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Request clarification of the non-existence of an option obligation


Since the possession of several nationalities is only possible in exceptional cases, if you have other nationalities in addition to the German citizenship you acquired in Germany at birth, you must generally declare after reaching the age of 21 whether you wish to retain German or foreign citizenship (option procedure).

Before you reach the age of 21, you can apply to the citizenship authority for binding official proof that you are not subject to an option in Germany and that you do not have to declare after you have reached the age of 21 whether you want to retain your German citizenship or foreign citizenship from the nationalities you acquired when you were born in Germany.

Among other things, the citizenship authority determines the continued existence of German citizenship if you grew up in Germany. You are considered to have "grown up in Germany" if you

  • have or have had their centre of life in Germany for eight years,
  • have attended school in Germany for six years,
  • have a school-leaving certificate or vocational training completed in Germany, or
  • have a comparably close connection to Germany and the option obligation would mean a particular hardship for you in individual cases.

If the citizenship authority approves your application, it will give you a written decision. You do not need to do anything else and retain your German citizenship even if you do not renounce your foreign citizenship.

If, in addition to German citizenship, you only have the citizenship of another member state of the European Union or the citizenship of Switzerland, it is obvious to public authorities in Germany that you are not subject to an option. You should then check whether you really have reason to apply for the determination anyway.

Process flow

  • You must apply for the determination of the continued existence of German citizenship (non-existence of an option obligation) at the competent citizenship authority.
  • To submit your application, please use the application form provided for download by the citizenship authority or sent to you on request.
  • Submit the application form you have completed in full with all the required supporting documents (see "Required documents") in legible copies (on white paper, DIN A4) to the citizenship authority.
  • Upon receipt of the application documents, the citizenship authority will contact you. You don't need to do anything else before that
  • In the course of the procedure, the nationality authority will ask them to submit the original documents to them for verification; they will then receive the documents back.
  • If it is determined that you are not subject to an option, you will be issued with a notice of continued German citizenship.

Requirements

  • You have not yet reached the age of 21.
  • In addition to at least one foreign citizenship established by descent from your parents, you have acquired German citizenship by birth in Germany.
  • You are currently in possession of German citizenship; it must not have been lost after your birth, for example by applying for another nationality.
  • They are considered to have "grown up in Germany", i.e.
    • You have or have lived in Germany for eight years,
    • You attended school in Germany for six years,
    • You have obtained a school-leaving certificate or completed vocational training here, or
    • You have a comparably close connection to Germany and the option obligation would mean a particular hardship for you in individual cases.

Which documents are required?

  • Fully completed application form
  • Proof of identity (valid German passport or identity card)
  • Proof of acquisition of German citizenship by birth and current possession of German citizenship: birth certificate, citizenship certificate if applicable
  • Proof of possession of foreign citizenship: foreign identity documents (passport, citizenship certificates), if necessary also for the parents
  • Proofs for the non-existence of an option obligation:
    • School reports proving that the applicant has attended school in Germany for at least six years, or
    • Certificates of a school-leaving qualification obtained in Germany or of vocational training completed in Germany.

What are the fees?

The declaratory decision is free of charge.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

The notice of continued German citizenship (non-existence of an option obligation) is issued once and should therefore be kept securely and permanently. It will not be reissued if it is lost.

Processing duration

The duration of the application processing depends, among other things, on the factual correctness of your information, the completeness of your application documents and the current capacities of the citizenship authority.

Applications / forms

Personal appearance required: Yes

Appeal

Appeal before the Administrative Court

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sports

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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