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Non-acquisition of German nationality for children born abroad to German parents (section 4 (4), first and third sentences, of the Nationality Act).

Birth of a child (symbolic photo)

Birth of a child (symbolic photo), © MITO Images

14.03.2018 - Article

Children born outside of German do not acquire German nationality automatically by birth if their German parent(s) were themselves born outside of Germany on or after January 1st, 2000.

Children born abroad do not acquire German nationality by birth if their German parent(s) were themselves born abroad after January 1st, 2000.

Children that fall into this category may still acquire German nationality if their parents register the birth with the German authorities before the child's first birthday. To do this, they must apply to the competent registry office in Germany or to the competent German mission abroad to have the birth of their child included in the register of births.

Case study:

  • Mr A relocates to Spain for work purposes in 1999. His daughter Klara is born there on 01 February 2000. The family returns some years later to Germany. In 2018 Klara meets a Namibian citizens and moves to Namibia with him. Her son is born in Namibia on 01 January 2020. Although his mother is German, he does not acquire German nationality by birth, since he acquires Namibian citizenship by virtue of being born in Namibia.
  • In order to obtain German nationality for the child, Klara or the father would have to apply to the competent registry office in Germany or to the competent German mission abroad to register the birth of their child. If the application is submitted on time and with all the necessary supporting documents, the child may be issued with a German passport upon application.

Please note: All Germans (expats and emigrants) who were born abroad and who give birth abroad, regardless of the reason for or duration of their residence abroad, need to be aware of this rule.

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