If you’re looking to become a German citizen but your German ancestry goes too far back, or your citizenship may have been lost, there are other pathways you can take to get there.
We’ve provided answers to some common questions you may have around becoming a German citizen by naturalisation.
Is it possible to gain German citizenship if my German ancestors lost it?
- If your German ancestors lost their citizenship or never held it, you can apply to naturalise in Germany under the German Citizenship Act (StAG 14).
- The process is discretionary and can require more initiative on your end. However, it is a great option for suitable candidates who are not eligible through descent.
Who can apply for discretionary naturalisation?
Discretionary naturalisation is open to everyone residing outside of Germany who can prove strong ties to Germany and is willing to potentially renounce their current citizenship.
Can I still retain my current citizenship when applying for German citizenship through discretionary naturalisation?
It is possible to apply for an exemption to retain your current citizenship, however, there is a risk that this may not be approved. If you’re unable to prove the renouncing of your current citizenship, it would put you at a disadvantage.
How to successfully gain German citizenship by discretionary naturalisation?
Whilst the outcome of your application is up to the German government and cannot be guaranteed, in order to be successful, you would need to prove that you meet the following criteria:
- Achieve German language knowledge to B1 level (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
- Have close relatives with German citizenship
- Attend or have attended a German school (also abroad)
- Regular visits to Germany
- Regular contact with friends or family living in Germany
- Demonstrate knowledge of German culture, history and traditions (assessed in a test)
- Be a member of German associations and contribute to Germany or German diaspora through volunteer activities
- Work or have worked for German authorities, companies or organisations
- Be able to support yourself and your family
How can Polaron help you?
Polaron can assist you during this process as we offer an (approximate) one-year long coaching program with which you can start building your case from scratch.
It is still a discretionary procedure, so there is no guarantee that the German government will grant you citizenship. However, we have an experienced team that is committed to helping you build a strong case to heighten your chances of success!
Please get in contact with us if you have further questions about becoming a German citizen by naturalisation.
Click here for more information about gaining German citizenship.