Acquisition of German citizenship by declaration
Citizenship certificate, © dpa/pa
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.
- General information
- Who exactly is eligible and under which circumstances?
- How do I give my declaration?
- Do I have to renounce my current citizenship(s) on acquiring German Citizenship?
- What should I do with my declaration certificate?
- Obligations for German citizen to travel to Germany on a German passport
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.
Who exactly is eligible and under which circumstances?
The competent Federal Office of Administration offers a detailed checklist and further details on the process and the requirements in their information sheet
How do I give my declaration?
The competent authority for all declarations from abroad is the Federal Office of Administration. You have the possibility to submit your application with them directly or with the German Consulate General in Sydney.
If you wish to submit it with the Consulate General in Sydney, please follow the following steps:
- Read the information sheet carefully.
- Compile the required documents as per the information sheet.
If you lack any of the documents, please apply for them with the issuing authorities
The research concerning these documents has to be carried out by you; the Consulate General cannot do this on your behalf.
- Fully complete the German declaration form (“Erklärung zum Erwerb der deutschen Staatsangehörigkeit”) and sign it.
Fill out appendix EER (“Anlage zur Erklärung - EER”) and, if applicable, appendix AV (“Anlage Vorfahren - AV”).
All forms come with an English courtesy translation at the bottom of the document. They are for your convenience only and are not to be submitted.
Every applicant needs to fill out a separate application form. For children under 16 years, the application needs to be signed by all legal guardians.
- Hand in your declaration either
Book an appointment with the Consulate General in Sydney (Link) online for the category “Consular Service” and bring your filled out declaration form and all documents as originals to your appointment.
Post your complete signed declaration form to the German Consulate General (17/100 William Street, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011).
Please do not send original documents, but only certified copies. Certified copies are accepted from Australian Notary Publics, the Australian police, or the German Honorary Consuls in Australia.
Please do not send in your application via e-mail.
We will pre-check your documents and then forward your declaration to the Federal Office of Administration for processing.
You acquire German citizenship on the day the Federal Office of Administration receives your declaration if all requirements are met.
Information concerning data protection with regard to the processing of your application
The declaration as well as the assistance by the German Consulate General are free of charge.
Do I have to renounce my current citizenship(s) on acquiring German Citizenship?
We, however, advise you to inquire with the responsible authorities of your country of origin well in advance to clarify whether making the declaration to acquire German citizenship will affect your current citizenship(s).
What should I do with my declaration certificate?
You should keep the certificate at a safe place, as it is your proof of German citizenship. You and, if applicable, your descendants might need it to apply for passports or civil status documents in the future. It is not possible to reissue the certificate. If you lose it, you might have to apply for a certificate of citizenship.
You do not need to take the certificate with you when you are travelling. However, it is recommended that next to a certified copy of your passport, you take a certified copy with you in case you lose your passport.
Obligations for German citizen to travel to Germany on a German passport
Please note: In accordance with Article 1 German Passport Act, German citizens are obliged to use a German passport when entering or leaving Germany.
Non-compliance with this regulation is a regulatory offence and can be punished with a fine of up to 5,000 €.