As of early 2024

Germany's new Dual Citizenship Law

As of January 19 2024 the German parliament approved a new law which authorizes German citizens to hold dual citizenship. In the past Germans naturalizing to become a U.S. citizen, typically had to either renounce their German citizenship or apply for the retention permit.

Losing German citizenship by naturalizing as a U.S. citizen is a significant decision, and individuals undertaking this process should be well-informed about the legal implications in both countries. Seeking guidance from legal professionals or contacting the German diplomatic mission in the United States can provide valuable information on the specific requirements and steps involved in renouncing German citizenship.

While there is some uncertainty as to the exact date of when the new laws will take effect, it is expected to be signed by the German President within the next few months. From then on Germany will allow dual citizenship and the retention requests will no longer be required.

Furthermore, the new legislation would qualify individuals for citizenship in Germany after residing in the country for five years, or three years in the case of “special integration accomplishments,” as opposed to the current requirements of eight or six years. Additionally, under the new rules, German-born children would automatically acquire citizenship if one parent has been a legal resident for five years, a significant reduction from the current stipulation of eight years.


The Beibehaltungsantrag will no longer be needed




In the event that you have already acquired another citizenship and thereby lost German citizenship, options exist for you to regain your German citizenhip. The process is currently 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.

We are continuously monitoring the implementation of these new laws as the process for regaining your lost citizenship is expected to change and simplify.




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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