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German Law/German citizenship after Brexit



After the disastrous referendum in the UK, I am keen to find out if I can get German citizenship. My mother was born in Germany but moved to the UK in the 1950s. Shortly after marrying my British father, she decided to take up British nationality and had to give up her German citizenship. This was before I was born.
My question is, could she regain her citizenship? If so, would I and then my children be able to become German citizenship? I speak German and have much more German family than British! I have always been proud of being half German and would be keen to explore this.
Thank you.

Dear Barbara,

I share your dismay about the result of the Brexit referendum, but unfortunately in your case there is no direct or easy way to German citizenship.

Because your mother was no longer German when you were born, she could not have passed on German citizenship to you. You were therefore born with British citizenship only.

Your mother could apply for re-naturalization in Germany without residence in Germany ( 13 StAG), but this would only extend to you if you have not yet turned 18. Based on the age of your mother, I assume that you are already an adult.

For you, there are only two way to obtain German citizenship:
- Move to Germany (as long as the UK is still a member of the EU, that's not a problem) and get naturalized after living there for 6 years.
- There is a theoretical chance to apply for naturalization as a German citizen without residence in Germany ( 14 StAG). But you would need to show that you have very strong ties to Germany that extend beyond family ties. You would also need to show business or professional or academic ties and present a very compelling case because this naturalization is only ranted by discretion. You are welcome to contact me directly at to take a look at your circumstances, but it would really require a lot of evidence of long-standing and regular ties with Germany.

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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