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German Law/Citizenship after leaving Germany in 1975


QUESTION: Dear Sir/Madam,

The case that I require your consultation for  is about my father and his chance to get the German citizenship.
My father traveled to Germany in 1959 to finish his study , and he spent sixteen years until he finished his entire study program , and he had gotten a PH.D.  in Micropology from the university of Berlin ,and went back to home country.

Although my father had spent all that time in Germany, he did not get the German citizenship , however I am not sure if he applied for the citizenship from the first place.

My question is :
Is there still chance for my father to apply now for the German citizenship taking in consideration the time spent in Germany ( more than 8 years), his Certificate , and his strong ties to Germany ( language , friends, visits) even thought he is not living in Germany , and had stopped living in germany since 1975?
If yes, please let me know the way forward.

Looking forward for your replay.

Best regards


ANSWER: Hello Abdulfatah,

theoretically it is possible to receive German citizenship after applying for naturalization from abroad:

But your father would basically need to show that over the past 40 years, he had stronger ties to Germany than he had to the country in which he lived. That is usually only the case if someone works for the German government abroad or for a German company, conducts their whole life in German and just happens to live somewhere else while serving the interests of Germany.

But of your father moves to Germany now and if he still speaks good German, he could get up to 5 years from his previous stay counted towards the residency requirement ( 12b II StAG), so he could apply for naturalization after one year at the earliest. But of course it depends on whether he would get a visa and a job.

Andreas Moser

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Mr.Andreas,

Thanks a lot for your promote replay.

My father still speaks German, however he is 75 years old, and I do not think with this age he has the chance to get a job in
Is there any other way around the requirements of having a job in Germany?
Why  not all the years that my father spent in Germany will be counted ? Why only 5 years will be counted?

My father has good friendships with some German's who used to work in the police and court.  would this help the case?

Looking forward for your replay.


Only 5 years will be counted because that's the maximum allowed by 12b II StAG.

And no, having friends does not overturn the law. We are talking about Germany, a country mostly governed by the rule of law.

The problem is that (1) your father didn't apply for German citizenship when he lived in Germany and that (2) he waited 40 years to pose this question to me. Obviously his chances would have been much better in the past, but it's not the fault of German law that your father waited so long.

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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