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German Law/Dual-citizenship: born pre-1975 to German Mother


Hello Andreas,

I'm feeling a bit shattered at the moment because I seem to occupy some phantom status in German law.  I was born 4 months prior to 1975 to a German Mother who currently lives in the U.S.A. but maintains her German citizenship to this day.  I speak fluent (however not perfect) German, and have very strong connections to many friends and family living in Germany. I actually am currently living in Germany, working for a German firm, have my children in German school, am paying taxes, etc, am part of a Verein, etc (I am able to live here because my wife is a EU national).  Recently, my father happened across your blog & we thought there was finally a glimmer of hope regarding dual citizenship after reading:

"zur erleichterten Einbürgerung ehelicher Kinder deutscher Mütter und ausländischer Väter, die vor dem 01. Januar 1975 geboren sind
gemäß § 14 Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz (StAG)"

Well this morning I called the Bundesverwaltungsamt and they told me that they don't have jurisdiction over my case because I'm currently living in Germany - so by, in fact, displaying all of the strong ties to Germany (even to the point of fighting my way over here and integrating into society), I have disqualified myself from dual citizenship.  I'm perplexed, but I don't want to give up hope just yet - so I was hoping that you could perhaps let me know if there are any avenues I could explore to still receive dual citizenship (besides moving back out of the country)?



Hello Erik,

your assessment of the situation is absolutely correct.

The problem is that § 14 StAG is really not made for cases like yours. It has only recently been used to rectify old cases on injustice (because German citizenship law discriminated between descent from mother or father before 1975) because it was the only clause that this objective could somehow be put under. But § 14 StAG specifically only applies to applicants not residing in Germany.

You therefore really have only two options:
(1) Apply for normal naturalization. You speak German well and are fully integrated, so it will only be a matter of how many years you have been living in Germany. The disadvantage with that is of course that you would be asked to give up your US citizenship.
(2) As you suggested, the other solution is to move out of Germany. Depending on the job you have and how close to a border you live, you might even be able to keep your current job. Your wife being an EU citizen makes this even easier. - Of course nobody will be able to check whether you really live outside the country or not. Thanks to Schengen, nobody will see if you really commute to work every day or if you just registered in France or Austria or Poland in order to fall under § 14 StAG. ;-)

Sometimes, the law is silly. It all comes from this weird German angst about dual citizenship. Unfortunately, I don't see that to change in the next couple of years.

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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