So, here's some context first:

My parents are both of Ukrainian origin, but emigrated to Germany in 1993, where I was born and where I lived my entire life. I hold German citizenship and previously believed that I did not hold Ukrainian citizenship because I was never registered in Ukraine and have had no legal dealings with it.

When I first travelled to the US last September, I asked my parents whether I had Ukrainian citizenship while filling out the ESTA form, and they pointed out that

  1. I was never registered in any way with the Ukrainian state
  2. German law does not allow its citizens to hold an additional citizenship.

So in my application I did not declare another citizenship. Now, my passport is up for renewal, and I found out that I do indeed technically hold Ukrainian citizenship because there is a special exemption in German law for what it calls ius-soli-Germans such as myself, so I automatically received Ukrainian citizenship at birth, later gained German citizenship, and never renounced or lost either.

Now I will reapply for an ESTA authorization with the new passport soon. Should I declare the Ukrainian citizenship I hold? Will it cause any problems that I have it, or that I have previously stated I had no dual citizenship?

  • Either way will not have any adverse impact on you. Ukraine is not an adversary of the USA nor their citizens on any list of undesirables. For accuracy you may list it. Aug 9, 2018 at 13:04
  • 1
    It will not be a problem. People gain citizenships (or awareness of them) all the time. Aug 9, 2018 at 13:41
  • Not sure if it matters in this case but note that (a) German law doesn't frown upon dual citizenship per se, for example it has always been perfectly fine for people who are born with German citizenship, it's only when you become a German citizen later in life that restrictions kick in and (b) German requirement have absolutely no bearing on Ukrainian citizenship. You're still considered a citizen because Ukrainian law says so, not because there is an exception. These nuances sometimes matter to think through the implications of dual citizenship.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 18, 2022 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


You should declare the Ukrainian citizenship because you have to complete the application truthfully. If anyone ever asks you about the discrepancy between the two applications, explain just as you have here that when you completed the first application you believed that you did not have Ukrainian citizenship, and you have since discovered that you were mistaken.

Completing the earlier application incorrectly is not a problem as long as you believed that it was correct when you submitted it.

You might want to stay away from the details of the misunderstanding, since you still seem somewhat confused. German law does not control Ukrainian citizenship. Germany could (but apparently does not) have a law requiring you to renounce Ukrainian citizenship in order to retain German citizenship, but it cannot have a law directly preventing Ukraine from granting you citizenship, nor directly depriving you of Ukrainian citizenship.

Your statement about the exemption for jus-soli Germans is therefore correct only if it somehow triggers or fails to trigger a provision in Ukrainian law that affects the citizenship of children born abroad to Ukrainian parents.

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