Determination of German citizenship
If you are not sure whether or not you are entitled to a German passport and would like to find out more, please answer the following questions and have the answers ready before contacting the competent German mission in Australia. You can facilitate the process if you provide as much detail as possible and submit the information per email:
- What is your exact date of birth and where were you born?
- Which citizenship(s) did your father and mother hold at the time of your birth? Did or do they still hold a German passport?
- Were your parents married to each other at the time of your birth? If applicable: When and where did your parents get married?
- Please provide the date of birth and place of birth for both your mother and father.
- Which citizenship(s) did your father and your mother hold at the time of their birth?
- When did they apply for and receive the Australian (or any other) citizenship, if they ever did so?
- Which citizenship did (all) your grandparents hold at the time of your parent's birth?
- 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?
- Did you, your parents or your grandparents ever apply for the Australian (or any other) citizenship? If applicable, please explain in more detail when and by whom the application was submitted and whom of your ancestors was included.
- Did your or your parents or grandparents ever join the armed forces of any other country than Germany voluntarily?
- If you or any of your ancestors were adopted, please provide us with detailed information.
If you require information about applications for Australian citizenship that you or a family member has submitted in the past, we recommend you contact the
In complicated cases or if no proof of German citizenship can be produced, a Certificate of German citizenship is needed before you can apply for a passport:
Certificate of German Citizenship
If 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 (see below). The citizenship authority in charge is the Federal Office of Administration (“Bundesverwaltungsamt” or “BVA”). The application can be handed in via the Consulate General in Sydney.
In order to enable the BVA to process your application, you 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. At the moment, a average processing time of 2 - 3 years has to be expected. Please see the BVA’s information sheet (on the right) 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 we 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.
Also, contacting the National Archive in Canberra and/ or the Australian Immigration Department might be helpful.
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 out the forms, sign it, and mail it to the German Consulate Sydney 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 any German Consulate, a Notary Public, Justice of the Peace or police.
Alternatively, you may personally bring your application and the original documents plus a simple copy of each to the Consulate General in Sydney, 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. If you wish to do so, please make an appointment online.
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 contact you.
Forms and further information
Information sheet in English about application for a certificate of German citizenship.
Application Form certificate of German citizenship in German. Please use this form - the English form is a translation aid only.
This form is a translation aid only! Please use the German forms.
Application Form certificate of German citizenship for children under the age of 16. Please use this form - the English form is a translation aid only.
This is a translation aid only - please use German forms!
Please use this form - the English form is a translation aid only.
This is a translation aid only - please use German forms.