Citizenship; application for the determination of German citizenship

In cases of doubt, the administration can make a generally binding decision as to whether or not German citizenship exists.


As a rule, the authorities in Germany only need to see a valid passport or identity card to check whether a person has German nationality. Whether a German nationality exists can be determined with binding effect in cases of doubt.

Upon application, Germans receive a citizenship certificate as proof of German citizenship.

Upon application, foreigners receive a negative certificate with which they can prove that they do not possess German citizenship.


  • Certificate of nationality: Possession of German nationality and proof of an interest in the matter.
  • Negative certificate: Non-possession of German citizenship


The application for the issuance of a citizenship certificate / negative certificate must be submitted to the citizenship authority (district administrative authority).

In the application for the issuance of a citizenship certificate / negative certificate, the personal data of the applicant must be presented and the documents or other evidence must be enclosed that can be used to prove the possession or non-possession of German citizenship.

Processing time

The processing time can be several months. It is significantly influenced by the extent to which you support the citizenship authority within the scope of your duty to cooperate and the informative value of the enclosed documents. Considerable delays can occur if inquiries in old registers become necessary.

Required documents

  • Application available from the competent authority

  • Documents proving possession of German citizenship

    • Documents or other evidence of acquisition or possession of German citizenship such as:
      • Naturalisation certificates
      • Certificates/documents on the acquisition of German citizenship by declaration or option
      • Certificate in accordance with § 15 of the Federal Expellees Act
      • Appointment certificates for civil servants
      • Determination notices on the acquisition of citizenship through service in the former German armed forces and other comparable associations
      • Documents on membership of the group of persons to whom a collective naturalisation extended
      • Expellees' identity cards, Volksliste identity cards, certificates of nationality or other documents on German nationality
      • Proof of (former) right of domicile, citizenship or residence in the areas concerned, certificates of renunciation of the right of renunciation
      • Documents on the possession of German citizenship or former legal status as a German or on treatment as a German
      • Citizenship cards, certificates of origin, documents/identifications on legal status as a German
      • Passports, identity cards and other identification documents (also old ones)
      • Excerpts from (former) family registers, citizens' lists, citizens' directories
      • Documents on military service or work as a civil servant
      • Confirmation of registration; documents on permission to retain German citizenship, ID cards for displaced persons, (old) refugee ID cards, registration certificates in single copy
      • Other possible documents
    • If required, the following additional documents may also be necessary:
      • Documents on the non-acquisition of another nationality (non-acquisition certificate)
      • Proof of acquisition/possession of other nationalities
      • Name change documents/certificates
      • Civil partnership certificate
      • Consent from the Federal Ministry of Defence or the Federal Office of Defence Administration to serve in a foreign army
      • Documents on custody (for applications from persons under 16 years of age)
    • Further documents will be requested by the competent authority if required.

  • Documents proving non-possession of German citizenship

    • In addition to the information on your parentage, the following documents are also required
      • Proof of acquisition and possession of foreign citizenship
      • Proof of loss of German citizenship
      • Proof of completion of military service abroad

    regularly required.

    • Further documents will be requested by the competent authority if necessary.


  • The fee for a citizenship certificate or a negative certificate is 51.00 EUR. The rejection is also subject to a fee.


Administrative court proceedings; information

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


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

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