Citizenship Retention Petition

The German citizenship retention application process allows individuals to maintain their German citizenship while acquiring another nationality under specific conditions. It is essential to meet the eligibility requirements and provide substantial reasons for acquiring another nationality to increase the chances of approval.

First Beibehaltungsantrag then Naturalization

Germany has a unique legal provision known as the Beibehaltungsgenehmigung. This regulation addresses a critical aspect of citizenship for individuals aiming to retain their German nationality while acquiring citizenship from another country.

Under current law, should an individual accept the citizenship of another country without filing and receiving approval from the German government, he/she will lose the German citizenship.

Our law firm is ideally suited to handle these petitions. Rechtsanwalt Patrick Baumfalk submits these applications on behalf of our clients directly in Cologne, Germany, the seat of the Bundesverwaltungsamt (BVA), the governmental agency responsible for processing and ruling on the applications.

A key aspect of such a citizenship retention petition is to demonstrate a close and continuing connection to Germany, which may include family ties, property ownership, or long-term residence. There are many other potential circumstances which can be considered and each case is different.

Additionally, the BVA is looking for potential disadvantages to the applicant should the petition be denied. A simple statement of being denied the right to vote in the new country does not typically suffice to prove this point.


beibehaltungsantrag processing
Bundesverwaltungsamt building in Cologne, Germany where your Beibehaltungsgenehmigung will be processed


You can find more information from the German embassy here. We work closely with our clients to help with the application process. As a practical note, the BVA does not currently accept checks, cash or online payments. The application fee of 255 Euros must be paid from a German bank account via wire. We typically submit these payments on behalf of our clients through our German trust account. An updated fee schedule can be found at § 38 Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz (StAG).

here is a sample list of documents you may need for the application:

  • original signed application
  • notarized copy of birth certificate
  • if applicable, notarized copy of marriage certificate
  • notarized copies of school and/or work records
  • a German CV
  • notarized copy of passport
  • notarized copy of naturalization
  • notarized proof of former german citizenship (i.e. passport)
  • evidence of sufficient ties/connections to Germany
  • evidence of financial support
  • if requested, police records

Important legal update as new legislation is being discussed in the German Cabinet and will reform the dual citizenship aspect of German Immigration Law. More information available here at the Tagesschau Article. It is important to keep in mind that the Beibehaltungsgenehmigung remains intact while changes to the law are being discussed.

Sample Form of a Beibehaltungsantrag




In the event that you have already acquired another citizenship and thereby lost German citizenship, another option exists. The process is called Renaturalization of former Germans. The application is similar and also processed by the BVA in Cologne, Germany. The requirements are that 1. you were eligible for a citizenship retention request at the time and 2. continue to be eligible until today. For more information on the process of Renaturalization of former Germans click here.


The material in this post represents general information and should not be deemed legal advice. Any use of the website DOES NOT create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between German American Real Estate & Immigration Law Center, LLC (law firm) or any employee of or other person associated with the law firm and a user of this website. It is intended as an educational resource for
understanding the laws. Since the law is continually changing, some parts of this website may become outdated before the next update. It is always best to consult an attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities regarding your particular case.

  1. It is important to note that this petition is only necessary for those who are looking to become a citizen of a new country through the process of naturalization. Those who were born dual citizens do not need to submit a citizenship retention application. ↩︎

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