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Apply for negative certificate (for citizenship)

If you need official proof that you do not have German citizenship, you can apply to the citizenship authority for a determination that you do not have German citizenship. If it can be determined that you do not possess German citizenship, a so-called negative certificate will be issued.

You will need a negative certificate, for example, if you have been requested by an authority abroad (for example, in your country of origin or in the country of origin of your parents) to present official proof of non-possession of German citizenship or if this is required for the use of consular services of the foreign mission of another country in Germany.

A negative certificate is often required, for example, if you were born in Germany, are descended from German ancestors or have lived in Germany for a very long time.

Process flow

  • You must apply for the determination of the non-existence of German citizenship and the issuance of a negative certificate at the responsible citizenship authority.
  • For your application, use the application form provided for this purpose by the citizenship authority for download or sent to you on request.
  • Submit the completed application form with all documents (see "Required documents") in clearly legible copies (on white paper, DIN A4) to the citizenship authority.
  • After receipt of the application documents, the citizenship authority will contact you. You do not need to do anything else before that
  • In the course of the procedure, the citizenship authority will ask you to submit the original documents for verification; the documents will then be returned to you.


  • You do not have German citizenship.
  • You usually stay in Germany.
  • You must credibly demonstrate a justified interest in a negative determination and certification. Such an interest is credible if you state certain facts which make it appear predominantly probable for the citizenship authority that the negative determination is relevant for a purpose worthy of protection.

Which documents are required?

  • Fully completed application form
  • Proof of identity (foreign passport, recognized foreign passport replacement document or other official foreign identity document with photo, for example an identity card or ID card).
  • Proof that German citizenship was not acquired or was previously possessed but has since been lost, for example by:
    • German visas, residence permits, other residence titles and certificates of residence rights in Germany,
    • if German citizenship was previously held: old German identity documents (for example, German passport, identity card; children's identity card),
    • documents on the acquisition of another nationality (for example, foreign naturalization certificate),
    • documents about voluntary joining the armed forces of a foreign state,
    • Adoption documents,
    • Documents and certificates of a change of name.

What are the fees?

(for the declaratory decision) EUR 51.

For reasons of equity or public interest, fee reduction or fee exemption may be granted, if applicable.

There is no additional charge for the issuance of a negative certificate.

For special shipping options (e.g., registered mail or cash on delivery), additional expenses covering costs will be charged.

A negative certificate will only be sent if the determination fee and any expenses have been paid in advance or if cash on delivery is requested.

Additional costs may be incurred for the procurement of documents, translations and certifications.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

The negative certificate is issued for an unlimited period of time.

Processing duration

The duration of the application processing depends, among other things, on the factual correctness of your information and the completeness of your application documents. In addition, it depends on which, if any, difficult facts have to be determined in order to be able to make the requested determination. Depending on the circumstances, it may take a few weeks or even more than a year to reach a final decision on your application.

Applications / forms

Personal appearance required: Yes

What else should I know?

  • Negative certificates will only be issued if this is necessary to prove the non-existence of German citizenship to foreign public authorities or is at least specifically useful in individual cases. Without justified cause, applications for the determination of the non-existence of German citizenship will not be granted.
  • The negative certificate is not a certificate of citizenship, but an informal certificate with an official seal. Experience shows that these certificates are recognized in other countries.
  • The negative certificate certifies that you do not have German citizenship on the day it is issued.

Technically approved by

Ministry of the Interior and Local Government of the State of Brandenburg

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)