Claiming German citizenship via ancestry

105 posts in this topic

I am a US Citizen, and I want to know if it is possible to obtain German citizenship through ancestry? My great-great grandparents emigrated from Germany to the US.

 

I have been reading/hearing conflicting reports regarding citizenship via ancestry (jus sanguinis). Information is readily availiable for those who's parents are German citizens; however, if your connection to Germany goes back further than your parents the information is very sketchy.

 

According to the German Consular Services Page:

 

The majority of those who are granted German citizenship each year are ethnic German "resettlers" (Aussiedler), the descendants of German farmers and craftspeople who settled in Russia and Romania and other parts of Eastern Europe in the 18th century.

...

The ethnic Germans' "Right of Return" rests on Article 116 of the Basic Law, the Federal Republic's constitution. Article 116 also extends the right to German citizenship to those deprived of it on political, racial or religious grounds between 1933 and 1945.

Article 116 of the Basic Law reads:

 

(1) Unless otherwise provided by a law, a German within the meaning of this Basic Law is a person who possesses German citizenship or who has been admitted to the territory of the German Reich within the boundaries of December 31, 1937 as a refugee or expellee of German ethnic origin or as the spouse or descendant of such person.

 

(2) Former German citizens who between January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945 were deprived of their citizenship on political, racial, or religious grounds, and their descendants, shall on application have their citizenship restored. They shall be deemed never to have been deprived of their citizenship if they have established their domicile in Germany after May 8, 1945 and have not expressed a contrary intention.

Now this is interesting.. It would seem that Article 116(1) would apply to anyone of German descent who's anscestors were German citizens within the territory of the German Reich as defined on Dec 31. 1937. Even though my great-great grandparents came to America in the late 1880's, would that mean I am still entitled to German citizenship since they were citizens and lived in the Hessen area?

 

Any thoughts?

 

Gururise

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Nope, don’t think so... They changed the laws again a few years ago, and made it much stricter to get DE Citizenship. It looks like some of the info you posted is out of date. I'd suggest looking up the info on the German Govt. website (More up to date) and you may also want to look at seeing a lawyer specializing in citizenship issues..

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My Grandparents left in 1934 and I can't get it. You're definatey SOL.

 

If you read 116(1) a little closer, you'll discover that it only applies to you if you are the spouse or descendant of refugee or expellee of German ethnic origin.

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If I remember, there are a few people on here, who's Mother is/was Germany and they can't even get it.. Use the search function and you'll learn more...

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If you were a siebenburger whos ancestors left Germany for Romaina in the 12th century, and you xenophobically managed to never mix your pure german blood with any of the local slavs, and keep your language and culture for centurys then its fine, you can come here and get citizenship no worries, but if your ancestors left germany a mere couple of generations ago then you are probably out of luck as they made the terrible mistake of opening up and integrating in the local culture and adopting english or whatever.

 

Kind of puts the expectation of foreigners here to integrate into perspective doesnt it.

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Does anyone know if Norway has a policy like Germany? My father's folks were both Norwegian and I am wondering if can become a Norwegian national?

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Why not look on the Norwegian Govt. website instead of asking here where 99.9% of the people will not know, or have the correct answer.

Only the Norwegian Govt. can tell you fo sure..

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Just thought someone may know (or went through it). But I will surf around...

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What if you have the feeling that your family left Germany for England somewhere around 800 years ago. Can you become and Englander just to piss off the English? What if your family left England for Scotland and Ireland, could you become Scottish or Irish just to piss off the English and Schotte?

What if Lucy really was the first human, could we all become Ethiopian just to piss off the Pope? So many questions... :unsure:

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True/Perhaps, but laws change all the time. What might have worked for one person, might not work for you this time around..

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There is not a country in the world that will give you citizenship on the basis of Great-great grandparents.

 

Otherwise most people in the US and almost everyone in Australia and New Zealand could claim another country's nationality.

 

Also, in order to become German, you need to demonstrate close ties with Germany (and Great great grandparents migrating from there will have you laughed at). Additionally, you will have to pass a German test. Normally you have to also live in the country for 8 years and you will probably have to renounce your US citizenship as well.

 

I got told that I am not able to get citizenship when I spoke to the authorities 2 weeks ago. This is despite the fact that:

1. My mother is German

2. I was born here

3. I have lived here for the past 5 years and over 10 years overall

4. I speak the language fluently

5. I used to be a German national as a child

 

I am going to see a lawyer who will probably help me find a way to get my citizenship.

 

You, however, are barking up the wrong tree and have not a hope in hell of getting citizenship based such tenuous links to Germany...

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I think the general with ancestors is: if they went West (i.e. to America) they can't claim citizenship. If they went East (i.e. to Russia) they can. This is why millions of "Aussiedler", "ethnic-Germans" in the former USSR who could speak as much German as fish in the North Sea could come to Germany in the past.

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German settlers in Russia where very common prior to the Revolution, actually for centuries, especially as military advisers and doctors...half the Emperial family, particularly princesses and tsaritsas were German by blood, i.e the most famous Catherine the Great and the last tsaritsa Alexandra (born in Darmstadt), as well as the first ancestor of the Romanov dynasty- he was Prussian by birth...

anywho, I think the reason why so many people of German background have been allowed to come back after the dissolution of USSR is beacause many of their families suffered in Stalin's labor camps during WWII, where most of those with German lineage were sent - although they too often spoke as much German as fish in the North Sea...my good friend came here at 17 with her father and mother from Russia, on the grounds that her grandpa served time in such a camp. Ironically he chose to remain in Russia after completing all the paperwork for his kids!

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Yes, that's what I kind of meant as well. Although up untill the 20th century and the two big wars with Germany, most of these settlements where voluntary as well...after that the Bolshevik perception of the Germans (and their descendants who spoke zero German) changed all that.

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It's a right of return for the descendents of people who were forced to leave Germany - either through the actions of the Nazi's or the communists, or became refugees for whatever other reason. Remember too that parts of Russia today used to be German territory, which confuses this even more.

 

The law does not apply to anyone who left Germany to go to the US voluntarily to start a new life in the 1880's.

 

Am I the only one who thinks this was a stupid question? It doesn't take a genius to figure out that a whole can of worms gets opened if people could claim citizenship based on migrating ancestors from over 100 years ago.

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PES - I don't know about Norway, but Sweden has a law where if one of your grandparents were Swedish, you're entitled, but there are more requirements too (I think like living there or speaking the language)..

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But I have an Australian friend who now has British Citizenship because his Grandfather was British. Where do you draw the distinction? I personally believe, which makes no sense, but you should only have a citizenship if you were born in that country by natural citizens of that country, unless there were defined hardships which prevented you from being born and raised there. I had read, no idea of the veracity, that in Japan there are third or fourth generation people that have been born in Japan who are still not allowed to be citizens.

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Doesn't work with grandparents.

 

Your friend's father must be British - or at least hold a British passport too.

 

In that case, it can be done - as long as everyone continues to hold onto their citizenship, it can be passed down

 

If anyone relinquishes it somewhere down then line, then it's not easily regained.

 

If someone's great great grandparents used to be German citizens, then what's the chance, realistically - using a bit of common sense?

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