Loss of Citizenship
How can I lose German citizenship?
- by voluntarily acquiring a foreign citizenship
If you willingly apply for a foreign citizenship and obtain it, the German citizenship is automatically lost. If you obtain a foreign citizenship without an application for naturalization, you remain a German citizen.
- Please note: Loss of citizenship can be avoided by obtaining a special permit ("Beibehaltungsgenehmigung") before you are naturalized in a foreign country.
- By voluntarily entering into the armed forces or other armed units of a country whose citizenship you also have (Example: a person with German and US citizenship starts a career in the US Navy). Male persons can avoid the loss of citizenship by getting a special permit.
- by renunciation (if you hold dual citizenship)
If you are holding dual citizenship (German and at least one other citizenship), you can renounce the German citizenship by declaration.
- by adoption
If you are adopted by a non-German and are no longer considered to be legally related to your German parent(s), you lose German citizenship if the adoption automatically makes you a citizen of your adopted parents' country.
Information on a “Beibehaltungsgenehmigung” (German only)
Please Note: Although the information on this website has been prepared with utmost care, we can not accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein.