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German Law/Obtaining German citizenship


Hello Andreas,

My question is as follows: After having spoken to the German Consulate in Miami I understand that I am entitled to German citizenship. I was born in Canada (1964) to a German mother and a Canadian father. My  parents were not married at the time of my birth. My mother became a citizen of Canada three years after I was born and my parents married two years after my birth. I speak and write German at a proficient level and visit every year. Now here is the perverbial "fly in the ointment". I moved to the U.S a number of years ago and became a U.S citizen in 2008. I had made numerous inquires over the years with various German consulates and was always told I could not obtain German citizenship. They now tell me yes, however they are not sure about me taking on the U.S citizenship in 2008. They said to write a letter along with my application stating I had no knowledge that I was entitled to German citizenship prior to receiving U.S citizenship. However they said they were not sure if this would affect my chances. I do not want to omit my U.S citizenship on my application as this would be lying and possibly create a problem down the line. Basically everytime I've called over the years I have received a different answer. I was hoping that with your extensive knowledge and expertise you might be able to give me a more difinitive answer. Will it be just a case of how the particular individual reviewing my application feels on that particular day? Thank you in advance for your valuable time!

Hello Andre,

I am afraid I would say you lost your German citizenship when you applied for and received US citizenship ( 25 I StAG).

You received your German citizenship at the time of your birth, irrespective of whether you had any knowledge or documentation thereof, and thus I don't see any grounds for a sort of reinstatement into the situation before 2008.
I also have to say that I find the Consulate's recommendation to argue that you had no knowledge of your German citizenship rather strange, because you surely knew of your mother's German citizenship at the time of your birth (otherwise you wouldn't have inquired with German Consulates).

Because there was never a formal application for German citizenship, it would also be hard to construe any liability on the part of the Federal Republic of Germany. It comes too late in this case, but the lesson is to file an application with a Consulate if in doubt and ask for a decision in writing.

I am very sorry that I don't have any better 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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