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Re­tain­ing Ger­man cit­i­zen­ship

Mul­ti­ple cit­i­zen­ship is pos­si­ble in many cas­es

Ger­mans who be­come nat­u­ral­ized cit­i­zens of an­oth­er coun­try lose their Ger­man cit­i­zen­ship un­less they have re­ceived a re­ten­tion per­mit pri­or to nat­u­ral­iza­tion. For this rea­son, the re­quest to re­tain Ger­man cit­i­zen­ship should al­ways be made be­fore re­quest­ing nat­u­ral­iza­tion in an­oth­er coun­try.

An ex­cep­tion ap­plies to Ger­mans who be­come nat­u­ral­ized cit­i­zens of an­oth­er EU Mem­ber State or Switzer­land: they do not lose their Ger­man cit­i­zen­ship and thus do not need any re­ten­tion per­mit (le­gal sit­u­a­tion in force as from 28 Au­gust 2007).

Do you live abroad and want to ap­ply for per­mis­sion to re­tain Ger­man cit­i­zen­ship? Sub­mit your re­quest to the Ger­man Em­bassy or the com­pe­tent con­sulate. They will for­ward it to the Fed­er­al Of­fice of Ad­min­is­tra­tion. You will have to demon­strate that you still have close ties to Ger­many.

Peo­ple liv­ing in Ger­many can con­tact their mu­nic­i­pal ad­min­is­tra­tion or dis­trict of­fice.

Please bear in mind that all in­for­ma­tion re­lates ex­clu­sive­ly to Ger­man cit­i­zen­ship law. On­ly the com­pe­tent au­thor­i­ties in the oth­er coun­try can clar­i­fy whether that coun­try al­lows mul­ti­ple cit­i­zen­ship and un­der which con­di­tions.
Le­gal ba­sis: Ar­ti­cle 25 (2) of the Na­tion­al­i­ty Act (StAG)

Please note that the whole ap­pli­ca­tion pro­ce­dure must be con­duct­ed in Ger­man.

More information and forms are available on our German web pages.

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