You are here:

German Law/§14 StAG: strong ties and the public interest


Hello Andreas,

I've worked out that my only possible route to Einbürgerung (without living in Germany for 6 years) would be the discretionary Ermessenseinbürgerung (§ 14 StAG). Unfortunately, I am not confident that my ties are sufficient at present, or that my Einbürgerung would be sufficiently in the public's interest. I'm one step away from giving up on this dream, but for the cost of a donation, I would really appreciate it if you could pass a glance-judgement on my situation:

- British citizen, both parents British (maybe it could be in the public interest to have more dual German-British citizens?).
- One German grandmother, she and my German Great-grandmother were both hugely influential in my life. I've been told that my mother, born in the 1960's, could apply for Einbürgerung, but I am too old to benefit from this.
- I speak German somewhere between C1 & C2.
- Active in a German language meeting group in my city.
- I just completed a PhD degree (Computer Science / Informatik) that was funded by a German Research Institute. During the 3 years of this research I made up to a year's worth of one-month-long visits to the institute.
- I'm a joint business owner: the business is creative, sells to a global audience, and there is genuine potential for us to open a branch in Germany within the coming years.

What's your opinion on my chances? Thanks for taking your time to answer this.

Alles gute,

Hello Matt,

while you do have considerable ties to Germany, they do not reach the level required for an application according to § 14 StAG to be successful. As this application is granted by discretion, you would need to present an overwhelming case.

- Your language skills are your strongest point, but that is more like a minimum requirement. If speaking the language well would qualify one for German citizenship without living there, that would be a bit too easy.

- The visits to Germany during your studies are not enough to establish "strong ties". It would have been a different matter if you had studied in Germany full-time or if the subject of your PhD had something to do with German history or literature or culture.

- The potential to do something in the future obviously cannot be considered now.

Typical cases that are successful under § 14 StAG involve more family ties (like a German spouse and German children), regular visits to Germany and an academic interest in Germany or working for German companies or the German public sector abroad.

I am sorry about the negative response, but I hope it will save you time and money. And on that note thank you very much in advance for your donation!

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.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]