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Discharge from German citizenship for persons abroad
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
The Federal Office of Administration (BVA) is a German higher federal authority in the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Home Affairs (BMI). Among other things, it is responsible as a citizenship authority for persons abroad for issues related to citizenship.
If you live abroad and would like to be naturalized in another country and the foreign country requires you to give up your German citizenship, you can apply to be released from your German citizenship. If the dismissal can be approved, you will be issued a certificate of dismissal.
If you are a minor, you can only be discharged with the approval of the German family court (at the local court) responsible for you. A minor child does not need permission from the family court if the custodial parent or the parent with sole custody files the application for him/herself and at the same time for the minor child.
You can also appoint an authorized person, for example a lawyer, for your application. You must submit a power of attorney for this purpose.
You can obtain further information by telephone, e-mail or in a personal meeting at the German mission abroad responsible for you or at the Federal Office of Administration (BVA).
A renunciation of German citizenship must be distinguished from a dismissal. A renunciation can be declared by anyone who already possesses at least one other nationality in addition to their German nationality and wishes to renounce their German nationality.
You can submit the application for renunciation of German citizenship in writing to the competent German representation abroad, online or in writing directly to the Federal Office of Administration (BVA).
You or your authorized person can apply for the release from German citizenship in writing at the responsible German mission abroad, directly in writing or online at the Federal Office of Administration (BVA).
- You can obtain the application form locally from your local German mission abroad or download it online from the BVA's website.
- If you live in Germany, please contact your local city or district administration. There you will receive the application forms suitable for you.
- If you wish, the local mission abroad will assist you in filling out the application form.
- Fill out the application form completely and sign it.
- Submit the signed application by mail or in person to your local German mission abroad together with the required supporting documents.
- However, contacting the German mission abroad is not mandatory. You can also send the declaration directly to the BVA by mail.
- The BVA will check your application and inform you if further documents and information are required for the processing of the application.
- Go to the Federal Portal website and fill out the application form for release from German citizenship electronically. Note: For the online function, you will need your ID card with PIN number or another eIDAS-compliant form of authentication.
- Attach the other requested documents as a file.
- Submit your application.
- The BVA will check your application and, if necessary, request a certified copy of the required documents.
Complete the process (written and online):
- After the decision, you will receive a request for payment of the procedure fee.
- If your application is approved, the BVA will send your discharge certificate to your competent German mission abroad. They will inform you about the further procedure for handing over the certificate.
- The discharge becomes effective with the delivery of the discharge certificate. Your German identity documents become invalid as a result. They will be confiscated by the foreign representation.
- In order to complete the process, naturalization into the foreign country must take place within one year of receiving the certificate of discharge. Proof of naturalization must be submitted to the Federal Administrative Office.
- If naturalization has not taken place within the one-year period, to avoid statelessness, the dismissal procedure becomes retroactively invalid. The certificate of discharge must be returned to the Federal Office of Administration.
If the BVA rejects your application, you will receive a notice of rejection.
Applications for release from German citizenship can be submitted by:
- Germans with habitual residence abroad
- the foreign state requires that you give up your German citizenship in order to acquire the other citizenship
- there is a written assurance from the foreign state that you will be naturalized
- approval of the German family court (at the local court)
If you are subject to military service in Germany, you need the approval of the Bundeswehr Personnel Management Office. This will be obtained from the Federal Administration Office (BVA).
Which documents are required?
When submitting your application, you must submit:
- possible proof of possession of German citizenship, such as:
- German identity card,
- German passport,
- (last) certificate of citizenship
- confirmation of naturalization from the foreign state
- Permission of the German family court
Please attach the documents and proofs as officially or notarially certified copies, unless otherwise indicated. For the online application, you will first need simple electronic copies. The Federal Office of Administration (BVA) will request any necessary documents and evidence as certified copies in the online procedure only after the application has been submitted.
What are the fees?
- for the dismissal certificate: EUR 51.00
- for the notice of dismissal: EUR 38, 00
Please keep in mind that you may incur additional costs for obtaining documents, translations and certifications.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
- After you are issued your discharge certificate, you must naturalize in the foreign country within one year for the discharge to take effect.
- for processing the application: usually 2 to 3 months
Applications / forms
- Forms: yes
- Online procedure possible: yes
- Written form required: no
Personal appearance required: yes (for delivery of the discharge certificate)
Technically approved by
Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Construction and Home Affairs (BMI)