Since German citizenship in principal is passed from one generation to the next, you might wonder whether you are German.
If you meet the following criteria there is some reason to believe that you are German:
- Your ancestors came from Germany to the U.S. after 1904
- The migrating ancestors did not naturalize in the U.S. before their children were born
- The descendants of the migrating ancestors born in the U.S. between 1914 and 1975 are all male
If the above criteria apply in your case or if you would like to inquire about your German citizenship pls. fill in the questionnaire before you make any formal application and submit it to the German mission that covers your area in your region.
If your German Mission advised you to make a formal application for a certificate of citizenship, please read carefully the notes on applying for confirmation of German citizenship and fill in the German-speaking forms with the translation help.
By applying for the certificate of citizenship your German citizenship will be verified by the Federal Office of Administration (Bundesverwaltungsamt, BVA) in Cologne, Germany. The German Missions can only make a pre-assessment of your German citizenship and are your point of contact during the entire application process. If the application is successful you will be issued a certificate of citizenship which is proof of your German citizenship. The certificate will be handed out to you for a fee of EUR 25.00. The processing time may take between two and three years.
- Citizenship Help PDF / 70 KB
- EnglishTranslationHelp_Over16yr PDF / 288 KB
- EnglishTranslationHelp_Under 16yr PDF / 312 KB
Here is some additional information issued by the Bundesverwaltungsamt (Federal Office of Administration) regarding the verification of German citizenship.
And here is a link to the forms and the info leaflet (in German only, please see links to the translation help above).