Ius sanguinis or blood law for German citizenship

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According to the German Basic Law, Article 116, Germans are, among others, the descendants of Germans who have lived in the territory of the Reich since December 31, 1937.

By virtue of this consideration, these descendants may claim their right to be recognized as German nationals, provided they are in one of the following cases:

  1. The entire bloodline, at least up to May 23, 1949, is made up of men who had their respective children in wedlock.
  2. The first woman in the bloodline had her child after 1953, either married or single.
  3. The German relative is the father and had the child while unmarried and before July 1, 1993.

Blood law requirements for German citizenship

  1. That the German parent was not born abroad after December 31, 1999 and has his or her permanent residence abroad, unless the applicant is a minor and becomes stateless by being denied German nationality or has been registered in the German birth register within the first year of life.
  2. Not having been sentenced to a prison sentence or juvenile penalty of more than 2 years for one or more intentional crimes, nor having been ordered to be remanded in custody in the last preventive sentence.
  3. Neither the applicant nor his or her ancestors have abandoned or lost their German nationality after May 8, 1945.

Necessary documentation for the right of blood for German citizenship

From the applicant:

  • Birth certificate.
  • Current identification document.
  • Other certificates of marital status.
  • Birth and marriage certificates proving family connection back to German ancestry.

German ancestry:

  • Birth certificate.
  • Current (or last) identity card.
  • Death certificate (if applicable).
  • Proof of name change (if applicable).
  • Proof of acquisition of a foreign nationality (if applicable).
  • Proof of German citizenship, which can be demonstrated, in order of preference, with:
    • Letter of citizenship
    • Birth certificate
    • Passport
    • Certificate of Residence Former Heimatschein
    • Kennkarte
    • Certificate of honor or good conduct Health certificate
    • Consular registration

Despite its position in the order of priority, consular registration will be mandatory if the ancestor migrated prior to 1904.


It can be done from abroad by sending the
corresponding form
together with the dossier with all the documents and the respective family tree.
family tree
by mail to the local German mission or directly to the Federal Office of Administration in Cologne.


Depending on the complexity of the file and the workload of the Federal Administration Office, it may take between 1 and 3 years.


It is €51 to determine the existence or non-existence of German nationality.