Citizenship Based on Birth in Germany for foreign Children (Ius-soli)

Under certain conditions, children of foreign parents can acquire German citizenship by birth in Germany in addition to the citizenship of their parents.

Since 2000, the birthplace principle (lus-soli) has applied to children born in Germany to foreign parents. Children acquire German citizenship at birth in Germany in addition to the citizenship of their parents, if at least one parent must have been lawfully resident in Germany for eight years and have an unlimited right of residence at the time of birth.

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Parents are usually informed by the registry office immediately after the birth of the child if their child has acquired German citizenship by birth in Germany.

Until 2014, children who acquired German citizenship by birth in Germany (lus-soli Germans) had to choose between the German and foreign citizenship of their parents upon reaching the age of majority. With effect from 20 December 2014, they will be able to retain both nationalities if they have grown up in Germany. Only those who did not grow up here will have to choose between German and foreign citizenship after the age of 21. Also, lus-soli Germans who have parents from other EU nations or Switzerland have the same rights.

According to the legal definition (§ 29 paragraph 1 a StAG), you are grown up in Germany, if you have up to the age of 21:

  • has normally resided in Germany for eight years, or
  • has attended school in Germany for six years or
  • has a school-leaving certificate acquired in Germany or has completed vocational training in Germany.

Ius-soli Germans who grew up abroad and do not meet the above-mentioned requirements are obliged to choose between German and foreign citizenship of their parents at the age of 21.

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