How does it work?
The procedure of confirmation of German citizenship is available to eligible persons who meet certain criteria. You can reclaim your German citizenship successfully through descent, restitution, declaration or determination processes. These pathways are outlined below:
You can apply to reclaim your German citizenship through descent by proving your heritage and by satisfying eligibility criteria set by the German government. Your application form needs to be accompanied by your ancestral and personal documents, translated into German.
You can apply for German citizenship through restitution if you have an ancestor or ancestors who were persecuted in Germany due to their religious faith, political beliefs or other discriminatory grounds between 1933-1945. This law is relevant to German ancestors, as well as ancestors who gave up their German citizenship or never claimed it due to persecution. This includes non-German ancestors who had residence on German territory but had to flee due to persecution.
Since 2021, you can now reclaim your citizenship by declaration if you have a German ancestor that couldn’t pass German citizenship down due to gender discrimination, usually from female lineage. This opportunity to reclaim your German citizenship is only available until 2031.
You can apply for determination of German citizenship if you have German ancestors but you never claimed citizenship by descent. This pathway will mean you obtain a certificate of citizenship, which confirms and proves that you have always been a German citizen. This is usually obtained through your paternal lineage, if born in wedlock.
How do I know if I qualify for citizenship?
Many people whose parents, grandparents or great-grandparents were born in Germany qualify for German citizenship through descent.
In essence you can reclaim your German citizenship by descent if:
- You have ancestors who had their citizenship taken away under Nazi rule on political, racial or religious grounds in 1938.
- You were born before 1975 as the legitimate child of a German citizen father.
- You were born after 1975 as the legitimate child of a German citizen father or mother.
- You were born after June 1993 as the illegitimate child of a German citizen father and paternity is proven before you turn 23.
How can Polaron help me?
- We offer a free and confidential eligibility assessment.
- If you are eligible, we can provide you with a no-obligation quote.
- Should you decide to proceed with us, we provide you with linguistic, administrative and legal support and navigate through German regulations on your behalf.