How can I obtain a certificate proving my German citizenship?

certificate of nationality

certificate of nationality, © photothek.net / Ute Grabowsky


If in connection with a passport application 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. The citizenship authority in charge is the Federal Office of Administration (“Bundesverwaltungsamt” or “BVA”). The application can be handed in via the Embassy.

In order to enable the BVA to process your application you would 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. Please see the BVA’s information sheet (link below) 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 the Embassy 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.

The application forms for a German certificate of citizenship can be obtained from the Embassy. Please contact us for further enquiries.

Please Note

While the information on this website has been prepared with utmost care, we cannot accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein.

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