Life in Germany. Citizenship for children born in Germany. If your child is born in Germany, does he/she automatically become a German citizen? It may not be so simple for both foreign and sometimes German parents. According to the German Foreign Ministry, a child born to two foreign parents in Germany, does not receive German citizenship at birth. But there are a few ways in which the child can still become a German passport holder.
How can your child obtain German citizenship?
In addition to the parents’ citizenship, any child born in Germany after January 1, 2000 to at least one foreign parent who has lived continuously in Germany for at least eight years, and is a permanent resident qualifies for German citizenship. But the child must decide at some point between the ages of 18 and 23 whether to keep his German nationality or another nationality acquired by birth.
This requirement only applies to children who have received German citizenship through a parent who is a long-term resident of Germany. The child does not have to choose if the parent holds a German passport, unless required by the other country of the passport holder. This means that if a foreign parent obtains German citizenship after the birth of their child, they can also receive a German passport for their offspring.
It may seem that having a German parent would grant citizenship to a child born in Germany, but this is not always the case. If the parents are not married and the father is German, he will need to ensure that he has completed a Vaterschaftsanerkennung (recognition of paternity) before he can claim citizenship.
Things can get a little complicated for families where one parent is German and the other foreign. Let’s say the mother holds a British passport and the father holds a German passport. While their children can easily travel to the UK without problems, they may face difficulties re-entering Germany unless their child has an official Deutschen Reisepass.
At the time of birth, at least one parents must be a resident in Germany for at least eight years, and have an unlimited right of residence or a residence permit.
Citizenship through Naturalisation
For children without a German parents this still remains a way to acquire citizenship. From the age of 16, children can make their applications for German citizenship. Before this age the application must be done by a parents or legal guardian.
For children under the legal age of 18 without their own income, who are undergoing the application process along with their parents, the application cost only €51.
If only the child is applying for citizenship, however, the full fee of €255 will apply.
For children under the age of 16, co-naturalisation is normally possible but after three years of living in Germany. The German language requirement can also be simplified for children.
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