Key takeaways to becoming a German citizen

If you wish to learn more about becoming a German citizen, we are here to help you understand what is required to achieve German citizenship.

That’s why we’ve laid down some key points to make it easier for you. This includes information on dual citizenship, language and cultural requirements, financial costs, and the time it takes to receive German citizenship.

  • You won’t lose your current citizenship if applying for Determination or Restitution of Citizenship.

Both your current citizenship and your German citizenship are considered your birth right (assuming your country allows for dual citizenship). However, be aware that some foreign citizens may need to renounce their current citizenship if they are not eligible for an exemption to renounce.

  • You don’t need to speak German if applying for Determination or Restitution of Citizenship.

However, if you are applying for discretionary naturalisation, you have to speak the language and sit a test at the German Consulate.

  • You can find out when and if your ancestor naturalized in the US through USCIS.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will issue you with either a naturalisation certificate or a non-naturalisation certificate/certificate of non-existence.

  • You can find out when and if your ancestor naturalized in the following countries and their departments. 

Canada – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

United Kingdom – National Archives or Home Office

Australia – National Australian Archives (NAA) or Department of Home Affairs

South Africa – Department of Home Affairs

Brazil – O Departamento de Migrações da Secretaria Nacional de Justiça

Argentina – Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores or National Archives of Argentina

  • The process can take up to 18-24 months to process your German citizenship application

Your application is lodged with the German Federal Office of Administration (FOA). There is no way to expedite the process.

  • You can apply for your German passport even if you don’t speak the language

Once you are a confirmed citizen of Germany, you can go to your local consulate and apply for your passport. This document costs approximately 90 euros.

If you would like to know whether you’re eligible for German citizenship, take our free eligibility test.