When the Fourth Citizenship Amendment Act entered into force on August 20, 2021, further options for obtaining German citizenship were made available.

This includes victims of Nazi persecution and their descendants, if they have suffered disadvantages in terms of nationality because of the persecution, but do not meet the requirements of Article 116(2) of the German Basic Law (“GG”). This applies to persons and their descendants, who lost or were denied their German citizenship due to Nationalist Socialist persecution. Although Article 116(2) GG allows the restoration of citizenship for victims of National Socialist persecution, many applications were rejected because they were not deprived of it according to two specific laws in 1933 and 1941 that Art. 116(2) GG addresses. According to the new §15, even those persons who lost their citizenship before it was officially revoked, or for other reasons were never able to acquire it, have now a right to becoming a German citizen based upon restitution. (“Wiedergutmachungseinbürgerung”).

In addition, the Fourth Amendment now provides a procedure whereby anyone born after 23 May 1949 may be eligible to acquire German citizenship by declaration. It applies to persons who were previously unable to acquire German citizenship by birth or lost their German citizenship due to prior discriminatory regulations. This new amendment in § 5 StAG finally and fully addresses gender discrimination under previous laws. Section 5 StAG does not require any language skills, ties to Germany, and/or proof of financial disclosures.

We assist clients with applications for German citizenship by declaration and naturalization based on restitution. If you think you might be eligible to file an application under the new German citizenship laws, please contact us to schedule a consultation.