Citizenship: Frequently Asked Questions



German citizenship is generally acquired automatically by birth according to the principle of descent if one or both of the parents are German. This means you can normally apply directly for a German passport or national ID card for your child.

If only the father is German, there must be a valid acknowledgement of paternity. For children born in the United Kingdom this is generally the case if the father is named on the birth certificate as the “father”, and both parents are named as “informants”.

In the case of German nationals born abroad on or after 1 January 2000, their children, if born abroad, only acquire German citizenship if the parents notify the relevant German mission abroad of the child’s birth within one year.

No, if your child automatically acquired two nationalities by birth (German nationality by descent), from a German perspective he/she will not have to choose between the two nationalities later on. In other words your child has permanent dual national status. However, in some circumstances, the law of the other country may require him/her to choose. In this case please contact the relevant authorities in the other country.

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