Dual Citizenship: Is it Worth It?

I believe I’ve mentioned it here before, but a couple of years ago during my genealogy research I discovered that my brothers and I were born dual U.S.-German citizens. And for more than two years, I’ve been cutting through bureaucratic red tape trying to get a German certificate of citizenship to prove it.

Now let me be clear. We were definitely born dual citizens. We meet every requirement. But there is still a chance the German government will refuse to approve the application for my certificate (therefore denying me any rights related to that citizenship).

The process has been frustrating to say the least. It has involved trips to NYC to visit the German Mission, a lot of German-English form translations, and even more digging into family history documents, getting notarized copies of those documents, and mailing them to the NYC office so they could in turn review them and mail them to Germany. And then there’s the waiting. Oh, don’t get me started on the waiting. Let’s just say there have been breaks from a few weeks to over a year in between me sending documents they’ve requested and me hearing anything in return.

Worth the Hassle?

I could just forget about this, know I was born a dual-citizen regardless of whether or not they give me a piece of paper, and leave it at that. But there are real benefits to going through this hassle:

  1. It would give me the right to live and work in EU nations.
  2. I can travel a bit more freely around Europe for future family history research.
  3. If this is settled before I have a child and they reach their first birthday, then I can make sure citizenship passes along to them too. (Update: I was wrong about this. My children will be dual-citizens regardless of whether or not I register their births within their first year. That would only apply to my grandchildren and any later generations.)
  4. My children will be better prepared for the increasing global economy, able to more easily study abroad without having to worry about things like student visas, and see more of the world after school if they want to. This is one of the biggest concerns for me.
  5. It’s about my birthright and the tie to my family’s history.

That’s not to say there wouldn’t be complications too. But they’re more than manageable to me. Yet the process itself is starting to feel unbearable. Why? I’m back in another “waiting” phase. Here is what the process has looked like so far:

  1. I assembled the documentation requested of me — my birth certificate, my father’s birth certificate, my grandparents’ marriage certificate, my grandfather’s German passport to prove his citizenship, and my grandfather’s naturalization papers proving he was still a German citizen when my father was born. I drove to NYC to hand-deliver these to the consulate. I was assured by the person there that it was alright we didn’t have my grandfather’s birth certificate  because the passport was enough to prove his former citizenship.
  2. I waited a while and then received a letter from Germany asking me to fill out a supplementary form about my great-grandparents past in Germany. Despite the fact that their website mentioned no such thing (nor did the employee of the consulate), they said I had to prove their citizenship back to a certain date (I believe 1914, but I can’t recall for certain right now).
  3. I filled out the supplementary forms. I know they meet those requirements, because I know both great-grandparents were born in Germany and remained there even after they were forced to relocate after WWII. They never gave up their citizenship or moved away from the country. Of course we don’t have any records to that fact — only notes from my grandfather noting where they were from.
  4. I sent the forms in and waited for a few months before hearing that they did, in fact, want my grandfather’s birth certificate. I informed the person with the consulate (who really has been a dear about helping me through this process) that to the best of my family’s knowledge one didn’t exist any longer. You see, the birth town of my grandfather was pretty much leveled by the Russian military during WWII. People were forced to flee from their homes with only a few hours notice. They even buried possessions they hoped to return for. We don’t know of any birth certificate that my grandfather himself may have had — I have to assume his German passport was enough proof of identity for the U.S. government when he moved here. And since those records used to be kept in churches, and the birth town really doesn’t even exist anymore post-war, I can’t imagine a copy exists (although I would love to be wrong about that). She said she would inform the German office of that fact. And I offered to get a copy of a U.S. government document — his SS-5 application for a social security number — which is the only other government document in existence that lists his parents’ names. I got a certified copy and sent that in.
  5. This is the point where I waited more than a year with no response. Talk about frustration….
  6. I emailed the woman with the consulate and asked for an update a few months ago. She said that she sent the documents to Germany and once things were in their hands, there was nothing she could do or say about it.
  7. Another few months of waiting….
  8. I emailed her again noting that it had been over two years since I started the process and I’d really like an update, and I offered to re-send any info they might need to speed up the process.
  9. She responded saying that two years was the average time this process takes, so she would contact the German officials on my behalf for an update since we had already exceeded that average timeframe.
  10. A little while later she sent me another set of forms to fill out — information I already provided. They wanted updated personal information to make sure I didn’t relocate, get married, etc. since the time the process began.

And that’s where things stand. I’m waiting again. I’m choosing to be optimistic though. If they refused to accept the SS-5 form proving my grandfather’s parents’ names were what I declared on the supplemental form they requested, I have to imagine they would have issued a denial for the certificate. Instead they asked for updated information to make sure nothing else changed about my personal situation (nothing has). My hope is that this form was the last formality, and that I’ll receive the certificate of citizenship before long. Cross your fingers (and toes) for me!

What about you? Would go through a process like this if you found out that you were born a dual-citizen? Or would you just ignore the fact and not pursue the paper trail? Why? Leave a comment below to share your own similar stories or thoughts on why you would or wouldn’t pursue this if you were in my shoes.

Major Update:

As of July 2012, I was officially recognized as a dual U.S.-German citizen. I received a letter stating that my application for a certificate of citizenship was approved at that time — after approximately a 3-year wait. The certificate was in NYC at the time, so I paid a FEDEX fee to have it delivered to me rather than making the trip there again. I have not bothered to get my German passport yet (as of the end of 2013) as I have to sort out some married name issues on my U.S. passport first. As I have no specific trips planned, it’s not a rush for me. But the process was most definitely worth it! 🙂

Jenn is a professional writer and publisher, and the founder of Climb Your Family Tree.

She first became interested in genealogy as a teenager. Since that early start, she's spent 28 years putting her personal passion and professional research skills to use in exploring her own family history while assisting others in their genealogical journeys.

In addition to running Climb Your Family Tree, Jenn is a long-time PR, social media, and online marketing specialist and she's been a digital publisher / web developer for over 20 years. She owns a variety of web properties including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, Kiss My Biz, and NakedPR.

1,079 thoughts on “Dual Citizenship: Is it Worth It?”

  1. Hi Jenn I was wondering if you could send an update. I just started the process and was wondering if the consulate was correct when they told me the certificate should be here in a year. I hope all goes well for u!
    Best regards

    • Unfortunately no updates yet. But it’s possible your process will be faster. Likely it depends on the records you have. The problem here is that we didn’t have my grandfather’s German birth certificate because his family literally had 2 hours to pick up and leave their home during the War before the Russian army stormed into town. A lot was left behind and buried, but never recovered. I was told that was fine as long as we had his German passport (which also proves his citizenship). But later they changed their story and insisted on the b.c. So we had to try to find an alternate record with his parents’ names.

      They’ve taken several months to get back to me every time, and they continually request more information — I must have had at least 3 sets of forms to fill out (no idea why they couldn’t just send them all at once and speed things along). I was told by the woman with the NYC consulate that the average time for these applications is 2 years, if that helps. I hope yours is a quicker and easier process, but at the same time I just wouldn’t make any plans that require your certificate of citizenship until you have it approved and in your hands.

  2. Thanks for sharing your story. I do feel for your situation! I’m sure the holdup is the result of being unable to supply your grandfathers birth certificate.

    Going through the process myself and reading other people’s stories, it seems the average wait time is around 1-2 years. I wouldn’t assume because you haven’t heard anything that nothing is being done. Most likely they are investigating and attempting to track down his birth certificate.

    You have provided the authorities with as much as possible, if the document cannot be found it should not jeopardize your chances. It will however delay the process a lot!

    Don’t give up mate, keep fighting and savor that extra sweet moment when your certificate arrives

    • Thanks for the encouraging comments. 🙂

      I was in touch with my contact at the consulate again about a week ago. She had no updates and no idea why it was taking so long, but she said she would contact Germany and request that they expedite my claim. The strangest part is that the last time I heard from them they asked me to submit information I’d already submitted (just in case it changed). That was fine. I let them know I’m still single, still at the same address, etc. So for another couple of months to go by without them really asking for anything new, it seems strange to me.

      They won’t likely find the b.c. either. Back then they were kept in the parish churches. The ones in the town where he was born were leveled by the Russian military during the War. So as far as we can tell, they no longer exist. The odd part about that is that when I first visited the consulate a couple of years ago, they flat out told me I wouldn’t need his birth certificate because his German passport would be enough. And I supplied another government document listing my grandfather’s parents. So it’s baffling that they’re taking so long (more than 2.5 years at this point).

      My biggest concern is that there will be another long delay if they don’t get this taken care of soon. That’s because I plan to move before the end of this year with any luck, and I should be getting married next spring. This really needs to be finished before we have our first child too, because new rules mean I only have a year after their birth to ensure that citizenship passes on to my own kids. And my brothers’ first child will likely miss out on that opportunity because they’re waiting on my process to finish before my two brothers submit their own paperwork (apparently easier if they can provide my case number when they go).

      So frustrating. But I’m still hanging in there. It’ll be worth it. 🙂 Good luck with your own process, and let us know how it goes! 🙂

  3. yeah the waiting is always the worst part.

    I know you have already contacted the consulate. Putting myself in your shoes, I would probably try contacting Koln direct.

    A letter asking them to explain what stage the application is at. it might at least shed some light on whats happening behind the scenes?

  4. I just heard back. Apparently the folks in Germany are waiting for some inquiries at some office in Berlin still. So no denial (good). But it doesn’t look like it’s going to be settled in the very near future either. Still remaining hopeful. 🙂

  5. Thats great! Like most things German, the process will be thorough and methodical. And take forever because of it. Keep the blog updated when you hear more.

  6. Hi Jenn I hope all is well, I thought I would give an update too.

    I went to the consolate and needed another paper so I submitted both mine and my daughters papers on June 21,2011. Then on the 15th of aug I received back a letter from Germany throught the embassy. The said they got it and would make a decision in the future but due to a large volume of requests it would take a long time.

    I still haven’t heard anything else but it has only been abt 8 months.

    Do u have an update on your application?

    Best wishes

    • Sadly no. 🙁

      I recently contacted them to give them my new address and to let them know I’m getting married in May. They had no update for me yet and just told me to send my marriage certificate when I get married (so clearly they don’t expect it to be dealt with by then).

      All they’ve been telling me lately is that there are still enquiries with Berlin, and they’re waiting to hear back from them.

      I guess the positive is that they still haven’t said no. 🙂

      Good luck with yours, and do let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  7. Hopefully you’ll hear something soon, the both of you.

    If anyone needs a run down of how I went:
    I applied in January 2011, submitted my birth certificate, mums birth certificate, grandfathers birth certificate, grandparents marriage certificate.

    I heard back in may 2011, they requested my parents marriage certificate, their divorce certificate, my mothers and grandmothers naturalization certificates, and a certificate showing my grandfather never became a Australian citizen.

    I received my German citizenship certificate in October 2011.

    The process was straight forward, probably because I had access to every document they requested.

    • I’m glad to hear someone had an easier time of this. 🙂 Congrats!

      I had every document they requested too. In the beginning they even flat out told me that I didn’t need my grandfather’s birth certificate as long as I had his German passport to prove that he was a German citizen before coming to the U.S.

      Maybe it has something to do with what office you use. I know NYC was a big port for German immigrants into the U.S., and the NE of the US in general seems to have much higher German populations (like in PA where I live). The mission in NYC serves that whole region. So maybe they’re just bombarded with a lot of requests. But I don’t know.

      I think my biggest frustration right now is that I need this to finish before I start having children. With the new laws, I’d have to file my child’s birth within one year for citizenship to pass to them. If this continues for a fourth year, that might not be possible (getting married in May and we’d like to start trying for children shortly after).

      • Jenn, I just wanted to let you know that you won’t have to register your children within a year after their births. I’m in a similar situation (I have a German passport, although I’d like the certificate of citizenship just to make things easier), and I’ve got two little ones who were born after 2000. I thought they were ineligible because I didn’t register them, but come to find out, it only applies to THEIR children. In other words, it’s future PARENTS who were born abroad after 2000 who will have to register their children. But since you and I were born before 2000, we’re under no obligation to register our children.

        Hope that makes sense! 🙂

  8. The embassy staff deal which many types of enquiries, and probably not experts in nationality laws. Especially since the German laws have changed so many times!

    I think your problem is that although a passport is an indicator of nationality, it is not conclusive proof. You must dig into this town/village history and find anything you can. You will get results quicker than Koln I think.

    • We’ve unfortunately already established that local records were destroyed. That area is now a part of Russia, and the churches where the records were kept at the time were destroyed when the Russian military invaded the area. 🙁 That’s why I went out of my way to verify what records they would require at the start of the process. And they told me the passport would be sufficient. So I was beyond disappointed when they changed their story (as soon as I made the trip to NYC to deliver the paperwork).

    • Sadly nothing yet Josef. 🙁 These waiting periods are the hardest, and they can be so long! My case will get slightly more complicated too, because I’m getting married in a little less than two weeks. Once that happens, I have to send in a copy of my marriage license and my name change information after it’s processed here. I hope that doesn’t slow down any of the progress in Berlin.

  9. Hello Jenn
    I just received a email Where they say that they are working very hard in my case and they already have a big part of the investigation ready and when they receive the rest of the results they are going to confirm the day when i must to my Embassy and get my german citizenship certificate.
    What about you?

  10. Hello Josef,

    I am very glad for you. I am about 10 months in and are still waiting. After you submitted all your required documents did they ever sent you a letter other than the acceptance letter untill now? Or was this the first one and a surprise?

    Best Regards

  11. Hello Heinz
    It was not a surprise, i asked for a update ay the consulate! And they aswered like 15 data later with this information.
    This is the second email, the first one was the acceptance of my documents 8 months ago and now this update.

  12. Hello Heinz
    It was not a surprise, I asked for a update at the consulate! And they aswered like 15 days later with this information.
    This is the second email, the first one was the acceptance of my documents 8 months ago and now this update.

  13. No updates on my end. but I’m afraid to email or ask Koln for an update. I don’t want to upset someone and have them say “fine now it will be even longer”.
    The thing that worries me is I have to travel there in three months and I’m afraid they will get me my paperwork the day before I’m supposed to fly and the German government will get upset because I don’t have a German passport. They get stinky if you enter or exit Germany on a US Passport if you are a German citizen.

  14. Heinz if you were born in the USA there is no problem about using your USA passport, Germany allows dual citizenship if the other is from the country Where you were born. I went to germany with my venezuelan passport because i was born there, the people from the Embassy told me this. And about ask for a update to koln, feel yourself free, they dont get upset if you write to the correct email address to ask for uddates! If you need It just let me know. Germans are very kind and helpfull! Many greetings

    • I’ve also read that both the U.S. and Germany require that you enter their country with the corresponding passport if you have one. In other words, I’d need to use my German passport to enter Germany and my U.S. passport to re-enter the U.S. That’s because when you’re in the U.S. you’re treated only as a U.S. citizen. And in Germany you’re treated as only a German citizen (even though both countries acknowledge dual citizenship). Here’s a good link with info about both, which specifically mentions the U.S. side of the passport issue.


      I know I read something similar on the German mission’s site in the past, but I can’t remember where.

      As for asking them questions, I wouldn’t worry about it Heinz. I’ve followed up numerous times, and they were always very polite. There just isn’t anything the mission can do because they’re waiting for another government office to research things. I was told the average time to process this stuff is currently around two years.

  15. Thanks for the advice. I have the email address for the person in Köln who is working on my paperwork. It was included on my original acceptance letter that I got from Germany. As well as a specific number for my case. The letter told me all correspondence has to be in German only.
    I am just a chicken about asking for an update. The embassy told me when I originally submitted my paperwork that it’s takes about a year so I figured I would wait untill that time is up and email for an update.

  16. Hi jenn
    It is true that you must use your German passport to enter germany, but if you have one! You dont have your German passport yet!. You can go to germany if the USA passport. And the Embassy told the same than heinz, the average time is 1 year. All my beSt whisses in your wedding!

    • Yep. That’s what I meant. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. It’s only an issue if you have both. Then you aren’t supposed to use your U.S. one to enter Germany (and vice versa).

    • It’s interesting that you were told 1 year. They told me it was 2 on average (I’m personally going on 3). So frustrating.

      And thanks on the wedding comment. It was lovely. 🙂

  17. I wish i could say “yes” but sadly no news. I sent the last of my paperwork in last year on the 21st of June and the archives accepted it and sent a letter dated the 8th of August. So I’m comming up to the archives 1 year anniversary.

  18. No news. And that isn’t likely to change any time soon. In my experience, you’re lucky to hear from them one a year while they consider your application. And that’s usually to request more information rather than to give you any updates. I can’t even follow up at this point because the consulate doesn’t know anything, and they made it clear they won’t know anything until the folks in Berlin finish investigating.

    • Well, I suppose I need to eat my words!

      I just got a letter from the consulate today. And my claim to dual citizenship was finally verified! 🙂 It took around 3 years, but it’s finally happened. I’m so excited. 🙂 And I hope it works out equally well for everyone else here who’s trying to get through this process.

      Once I pay the processing fee and Fedex fee, they can send me the certificate of citizenship. But I’ll need to look into name change issues first because I just got married and changed my name. If I run into problems on that front, I’ll update.

  19. That is great!!!! Congrats!!!!

    It is very nice to see the process works. Yes please kee us updated on your name change and how it goes.

    Check back in if you will and you can encourage us as we wait and let us know how kühl you documents are.


    • Thanks. 🙂 I’ll certainly be back. In fact, I hope to revive the blog soon with new posts. I took a hiatus because of my move and then my marriage — it was a hectic time.

  20. Congrats!!!!!!!!!! I am really happy for you. Now you are a full mouth German citizenship. Tell me what the email exact said please. Again congrats!!!!!!!!

    • It wasn’t an email, but instead a physical letter that arrived in the mail. The entire letter is too long to reprint. But it starts like this:

      “It is my pleasure to inform you that your application for a Certificate of Citizenship has been approved.”

      I need to pay the administrative fee (25 Euros) before they can release it, so the letter also gives me their account information because they require payment as a wire transfer. I went to the bank Saturday to initiate that, and the wire transfer should be processed today (although they’ll receive it in Germany Tuesday).

      Then it says I can travel to NYC to pick it up or I can pay extra to have them send it to me via certified mail or Fedex. I’m going to have it sent via Fedex so I don’t have to make the trip.

      • My certificate of citizenship arrived via Fedex today. Yay! It feels so good to close that chapter of my research — 3 years in the making, and so much left to discover. 🙂

  21. Nothing to report yet. Now i have moré than 1 year waiting. I was in Germany for 1 month and now i am back. I went to koln and i visited the citizenship office. But nothing about news, just that my case is in the lást step to finally get my respond. I Will let you know guys! Have a good week

  22. Hey, all fellow German dual citizenship aspirants: I am brand new to this this blog, and despite reading what you all have gone through/are going through, am seriously considering starting down this road myself. Jenn, double congrats and thanks so much for starting this and continuing to check in; I have had little success us finding other specific feedback on this. I’d like to put forth my line of descent re: German heritage/ancestry so as to compare it to yours and/or the knowledge you’ve gleaned on this subject to see if it’s worth my going forward and applying or if it would just be a fruitless effort. I’m an oldster here so don’t let the 19th century dates make you think you’re seeing typos. Ha. Here goes nothin’:
    Both grandparents born (1890’s) in different parts of Germany, immigrated to US in early- to mid-1910’s, met in NYC, married, settled in Chicago.
    Father, born in 1917 in Chicago.
    Self, born Chicago area, 1962
    Kids born USA, 1989, 1990, 1994.
    What documentation do I absolutely need? I don’t have much, but I have seen a 1920 census document going my grandparents were born in Germany. A relative has a document proving the ship my grandmother name over on.
    Any helpful hints, guys?

    *Thanks ever so much, all!

    • Hi Nina!

      I’m certainly not an official authority on the subject, but here are a few things I’d suggest keeping in mind.

      1. Having your grandparents born in Germany isn’t enough. They still had to be a German citizen when your father was born. So you’ll have to prove that. For example, you would want to look for their application to become a naturalized U.S. citizen or their certificate of naturalization. I found this for my grandfather through Ancestry.com. They would have had to be in the U.S. for 5 years (I believe) before becoming citizens. So if your father wasn’t born until after that time, you should be fine. But you’ll still need to prove it. Unfortunately a census document won’t help much either. They were notoriously inaccurate.

      2. I know you have to prove descent back until at least 1914. It sounds like your grandparents were covered by that.

      3. Because of the year you were born, I believe descent can only pass from your grandfather and father. So your grandmother’s information wouldn’t be taken into account. You’ll want to verify those years on the German consulate’s website though. I don’t remember the exact years the rules changed.

      Here’s a list of the documentation I had to provide:

      — My birth certificate
      — My mother and father’s marriage certificate (because rules can vary if you were born in or out of wedlock depending on the year I believe)
      — My father’s birth certificate
      — My grandmother and grandfather’s marriage certificate
      — My grandfather’s German passport
      — My grandfather’s U.S. naturalization records

      They later asked me for my grandfather’s birth certificate which was lost during the War. So we didn’t have that, hence the long delay. Fortunately they were able to find whatever records they needed in Berlin to get things approved.

      You’ll also need to know where your grandparents lived in Germany, and when. That will be asked on one of the forms they’ll have you fill out.

      I hope that helps!


      • Hi!

        I am applying for German citizenship, but I need to show evidence that my grandparents were German citizens. Does anyone know how I can do this? It seems most people do this by supplying old passports, but I don’t have any of those documents.


  23. I typed a big one last night but it didn’t post.

    This is my update: as of December 21st it will be 18 months since all my paperwork and reply from Köln that this is a long process. I am too big of a chicken to email or call to as for an update. I figure I will wait 3 years like Jenn and if I don’t hear anything by then I will email. I do have the man who is handling my papers email and phone number in Köln.
    That’s my update. Any new news?

    • lol It may have taken 3 years, but I didn’t go that long without updates. 😉 I emailed my contact at the NYC mission periodically to make sure they were still on top of it. It’s worthwhile, and they were extremely nice when I contacted them. They can touch base with the folks in Germany and get you additional forms if it turns out they don’t have info from you they need.

  24. Helo guys!
    Good news!
    Today i received a call from the Germán embassy And my citizenship certificate arrived today after 14 months waiting!
    I am soooooo happy! It does takes so long but it does works And worst it!
    Any updates from You?

    • Congrats!!!! I’m glad it’s about wrapped up for you.

      I called the consulate today and was told that the person handling my application information does not work there anymore.

      So they asked me to send copies of all correspondence I’ve had with him and the consul to then again.

      They told me that they would get back to me as soon as they can find something out from Köln.

      So I still have to wait and see.

      But I’m glad for Jenn and Josef

  25. I just got an email from the vise consul…..

    Köln said due to the heavy workload it will take several more months. And thanks for my understanding.

    It was a very nice email and they don’t need any more papers from me. I’m very happy and just need to keep waiting. 19 months and counting. Oh we’ll.

    • That’s very similar to my last contact with the consulate before I got my approval. They said they had everything they needed and they just needed to wait on the folks in Germany to complete some research on their end.

      Then one day, several months later, another envelope arrived. I thought it would either be a denial or yet another request for more information.

      Instead it was a letter telling me they verified my citizenship. 🙂 And it gave me instructions on how I could get my official certificate of citizenship.

      So hang in there. Hopefully it’s a good sign and their in the final stretch. 🙂

      • Thanks, I was happy to hear back so fast that they just need time. Thanks again for your encouragement. I hope you are correct. I was just getting worried after Josef said he got his. But I’m glad for you and Josef having yours. I am applying for mine and my draughts at the same time so she won’t have to go through this like me in the future.


  26. Heinz everything Its going to be fine. Thank a for your words! Lást week i asked for my German passport too, And i Will get it next friday. Take it easy, i am sure that very soon You Will have your certificate in your hands. Its just about to wait! Let us know everything about your process!

  27. Hallo!

    I am new to this blog and so was very interested to hear different people’s experiences with the application for certificate of citizenship. I applied early this year after spending 9 months collecting all the documents and being in regular contact with the consulate in London.

    I originally applied with the consulate in the UK because I was over there for 10 months. In my case it was a matter of proving that I had German nationality at birth and that I did not lose it when I became an American citizen. The consul in London was not optimistic that I could still claim German citizenship. He suggested that I contact the consulate in NY.

    She replied that he had already discussed my case with her and I just needed to wait to receive one document from the US — my father’s certificate of naturalization.

    The journey of finding all the documents was long and tedious but also very exciting. My parents were married 5 months before WWII ended. They are both now deceased, so I had to start with family photos to see where I could find my father’s birth certificate.

    Along the journey that involved looking at Pomeranian genealogy websites and two Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests to the US Citizenship and Naturalization folks, I found a long-lost cousin who helped me locate German documents.

    I don’t understand the lengthy process once you have all the documents and application together. Whatever documents my cousin got for me took days for him to find.

    Oh well…

    I shall return to see how Heinzi’s case is progressing, and will report on any progress at my end.


    • Im glad to hear that you are just starting. I hope it works out well for you. Please continue to update how your progress is comming. I hope to get mine soon but you never know.


  28. Thanks to you both, Jenn and Heinzi.

    The journey continues to be most interesting. Now that I’m back in the States I’m able to go through some old family records. While none of them can help me any further with the application for citizenship, it is wonderful to learn about the lives of my parents during WW2, their experiences after the war, and why and how we all left Germany after I was born.

    Your experiences have been so helpful to me, and I will continue to stay in touch to learn more about your lives and my own progress.


  29. I have just read everything and congratulations Jenn Mattern for your persistence and for your acquisition I have submitted all my papers, forms and documents translated into German language as they asked me to. The fact is, I have submitted everything on July 14th 2012. And I am still waiting with no answer.

    I received a letter that they confirmed they received all the documents and that was all. I am kinda afraid to contact them by e-mail because they have already told me that the process can take 2 years and it has ‘only’ passed 9 months. But I am totally anxious about this process, I mean, everyday when I get up the first thing I do is to check my e-mail to see if there is some answer or email from them.

    The waiting is definitively the worst part in this process, but I think as you did, if it was to be denied it wouldnt take too long. I intend to go on a trip to Germany next july, and I really would like to go owning my Reisepass. Gosh how it is difficult to wait with no response. If I tell you that I have eaten more than usually in this 3 months because of my anxiety, would you call me crazy? lol.

    Hope I can hand my staatsangehörigkeitsausweis soon because it will be one of the happiest day in my life.

    danke schön for reading.

    • I don’t think you’re crazy at all. I was excited and nervous for a couple of years. I didn’t get the letter saying I was approved until I’d almost given up hope and forgotten about it for a while. And I wouldn’t worry about following up. I kept in contact with the NYC office via email on and off most of the three years. They were always very nice and helpful. And when it seemed to be taking too long, they followed up with the folks in Germany to see where things were in the process. You can always ask if they need additional information to make things easier. I was asked to fill out at least two additional rounds of forms, and it took several months to even get each of those requests. So I’d follow up if you’re concerned. As long as you don’t nag them constantly, they should be fine with it. 🙂

    • Way to go Fabio I’m very happy for you. Jenn has been a great support for me in my patiently waiting I also hope to hear soon and have been waiting about 21 months.
      Waiting is the hard part. To sound lame there are days I just had a feeling and couldn’t wait to get home and check my mail. Then nothing.
      Also when I contacted the consulate they have always been very nice to me.

      Bis später

      • I have already contacted the consulate twice and they were really kind to me.

        But I have never contacted the BVA in Köln to know about my process.

        I read on facebook that usually when anxious people keep on asking them things about the process, they usually ask a lot of documents that are not necessary and ask you to fill many forms and it makes the process even longer. That’s why I am completely afraid of sending them one e-mail. I sent everything they asked with all the documents and they didn’t ask me anything else.

        My process is ‘only’ 9 months long, but I feel like I can´t wait anymore to be recognized.

        Gosh why does it take too long?

        I have an ex secretary that worked in the consulate for more than 30 years on my facebook. She is retired and she told me that her children waited for 3 years to get their passport. She also told me that she usually asked people to wait for 6 years because BVA in Köln is receiving a lot of applications lately.


        Hope I can come back here soon to tell you guys that I received mine.
        Hope it doesnt take too long 🙁

        thank you!!!

  30. Yes I want it done also. My daughter is also very excited to get an answer from them.

    I waited about 18 months from the time I got my reply saying they had all my paperwork until the first time I contacted them. I’m at 20 months from when they got my last paperwork.

    I listened to Jenn and talked to them for an update and I was told they had all the paperwork they needed they just need more time.

    Someday I too hope to get another email or a letter in the mail with two thumbs up!

    I understand your anxiety.

    Bis später


  31. Hello guys
    I talk about my own experience And my family.
    They asked for the documents they need. Ir in the first 6 months You dont receive any email from Koln it does means that they dont need anything extra from You. Maybe just fill a new form to check ir You changed your residence, phone or status.
    So if You have More than 6 months, take it easy becauSe is just a fact of time And You Will get it in any moment.
    I wait exactly 16 months And i received my certificate And 8 days later my passport.
    They work in every case in diferents ways, depending or You especifits cases.
    Be pacient And good luck!
    JR Senf

    • You are so lucky for having received your staatsangehörigkeitsausweis after 16 months… and even thogh for getting your reisepass after 8 days because here in brazil it takes 90 days to be done. it means that after getting my citizenship certificate i will have to wait more 90 days for my passport. But you know? As soon as I receive an answer from BVA that my citizenship was approved, I will wait 90 happily.

      I really wonder how the investigation works in Germany… what do they look for? may i help them?

      well. congrats…

      danke schön

  32. Hi Everyone,

    I’ve been following this blog for a few months & finally now have something to add.

    To anyone thinking about doing this, contact your consulate prior to over thinking the process! I spent months reading, researching, bothering my parents, thinking translators, certifications & apostilation of everything under the sun.

    Yesterday, I finally called the Consulate in NYC to make sure my whole process seemed plausible. They asked a few specific questions, said it would be great if I had #s of certain documents – the course of action depending on what I had. I called back today knowing I had my father’s expired passport under which I was born along with his US naturalization certificate – ( he became a citizen 2 months after I was born!) They also for some reason want his Flüchtlingsausweis (Sudetenland)- which miraculously was found this morning.

    Now it turns out, I just make an appointment for my passport & bring the paper work along!

    Born in ’66 – NYC – both parents were German.

    off to make an appointment!

    • Let us know how it goes Mark. It sounds like you might be one of those rare easy cases for them. 🙂

      I was originally expecting a similar process. They even specifically told me I didn’t need one document that we knew it was impossible to get (it was destroyed during WWII before my grandfather came here). Like you, I contacted them ahead of time and gave them a run-through of the details and what documents I had. Only when I showed up at the consulate did they change their story and insist I needed it. The next thing I knew, I was being asked to repeatedly provide information (often the same information but different forms), and it was three years before my application was approved. So getting the okay ahead of time is nice, but it doesn’t mean the person in the office will always agree.

      I certainly hope your experience is better than that. Do come back and let us know how it goes. 🙂

      • Hi Jenn..
        I have read a little about what you have done & read many other articles online which are (very confusing)
        Seems like you know quite a bit.

        Can I ask question.

        i was born in US my mom is born in Germany & father born in Finland . They were married when I was born. . i was born in the 60s. Does this warrant dual citizenship fir Germany. All mothers side is still in Germany (exception: grandparents deceased)

        My mom is not an American citizen yet (after all this time, she is thinking about becoming one).

        Any info from anyone would be so helpful

        Thanks, Linda

        • Unfortunately you wouldn’t be eligible for German citizenship based on your mother’s status and the time you were born. If you were born to a German mother from 1975 onward, you would have been eligible. And if you would have otherwise become stateless being born from ’64 – ’74, you would have been eligible. But because you were born in the U.S. where you automatically have citizenship by being born here, you never were at risk of being stateless.

  33. Probably his relatives were Jewish. Koln has almost everything they need to prove nationality from a Jewish person. And normally this process is faster.

    • That could be. The process is definitely a bit different for those trying to regain citizenship that was stripped from a family as opposed to inheriting citizenship through descent. It also might not be the case though as he mentioned having naturalization records for the U.S. That information wouldn’t really matter if you’re getting citizenship back for a Jewish family that lost it during the WWII era.

      • I sent one e-mail to the Consulate wondering how my process is and if I could help somehow.

        They just answered back (about 1 hour later) the following:

        Mr Neipp,

        Unfortunatelly we have not received any news from Bundesverwaltungsamt yet. It is not possible to give you a forecast, so, please, be more patient. As soon as we have some information we will get in touch.


    • Well, you don´t need to tell them. They have every records that are necessary to know you are Jewish and to prove you are a German Citizen. Just be aware that: Your process was faster because of this reason and not because you had all of the documents they asked for.

  34. The time ethnicity comes into play is if you or your parent’s citizenship was stripped away during the war. I would imagine also if you fled the country. Then it does not matter if you / your parents took another citizenship & you were born.

  35. My father has a Flüchtlingsausweis (Google Sudetenland – lost everything, spent time in internment camps etc.) Although treated somewhat similarly in this process, I am not of Jewish decent. In my case, the ausweis comes into play as another form of identification confirming citizenship. The ausweis in lieu of a birth certificate in conjunction with a passport confirms citizenship. I think the authorities are looking to complete the puzzle – backing up one document with another – the Flüchtlingsausweis tells exactly how he appeared in the system. My parent’s marriage certificate along with my birth cert completes ius sanguinis. (“right of the blood”)

    When I applied for my kids American passports – I needed to supply birth certificates, marriage license & their social security cards – connecting the dots for ius soli (“right of the soil”) and ius sanguinis as well.

    I was born to two German parents who happened to be on American soil when I was born. I have all my documents & I am simply applying for my first passport. …..40+ years after being born…. (that’s the part that worries me)

    I am still planning on getting my certificate of citizenship – because after going through this, it seems a passport alone is not proof positive of citizenship.

    Check out this link to the Canadian consulate – I found it extremely helpful in outlining the process & required documentation. (cert of citizenship as well as passport)


    I have an appointment in NYC for July (kids will be off from school)

    • If your father is German and you have his Reisepass, probably you can get your Reisepass without the Staatsangehoerigkeitsausweis once your citizenship has already been proved by his birth certificate and his Reisepass. But it is recommended you to ask for your own.

  36. The waiting is definitely the most difficult part.

    I have continued to go through old family documents and found proof that my father was in the military in WW2, in case his birth certificate and that of his father’s was not enough proof that he was German.

    I scanned those documents and sent them to the consulate. Their response was that my documents already look pretty complete, and that Koln would ask if they need further evidence for my case.

    I just hope that Koln understands the nuances of US citizenship law in force at the time I became an american citizen. That I became a US citizen derivitively when my parents were naturalized as US citizens when I was at the age of 9, that I personally was not naturalized at the age of 9, being too young to make a decision about citizenship..

    It’s very helpful to have this forum to see others’ experiences.

    Good luck to those waiting patiently.

  37. I just heard from the consul in NY that the BVA need notarized documents relating to my marital status, which will not be difficult to provide.

    However, they also want a copy of divorce papers pertaining to my father’s first marriage (my mother was his second wife). This document has been impossible to find (he was divorced in a part of Germany that’s now in Poland in the closing months of WWII), and my cousin in Germany has been extremely persistent. According to the consul, I should be able to explain what we did to find this document and provide copies of our correspondence with Berlin and other authorities.

    At least I know that they’ve started to review my application, which is good news.

    • I know that the documents they have asked for are important because it proves that you were born in a legal marriage. In Germany things are quite different… have you already told them that this document is impossible to find?
      and for curiosity… how long have you been waiting for your process?

  38. Hello everyone! Long time without any news from You! How are You doing Jenn? What about the others And the aplications? Ley me know about your process! Greetings from Venezuela!

  39. I hope so too! Anyway Its good to hear from You. I have no More news to share as my process was completed too. Now i am plannig to move to Germany on September, thats the best part of my Dual citizenship. I am still Venezuelan but Im looking for a best future in Germany! So next stop BERLIN, You ll be very welcome over there!. Many greetings And for the rest of the group, best of luck to You guys! I know that the waiting is the bad part, but at the end everything works perfectly. Have a nice day!

  40. My consulate appointment was a total success. I arrived with our documents and passport applications ( completely blank where they asked for my previous German documents) Between myself & my kids applications, the process took about 4hrs to get our passports & my kids German birth certificates recorded. After waiting 40+ years to apply, I should have my Reisepass in 4 to 6 weeks. They advised a certificate of citizenship for the kids ( I think 4.5 hrs was enough for one visit) Citizenship becomes harder to prove as each generation passes. (as you all know) My visit went very smoothly, parked across the street, passport photos for $5 inside. I wound up paying in US $ and credit card, they did not accept Euros.

    • I wouldn’t worry at all yet. A year is almost nothing in this process. They told me the average case took 2 years when I went through it. So while some will be faster, others will take even longer than that, and they can still be approved. Mine took over 3 years and was approved. So no worries. It takes some time, but it’ll happen. 🙂

  41. I have got news!
    Today I received an email from the consulate telling me my paperwork is finished! I have to transfer 25 euros each for ma daughter and myself and they will send my papers. So we are very happy. I have asked my cousin in Germany to pay it and I will send her money but I haven’t heard yet. If she doesn’t then I will try the wire transfer option.

    Happy day!

      • I applied June 10th 2011, sent more documents June 21st 2011, Germany sent a letter accepting my request aug 5th 2011, I got the email saying it was finished July 31st 2013. And now I paid my fee and am waiting for my papers to come to me!
        It seemed it took forever but now I can’t believe it’s about done!!!

        🙂 Heinz

  42. Congratulations Heinz! It is good to know that everything is done for You!
    Enjoy your new Dual citizenship!
    Best of luck for the rest of the group.
    JR Senf

  43. Just read the entire blog – very interesting. As an FYI – I was born in Germany to German Parents in 1948 and was naturalized USA via my parents when we came to the USA in 1952 and waited the customary 5 years. I was never told nor was I interested in my German citizenship which I never lost as I was born there. A few years ago, I found out I qualified as a Dual Citizen and made my application to the Consulate in San Francisco. Yes, I waited about 2 years but I did get a letter stating that I had never lost my citizenship and, if interested, I can get a German passport. Got all that done in record time.

    Now, the interesting story starts – Trying to get my american born daughter dual-citizenship approval/varification. We completed the application which was accepted October 2011 and had received confirmation of receipt of all paperwork. To date, Nada information other than the application is in Köln.

    Interesting to me that, although I provided both US and German Passports, coupled with the fact that, by German law, my daughter is considered a Dual Citizen, I would have thought this would be a quick no brainer. Not the case.

    I do read, write and speak Hoch Deutsch fluently – think that’s helped me in the process? Nada.

    Sitting here almost 2 years into the process and wondering as all of you are. Time will tell

    • My guess is that your mistake was filling out the application for your daughter. From what I was told, they don’t need to apply for anything. You’re just supposed to go to the nearest consulate to register your child’s birth. You would need their birth certificate to prove you’re their parent, and you would need proof of your own citizenship. That should have been all there was to it. Or at least that’s what I was told by someone at the mission over this way.

  44. Oh – forgot to mention: Per both USA and German law, When you enter or leave USA, you MUST use your American Passport. When you leave or enter Germany you MUST use your German Passport. Problem you may now know about is that as a German Citizen, you MUST fill out a special form (aka VISA) before you leave Germany. For the life of me I can’t remember the special form but it should be easy to find on the German Embassy website(s). Cost is about 14Euro

    Hope this info helps

      • I can’t say if there is perhaps another type of form that Karl was thinking of, but Heinz is right. You definitely don’t need a visa to visit the U.S. from Germany (or vice versa). You can stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days without one. Germany is one of the European countries that is party to the Schengen Agreement, which lets U.S. citizens visit as a tourist or for business reasons for 90 days out of any 180 day period. So normally you would just show your U.S. passport in Germany, they would stamp it when you arrive (to start your 90 day period), and they would stamp when you leave (so the length of your stay during that 180 day period is documented).

        That said, if you’re a dual citizen, that doesn’t apply. You wouldn’t be entering Germany as a U.S. citizen. You would be entering as a German citizen, and there wouldn’t be any restrictions on your travel or length of stay there. You would only show your German passport. When entering and leaving the U.S. you also wouldn’t have to be concerned with visas because you would enter and leave as a U.S. citizen with your U.S. passport.

      • Okay. He was talking about the online ESTA form for foreign travelers looking for the visa exemptions. But if you’re also a U.S. citizen, you shouldn’t need to worry about that. You would simply use your U.S. passport to enter the country. That gives you the right to enter freely here.

  45. Hallo alles! I am just starting this process and find all of your comments quite interesting and helpful! Best wishes to all!

    • Hello David! Welcome to our forum. I understand the feeling of starting the process. I have been waiting for 14 months now. Hope you can share your experiences with us!

  46. Hi, I have been reading all of your posts on there and find them very interesting. I have been looking into getting my German passport, and certificate of citizenship

    I was born in the USA in 1982 to a German mother and American father, so according to all the research I have done, I would be a dual-citizen of both countries. I would ask your help in obtaining a certificate of citizenship:

    What forms do I need to fill out along with all the proper paperwork for proof? Thanks in advance

    • Your best bet is to contact the German mission for your region. They’ll send you a form (I believe they just emailed me mine), and they’ll tell you where to deliver everything. I opted to drive everything to NYC personally so they could make their copies of my documents and some of my grandmother’s. If you prefer, you can get notarized copies of the documents and send those instead through the mail.

      You might be able to download the form from this link, but I can’t be sure which download link it is:


      The biggest question is, did your mother ever give up her German citizenship (such as to become a U.S. citizen)? If she became a naturalized U.S. citizen before you were born, citizenship wouldn’t pass to you. If she was still legally a German citizen when you were born, it does indeed sound like you should meet the requirements. Best of luck! 🙂

    • Jason, As Jenn indicated – call the consulate that serves your region. When I spoke with NYC they asked me a few specific questions after which it became very clear as to what I needed. FYI – Your mother’s pass is only an indicator of her citizenship, so it would be very helpful(needed?) if she has a certificate of citizenship. Once you have your documents lined up, make the appointment for your pass. At the appointment, the consulate will have all the documents in front of them proving your citizenship so its pretty simple for them to make the official (beglaubigte) copies & complete the cert of citizenship application as part of your pass appointment. If you are planning on working/attending school there, also apply for a German birth certificate. My passports arrived in about 3 weeks.

      • I appreciate all of your help, I won’t be able to travel to the local Consulate for at least 6 months, but have been working on getting as much paperwork as I can. As a German citizen, do you have the rights to their Universities? My brother is going to apply for his passport and certificate at the same time also. How does one make an official copy of a Passport for review?

        • I’m not sure what the rules are regarding their universities. But as a citizen you would have the same rights and responsibilities as any other citizen. As for getting an official copy of a passport, just take the passport to a notary and have them make a notarized copy. It’s basically a special photocopy with the notary services seal and / or signature on it (they’re licensed to make these copies which carry more weight in an official capacity because a professional is verifying that the copy truly did come from an original document in your possession).

  47. I appreciate all the help here! Did you have to get any of your English documents translated to German, such as my American birth certificate?

  48. I was happy to read your blog and comments today as I’m going into the consulate office next Thursday to send off the documents to confirm German nationality for my father, myself, and my two children. We’ve been through the part of verifying that I’m eligible, but I didn’t even think of including my Grandfather’s birth certificate. Luckily, my Grandmother had the folded up original birth certificate of my Grandfather tucked into a ziplcok bag when we went looking for documents, so I’ll just have to make a certified copy of it. From the sounds of it, this blog likely saved me a few months or years of waiting.

    Congrats on your citizenship.

  49. Hey Friday the 16th I received my daughters and my certificates that say I’m a German citizen. So in a few months we are going to go to LA and order our passports and ID’s.


  50. I waited from beginning to end just over 2 years. Short version, long version is submitted papers June 9th 2011, my USA birth cert, my marriage cert, my fathers German birth cert, my fathers German passport, my USA passport, my mom and dads marriage cert. they suggested I submit my draughts paperwork at the same time. So when I got back home I sent my mom and dads divorce decree my daughters birth cert. They received my paperwork on the 21st. Aug 8th I got a letter from the consulate stateing it was accepted and it included a letter from Köln telling me if long wait times. Then I waited.
    Then in jan or feb of 2013 i called the consulate asking for an update they asked me to send them a copy of all letters I have received from them on the subject and I immediately did. They apologized and asked for patience and more time. Then on July 31st I got a call saying it was ready and to pay the fee. I did the next day and they were on my doorstep on Friday the 16th of August.

    That’s all of it whew!

    • I appreciate the story. I’m glad I’m not in a rush. Hopefully having all of the paperwork ready for them will help get things through a bit sooner.



  51. Hello Fabio!
    If the documents are in English, You dont have to translate it. Any other lenguage like Portuguese most be translate to German. In Koln they accept English documents. Im telling this because i sent a document from england And they told me that English was ok, but the rest of my documents from Venezuela were in spanish And translated to german.
    Greetings from Venezuela
    And Congrats ti Heinz!!!!!

  52. Jenn. You mentioned that one of the reasons that the application process too so long was that the passport that you had did not confirm the nationality of your grandfather. Do you know if that document was a German Passport or a Temporary Travel Document in lieu of Passport? I have just sent in my application, but am unsure of whether or not there will be issues because the document is a “Temporary Travel Document in lieu of Passport for German Nationals” rather than an official German passport. These documents were issued by the Allied High Commission for Germany, and while I am sure that nationality had to be proven, I am unsure if the German government today will recognize the document as definite proof of nationality. Do you think this was the issue in your case?



    • My issue wasn’t related to the German passport. I had a certified copy of my grandfather’s German passport which proved his nationality. But (even though I was told otherwise originally), they still wanted his birth certificate from Germany in addition to that. We didn’t have that document due to the family’s sudden move in Germany after the War. They never told me what they finally found in Berlin, but I know it took quite some time for them to verify things there. But that was the only document they wanted from me that I couldn’t get access to.

  53. My father was born in Germany in 1962 to German parents (not married). My father and grandmother immigrated to Australia in approximately 1972 (ten years of age). They both gave up their german citizenship on becoming Australian citizens because it was easier than obtaining dual. My fathers father (my grandfather) still lives in Germany, he never immigrated over here. All great grandparents on my fathers side are german also. Not sure if I am eligible due to my father giving up citizenship?

    • If your father gave up citizenship before you were born, then you wouldn’t be eligible. If he gave up citizenship after you were born, you might be. My grandfather technically gave up German citizenship when he became a naturalized U.S. citizen. But my father was born before he could become a naturalized citizen, so he technically was born a dual-national and passed that down to us. Interestingly, he was the only child in the family to inherit that dual-nationality, so none of our cousins fell under that same umbrella.

  54. I have been starting to gather documents to apply for my German Passport, I won’t be able to go to the Embassy until next March. Would it be a good idea to apply for a proof of citizenship in the meantime?

  55. I would say apply for the certificate ASAP. Even if you think you have proof the consulate doesn’t have to give you a passport. They will tell you a passport is indicative of citizenship but not proof of cutizenship. Either way you will want a certificate(which is proof) sooner or later, so since it takes so long to get the sooner you get it started the better


    • I have started to gather documents, and fill out forms, do you have any tips on making sure I have the right forms and documents? Thanks!

      • Go to the consulates website and review every needed document. Then anything you think of that you think might help prove citizenship also bring. I supplied my birth cert, my fathers german birth cert, my marriage license, and one for my parents, my fathers German passport, my American passport, my parents divorce decree, my fathers naturalization cert for US. I filled out the application before I arrived at the consulate.
        And my suggestion and I know you will be, never be demanding like its your right to be a citizen, be humble, respectful and nice. When I went to the counter I immediately told the my German is not great, appologised for it and I wasn’t sure I filled out the right form. I let them tell me I was a citizen first.

        Those are just some of my suggestions.


        • Since I will not be able to go until next March, is it possible to mail the documents for proof of Citizenship? I will keep you guys updated on my progress

  56. I am four months into the wait for the decision from the BVA. I’m a bit excited and I hope the certificate comes in soon. I was lucky I had all the documents they required easy as my mother’s sister has previously sourced them all out. Can’t wait.

  57. I have tried getting mine and my mothers’s passport notorized, but they will not. You need to have all the documents notorized when you apply for a certificate of Citizenship?

    • The first time I tryed I ran into the same issue. I printed out the application and took it with me to a different one and showed them that it has to a notarized copy and they did it for all my documents. Lawyers always have to do this and my notary works for a lawyer. If you get a nice consulate employee you can take the original and a copy and they can certify the copy too. Also but to do it this way you have to take all the originals and copies to the consulate. As for handling any of this thru the mail you will have to call the consulate and ask.


      • Do they run background checks on you? I will have to try to find someone else to notarize the copies for me then. I plan on applying for the certificate within a month or two, and I will be able to go to the Consulate in March to apply for a passport.

        • No, they don’t run background checks on you.

          Just try another notary. I didn’t have any problem getting notarized copies when I took them to a notary in NY. I believe you can also send the originals to the nearest German mission, they’ll make the copies, and they’ll send the originals back if you give them a self-addressed, stamped envelope. But check with them first. That might have changed or might vary from one location to the next. I physically took the documents to them for them to copy them, and then had notarized copies made for my brothers to use if they decide to get their certificate of citizenship.

  58. I think a notary cannot legally notarize the actual copy of a US passport or certificate of US naturalization. The notary will loose their license. http://notarypubliccentral.com/Passports.htm

    Jason, since the consulate will clearly eye you as a German citizen, call them to find out what documentation you need to bring.(website is out of date) At your appointment (which is actually an appointment to enable you to sit in front of them) you can get everything done all at once (incl. beglaubigte copies) & complete the cert of citizenship & birthcert application as part of your pass appointment. This will save you lots of time & aggravation – (THEY CAN DO IT ALL FOR YOU!!) if somethings missing, you can mail it in.

    As far as I know & I don’t know what your plans are – but all you need to do almost any conceivable thing in Germany is your Reisepass or Personalausweis & a German birth certificate (important for school & applying for job) Importantly, the certificate of citizenship is in lieu of having to bring along all of your mom’s documentation every time you do anything citizenship related. (or if you go into politics)

    I had my and my kids Reisepass & my Personalausweis in ~3 weeks & my kids German birth certificates shortly there after.

    Reisepass or Personalausweis + Birth Certificate & you are just another citizen.

    • I had my grandfather’s German passport notarized with no problem. Rules vary by each state. I didn’t try to get my U.S. one notarized as I took it directly to the consulate and they took care of making the copies (if you let them copy them it’s treated like they received a certified copy because they’re verifying that the document is true and original). I know some states will let you notarize the copy with a statement as a custodian of a document, and then they notarize your statement. You’ll have to check with the consulate in your region to see if that’s acceptable to them. But if you have to have U.S. passports sent in, you’ll likely have to go in person or send the originals for them to copy (I wouldn’t recommend mailing your original though). You can also order a certified copy from the government instead, but I think it’s around $50 per copy. You can do the same for most government records, but prices vary by state. My certified copies of the German passport were for my brothers in case they needed copies for their later applications as my grandmother moved further away and has the originals with her. But they shouldn’t even need them, as my certificate of citizenship is supposed to be enough for them (with their own birth certificate to show they were born to the same parents). At least that’s what I was told by the NY mission.

  59. I have been working on getting documents, and filling out forms, where would be a good place to get the forms checked over before I call the Consulate

    • I didn’t have anyone check them over other than my contact with the NY mission. If I had questions, I asked and generally received a quick response. And if there were any problems or if they needed further information, they just requested it or sent me additional paperwork.

  60. I’ve just read through the comments and I’m happy with the successes. I’m actually a 2nd year law student so I’ve studied the legislation with and without amendments and some case law commentary.

    My problem is that my grandfather was required to serve in the Nazi army under Section 26 of the German Nationality Law of 1913. Take note that you have to read the version as it existed in 1935 without the recent amendments. The 1913 law still applies today in Germany but it has changed a lot. So under Section 26 and Section 29, my grandfather would have automatically lost his German citizenship and that also applied to any claim my father may have had under Section 29. Because the loss automatically applies to the underage children. My father was only a 1 year old in 1935.

    I wonder whether that loss of citizenship still applies today or whether it has been revoked by retroactive legislation. Because it seems ridiculous that my grandfather would still be penalized for not joining Hitler’s army. Surely that rule does not apply anymore?

    I’m not a lawyer, just a law student commenting about what I’ve read. So don’t take my word for anything. I just want to be sure about whether my grandpa’s automatic loss of citizenship still applies today, or if recent legislation may have retrospectively reversed that..

    • My family was in a similar situation. They didn’t support the Nazi regime. And they lost their home after the war when Russia and Poland took over portions of Germany. That’s when my grandfather came to the U.S. No one ever questioned the family’s status related to the war. And I believe they have special rules about restoring citizenship to families who were stripped of it as opposed to those who gave it up willingly. At least they do for Jewish citizens who were stripped of their status. I’m not 100% sure about other Germans from that period, but it would be a good question to ask your region’s mission or consulate.

      • Thanks that’s interesting. I’ll contact my local consul when I have time and if I learn anything which I think might be useful to others, I’ll let you know. Great to know that Fabio recently completed his claim for citizenship 🙂

  61. Dear Jenn,
    I would like your help and feedback on my situation. I have a German grandfather who along with my Indian grandmother had my mom out of Wedlock.They have no marriage certificate.

    My mother never applied for German nationality cause she felt she was ineligible as she didn’t have his birth certificate or passport or any type of document proof.

    The only document I have with me is her birth certificate stating that he is the father, his nationality and that’s it.

    Do you think that I would stand any chance of getting German nationality or is all hope lost?

    • Hi Joshua,

      I’m sorry I missed your comment and it was sitting pending in the queue for so long. I’m not sure how that happened.

      To your question, I’m not really sure what your process would be. All I can suggest is this:

      1. Check the year of your mother’s birth against the rules on children born out of wedlock. I’m pretty sure it would have passed because it was her father who was German. But make sure anyway. Things get a bit more complicated in that case.

      2. Talk to someone at your nearest German mission. You should be able to reach them via email, so no worries if you can’t travel to meet with them face to face (or you can call them if you prefer). Explain the situation. Give them the relevant dates. Tell them what documentation you have. And see what they say.

      Because you don’t have many of the usual records, it might be easiest to have your mother apply first. Once she applies, it should be easier for you to apply as well (assuming you were born after the changes where your mother’s citizenship grants the same to you at birth).

  62. I have been reading everyone’s comments regarding obtaining German citizenship. I was born in Germany to a German mother and American military father. We moved to the US when I was 6. Naturally I have traveled back and forth all my life to Germany to visit my family. Years ago I started researching if I could obtain German
    citizenship (dual). Because my father was not German at the time of my birth, I was not automatically German. My mother could have claimed me as a German citizen, but she had to do that by 1976 or so. Well she didn’t so I gave up the cause and went on. A few months ago I again did some research and found that the German nationality law has changed some in regards to citizenship with German mothers and foreign fathers. Paragraph 14 changed. I can now apply for citizenship, but what it actually is “German naturalization” made easier. The new law removes the residence requirement and allows someone to become a German citizen outside of Germany as long as you can show a relationship to Germany.

    I speak fluent German, and have many family members still left in Germany. So I assembled all the documents and application and headed to the Consulate. After a review of my application, a German language interview, my documents are headed to the BVA in Köln. The Vize-Consular told me the process will take about 2 years to complete and I would have to take a 30 question citizenship test.

    I asked several times about my American citizenship status after the process and have been told that I will be allowed under this law to
    keep my American citizenship as well. I did my research regarding this and found, that yes I can keep it even though it appears this is a naturalization process. Once I receive my German citizenship, I have to fill a form stating that it is not my intention to give up
    my American citizenship.

    So now I have to just sit back and wait, I hope it doesn’t take 2 years, but I am trying to figure out a way that the process might be sped up some. My German family may try to speak with some local politicians to see if their pressure might speed up the process some. I will keep you all updated on the results.

    • Wow. That sounds so much more complicated. I’m glad you were able to find a way around the citizenship-from-birth rules though, especially given that you still visit frequently and have family there. That’s wonderful news. And I hope it doesn’t take them the full two years to process things. 😉

  63. I haven’t had much time to work on getting my passport and citizenship, but have slowly been getting paperwork. Can anyone lead me in the right direction to get things rolling. Thanks!

    • Thanks Jason. Happy Thanksgiving to you too! 🙂

      I wish I had more advice as per your last comment. But really the best thing to do if you run into issues is to contact the nearest German mission. I found them to be nothing but helpful. 🙂

  64. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! FYI, I received the first letter from Cologne/Köln last week that they reveived my paperwork and that there are many applicants and that the waiting period is quite extensive. Meaning it’s going to be quite a while before I get a final determination. Funny though, I have all of my German documentation, birth certificate, etc. So we’ll see, December of course with the federal employees, not much is going to happen. My cousin’s boyfriend is in the Bavarian Landtag (Parliament), so he is going try to put a little pressure on them and see if that helps. I’ll keep you all updated. Happy Holidays!

    • Happy Thanksgiving to you too Michael! 🙂

      Congratulations on hearing back from them. Even if there is a long wait (as they have to verify the documents on their end), it will be well worth it! 🙂

      When I sent my documentation, I heard back several months later with a request to show citizenship back to 1914 (I’m pretty sure that was the year). That date wasn’t mentioned at all in anything I read or heard from the mission when I originally started the process. They sent me a form, and basically I had to list information about the next generation back and where they lived during what periods. Things seemed to move a little bit better after that, although it still took quite a while for them to find whatever they needed about my Grandfather because his birth certificate was missing. So if you haven’t given them information back to that period yet, it wouldn’t hurt to send a follow-up early rather than waiting for them to request it.

      Beyond that, I hope your connections are able to help speed things along. 🙂

  65. Jenn, I just want to let you know what an amazing person you are and your blog. You have no idea how much comfort and hope I get and probably others too get from reading other peoples experiences relating to German nationality. I’m 7 months into the wait for a decision from the BVA. Each time I loose hope I just have to come here to read about what others are saying and I get so filled with hope. Thanks a lot for starting this amazing post. Even after my decision is out I’ll still come on here to share with others my own experience and help advise others too.

  66. I am considering dual citizenship to honor my mother. I was born here in the US and my Mother was a German citizen until the day she died. My father was a Latvian citizen who went to Germany during WW II and my parents met and married there. Then in 1957 my parents came to the US and sometime after my father became a US citizen. Can I get dual citizenship? Thank you for your help.

  67. Peggy:
    ¨Having German ancestors is unfortunately not enough to attain German citizenship. Rather, your father and/or mother have to have been German citizens at the time of your birth. If you were born before 1 January 1975 and your parents were married, you only attained German citizenship if your father was German at the time of your birth or if your parents submitted a declaration by 31 December 1977 stating they wanted German citizenship for their child.¨

  68. Hi, how has the new year been for everyone? I am still working on getting my German Passport and Citizenship. I will try to make an appointment with the embassy within the next couple of months

  69. Hello guys, I got a reply from the BVA saying my application can’t be decided on because my mother filed an application on my behalf as a minor which was declined because she was unable to produce some documents or failed to produce the correct documents relating to my birth and her German father. This application was done without my knowledge. All these is as a result of the differences between my mother and father which lead to their separation. Because of the application she put in and her failure to appeal the decision the BVA says the previous application decision would stand and is binding.

    Does anyone think there is something that can be done because I think it’s really unfair for the BVA to make that decision because I knew nothing of the previous application and knowing fully well that I fied my own application propally and provided all the documents they asked for and I stand a chance of claiming my nationality only for them to make this unfair decision.

    Do you think involving an immigration lawyer in Germany would be a good idea? Because that’s the only thing I can think of as a possible solution.

  70. Hello Chris! I dont know the details of your particular case, but i think there is something about the natiolanity law that made the BVA reject your aplication. I think what they said is that there is already a close case on your name, even if your mother did it without telling You. What You should do first is check out all the law And try to figure out why they decline your aplication. I really dont think that it has nothing to do with the prior aplication, if your are german it is your rigth to Claim Your citizenship. You dont need a lawer because because the BVA is the Only authoroty in Germany who take this kind of desicion. Please let me know the year of your birth, your mother And your father were married at the time of your birth? Maybe if You give me some details i can help You. Anyway you can re apply for your citizenship again Anytime You want! It doesnt matter if theyreject it before! Many blessings And greetings

  71. Thank you Josef. That is what they are saying that they have a close case relating to a certificate of citizenship with them already with my name which was never appealed. I was born in 1990 my mother and father were never married. Besides I have checked all the existing law out relating to my application and found none of the laws is against me. The only thing I can say is when my mother applied she applied without providing any evidence to the claim at that time and just abandoned the whole process carelessly.

    • The only suggestion I have is to request the case number and see if your mother can still file an appeal.

      I’m assuming from your previous comment that you feel you inherited German citizenship through your mother. Is that correct? If it’s your father’s side instead, that could be the problem as you were born before 1993 out of wedlock.

      If it’s your mother who would have possibly passed down citizenship through descent, maybe the problem was with her own citizenship. She would have to prove her eligibility before it could be passed down to you.

      On top of that, she would have to prove that she didn’t give up that citizenship (such as by becoming a citizen of another country by choice) before you were born. It’s a little more complicated than just knowing your parent or grandparent was German. Unfortunately without all of the details, we can’t really help you figure out what the potential problem might be.

      For example, which one of them left Germany? Your mother or her father? If it was your grandfather, was your mother born before or after he left and acquired citizenship elsewhere (or otherwise forfeited his German citizenship)? If it was your mother, when did that happen?

  72. Thank you Jenn, I am claiming citizenship by decent from my mother’s father. He left Germany to reside in Nigeria and never gave up his citizenship till he passed away in Nigeria. My mother was born with both Nigerian and and German nationality in 1968 to a Nigerian mother and a German father in Lagos, Nigeria. Her parents were married. She had me in 1990 to a Nigerian father out of wedlock and never got married. In 1998 she moved to London and acquired British citizenship in 2005 by ancestry through her father’s mother who was British.

    Sometime in 2007 she tried to trace her German nationality and decided to include her children with the application which she filed in London. Because I was under my father’s custody in Nigeria, she could not get my documents and she even failed to add enough supporting documents of her own father’s nationality with the application. It was an application she filed carelessly.

    Fast forward to 2012 I decided to apply for my citizenship here in Lagos properly. Everything went fine until just when I got an email saying I have previously filed an application that was refused in 2008 and because I failed to appeal the decision it is now binding. For that reason my current application won’t be decided upon.

    My mother has two older siblings who have been previously granted German certificates of citizenship along with their children so I dint think mine would be an exception since we fall under similar circumstances.

    Is there a way I can appeal that I knew nothing of the pervious application which is true and as of when my mother filed the application I was not a part of it and I could not have forced her to appeal it.


    • While I won’t pretend to know Nigerian citizenship rules, I can see at least one potential problem.

      You say that your grandfather moved to Nigeria and lived there until he died, but that he never gave up his German citizenship. But if he ever acquired Nigerian citizenship (based on whatever laws they have there), he would have forfeited his German citizenship whether he meant to or not. If you willingly acquire another citizenship, you give your German citizenship up. If something like that happened, and it happened before your mother was born, then neither you nor your mother would technically be German citizens.

      Because your grandfather left Germany permanently, you would likely have to prove that he never gave up his German citizenship (by somehow proving that he never gained Nigerian citizenship). Also, if he ever served in the military in Nigeria willingly, he would also have forfeited his German citizenship, so you would need to know that.

      Also, are you 100% certain that her parents were married before your mother was born? If not, she wouldn’t inherit her father’s German citizenship. If they were married at the time of her birth, you would have to have marriage records available to prove that. If she didn’t have those documents, that could be why her application was denied.

      The only other potential issue that comes to mind is the fact that you weren’t in your mother’s custody. Did she have any form of legal custody of you at that time (as in you were just physically with your father), or did she in some way have to give up parental rights for whatever reason? In the later case, you probably wouldn’t be eligible because you wouldn’t have become stateless — you still would have had citizenship elsewhere through your father’s side of the family.

      All I can think for you to do is have your mother get all of the necessary documents and file an appeal. If she’s no longer around or able to do that, see if you can file the appeal by getting the original case number. Work with someone at your region’s mission or consulate, and they should be able to guide you through things and let you know if there’s any way around your mother’s previous application.

  73. Hello everyone, The German embassy in London was able to get a copy of the refusal notice from the application my mother made on my behalf as a minor. The main reason for the refusal was because my Grandfather was still legally married in Germany before he moved to Nigeria and married my grandmother. Although they were legally married in Nigeria, the marriage according to German law is null and void as he was still legally married in Germany. As my mother was born in 1968, She is taken to be born out of wedlock which according to German laws he would not have passed his German citizenship on to her.
    But then again, two of my mum’s older siblings from the Nigerian marriage have previously been granted German citizenship along with their children and both have certificates of citizenship. This brings me to wonder why this issue was not brought up in their case and its coming up in my case.

    I do not intend to give up at this stage and hopefully I would find a way around it and continue to update you guys. If you have suggestions on what next I can do please feel free to drop your opinions.

    • Wow. That sounds like a pretty complicated situation. While I wish you the best, I suspect you’re going to have a tough time. If the marriage wasn’t legal under German law, they don’t have to recognize it when it comes to granting citizenship.

      While it’s strange that other siblings were granted citizenship, unfortunately if that was a fluke that slipped through the system, it won’t likely be grounds to grant the same to you. They may have just gotten very lucky. In their cases there wasn’t a prior denial on record. That’s where you’re going to have a hard time.

      The best thing you can do is probably to have your mother apply for her own certificate of citizenship again, but this time bringing along one of her older siblings and their certificate to prove that the same lineage was already deemed acceptable. Once she does that, you should have an easier time with your own. You could attempt to do that yourself with one of those family members, but it would probably be easier to have relatives who are closer in situation (whereas you’re an extra generation removed from her siblings’ records).

      Best of luck. Let us know how it goes!

  74. It’s been interesting listening to other people and their experiences on this blog. My application was forwarded to Koln at the end of 2013 and I’m settling in for what I believe will be a fairly long wait. After hearing the issues that other had in proving their grandfather’s citizenship, I was able to track down my grandfather’s German nationalization certificate and had it certified at the Bundesarchiv in Berlin. I’m hoping that helps things along, but I don’t want to get my hopes up for a quick reply.

  75. Hi everyone,

    Thanks Jenn for hosting this conversation and sharing your valuable information with us!

    I’m Canadian with a father who was German when I was born, and I am in (what appears to be) the final stages of this waiting game for my German citizenship.

    I moved to Berlin last April and submitted my application for recognition of German citizenship in June 2013. Two weeks ago (Feb 3, 2014) my documents were finally sent from the Rathaus Pankow (Berlin) to the Ministry of the Interior in Koeln. My notarised translator, who is German (and who has been an endless source of aid and support for me) tells me this should mean that it just needs to get final-approved, which is basically a formality, and my application should be closed (hopefully APPROVED!) within 5 or 6 weeks of that date.

    So, after ~9 months of waiting, I am supposedly on the last leg.

    Because I have been undergoing this process from Germany, I thought my experiences could be valuable to someone doing something similar or interested in trying it. If I’m honest it hasn’t been easy, but if anyone wants to know anything about visas (There’s a special visa for people in our exact situation called the Fiktionsbescheinigung, but it’s not the only visa possibility) or what it’s like to do this whole dance from inside Germany, please let me know if you have questions for me.

    The biggest advantage of doing this from inside Germany is that you should cut your waiting time approximately in half – reading others’ accounts here of waiting up to 3 years (!!!) makes me less impatient about my wait of (so far) 9 months – So, if my proof-of-citizenship actually does come in the next month, I will keep you all updated as it will “prove” that the waiting time is indeed less.

    One (quite significant) disadvantage is that you are NOT allowed to leave Germany while the process is underway, that is, you will not be arrested for leaving but you will probably be kissing your citizenship goodbye.

    Another advantage of doing it from here is that you can personally go into the Staatsangehoerigkeitangelegenheitenbuero at the Rathaus (City Hall Dept. of Citizenship) and speak to them – namely, persistently ask after your case to show your interest. This is a lot more effective than I would have expected! I used to bring a friend or my translator with me until my German improved, and I think my case was sped up a LOT by my persistence in going physically into their offices.

    One key story: the last time I went to the Rathaus Pankow was about a month ago, around the middle of January 2014, because my address had changed and they had asked me to notify them whenever I moved. Well, while I was there the woman responsible for my case (who by this time recognises me by face and is very kind to me) pulled out my file and told me “We still need another document, your file has been halted until you provide this paper” – It turned out to be quite convoluted, I can elaborate if anyone is interested, but basically the German consulate in Vancouver had refused to accept one of my documents (on ridiculous grounds). I was a bit shocked that they hadn’t informed me that my process had been stalled, but immediately went home and did some more research, had a nightmare of a week visiting everyone from the Auslaenderbehoerde to the Canadian Embassy and phoning the German Embassy and Canadian Citizenship office in Vancouver, and finally, my translator friend phoned the Rathaus personally and after one quick conversation, convinced the Frau that my documents WERE sufficient. That same day, my file got sent off to Koeln to be (hopefully) final-approved.

    My point of course is that if I had not gone in to the Rathaus for an unrelated reason, I may have been waiting who knows how long before they told me my file wasn’t moving. I still don’t know how long it had been sitting like that before I went. Additionally if my awesome translator hadn’t phoned them and been pushy, they still wouldn’t have sent it off by now. The folks at the Rathaus have a stack of applications up to their throats of people trying to prove their German citizenship, and they really will not give YOUR case any attention unless YOU are pushy about it and show your interest.

    For obvious reasons not everyone can just up and move to Germany in order to pursue this. Calling and being pushy from outside Germany can be tricky because a) you have to speak decent German and b) they generally (understandably) refuse to give out information over the phone, especially if you have a friend/translator call on your behalf. But if you are interested in doing so from inside Germany I might be able to help you.

    Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences and I hope I can help someone.

    If anyone else has successfully received their German citizenship from Germany I have some questions for you…namely, what is involved with the “aftermath” – do I have to stick around and sort out anything like tax numbers, insurance etc or am I allowed to leave Germany immediately? (I want to plan a trip away as soon as I receive my magical piece of paper, since I have not been allowed to leave since last spring.)

    If anyone knows the answer please speak up!

    Thanks & regards,

    • Apologies for the slow approval. I saw this one in my inbox and thought I approved it the other day. 🙁

      It sounds like you have an interesting story and a pretty unique experience! Do you know what the reason is for them not letting you leave during the process? Is this something else than proving citizenship from birth? Usually residency requirements are related to naturalization proceedings to become a new citizen. I’ve never heard of that happening with anything else. I’m not sure how they could insist on someone staying in the country. Either you really are a citizenship from birth, in which case you’re entitled the same rights as other citizens (including free movement), or you’re not in which case they don’t have any grounds to tell you where you may and may not go. I wonder if you went in to pursue one process and somehow there was a communication fault where they processed the paperwork differently. Either way, that sounds like a crazy situation, and I hope it’s all sorted out soon for you! 🙂

  76. It’s been a few months since I posted but have been keeping up with this great forum. Suffice to state, a little update for my quest(s) I was born in Germany to German Parents and we immigrated to the USA in 1952.

    My parents eventually were granted USA Naturalization/Citizenship in 1957 (I was about 13 then) and we continued on as US Citizens for years. About 5 years ago, the bell sounded and I found out that I was still a German citizen.

    Long story short – I put in all the necessary paperwork etc, submitted all to a very helpful German Consulate in San Francisco, waited almost 2 years, and was finally granted my German Passport.

    Now the best part – My 25 year old daughter decided she too would like Dual Citizenship as we visit Germany so often. So we did the usual paper thing and the long wait. Time passed slowly and I found this website. Read the forum and asked a few questions. The lightbulb came on when Jenn asked me if I tried going straight to the Consulate and bypass the paperwork (I was already German Dual so it fit)

    I made a few calls and went to the German Consulate in San Francisco along with my daughter. We provided about 4 pieces of paper, a picture or two and… in 40 minutes, she too walked out of the consulate as a Dual Citizen. We then asked to cancel the initial request we initiated 2 years earlier. As we left the Consulate, we both were walking on air!!

    Many thanks to Jenn and you all for making this a fun and informative forum. Good luck to you all

    Just curious – what does getting dual citizenship really mean to you i.e. why are you interested and perhaps benefits etc if any do you “expect”?

    • Congratulations! That’s so exciting for both you and your daughter! 🙂 I wish my brothers would do the same, but they haven’t cared much about it yet. I know when I have children I’ll be taking them when they’re infants to have their birth registered with the German mission.

      As for the benefits, the main one I’m concerned with is travel. Dual citizenship gives me the right to live and work in EU nations. I run my business from home (professional blogger, business writer, and author), and it’s something I can do from anywhere. So I can work and travel if I want to without having to worry about giving up hours or dealing with limited vacation time.

      Right now I don’t do that because my husband doesn’t have the same luxury. But he started his own business last year and is already quite successful even part-time. In a few years he plans to quit his full-time job and focus only on his own home-based business (software development).

      At that time, we’d like to travel to Europe for a while — anywhere from a few months to a few years. That will be largely so I can dig deeper into my family’s history, including my German family. Dual-citizenship will make that so much easier. It’s just a shame my husband isn’t eligible, so he’ll still have to deal with more complicated visas.

      But the real benefit to me is what it means for my children, if I’m lucky enough to have them.

      We live in an increasingly global economy, so the freedom to travel and work abroad more easily will give them a competitive advantage when it comes to education and employment. And of course it’s a way to keep them connected to their roots.

      • Jenn – I couldn’t have stated it better… Excellent especially what it means to my daughter and her future.

        What I do want to share is that “moment” where I realized I found “home”

        In 1985, I visited my hometown of Hannover, Germany and decided to get my original Birth records from their Rathaus. THAT was an interesting moment for me in that reality struck – YES I WAS born in Germany and all those childhood memories were true.

        The next “shocker” was when I visited my uncle in Hamm on that same trip. Early in the morning I was walking alone in the quiet neighborhood and heard kids playing in the street… the closer I got, the more I clearly heard their laughter and chatter.

        For whatever reason, it suddenly dawned on my that I could easily understand them WITHOUT having to translate German to English and – the biggest thrill was that magic moment I realized I was “Home”

        With tears I continued on my walk with thoughts of realizing I had really never “fit” into the American culture subconsciously.

        For me, German citizenship really means a deep down feeling of belonging… roots in an incredible place on earth called Germany. The full realization is still hitting home not only for me but for my daughter. School, education, travel, people, family… the list goes on – and all with that overwhelming feeling of having finally found “Home”

      • Jenn: You wrote: I know when I have children I’ll be taking them when they’re infants to have their birth registered with the German mission.

        My Daughter is a Dual as you are, are you saying that if you have children, you would not necessarily have to give birth to them in Germany? I was under the impression the dual citizenship ended with my daughter i.e. she would not be able to have it extended to her children unless she went to europe to have them. Hmmm

        • No, she doesn’t have to give birth in Germany. As long as she’s still a German citizen when the baby is born, they’re born with German citizenship (even if they inherit another citizenship due to their place of birth). If your daughter was born after a certain period (1990 I believe, though I’m not 100% sure without looking that up), then she would have to register the baby’s birth with the German consulate before its first birthday for citizenship to stay with the baby. But if she was born before that point (your daughter, not the baby), she doesn’t even have to do that. She can wait and let the child apply for their citizenship papers if they want to when they’re older (similar to the process I had to go through as an adult).

  77. Hello Everyone,
    The Embassy in London finally provided the direct contact of the person handling my case file at the BVA. I have also got a lawyer in Hamburg to write to him. Fingers crossed right now that all goes well. All I can wish for now is luck. I really want to be able to associate back with my roots in Germany, Learn the culture and most importantly for my future kids. In this world of Global competitiveness, the best thing I can do for them is transfer EU citizenship to them.

  78. Hello all, and Jen,

    You can read about everything I did earlier to get my passport in all my prior posts but this is my quick up date.

    First week in March I went to the consulate in Los Angeles and filed for my passport. Everybody was very nice my daughter and myself both like the security guard he’s Kühl. Well the photo machine was down so they directed us to go next door and get our pictures taken and the guy cost more but did a great job. We filed and then the waiting started. One week, two, three then on exactly four weeks they came in the mail. We paid extra as we live 10 hours away. My daughters reissepass was perfect, but mine… Mine said I was a female.
    I called the consulate and they pulled my file the very nice man said ” yes you are a male, might you possibly have a wig to wear when you travel.”? He was joking!!! A German government worker was joking! Wow I found the best consulate ever. Well I sent my passport back and three and a half weeks later it came all new and fixed! Well we are all done for now. We both love having all our German citizenship documents done and in a few months now my daughter wants to go a German personal ID. Let’s see what sex I turn out to be this time! Hey thanks for all the support and keep applying and we will continue to have positive posts!

  79. That is good news Heinz! I am still working on getting my passport for my brother and I. I plan on setting up an appointment at the consulate in Chicago within the next couple of weeks. How did you get your other citizenship documents, where is a good place to start? Thanks

  80. I had access to all the documents I needed except one. The documents I gave the consulate was my marriage and birth certificates, my fathers German birth certificate, German passport, and US naturalization certificate. The only document I was missing was my parents marriage license which I had to send for from out of state. Then I sent them all the documents and waited a little over two years. That was the hard part. But worth it.

  81. Hello Guys, I have some great news.. I got a mail from the BVA in German saying they have reopened my application for a certification of citizenship and they would be taking into account the circumstances surrounding all the applications. They went on to say they would be making a final decision in July and asked me to reconfirm my residential address. After all I have hope once more. I just pray it comes out positively.


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