Since German citizenship law mainly follows the principle of “ius sanguinis”, ie citizenship is passed down from one generation to the next; you might wonder whether you are a German citizen.
If you meet the following criteria there is a chance that you could possibly hold German citizenship:
- 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 mentioned criteria apply in your case or if you would like to inquire about your German citizenship, pls. fill in the questionnaire to German citizenship and submit it to your local German Mission. With the help of the questionnaire, the Mission should be able to pre assess your citizenship status.
If, however, your German Mission advised you to submit a formal application for a certificate of citizenship, please carefully read the information on the application process and fill in the German-speaking forms. Here is the link to the documents.
For your convenience, a translation of the application form and the info leaflet is available here:
- Application for confirmation of German nationality (for applicants over 16 years)
- Application for confirmation of German nationality (for applicants under 16 years)
- Notes on applying for confirmation of German nationality
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 51.00. The processing time may take between two and three years.