Information

Dual Citizenship – German / American citizenship

dual citizenship

What is Germany’s view of multiple nationality?

In general, it is possible, but it must be justified,
WHY to accept the foreign one
WHY to keep the German one
It is important not to accept the foreign one first and then keep the German one, but to submit an appropriate application BEFORE accepting the foreign one.

In addition the German regulations in the excerpt:


Germans who acquire a foreign nationality can now retain their German nationality under simplified conditions. According to § 25 para. 2 StAG, public and private interests must be weighed up when deciding on a retention permit. For Germans abroad, it is particularly important to consider whether they still have ties to Germany. These ties can be close relatives in Germany or also property, for example.

Right to the citizen

The USA allows dual citizenship, but they do not promote this path, since from a purely legal point of view there are always two countries that can make a claim to the person valid and in problem cases the person cannot necessarily be helped, for example, if controversial laws of the countries involved take effect.
But: the country in which the person lives (the definition for this must be examined on a case-by-case basis) generally has a stronger claim to the person.
However, a person with dual citizenship must also comply with the laws of both countries.

Dual citizenship under German law, multiple nationality

As a rule, foreign citizenship must be surrendered. Exceptions will continue to apply if nationality cannot be surrendered or can only be surrendered with special difficulties. New or extended exceptions apply, inter alia, to elderly persons when dismissal from foreign citizenship encounters disproportionate difficulties, to recognised refugees, to unreasonable conditions for dismissal from foreign citizenship (including excessive dismissal fees or degrading dismissal procedures) and to serious disadvantages, particularly of an economic or property law nature. Source: German Federal Foreign Office

Retention of German citizenship

If a German lets himself be naturalized in another state, he loses his German citizenship. You can only prevent this if you have received a retention permit before naturalisation. Therefore, the application for retention should always be made first, i.e. before the application for naturalisation in the other state.

Would you like to apply for a retention permit and do you live abroad? Then submit your application to the embassy or consulate responsible. From there, the application is forwarded to the Federal Office of Administration. In the process you have to prove that you still have ties to Germany.

The retention permit cost 255€.

To become a citizen after birth, you must:

Citizenship Through Naturalization

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

How to Apply for Naturalization USA

To apply for naturalization, file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

Which cost (06/08/2018) $725 (Naturalization fee + biometric fee)

Beside that you have to file for naturalization you also have to make a test.

For more test information visit our Naturalization Test page.

You May Qualify for Naturalization if:

  • You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years and meet all other eligibility requirements, please visit our Path to Citizenship page for more information.
  • You have been a permanent resident for 3 years or more and meet all eligibility requirements to file as a spouse of a U.S. citizen, please visit our Naturalization for Spouses of U.S. Citizens page for more information.
  • You have qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meet all other eligibility requirements. Visit the Military section of our website.
  • Your child may qualify for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the child was born outside the U.S., the child is currently residing outside the U.S., and all other eligibility requirements are met. Visit our Citizenship Through Parents page for more information.