Dual citizenship and Optionspflicht, and how Brexit affects children's rights

7 posts in this topic

I have a question regarding my children's right to hold both German and UK citizenships post-Brexit that I'm hoping someone here will be able to help me with.

 

My wife and I are both dual nationals of the UK and Germany (born in the UK and naturalised in Germany in March 2019). Our son, who was born in March 2017, was naturalised along with us and so is also a dual national. Our daughter was born in April 2019, and as my wife and I had both been living in Germany for more than 8 years by then, she is a jus soli German (German by place of birth) and thus also holds both German and UK passports.

 

Following the recent changes to the Optionspflicht (the obligation for a young adult to choose between their two nationalities between the ages of 18 and 21), this would ordinarily not apply to German citizens who hold another EU (or Swiss) nationality, or other dual nationals growing up in Germany. However, we have recently moved to Ireland and so are unsure as to how they might be affected by Brexit. As the UK is no longer an EU member, will they have to renounce one of their nationalities by the time they reach 21, or will the fact that they were naturalised/born prior to Brexit mean they will both be able to retain their two nationalities and not be subject to the Optionspflicht, regardless of whether we return to Germany in the future?

 

It would be great if someone with a deeper understanding of the topic than I have could give me an insight here. Thanks in advance for any helpful replies! :)

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I think if you became German in March 2019 and your daughter was born in April 2019 she should 'inherit' the German citizenship after you. I don't think the law you mention would apply to her.

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I don't think its a problem, the  Optionspflicht  only applies to Jus Soli childeren who don't meet the requirements. None of your kids are affected. Your son is naturalised German and your Daughter is German by birth since she is the child of German parents.

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The Auswärtiges Amt provides this useful article regarding the Optionspflicht, stating:

Quote

Under Section 29 of the Nationality Act in the amended version, anyone who possesses only the nationality of another EU state or Switzerland in addition to German citizenship is exempt from the obligation to choose.

 

It also states the following:

Quote

 

Furthermore, persons who have grown up in Germany are not obliged to opt for one nationality. Under Section 29 (1) a of the Nationality Act, anyone is considered to have grown up in Germany who

  • has been habitually resident in Germany for at least eight years,
  • attended school in Germany for at least six years

or

  • completed their schooling or vocational training in Germany.

 

 

So, reading that, it seems everything should be fine for my two. However, the UK is no longer an EU member, and my kids will (probably) not have been habitually resident in Germany for at least eight years, have attended school in Germany for at least six years, or have completed their schooling or vocational training in Germany - hence the reason I'm asking in the first place. I can't find information about this anywhere...

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@BBMSteve: check out the key info from the article you quoted:

 

"Since 2000, children born in Germany to non-German parents automatically acquire German citizenship if one parent has been legally resident in Germany for at least eight years and has a permanent right of residence. Upon turning 21, these children have to choose between their German nationality and their parents’ nationality under the regulation obliging them to opt for one nationality (Optionspflicht). "

 

Neither of your kids is affected by this:

- your son got naturalised with you

- your daughter was born to German parents :-)

 

So if the info you mentioned in the OP is all correct, there is nothing worry about. Your kids are as German as it gets (not sure if this is what you wanted to hear though ;-) )

 

 

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Upon turning 21, these children have to choose between their German nationality and their parents’ nationality under the regulation obliging them to opt for one nationality (Optionspflicht). 

 

It's this very sentence that's worrying me! ;)

 

But I see where you're coming from now! I guess it's the fact that both my wife and I became German citizens before my daughter was born that I'm ignoring. So is she in fact jus sanguinis German? And you're also saying that as my son was naturalised, the Optionspflicht doesn't apply to him. Now I follow you!

 

 
 
 
 
Quote

So if the info you mentioned in the OP is all correct, there is nothing worry about. Your kids are as German as it gets (not sure if this is what you wanted to hear though ;-) )

 

This is exactly what I wanted to hear, thanks! :D

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