You are here:

German Law/Can my daughter and I become German citizens?


Good day Andreas.

My husband is a German citizen (born in Germany, living in South Africa with permanent residence). His passport has expired.  We live in South Africa and have been married for 11 years and have one daughter.

If he gets his German passport renewed, my question is, do myself and my daughter also qualify for German citizenship?  Could we also apply for German passports?  With the current political climate we are of course looking at the possibility of perhaps relocating if that were an option or if things got very bad in SA.    Knowing if all three of us would be able to have German passports and citizenship would assist us in forward planning.

Many thanks for any advice.


Hello Sarah,

1) Your daughter already is German because she was born to a German citizen. She can get a German passport anytime.

2) You could only apply for naturalization if you speak fluent German and if your ties to Germany are stronger than your ties to South Africa despite living in South Africa. That's very hard.
For more on this possibility, see my FAQ on naturalization from abroad:

3) But you don't need German citizenship in order to move to Germany. If your husband and/or your daughter move there, you can of course join them. You will be eligible for a residence permit according to 28 AufenthG.

Andreas Moser

German Law

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.