German citizenship law: § 5 StAG Acquisition of German citizenship by declaration - MTH Rechtsanwälte Köln
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von: Helmer Tieben

Persons who were born after the German constitutional law (“Grundgesetz”) came into force (May 23, 1949) can acquire German citizenship by declaration according to § 5 StAG. This means that those persons who were previously denied German citizenship due to gender-based discriminatory unequal treatment in citizenship law should now also be given the opportunity to acquire German citizenship. According to § 5 StAG, these groups of people and their descendants will have the opportunity to obtain German citizenship by simply making a declaration to the competent authority.

In order to be able to submit a declaration the following requirements must be met:

  • The person must belong to the authorized group of people born after May 23, 1949·
  • According to Section 37 (1) Sentence 1 of the StAG, the person must be capable of acting (having reached the age of 16 and having legal capacity) or be legally represented·
  • The person must not have been sentenced to imprisonment or to a youth sentence of two years or more. Furthermore, preventive detention must not have been ordered and there must be no reason for exclusion criterion under Section 11 StAG.

Furthermore, the declaration must have been submitted within 10 years after § 5 StAG came into force, i.e. 10 years since August 20th, 2021. 

Authorized Group of Persons

The authorized group of persons according to § 5 Abs. 1 StAG includes the following groups:

  1. Children of a German parent who did not acquire German citizenship by birth,
  2. Children of a mother who lost German citizenship before the birth of the child through marriage to a foreigner,
  3. Children who have lost their German citizenship acquired by birth through a legitimation, committed by a foreign person and effective under German law and
  4. Descendants of the children referred to in numbers 1 to 3.

Completion of declaration acquisition

According to § 5 paragraph 1 2 StAG, a declaration of acquisition is excluded if the person acquired German citizenship after birth or regained it after losing citizenship, but then lost it again (e.g. by acquiring a foreign citizenship). Accordingly, the acquisition of German citizenship is also excluded for descendants of this person.

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