after January 1, 1975, acquired German citizenship if one of the parents was a German citizen at the time of their birth.
Children born in wedlock between April 1, 1953 and December 31, 1974, to a German mother and a non-German father did not become German citizens by birth. However, during the years 1975, 1976 and 1977, their parents could claim German citizenship for them. The deadline for this procedure irrevocably ended on December 31, 1977.

German citizenship acquired through birth out of wedlock

Children born out of wedlock to a German mother after January 1, 1914, acquired German citizenship. Children born out of wedlock to a German father after July 1, 1993 acquired German citizenship if (among other requirements) paternity had been established according to German law.

Children born out of wedlock to a German father before July 1, 1993 may acquire German citizenship by declaration before their 23rd birthday, if paternity has been established and if they have resided in Germany for at least three years. The declaration may only be made in Germany at the child's residence.

German citizenship acquired through adoption

If you were adopted as a minor by at least one German citizen on or after January 1, 1977, you are a German citizen. If the adoption occurred outside Germany, it must meet certain requirements.

Children who adopted by a German parent between January 1, 1959, and December 31, 1976, could have become a German citizen by declaration until December 31, 1977.

German citizenship acquired through legitimization

The marriage of parents of a child born out of wedlock was called „legitimization“. Children born out of wedlock between January 1, 1914 and June 30, 1998 could have acquired German citizenship through the marriage of their mother with their German father.

German citizenship acquired through marriage

Foreign women who married a German citizen between April 1, 1914 and March 31, 1953 acquired German citizenship automatically. Foreign women who married a German citizen between April 1, 1953 and December 31, 1969 could have acquired German citizenship under certain conditions, such as by declaration at time of marriage.

Since January 1, 1970 the acquisition of German citizenship through marriage does not exist anymore. A foreign spouse can only naturalize if certain requirements are met.

German citizenship acquired through other grounds

1. Children born in Germany after December 31, 1999, to foreign parents who were legal residents of Germany for at least eight years, acquire German citizenship too. However, between the age of 18 and 23 they must decide whether to keep German citizenship or the citizenship of their parents.

2. There are rare possibilities for naturalization, eg. for former German citizens.

Applicants must meet a host of requirements, including having to give up  present citizenship(s) in order to become a German citizen, and being fluent in the German language.

For futher information regarding the naturalisation, please refer to the German version of our website.

Obtaining German Citizenship

Naturalisation certificate

Opening hours, appointments and contact details

Consular/Passport Section Pretoria

Passport Section

The Consular and Passport Section will be closed 

on 25 May and 5 June 2017

Online appointments (no fee)

Appointment required for application          

Passport collection (no appointment required):

Monday - Friday

08:00-11:30

Telephone enquiries:

Monday - Thursday

08:00-14:00

Friday
08:00-13:00

Telephone

+27 (0)12 427 8900

Public Holidays 2017

Reception

Opening hours for consular matters (excluding passport and visa issues):

No appointment required for:

- Certification of signatures and copies
- Translation of drivers licenses
- "Lebensbescheinigung"

Please make an appointment for the following consular services:

- Registration of births
- Name declarations
- other civil status matters (e.g. adoption, divorce)
- Notarisation (e.g. certificate of inheritance, acknowledgement of paternity)

Monday - Friday

08:00-11:30

Enquiries via telephone and e-mail: 

Monday - Thursday

08:00-14:00

Friday

08:00-13:00

Telephone

+27 (0)12 427 8900

Contact via e-mail

Address

201 Florence Ribeiro Avenue, Groenkloof, Pretoria 0181

Phone:
+27 (0)12 427 8900

Consular/Passport Section Cape Town

Further information

Passport Section
Online appointments (no fee)
Application by appointment only
Passport collection (no appointment required):
Monday - Friday
9:00 - 12:00
Telephone and email enquiries:

Monday - Thursday only

14:00 - 16:00

Telephone
+27 (0)21 405 3052
Fax

+27 (0)21 421 0400 (South Africa)

+49 (0) 30 1817 67209 (Germany)
Public Holidays 2017
Directions to our office
Enquiries via e-mail
Further information on passports

OTHER CONSULAR SERVICES (No passport or visa

applications)

No appointment required for:

- Certification of signatures and copies

- Name declarations

- Registration of births or marriages in Germany

- Translation of drivers licenses

- "Lebensbescheinigungen"

- Confirmation of residence

Please make an appointment for the following

consular services:

- Citizenship matters (e.g. retention of German citizenship,

  naturalisation, determination of German citizenship)

- other civil status matters (e.g. adoption, divorce)

- notarisation )e.g. certificate of inheritance, acknowledge-

  ment of paternity)

Please make the appointment via e-mail

Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday       09:00 - 12:00
Telephone and e-mail enquiries:

Monday - Thursday

08:00 - 16:00
Friday
08:00 - 13:00
Telephone
+27 (0)21 405 3000
Fax

+27 (0)21 421 0400 (South Africa)

+49 (0) 30 1817 67209 (Germany)

Enquiries via e-mail

Further information on consular services

Address

Physical address:

Roeland Park / e-tv Building

4 Stirling Street

Entrance: top end of Stirling Street

Zonnebloem 7925 (District Six)

Postal address:

P.O. Box 4273

Cape Town, 8000

Honorary Consul, Durban

Enlarge image For the KwaZulu-Natal province, please contact the liaison office below.

Contact the Honorary Consul, Durban

When applying at the Honrary Consul's office in Durban applicants must fill in their visa-application online and bring the printed version with them.

Application in Durban

Organization
Honorary Consul: Horst Achtzehn
Address

Office hours

Mon - Fri

08:30 - 12:00

Consultation with Honorary Consul (only with appointment)

Mon - Fri
12:00 - 13:00

9 Kensington Drive, 
Westville, 
Durban 3629

Postal address:
P.O. Box 1166, 
Westville,
Durban 3630

Phone:
+27 (0)31 266 3920
Fax:
+27 (0)31 266 3925

Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz (StAG)

Anwaltstorso mit Code Civil

Disclaimer

Ausrufezeichen

Please Note
Although the information on this website has been prepared with utmost care, we can not accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein.

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