Loss of Citizenship: Retaining and Renouncing German Citizenship
Under § 17 StAG, German citizens can also lose their citizenship.
Such a loss can arise in situations where the German citizen has gained the citizenship of another country without applying for the Retention permit (“Beibehaltungsgenehmigung”), where they have joined the armed forces of another country or by adoption by a foreign citizen. In disputed cases concerning the loss of citizenship, it is advisable to contact experts on German citizenship law. Our German citizenship lawyers are here to help.
The German authorities decide on Retention Permit applications by weighing up the public and private interests (§ 25 (2) p. 3 StAG) of the application. This decision is at the discretion of the German Federal Administrative Office. If public or private interests can justify gaining the Retention Permit and no overriding concerns stand in the way of it, the permit will likely be granted. At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our lawyers can guide you through this process, and ensure that you are aware of what the authorities consider to be important.
German law also allows German citizens to renounce their citizenship. Such a step may be required in cases where another state does not allow for dual citizenship when a person applies for their citizenship.
To renounce your German citizenship you need to hold dual or multiple citizenships. Germany does not allow for voluntary renunciation of citizenship if it would leave the person without a recognised nationality. Renunciation of German citizenship is provided for under § 26 (1) StAG (Nationality Act), and it states:
(1) A German may renounce his or her citizenship if he or she possesses multiple citizenships. Such a renunciation must be declared in writing.
Applicants seeking to renounce their citizenship need to present their documents and file an application through the German Embassy or the responsible Consulate General. It is only following their assessment and approval that German citizenship can then be renounced, as shown by § 26 (3) StAG:
(3) The loss of citizenship takes effect upon delivery of the certificate of renunciation issued by the approving authority.
By working with our citizenship law experts, you can be assured that you will receive responsible and competent advice in all matters relating to retaining or renouncing German citizenship.