Dual citizenship

With naturalization, foreign citizenship is basically lost or must be renounced. The German state wants the double citizenship resp. Avoiding multiple citizenship when naturalizing.

Loss of foreign citizenship

The loss of foreign citizenship can take place automatically – on the basis of foreign law – if German citizenship is accepted. Further measures are not necessary then. If necessary the naturalization authority will ask for a certificate of loss of foreign citizenship.

Abandonment of foreign citizenship

The renunciation of the foreign nationality is often not so simple at all. Many foreign countries require a formal application to be made to the respective foreign mission (embassy). As long as the foreign state has not made a decision on the application, naturalization will not take place.

Retention of foreign nationality

However, there are exceptions. The German state accepts multiple citizenship in some cases. If, for example, the foreign state does not provide for the possibility of releasing its citizen from citizenship, naturalization is still possible. That's the case with certain Asian or North African nations, such as Afghanistan, Algeria, Eritrea, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia as well as Cuba.

Sometimes the renunciation of the foreign citizenship does not succeed, z.B. because

  • the application has not been accepted by the foreign state,
  • the foreign state refuses to give the necessary forms,
  • a decision is not issued after a reasonable time (more than 2 years).

Naturalization in Germany is also possible in these cases.
The foreign citizenship does not have to be renounced even if the foreign state would only release the citizenship under unreasonable conditions. This would be the case if the state for the dismissal charges more than the gross monthly salary of the applicant (at least 1.280 €) demands.
Reasonability also depends on the individual abilities of the applicant. A more lenient standard may apply to older foreigners (over 60) or even those with health difficulties.
However, not every aggravation or condition of the foreign state is unreasonable. If, for example, a government loan or scholarship still has to be repaid, this is reasonable. Basically, the obligations to the foreign state must be fulfilled.

Multiple citizenship for Germans

Attention: If a German gets naturalized in another country, he loses – according to German citizenship law – his German citizenship. You can avoid this only if you have obtained a retention permit before naturalization. Then a dual citizenship is possible. Therefore, the application for retention should always be filed first, i.e., before the application for naturalization in the other state in question.
An exception is made for Germans who are naturalized in an EU country or in Switzerland. In these cases, the German citizenship is not lost, a retention permit is therefore not required (legal situation as of the 28th day after the birth of the child).08.2007).
Germans who live abroad can apply for a retention permit at the embassy or consulate in charge. From there, the application is forwarded to the Federal Office of Administration. Continued ties to Germany are necessary for retention.

Whether and under what conditions the other state allows multiple citizenship, depends on the law of that state.

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