I'm currently in the process of filling in the ESTA form for a holiday in America. The section "Country of Birth" is required; I was born in Germany, but to British parents on a British RAF base, and I'm British and have a British birth certificate. I have no legal connection to Germany at all. Do I put my country of birth as Germany or UK?

  • 4
    What exactly is stated in your birth certificate and passport? Only the RAF station name? (In Berlin it was called Royal Air Force Station Gatow) Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 13:05
  • @Mark My birth cert says "British Military Hospital, Rinteln". Doesn't mention the country at all. My passport just says "Rinteln". Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 17:23
  • Many passports will only add extra information if the city/town name is not unique. In this cases Rinteln is a town in Germany. Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


You were born in Germany.

The UK does not have sovereignty over its military bases in Germany. They are still part of the host country, but under extraterritoriality, similar to embassies. For most purposes Germany does not have jurisdiction there, but still asserts sovereignty.

There are separate questions on any former or present nationalities.

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    Whilst this answers the case of Germany, and is generally the rule, it might be worth mentioning the special case of Cyprus, where the UK has retained sovereignty of its bases as enclaves in what is otherwise a independent sovereign nation. Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 20:02

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