How can I obtain a certificate proving my German citizenship?

If in connection with a passport application your citizenship status cannot be clearly determined by the German diplomatic or consular mission you may need to apply for a German certificate of citizenship (“Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis”) before a passport can be issued. In some cases, for example when joining certain positions of German public service, a citizenship certificate may also be required by law.

In order to obtain the said certificate you would have to file a formal application (form enclosed). The citizenship authority in charge is the Federal Office of Administration (“Bundesverwaltungsamt” or “BVA”). The application can be handed in via the Embassy or Consulate General.

In order to enable the BVA to process your application you would have to provide proof of all events that are relevant with regard to the acquisition of the German nationality. Also, as a rule, you would have to trace your family back to before 1914.Processing times for these applications can be fairly long depending on the amount of necessary research and the possible involvement of other government offices. Please see the BVA’s information sheet (link below) for further information on the process as well as the required documents.

The research concerning these documents would have to be carried out by yourself, unfortunately the Embassy cannot do this on your behalf. You may be able to obtain more information about your ancestors' status from the administrative authority where they were last registered as residents in Germany.

The application forms for a German certificate of citizenship are provided below as well. Please note that you have to use the German forms, the English forms are provided as an unofficial courtesy translation for your guidance only.

Please fill in a printout of the forms, sign it, and mail it to the appropriate German mission together with all documents available to you. Please note that all foreign documents that are not in English or Latin scripture (e.g. Hebrew or Russian) need to be translated by a certified translator.

Please do not send the original documents but certified copies only. Certifications can also be done by your local notary public. Your signature on the application has to be certified as well.

Alternatively, you may personally bring your application and the original documents plus a simple copy of each to the Consulate General or Embassy, in which case the certification of the documents will be done by a consular officer. Please note that the German missions cannot provide translation services.

A third option is to contact a German Honorary Consul near you for the certifications. To find the appropriate German mission/Honorary Consul near you, please use the link to our “Consulate Finder”.

Please include your phone number and email address on your application form or accompanying letter, in case we need to reach you.

Although the information on this website has been prepared with utmost care, we cannot accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein.

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