German Citizenship by Descent

People born to a parent who was a German citizen at the time of birth are usually German citizens on that basis. It does not matter whether they were born in Germany or not. Nor does it matter if the parent is a naturalised German.

Those born after January 1, 1975 are Germans if the mother or father is a German citizen.

Special rules exist for those born before 1 July 1993 if only the father is German and is not married to the mother. The father must acknowledge paternity before the child is 23, or acknowledge paternity and marry the mother and the child must declare himself or herself to be a German citizen.

Those born outside Germany to a German parent who was also born outside Germany after 1999 will need to be registered as German citizens within 12 months of birth. An exception applies if the child is stateless.

Those born in Germany and adopted to a foreign country should contact their local German Consulate for clarification of German citizenship.

Persons who are Germans on the basis of descent from a German parent do not have to apply to retain German citizenship by age 23. If they acquire another citizenship at birth, they can usually continue to hold this.

Ask Philip Gamble whether you (or your children) have a claim to British nationality.

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Learn more about these routes to British Nationality:

WhatPassport.com is a specialist UK Nationality and British Citizenship site offering an online search and assessment. Claims to hold a British Passport can be complex and the site offers a quick, simple search to give you the answers. While many people qualify for the UK Ancestry Visa based on holding a Commonwealth passport with a UK born grandmother or grandfather, we have found that if you have a grandparent born in the UK, or if your mother is British or your father is British, then there are several scenarios where you can claim British Nationality and the right to hold a British Passport. This stems from Britain’s collection of British Colonies, British Protectorates and British Protected States in the middle of last century and the Nationality rules concerning what are now the countries of the Commonwealth.