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German Law/Nationality, born in Germany to 2 foreign parents


Hello Mr Andrea

I was  just researching on German Nationality by birth when i came across your page with the 10 FAQs about German Nationality and i have a question for you.

I was born in Germany in 1985 to a Guyanese mother who was not legal at the time because she over stayed her time. My father who she said was an American soldier station in Germany never sign for my birth. I have no evidence to prove who my father is and thus i never knew him. my mother give me a name that really was no help when i tried searching by sending two mails to the us proved futile cause she knew not his D.O.B or social security number.

I now live in Guyana since my mother brought me away from Germany since i was three years old. If i had a choice i would prefer to have a German nationality over the Guyanese one that i now possess by decent from my mother. Do you think there is any way that i can obtain such?

Hello Tessa,

unfortunately you did not obtain German citizenship at birth for several reasons.

(1) In 1985, Germany had no ius soli component in its citizenship law yet. German citizenship could only be derived from at least one German parent back then.

(2) The later introduction of ius soli required that at least one parent was a legal resident of Germany for at least 8 years (see no. 4 of my FAQ about German citizenship: )

(a) Your mother was not legal at the time of your birth, as you stated.

(b) Your father's status is irrelevant because he did not acknowledge paternity, so he is not officially your father. But even if he was, it would not help because US soldiers do not require residence rights in Germany as they fall under a completely different legal regime (the NATO Status of Forces Agreement).

I am sorry that I don't have any positive news.

Andreas Moser

German Law

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Andreas Moser


Extensive experience in international family law, especially international child abductions and child custody cases. All other areas of German law as well: constitutional law, criminal law, business and contract law, immigration law, inheritance law, and so on.


Lawyer in Germany from 2002 to 2009. Lawyer for US Army JAG Corps before. Bar-certified specialisation in family law and in administrative law. Articles and lectures about international and domestic family law.


2000 Law Degree from University of Regensburg, Germany 2002 admitted to the bar (until 2009) 2013 MA Philosophy at the Open University, UK

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