German CitizenshipA grant of German citizenship can be made to a person living outside of Germany on a wholly discretionary basis. In practice this is only done to remedy effects of a past law or event that may be considered unfair, such as discrimination on the basis of gender or legitimacy.

On this basis, typical cases that are taken into consideration are the following:

  • when the German citizenship was not passed down from German mother to child
  • when the child was born illegitimately to a German father prior to 1993
  • the child lost German citizenship due to the actions of the parent

In these cases, the German authority may exercise discretion to grant discretionary naturalisation.

In order to qualify, the applicant would need to demonstrate at least some of the following:

  • sufficient German language skills
  • financial self-sufficiency
  • ties to Germany
  • good moral character
  • commitment to the German democratic constitution and its legal system
  • knowledge of Germany’s culture and society

Discretionary naturalisations are rarely granted to people living outside Germany, unless the application is compelling.

If you had a German parent or grandparent, or you lost German citizenship, and would like to explore possibilities for discretionary naturalisation, please do not hesitate to contact us.


To discuss an assessment of your claim to German citizenship, call +1 (305) 770 6530 or complete the Contact Us form on the right