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German Law/Requirements for German Passport in South Africa


Greetings Andreas,

This is question 1 of 2 - Hopefully I will be the only one asking you any today. :-)

1. Application for German Passport in South Africa.

I am South African, and my daughter was born in here; her dad is German.

We attempted an application for my daughter's German passport here in South Africa, but unfortunately a copy of my unabridged birth certificate was required. This takes notoriously long to process via our government department. I am waiting more than a year for my unabridged birth certificate now, with the first application submitted in 2011 declared "lost" by the Department of Home Affairs.

We travelled to Germany  to visit her dad about 2 years ago with a temporary passport for her. Once there we applied for her german passport. Funny that my unabridged birth certificate was not requested in Berlin. Unfortunately her dad forgot to collect the passport and it was returned (I have no idea to whom or where).

Recently we visited the German consulate here in Cape Town again, and they refused to consider an application for her passport without my unabridged birth certificate. They also refused to consider an application for a temporary passport.

What do you suggest/advise.

Best wishes,

These are the kind of stories which drive me crazy.

Nobody needs your birth certificate at all, whether abridged or unabridged, because your daughter's German citizenship does not derive from you, but from her father. All you would need is your daughter's and maybe her father's birth certificate. Whenever I apply for a German passport at a Consulate abroad, I only need to show my own birth certificate.

Because passports are usually issued for 10 years, the uncollected passport might still be valid. You could ask the office which issued it in the first place if they could get hold of it again. This time, it would be nice if someone could indeed pick it up, though.

If that doesn't work, you really have only two options:
a) Wait until you get your birth certificate.
b) Go to Germany (on your daughter's South African passport) and apply for the German passport there.

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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