If you are applying for a passport and the passport section processing your application is unable to verify your citizenship status, you may need to apply for a German certificate of citizenship (Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis) before a passport can be issued.
You may be able to obtain more information about your ancestor’s status from the local authority where they were born, where they were married or where they were last registered in Germany. This could be either the local registry office (Standesamt) or the city/state archives.
Your application will be processed by the Federal Office of Administration (Bundesverwaltungsamt, “BVA”). It can be submitted through the Embassy or Consulate General. Click here for further details on how to apply.
What documents are necessary?
As a rule, you will need to prove that an ancestor possessed German nationality and that you are descended from that ancestor. This will usually mean tracing your family back to before 1914. All information and documentation must be provided by the applicant. We regret that the Embassy, Consulate General and BVA are unable to carry out any research on your behalf. Please see the BVA fact sheet below for further information on the procedure.
You may be able to obtain more information about your ancestor’s status from the local authority where they were last registered as residents in Germany. This could be either the local registry office (Standesamt) or city archives.
The application forms for a German certificate of citizenship are available on the website of the Federal Office of Administration (Bundesverwaltungsamt).
An information sheet in English as well as English translation aids of the application forms can be found at the bottom of this page. Please note that the translation aids are provided for your convenience only. When submitting an application, please use the German forms.