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German citizenship


Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis, © Ute Grabowsky / photothek.net

30.08.2021 - Artikel

German law on nationality and citizenship is rather complex. The following information is intended to provide a general guide and answer questions you might have.

Please read the sections that apply to you carefully. If you have any further questions, please get in touch with the Embassy in Lusaka.

Although the information on this website has been prepared with the utmost care, we cannot accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein. Please note that German missions abroad are not citizenship authorities and therefore not able to bindingly confirm your citizenship status. This confirmation can only be issued by the competent citizenship authority, the

If you are not sure whether or not you are eligible to apply for a German passport and would like to find out more, please answer the following 11 questions. Please submit the information via email to info@lusa.dipßlo.de:

  1. What is your exact date of birth and where were you born?
  2. Which citizenship(s) did your father and mother hold at the time of your birth? Did or do they still hold a German passport?
  3. Were your parents married to each other at the time of your birth? If applicable: When and where did your parents get married?
  4. Please provide the date of birth and place of birth for both your mother and father.
  5. Which citizenship(s) did your father and your mother hold at the time of their birth?
  6. When did they apply for and receive Zambian (or any other) citizenship, if they ever did so?
  7. Which citizenship did (all) your grandparents hold at the time of your parent's birth?
  8. Were your grandparents married to each other at the time of your father's/your mother's birth? If applicable: when and where did your grandparents get married?
  9. Did you, your parents or your grandparents ever apply for Zambian (or any other) citizenship? If applicable, please explain in more detail when and by whom the application was submitted and who of your ancestors was included.
  10. Did you or your parents or grandparents ever join the armed forces of any other country than Germany voluntarily?
  11. If you or any of your ancestors were adopted, please provide us with detailed Information.

If you reside abroad and are not German already, there are only very few scenarios that make naturalization possible, as a major requirement for naturalization is that the applicant is residing in Germany.

The only form of these naturalizations without a German language requirement exists for those who got deprived of their citizenship between 1933 and 1945 on racial, religious or political grounds, and their descendants.

If this is applicable to you, please email us on info@lusa.diplo.de

The other two forms require a command of the German language, among other prerequisites. The information is therefore only available in German.

You can apply for confirmation of German citizenship in order to obtain a certificate of citizenship. The certificate confirms and proves that you are a German citizen, for example because you obtained citizenship by birth and have not lost it since. An application is useful for example if it is not clear whether you (still) have German citizenship.

Further Information can be found on the German Website of the Office of Administration or you can email the Embassy on info@lusa.diplo.de

The second generation born abroad after 2000 is not a German citizen automatically. Children born abroad to German parents who themselves were born abroad after 31.12.1999 will only become German if their birth was registered within one year from their date of birth.

Your child does not become a German citizen automatically if

  • you (the German parent or parents) were born outside of Germany after 31 December 1999 and
  • your child was born outside of Germany and
  • you (the German parent or parents) were residing abroad at the time of birth (simply being registered in Germany while in fact living abroad does not suffice) and
  • your child does not become stateless.

Parents must apply for registration of birth either at the competent registrar's office in Germany or at a German Mission abroad within one year of the date of birth. The child will then obtain German citizenship.

  • Children whose parents were born in Germany,
  • children whose parents were born before 01.01.2000, and
  • children born in Germany

will continue to become German citizens by birth.

Were you born in wedlock before 01.01.1975 to a German mother? Did your mother lose her German citizenship through marriage before you were born? Were you born out of wedlock before 01.07.1993 to a German father? Then you might be eligible to acquire German citizenship by declaration.

Under former German citizenship laws, not all children were able to obtain German citizenship by descent from a parent who was German at the time of their birth.

As of 20.08.2021, affected persons born after the entry into force of the German Basic Law (Grundgesetz, 23.05.1949) may acquire German citizenship by declaration. This applies to persons who, due to gender-discriminatory regulations formerly in place under German citizenship law, were either unable to acquire German citizenship by birth or lost their German citizenship which they had acquired by birth (section 5 of the Nationality Act – Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz).

The declaration must be submitted by 19 August 2031 at the latest.

The competent Federal Office of Administration offers a detailed checklist and further details on the process and the requirements in their .

If you think this might be applicable to you, please contact the Embassy on info@lusa.diplo.de

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