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Acquisition of German citizenship by birth in Germany
Children of foreign parents can, under certain conditions, acquire German citizenship in addition to the nationality of their parents.
Since December 20, 2014, they can both keep if they grew up here. Only those who did not grow up here have to choose between German and foreign citizenship after reaching the age of 21.
Since 2000, the birthplace principle applies to children born in Germany to foreign parents (ius soli). To do this, at least one parent must have been legally resident in Germany legally for eight years and have an unlimited right of residence at the time of birth. This means that these children acquire German citizenship in addition to the nationality of their parents when they are born in Germany.
Parents are usually informed by the registry office after the child is born if their child has German citizenship by birth in Germany.
No option requirement for children raised in Germany
By 2014, children who had acquired German citizenship by birth in Germany had to choose between the German and the foreign nationality of their parents when they reached the age of majority (so-called option obligation).
Since December 20, 2014, the Ius-soli Germans have been exempt from the option obligation if they grew up in Germany. Even the Ius-soli-Germans, who, in addition to German citizenship, only have the citizenship of an EU country or Switzerland, do not have to choose a nationality (new regulation through the second law amending the citizenship law BGBl. I p. 1714).
According to the legal definition (§ 29 paragraph 1 a StAG), who grew up in Germany until the age of 21:
- usually stayed in Germany for eight years or
- attended school in Germany for six years or
- has a school-leaving qualification obtained in Germany or vocational training completed in Germany.
Duty of option for Ius-soli-Germans who grew up abroad
Ius-soli-Germans who grew up abroad and do not meet the above requirements are obliged to choose between the German and the foreign nationality of the parents at the age of 21 (so-called option obligation).
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