Parents of a German child born abroad are not legally obliged to register the birth in Germany with the birth registrar. A German birth certificate is helpful but not always necessary for a passport application. It is also no proof of German citizenship.
Germans born abroad are however still advised to have the birth registered in a German Civil Registry.
Once the birth has been registered, a German birth certificate can then be issued. A German birth certificate can be used in Germany and Europe without further authentication, whereas a Namibian birth certificate might have to be first translated for use in Germany and Europe.
Foreign birth certificates might also include information regarding the name or paternity of a child, which according to German law is prohibited, as well as child born abroad does not necessarily obtain the last name that is indicated in the foreign (e.g. Namibian) birth certificate.
In case of any doubt, only the registration of a child’s birth in Germany can definitively determine the question of name and paternity of a child. Together with the application for registration of a birth, a name declaration or declaration of consent to an acknowledgement of paternity might be necessary.
The parents of a child/person, the child/person itself, the spouse self or the children of the children have the right to apply for the registration of the person’s birth.
There is no time limit to have a birth registered in Germany, with one exception: Non-acquisition of German nationality
Which Registrar's Office is competent?
As of 1 November 2017, applications for registration of a birth are processed by the civil registry at the current or last place of residency of the child or the responsible person (parents, spouse or partner and children) in Germany.
If the child or applicant never resided in Germany, the Standesamt I (Registrar's Office I) in Berlin will process the application and issue the birth certificate.
If your place of residency is in Namibia, you can hand in the application for the registration of birth via the German Embassy in Windhoek.
What are the documents I need to provide with the application?
Applications must be handed in personally at the German Embassy Windhoek and only after booking an appointment through the following link: Online Appointment System
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All documents must be provided as originals and two copies. The Embassy is not able to assist with photo copying, all required documents must be furnished.
Please be advised that in the following, we list documents that are necessary in routine cases. In special cases, the German Embassy or the Civil Registry in Germany can demand to see further documentation.
The following documents need to be submitted:
Filled out Application to register the birth of a child born abroad, not signed
Birth certificate of the child (if born in Namibia „full birth certificate“/„registration of life birth“, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs).
Birth certificates of both parents (if born in Namibia: „full birth certificate“/„registration of life birth“, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs).
If applicable: De-registration of last residental address of the parents in Germany („Abmeldebescheinigung“)
If applicable: Valid permanent residence card or valid Namibian visa of the German parent/s
Valid passports of both parents (if current passport of German parent was issued after the birth of the child: German passport issued before the birth of the child)
If child is older than 14 years: valid passport of child
If parents are married: official marriage certificate
If applicable: Proof of acknowledgment of paternity (if parents were not married at the time of birth of the child
If applicable: Proof of dissolution of parents’ marriage or prior marriages of each parent (court decree or death certificate of former spouse)
If a German parent was naturalized in Germany: certificate of naturalization
If the German parent was naturalized in Namibia: Namibian certificate of naturalization + German „Beibehaltungsgenehmigung“ (Permission to retain former citizenship)
In certain cases, the application for the registration of birth might have to include a name declaration. In theses cases, all legal guardians/parents must appear in person before the consulate. If the child is 14 years or older, the child has to be also present.
Documents issued in a foreign language except German or English have to be presented with translation.
The fees for the application are determined by the individual state laws in Germany, depending on the competent Civil Registry. These fees can only be paid to the German bank account of the civil registry once the application has been processed. Detailed information on the payment process will be provided after you hand in the application.
The fees for the service of the German Embassy need to be paid at the application in Namibian Dollar. The fees will be converted into Namibian Dollar according to the Exchange rate of the Embassy on that day. Payment can be done with cash or credit cards (Visa or MasterCard). List of fees.
The German Embassy Windhoek cannot influence the processing time through the Civil Registries in Germany in any way and cannot give any information on the status of the application. The processing of a registering a birth can take up to 36 months at the Standesamt I in Berlin.