Citizenship; application for renunciation of German citizenship

German citizens who hold several citizenships can renounce their German citizenship.


It happens that multi-nationals have to or want to give up their German citizenship, e.g. because they want to join the army or the civil service of another state (whose citizenship they also hold) or want to take up a political office there. In this case, it is possible to renounce your German citizenship.

A renunciation certificate is issued as proof of renunciation of German citizenship.


  • Proven possession of foreign citizenship
  • No grounds for refusal


The application for a waiver must be submitted in writing to the competent district administrative authority (district administration office/independent city).

The waiver certificate will be issued by the competent authority after checking the requirements and reasons for refusal.

Special notes

The renunciation of German citizenship becomes effective on the day the renunciation certificate is handed over, which is usually done by the competent authority. Please note that from this date you will be treated as a foreigner by German authorities. Upon delivery, your German passport and/or identity card will be confiscated.

As an active civil servant, judge, soldier or otherwise in a public-law employment relationship, you can renounce German citizenship if you have had your permanent residence abroad for at least 10 years.

The renunciation of German citizenship may also have an effect on an existing public employment relationship (civil service relationship), or on current or future pension payments (e.g. retirement pension / pension payments, orphan's or widow's allowance).

Before submitting your application, please inquire with your employer or your benefits office whether and to what extent you will suffer any (financial) disadvantages as a result of giving up your German citizenship.

Processing time

Processing may take several weeks.

Required documents

  • Application available from the competent authority
  • Proof of possession of a foreign nationality (usually a national passport)
  • Approval of the German family court for applicants who are minors or under the care of an adult

    In the case of minors and applicants of full age who are under care, a release from German citizenship is only possible with the approval of the German family court (at the local court). You must apply for and carry out the corresponding procedure at the court on your own.

  • Certificate of no objection issued by the Military Service Authority for persons subject to compulsory military service in accordance with Section 1 of the Military Service Act (WPflG)

    In the case of persons subject to compulsory military service pursuant to Section 1 WPflG, dismissal is only possible if the military service authorities (Bundeswehr Career Centre) have no objections. This applies irrespective of the fact that compulsory military service has been suspended since 01.07.2011. The clearance certificate is therefore currently issued on a regular basis.


  • The waiver process is free of charge.


Administrative court proceedings; information

An appeal against a negative decision by the authority can be filed with the competent administrative court.

Status: 09.01.2023

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium des Innern, für Sport und Integration

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