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Apply for a negative certificate (on nationality)

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

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

A negative certificate is often required, for example, if you were born in Germany, 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 competent citizenship authority.
  • To submit your application, use the application form provided for download by the citizenship authority or sent to you on request.
  • Submit the completed application form with all 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. Before that, you don't need to do anything else
  • In the course of the procedure, the nationality authority will ask you to submit the original documents to it for verification; You will then receive the documents back


  • You do not have German citizenship.
  • They usually reside in Germany.
  • You must credibly demonstrate a legitimate interest in a negative determination and certificate. Such an interest is credible if you state certain facts which make it predominantly probable to the nationality authority that the negative finding is relevant for a purpose worthy of protection.

Which documents are required?

  • Completed application form
  • Proof of identity (foreign passport, recognised foreign passport replacement document or other official foreign identity document with a photograph, such as an identity card or identity card)
  • Proof that the German citizenship was not acquired or that it was previously possessed but has since been lost, for example by:
    • German visas, residence permits, other residence permits and certificates of residence rights in Germany,
    • if German citizenship was previously possessed: old German identity documents (e.g. German passport, identity card; children's ID),
    • documents on the acquisition of another nationality (for example, foreign naturalization certificate),
    • documents on voluntary entry into the armed forces of a foreign state,
    • Adoption documents,
    • Deeds and certificates of name change.

What are the fees?

(for the declaratory decision) EUR 51

For reasons of fairness or public interest, a fee reduction or exemption may be granted, where appropriate.

There are no additional costs for issuing a negative certificate.

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

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

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

Section 38 (2) sentence 1 number 4 of the Nationality Act

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

The negative certificate is issued for an indefinite period.

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 difficult facts may have to be identified in order to be able to make the requested determination. Depending on the situation, it may take a few weeks or more than a year before a final decision is made 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 if it is at least specifically useful in individual cases. Without justified reason, applications for a declaration of non-existence of German citizenship will not be granted.
  • The negative certificate is not a certificate of nationality, but an informal certificate, provided with an official official seal. Experience has shown that these certificates are recognized in other countries.
  • The negative certificate certifies that you do not have German citizenship on the day of issue.

Technically approved by

Ministry of the Interior and Municipal Affairs 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)