German Citizenship

“Man is not born a citizen, but must be made so.”

Baruch Spinoza, Dutch Philosopher, *24.11.1632, † 21.02.1677

Questions and answers on German citizenship law


NEW: “Can I acquire German citizenship by declaration?“ >


NEW: “I don’t fall under Art. 116 GG. What is the new § 15 StAG about ? “ >


“How do I get a German passport? ” >


“Did I lose my German citizenship?” >


“My grandparents were German but lost their citizenship during the Nazi time. Can I get a German passport?” >


“Only my mother was German when I was born abroad. Can I get a German passport?” >


German citizenship law is complex. Therefore, we provide on this webpage some general principles pertaining to this topic. This information is specifically geared to people who were born outside of Germany and would like to know whether they automatically acquired German citizenship by birth, or in some cases, are able to acquire it upon request through an application process.

Our practice also focuses on the restoration of German citizenship pursuant to Article 116 (2) of the German Basic Law and Section 15 of the German Nationality Act. According to these section, former Germans may re-obtain their former citizenship if on grounds of restitution. This law also applies to their descendants up to the fourth or even fifth generation, who may also be eligible for citizenship. In addition to that we assist with obtaining German citizenship by declaration.

If you lost your German citizenship because without a Retention Certificate you became an American citizen, a citizen of Canada or New Zealand, please visit our site

The information on this website is for general informational purposes only. It does not claim to be complete. Of course, each case is different, and any information provided on this webpage does not substitute specific legal advice.




Ellen von Geyso, J.D., LL.M.
Attorney at law - Rechtsanwältin
Admitted in Florida and Germany

1395 Brickell Ave., Suite 900
Miami, Florida 33131, USA

Phone +1 (305) 967-9003
Fax +1 (305) 200-8801