• Wiebke Esther Günther

Possible Revision of the German Nationality Act

In its coalition agreement, the new government of the Federal Republic of Germany has announced a profound revision of the German Law on Nationality and Citizenship.

What is a coalition agreement?

A coalition agreement is a government program that states the common goals of the various parties who won the election. In order to effectively implement the goals, a draft must go through the legislative process. The law coming into force often differs from its draft, as it is the result of negotiation and compromise.

In the 2021 coalition agreement between the Social Democratic Party, the German Green Party (a party dedicated in particular to environmental issues) and the Free Democrats (the liberal party), states the following:

"We will implement a modern citizenship law. Hence, we will enable multiple citizenship and simplify the path to acquiring German citizenship."

Currently, German citizenship law is based on the principle of avoiding multiple citizenships.

Exceptions apply for example to German nationals who acquired Israeli citizenship at their Aliyah to Israel (see:

Further, German citizens can hold a second European citizenship in addition to German citizenship without having to choose between the two.

However, if German citizens wish to acquire a non-European passport, they need an official permission to retain German citizenship. The application is a complex and time-consuming process, of which the success depends widely on the discretion of the German authorities.

The implementation of multiple citizenships would eliminate the time-consuming process of obtaining a retention permit and avoid the uncertainty with respect to the discretion of the authorities.

Despite the great expectations, it has to be emphasized that so far, the introduction of multiple citizenship is merely a declaration of political objectives.

Its implementation will take some time and will have to pass the German legislation process. Until then, it will be necessary to apply for retention to avoid losing German citizenship when acquiring a non-European citizenship.

Through our legal advice in the field of citizenship law we have constantly contributed to the successful acquisition and retention of German citizenship.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

We will be happy to advise!