You are here:

German Law/StAngRegG and Citizenship by Descent


After reading the various FAQs on your website, my circumstances appear to be a somewhat unique case of potential citizenship by descent:

My mother was born in the United States to ethnically German parents who were rendered stateless by their expulsions from Hungary and Yugoslavia following World War 2.

I have confirmation from the BVG that both my grandparents and my mother were naturalized under Section 9 of the StAngRegG in 1960, while all three were living in the United States. My grandparents later naturalized as Americans in the late-60's, but my mother already had US citizenship, and does not appear to have been required to renounce it when she was naturalized as a German in 1960. I was born in the US after 1975, and neither my mother nor I have done anything that would have obviously caused us to lose German citizenship.

Am I correct that my nother was likely a dual citizen when I was born, and that I was therefore probably born with both American and German citizenship?

Thank you so very much for your help! I really appreciate it.

Please be sure to let me know if there's a book on your wish list that you're especially eager to read!

Dear Adam,

that is a rather peculiar case indeed.

9 I StAngRegG indeed does not refer to the requirement to waive your pre-existing citizenship, as is normally required for naturalization as a German.
9 II StAngRegG states that there is no entitlement to German citizenship if "the applicant acquired a new citizenship after their displacement". But your mother was never displaced herself, so I don't see how this clause could apply to her.

Your grandparent lost their German citizenship again when they naturalized as Americans ( 25 I StAG), but because your mother was not included in their application for US citizenship, this wouldn't have had any effect on her.

It looks indeed as if your mother was a dual German/US citizen and continued/continues to be so.
Because you were born after 1975, the mother's citizenship was sufficient to pass on German citizenship to you.

If you have not been naturalized in any other country since, you are indeed a dual US and German citizen. You can go to the closest German Consulate with the documents showing your mother's naturalization as a German and your birth certificate and you can apply for a certificate of German citizenship. Once you obtain that, you can apply for a German passport. Because you have been German since birth, this is not a naturalization proceeding and you do not need to pass a citizenship or a language test.

I am happy to have a case for once where everything seems to work out well!

Thank you very much for mentioning my book wishlist - ; I appreciate that a lot! Because I see that you wrote from Taiwan and I am in Peru at the moment, maybe Simon Winchester's "Pacific" would be a good fit. I am absolutely happy about a used copy.

Thank you very much already and good luck with your citizenship application!

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]