In the course of World War II, the devastating Nazi regime led to the tragic loss of millions of Jewish lives. Only a portion of the Jews living in Germany had the chance to escape the country before the dreadful atrocities unfolded. Unfortunately, not everyone was fortunate enough to escape, and they had to endure unimaginable suffering during the Holocaust. Since then Germany had decided to take accountability for its actions, allowing the descendants of Holocaust victims and survivors to apply for a German passport for Jews. Now, the descendants of those Jews are eligible to request German citizenship.
This article will examine the specific clauses within the German citizenship law that enable Jewish descendants to acquire German citizenship, explore the procedural aspects of the process, and discuss the advantages of obtaining German citizenship.
Our law firm specializes in assisting the descendants of German Jews persecuted by the Nazi regime. If you are eligible for German citizenship, we can help you with the citizenship request process, to ensure a streamlining and time-efficient process.
Who is eligible for German citizenship?
The German citizenship law contains determines which individuals are eligible for German citizenship. The first relevant clause is clause 116, which states that every descendant of a former German citizen is eligible for German citizenship.
In 2021 several new amendments were made to the law. One of the amendments is clause 15, which states that every descendant of an ancestor who resided in Germany before 1933, who fled Germany after 30.01.1933, is eligible to receive German citizenship.
Before the new amendments were made, German citizenship could only be passed on through the side of the father. The new amendments also corrected this bias, by allowing citizenship to be passed through ancestors on the mother’s side as well.
Amendments were also made to clause 5 of the law. The new amendment now grants eligibility in the following cases:
- Descendants born to a German mother between May 23rd, 1949 and January 1st, 1975, who at the time of birth their father was not a German citizen, and the parents were married before the date of birth, are eligible.
- Descendants born to a German father between May 23rd, 1949 and July 1st, 1993, who at the time of birth their mother was not a German citizen, The father’s paternity was recognized before their 23rd birthday, and their parents did not get married before July 1st, 1998, are eligible.
- Descendants born after May 23rd, 1949, to a German mother who lost her German citizenship due to marrying a foreign citizen before April 1953, whose father was not a German citizen at the time of their birth, and who were born after the mother lost her citizenship, are eligible.
Or, in other words, in the following cases:
- Father not German citizen at birth.
- Parents married before birth.
- Descendants eligible.
- Mother not German citizen at birth.
- Father’s paternity recognized before 23rd birthday.
- Parents not married before Jul 1, 1998.
- Descendants eligible.
- German mother lost citizenship by marrying non-German before Apr 1953.
- Father not German citizen at child’s birth.
- Child born after mother lost citizenship.
- Descendants eligible.
As you can see the new amendments have broadened the eligibility circle immensely, so if you have any relation to Germany, there might be a chance that you are eligible for citizenship. You are welcome to contact us to find out if you are indeed eligible.
To get a request for German citizenship approved, you will be required to provide documents showing sufficient evidence that your ancestor was a German citizen or a resident in Germany in the relevant years.
Many requestors do not have excess to the required documents, whether it is because the documents have been lost, or their ancestor did not keep them. The good news is that this is not the end of the line. By reaching out to relevant archives in Germany it is possible to find the relevant documentation to prove eligibility.
It is important to know that the search in the archives is done manually since the archives in Germany are yet to be digitized. Therefore, the search duration can be from one month up to a year, but if you don’t have the documentation it is a crucial step in the process.
Preparing the requests
To obtain German citizenship for Jews it is required to submit the requests in German, along with translated documentation from the origin country. Documents such as birth certificates or marriage certificates need to be collected and then translated by a certified notary.
Once translated, the documents will have to be stamped with an apostille, according to The Hague Convention that Germany is a part of.
The next step is to submit the requests with all of the gathered documentation to the Department of Citizenship in Cologne, Germany. From this point, the average time it takes to get a response is about 2-3 years.
Getting the German passport
It is important to understand that the request process grants the requestors a naturalization certificate and not a passport. Once the requests are approved, the requestors will be asked to schedule an appointment in the German embassy in their origin country. During the appointment, they will be granted the naturalization certificate, which states they are now German citizens.
After receiving the certificate, the requestors can book an appointment to issue a passport with the German embassy. Appointment bookings can be made through the embassy’s website.
Why you should get a German passport?
The German passport is one of the most powerful passports in the world, ranked in second place, allowing those who hold it to travel to 190 countries without a visa.
Since Germany is part of the European Union, the passport also allows living, working, and studying in any of the 27 countries in the union such as Portugal, Italy, and Spain, with no limitations.
German citizenship allows individuals to study in Germany at a subsidized cost, and sometimes even study completely for free.
As you can see, even if you are not planning to move to Germany or any other country in the European Union, there are still great benefits you can enjoy by holding a German passport.
German passport for Jews – Don’t miss out on the opportunity
The option of obtaining a German passport, without having to study the German language or giving up on another citizenship, is a right reserved only for Jews, whose families were affected by the despicable Nazi regime. This opportunity is unique and highly beneficial.
If you are interested in using this opportunity while it’s still available, it’s better to act now, since there is no telling how much longer the German government will grant these rights to Jews.
Our offices located in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, have helped countless descendants to get the citizenship they rightfully deserve. If you are eligible, you can too enjoy this privilege by submitting a request for German citizenship.
We make sure that the request process is as hassle-free as possible for our clients, gathering all of the required paperwork for our clients, so they can enjoy a streamlined process. If you are interested in acquiring German citizenship, feel free to contact us, and we will be happy to assist you.