The German rules on citizenship were thoroughly revised with the entry into force of the amended Nationality Act (Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz) on January 1st, 2000.
The German Law on Nationality and Citizenship is rather complex and has undergone many changes in the last decades. Please make sure you read and understand the information provided below before contacting your competent German Foreign Mission.
If you would like to find out if you are eligible to apply for a German passport, there are some basic principles of the German law of citizenship that you should familiarize yourself with first.
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.
While the German rules on citizenship are based on the principle of avoiding dual citizenship, this principle does not apply to children who receive dual citizenship through descent from their parents .
German citizenship is mainly based on the principle of descent from one German parent. Only since 2000 it is possible to receive German citizenship through birth in Germany in a limited number of cases.
German citizenship can also be acquired by naturalization. However, naturalization of persons residing outside of Germany is only possible in exceptional cases.
Germans who become naturalized citizens of another country might lose their German citizenship.