So I was born in the U.S. and an American citizen. My mother was born in Germany, moved to the U.S. when she was 7 but stayed a German citizen even until now. So the question is if I traveled to Germany would I be granted dual citizenship by blood? If so would I need to do anything special passport-wise?

  • 3
    What year were you Born? That will answer it – Crazydre Sep 29 '16 at 1:54
  • 3
    German nationality rules are somewhat complicated. Wikipedia has a summary you can consult, and then you'd be able to apply to a German Consulate to document this and get a German passport if you are, in fact, a German citizen. – Zach Lipton Sep 29 '16 at 1:55
  • The US Embassy in Germany also has some useful information on this topic. – Zach Lipton Sep 29 '16 at 2:01
  • 2
    I'm not completely sure that this is for Expats. But I'm quite sure that traveling to Germany won't affect the outcome much. If he is a German citizen then he can file the necessary papers from the US. – o.m. Sep 29 '16 at 5:21
  • 1
    If you were born after 1975, you are a German citizen, and have been since birth. You can't be "granted" citizenship because you already have it. Your other citizenships are irrelevant. If you were born before 1975, you are not a German citizen, but there is a special naturalization process in such a case without needing to renounce other citizenships, if you can show proficiency in German or have other ties to Germany. – user102008 Sep 29 '16 at 8:53

Yes, you may be able to but, potentially, would have to renounce other citizenships:

"Non-EU- and non-Swiss citizens must usually renounce their old citizenship if they want to become German citizens."

Also, depending on when you were born, it can be rather complicated. See this Wikipedia article for the details on German nationality law:

Descent from a German parent

A person born of a parent with German citizenship at the time of the child's birth is a German citizen. Place of birth is not a factor in citizenship determination based on parentage.

  • Those born after 1 January 1975 are Germans if the mother or father is a German citizen.
  • Those born before 1 January 1975 could normally only claim German citizenship from the father and not the mother. Exceptions included cases where the parents were unmarried (in which case German mothers could pass on citizenship) or where the German mother applied for the child to be registered as German on or before 31 December 1977.
  • 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 and must have married the mother before 1 July 1998.
  • A child born in a foreign country will no longer receive German citizenship automatically by birth, if his/her German parent was born after 31 December 1999 in a foreign country and has his/her primary residence there. Exceptions are: The child would be stateless. The German parent registers the child's birth within one year of birth to the responsible German agency abroad.
  • In case both parents are German citizens, German citizenship will not be passed on automatically, if both parents were born abroad after 31 December 1999 and have their primary residence outside of Germany. Exceptions are same as the above.
  • Those born in Germany and adopted to a foreign country would need to 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.
| improve this answer | |
  • What does this have to do with travel? – Michael Hampton Sep 29 '16 at 2:07
  • 3
    The rules against dual citizenship mostly apply to naturalized citizens. The OP may already be German who simply needs to get the paperwork in order, – o.m. Sep 29 '16 at 5:16
  • 3
    The sentence in your second paragraph is about becoming a citizen, which is not what the OP is asking about. – Relaxed Sep 29 '16 at 6:18
  • Sweet, thank you . That sums up my question, appreciation goes out to all who posted, thank you. – Tate MasterT8 Boger Sep 29 '16 at 7:26
  • @TateMasterT8Boger, keep in mind that citizenship is more than just visa-free travel. If you want the connection with your family roots, go and get the passport. But with rights come duties, like casting a well-informed vote if you are ever around during election time. – o.m. Sep 29 '16 at 17:13

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.