Our clients often ask what acquiring German citizenship actually means. The most frequent questions that consistently arise:
- Can I keep my current citizenship and still become German?
- Will there be tax implications on assuming German citizenship?
- Would any of my children have to serve in the German military?
- Can my spouse also naturalize? What if we all wanted to move to Germany/the EU?
Here’s a general guide to help explain the implications of dual nationality. First, let’s address the questions above:
Can I keep my current citizenship and still become German?
Generally speaking, the Germans take issue with dual nationality. It is only accepted under special circumstances. However, the restoration of citizenships under Article 116, lost due to Nazi persecution, is considered as one such exception.
In contrast to applying for regular, (non -persecution related) German citizenship that generally requires surrendering your current citizenship, restoring citizenship under Article 116, does NOT require any such surrender. This exception is deemed compensation for the injustice caused by the Nazis and you are fully permitted to keep any citizenship/s held at the time of application.
From the standpoint of the countries of your current citizenship, we have evaluated the subject based on UK and US-nationality and currently confirm neither countries object to multiple nationalities, as seen here for the UK and here for the USA.
However, please note that once German citizenship is restored, you risk losing it again, should you apply for yet another country’s citizenship. Feel free to contact us for advice should this become relevant.
Are there tax implications on obtaining German citizenship?
GCR cannot provide tax consultancy services. Therefore, the following is not in lieu of advice from a tax consultant.
Principally, in order to be liable for taxation in Germany, you would have to be a German resident for tax purposes, i.e. have your ordinary place of residence in Germany. Otherwise, you may be liable for “limited taxation”, which essentially means that you pay taxes on revenues incurred in Germany only.
Will any of my children have to serve in the German military?
Currently there is no compulsory military service in Germany. Formerly, it was mandatory only for German residents. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that non-residents would be called to service should mandatory military service be reintroduced.
It is important to note, once naturalized, Germans citizens can lose their citizenship if they volunteer to serve in the army of another nation. Should this become relevant, feel free to contact us prior to acting for advice on how to try and retain your German citizenship.
Can my spouse also naturalize? What if we all wanted to move to Germany / the EU?
Whilst the process of citizenship restoration does not include spouses, in case of a relocation to Germany or any other EU country, it will be much simpler for spouses to obtain a residence permit.
After a certain time spent in Germany, it is possible to naturalize on the grounds of being married to a German citizen. However, under these circumstances, one may have to surrender existing citizenships, according to regulations of acquiring citizenship through the “non persecution route” mentioned above.
Important to know
Once citizenship is restored, if you wish to enter and exit Germany, you are required to use a German passport. When entering and exiting the country of your original citizenship, you will have to show that passport at the border control.
Also, when in the country of your original citizenship, the German embassy cannot provide assistance or protection, be it legal or otherwise. Likewise, the US, UK embassy or embassy of any third country you have citizenship of, cannot provide any assistance or protection whilst you are in Germany.
Should you require assistance in a third country, feel free to seek assistance from the embassy of your choice.
We hope that the above serves to ease your understanding of acquiring German citizenship. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us –
firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 208-066-9900