When you request a certificate of nationality, the authorities must first confirm definitively whether or not you possess German nationality. For Germans living abroad, the Federal Office of Administration (Bundesverwaltungsamt - BVA) in Cologne is the authority that deals with confirmation of citizenship.
The most common way people acquire German nationality is by being descended from German ancestors. Many events in applicants’ and their ancestors’ lives can have a bearing on the acquisition or loss of German citizenship, including personal and family events (e.g. birth or marriage) and/or political or legal developments (e.g. collective naturalisations during the Second World War or acquisition of a foreign citizenship). Further information on acquiring German citizenship can be found here.
German nationality needs to be substantiated with relevant documents (e.g. civil status certificates, proof of domicile or similar). If the Federal Office of Administration finds that you do have German nationality, you are then issued with a certificate of nationality to prove it.
Applying through the German missions in the United Kingdom
Before applying for a certificate of nationality through the Embassy in London or the Consulate General in Edinburgh, please read the Federal Office of Administration guidance. Please submit your application via the German mission responsible for your place of residence.
Please use the Federal Office of Administration application forms for your application.
Please note that the application forms must be filled in in German.
When applying for a certificate of nationality you will need the following documents:
- Application form F for persons aged 16 or over, or application form F K for children under 16
Appendix V (if you wish to claim German nationality by descent from German ancestors)
You need an Appendix V for each one of your ancestors up to the person who
possesses a certificate of nationality/certificate of native country issued by a German authority, or
was born in Germany before 1914 or emigrated prior to this as a German, or
acquired German citizenship not by descent or adoption but in another way (e.g. by naturalisation)
- Copy of your most recent foreign passport and (if you have one) German passport/ identity document (showing the pages with your photograph and personal details)
Additional documents for yourself and your ancestors:
Documents to prove descent and identity, e.g.
birth certificates, certificates of parentage, marriage certificates, family registers, foreign identity documents (e.g. passport, identity cards, residence cards for foreigners),
Possible proof of German nationality or of legal status as a German, e.g.
German identity documents (e.g. passport, identity card, children's identity card), certificates of naturalisation, certificates attesting that German nationality was acquired by means of a declaration or by opting for it, certificate of resettler status, expellee documents, registration certificates, refugee's identity cards, certificates of nationality, excerpt from the German register of residents
Where applicable, other useful documents, e.g.
evidence of your right of residence in the United Kingdom (e.g. settled status, permanent resident card, residence card for foreigners), documents concerning the non-acquisition of another nationality (non-acquisition certificate), proof of acquisition/ possession of other nationalities, change of name documentation/ certificates, custody documentation (for applications for children under 16)
Please complete the application form in full, sign it and submit the original together with Appendix V. Please enclose certified copies of all supporting documents with the application. Please also enclose a complete set of uncertified copies of the application form and supporting documents. In addition, you need a certified German translation of any documents not in English, French or German. To have your copies certified, please book an appointment with our legalisation desk. You can then submit your complete application documentation at this appointment.
Alternatively, copies can be certified by a notary public or one of our honorary consuls. In this case please send us your complete application documentation by post. Please do not send us the originals of the supporting documents.
The postal address is:
Legal and Consular Section
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
23 Belgrave Square
London SW1X 8PZ
Legal and Consular Section
German Consulate General
16 Eglinton Crescent
Edinburgh EH12 5DG
You will receive confirmation of receipt from us once your application has been forwarded to the Federal Office of Administration. If you have a query about your application, please always state the reference number indicated in this confirmation of receipt.
If additional information or documentation is required during processing, we will get in touch with you. Otherwise we will only be in touch once the final outcome of your application is known. Because processing in Germany is likely to take some time, we would ask you not to enquire about the progress of your application until at least 24 months have passed since receipt of the confirmation of receipt. If you have any queries about your application, you can contact the German mission responsible for your area using our contact form. You can contact the Federal Office of Administration by email.