Applying for naturalisation for former Germans abroad
Among other things, the Federal Office of Administration (BVA) is responsible, as a nationality authority for persons abroad, for issues relating to nationality.
If you have lost your German citizenship and live abroad, you can apply for the re-acquisition of German citizenship (re-naturalisation).
If you meet the requirements for re-naturalisation, you will be given a naturalisation certificate. After that, you will have German citizenship again.
You can also appoint an authorised person, such as a lawyer, for your application. To do this, you must attach a power of attorney.
You or your authorised person can submit your application for re-naturalisation in writing or by appointment in person to your responsible German mission abroad or in writing to the BVA.
You or your authorised person can apply for re-naturalisation in writing or by appointment in person at your responsible German mission abroad or in writing at the Federal Office of Administration (BVA).
- You can receive all the necessary information about the application and the required documents in advance by e-mail, telephone or in a personal conversation on site at your responsible German mission abroad (appointment).
- You can download the application form directly from the BVA website.
- Fill out the application form completely and sign it.
- Submit the signed application by post or in person together with the required proof to your responsible German mission abroad.
- Contact with the diplomatic mission abroad is not mandatory. You can also submit the application with all documents directly to the BVA. However, contact and application via the diplomatic mission or consular post are recommended, as they must comment on your application.
- The BVA will examine your application and inform you if further documents and information are required to process the application.
Conclusion of the procedure (in writing):
- After the decision, you will receive a request to pay the procedural fee. If your application is approved, the BVA will send your certificate of naturalisation to your responsible German mission abroad. This will inform you about the further procedure for handing over the naturalization certificate.
- If the Federal Office of Administration (BVA) rejects your application, you will usually also receive a rejection notice from your responsible German mission abroad.
Applications for the re-naturalisation of former Germans can be submitted by:
- persons who previously had German citizenship and
- whose habitual residence (domicile) is abroad.
- Identity and nationality have been clarified
- You are able to act, i.e. at least 16 years old or legally represented
- They are unpunished and
- do not pursue or support anti-constitutional or extremist aspirations; They are committed to the free democratic basic order (so-called declaration of loyalty).
Naturalization is a discretionary decision. It is examined whether exceptionally persons abroad can be naturalized.
Key discretionary considerations:
- public interest in naturalisation
- Ties to Germany
- Sufficient German language skills (level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
- Subsistence: You must be able to support yourself and your family in your country of residence without state aid. This should also be the case in the event of a relocation to Germany.
- In principle, you must give up or lose your previous nationality; Exceptions are possible.
Note: In individual cases, a naturalization test may be required.
Which documents are required?
When applying, you must submit:
- Evidence of ancestry and identity, for example:
- foreign identity documents, such as:
- Identity card
- Foreigner's identity card,
- birth certificate of the applicant,
- Marriage certificate
- Proof of previous possession of German citizenship, for example:
- German identity documents, such as:
- children's ID,
- Identity card
- naturalisation certificates,
- citizenship cards/homeland certificates,
- Excerpt from the German population register
- Proof of loss of German citizenship, for example:
- Foreign naturalisation certificates
- Proof of acquisition/possession of other nationalities
- Other helpful documents (where applicable):
- Name change certificates/certificates
- Custody documents (for applications from children under the age of 16)
- Diplomas from German schools
- foreign identity documents, such as:
All circumstances that prove close ties to Germany, for example:
- long-standing close contact with relatives and friends in Germany,
- longer and/or regular stays in Germany,
- Real estate ownership in Germany,
- School leaving certificate or vocational training in Germany,
- Membership in German cultural associations,
- Work for German authorities, companies or organizations.
Other circumstances will be taken into account in the decision:
- Subsistence: You must be able to support yourself and your family in your country of residence without state aid. This also includes sufficient protection against illness, long-term care, occupational disability or disability and for old age.
- Circumstances of loss of German citizenship.
Please attach the documents and evidence, unless otherwise stated, as officially or notarized copies.
Foreign-language documents and proofs must be enclosed with translation by a sworn translator.
What are the fees?
- Naturalization certificate for adults: EUR 255,00
- Naturalization certificate for minor child (up to the age of 18): EUR 51.00
- Rejection notice for adults (rejection of the application): EUR 25.00 to EUR 255.00
- Rejection notice for minor child (rejection of the application): EUR 25.00 to EUR 51.00
Please keep in mind that you may incur additional costs for obtaining documents, translations and certifications.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
There are no deadlines.
For the processing of the application: usually 12 to 18 months. Depending on the individual case, complex investigations must be carried out.
Applications / forms
- Forms: yes
- Online procedure possible: no
- Written form required: no
- Personal appearance necessary: yes
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.
Technically approved by
Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI)
Professionally released on