Gaining German citizenship through descent

If you are a direct-line descendant of a German citizen, you are likely eligible for German citizenship by descent. To obtain German citizenship, you will need to prove your eligibility through documentation of your heritage and by satisfying eligibility criteria set by the German government.

Here are the top 5 frequently asked German citizenship eligibility questions that you want to know the answers to:

1. I am eligible for German citizenship by descent through one of my grandparents, does my parent need to be a confirmed German citizen before I apply?

Your parent does not need to be a German citizen before you apply for citizenship. However you will need to provide proof that you are a direct descendent of your grandparent by including your parent’s birth and marriage certificates, if they’re married. You can apply for citizenship, without your parent having to apply too.

2. My case is very straight forward, am I eligible? Why do I need to fill out a family tree?

All new enquirers must fill out a family tree so that our Eligibility and Compliance team has a clearer picture of your family history when assessing your case. The Polaron family tree template also includes important details such as immigration dates, marriage dates, naturalisation dates and times of army service. These are all important factors that impact eligibility.

3. I was born a German citizen but then I renounced my citizenship when immigrating to another country, can I reclaim my German citizenship?

No, however you can apply to re-naturalise as a German citizen. Similar to the discretionary naturalisation process, there are a number of requirements you must fulfill and you may need to renounce your current citizenship.

4. What is the likelihood of my application for Determination of German Citizenship being successful?

For Determination or Restitution of Citizenship, we have a 100% success rate, because we take evaluating your case very seriously and we only advise you to proceed with the application if we are certain of your eligibility. The success rate for Research Only cases is 95%.

5. I am eligible for German citizenship through descent, does this mean my spouse and children are also eligible?

Children are eligible for German citizenship but a spouse is not eligible. However spouses can still apply for a spousal visa upon registering your marriage in Germany. This visa grants them with the same rights as an EU citizen, including full working and living rights. After three years of living in Germany, they would also have the option to naturalise.

If you are curious about your eligibility, take a FREE and confidential eligibility assessment test here to find out if you are able to obtain German citizenship.