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Home »German citizenship through marriage: This is how EU citizens and foreigners get naturalization after getting married

In Germany, foreign citizens can obtain naturalization through marriage or the conclusion of a registered civil partnership. For this, however, you have to fulfills various requirements and at the same time certain documents are required. In the following, you will find out which requirements must be met for a naturalization claim, whether and to what extent there is a difference in the procedure between EU and non-EU citizens and what is still important in connection with naturalization through marriage.


What are the requirements for naturalization?

Obtaining German citizenship through marriage is subject to a number of important requirements. It is of essential importance that husband and wife have been married on the basis of the laws and regulations applicable in Germany. There are also a number of other needs that we will describe in more detail in the course of this article.


Where is the application for German citizenship made?

If you want to apply for German citizenship due to marriage, you have to contact the responsible naturalization authority of the city administration or the district office of the respective district.


What documents are necessary for naturalization after marriage?

In addition to a valid identification document including a photo, proof of your current citizenship and a legal marriage certificate must be available for naturalization in Germany. In addition, evidence of income, assets and health and old-age insurance must be submitted.


What requirements do you have to meet in order to obtain German citizenship?

Naturalization through marriage is only possible if certain requirements are met in advance. First of all, it is of secondary importance whether you got married abroad or got married in Germany. The following requirements must be met:

  • Entering into a marriage according to valid German law
  • Existence of the marriage at the time of naturalization (marriage must have existed for at least two years and be concluded either with a German citizen or with a partner who has had German citizenship for at least two years and who held it at the time of naturalization)
  • independent management of a household in Germany
  • Stay of at least three years in Germany (non-EU citizens with a valid residence permit)
  • You have sufficient knowledge of the German language
  • no conviction of a criminal offense
  • Commitment to the free and democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany
Attention: the original citizenship will be discarded
Once a man or woman has been naturalized, he or she will generally lose his / her original citizenship. However, there are exceptions to this, for example if the person to be naturalized is a member of the European Union.

On the other hand, you do not become German through naturalization if:

  • the marriage or civil partnership was not entered into for the purpose of maintaining a conjugal partnership (fictitious marriage)
  • the marriage or civil partnership is not held as a conjugal partnership (for example in the event of a failed relationship)

What applies to EU citizens and what applies to non-EU citizens?

As an EU citizen, you are subject to the same basic requirements for naturalization as non-EU citizens. However, there is a special regulation for the naturalization of spouses who come from the European Union: On the one hand, they are allowed to have theirs after naturalization keep original citizenship and thus have the dual citizenship by marriage. On the other hand, EU citizens do not need a special residence permit. You already have a right of residence on the basis of European law.

Incidentally, applicable law applies nationwide - regardless of whether German citizenship is to be implemented through marriage in North Rhine-Westphalia or German citizenship through marriage in Bavaria.

After how many years do you get German citizenship through marriage?

In principle, foreigners become German citizens through marriage (EU citizens or non-EU citizens) if they were married for at least two years before applying for naturalization. Also, the relationship must be at this time managed as a marital partnership according to German guidelines become. In addition, the spouses must have lived in Germany for at least three years.

Children whose parents have taken German citizenship through (EU citizens or non-EU citizens) are not automatically German citizens. At birth, a child only takes on German citizenship if one or both of the married parents have it. If the mother and father are not married, the nationality depends on the mother. The father must then Recognize paternity according to German law.

Tip: discretionary naturalization
Even if there is no clear legal right to naturalization (for example through marriage), there is a possibility of realizing this. In this case, so-called discretionary naturalization applies. On the basis of this, the respective authority can then approve naturalization if there is a public interest. However, strict minimum requirements must also be met for this.

Which marriages are recognized in Germany?

In principle, every marriage is considered lawful in Germany if it has been concluded under the conditions of marital status and compliance with the applicable German laws. In the event of "German citizen marries foreigners“The regulations of the respective home country must also be taken into account. If a German and a German or a binational couple get married abroad, the official marriage certificate must be presented in Germany. On the basis of this, an entry can also be made in the German marriage register.

A non-recognized marriage in connection with an exclusion criterion for German citizenship through marriage is, for example, if a Marriage of convenience entered into or if the marital partnership is not maintained for the prescribed duration.

What documents are required to get married?

In order to be able to marry in Germany or as a German citizen or foreigner abroad, some essential documents are required. The mandatory documents are the same in most cases, but there are differences from country to country. The following table gives you an exemplary overview of the documents required in some countries around the world:

County townRequired documents
Germany
  • valid identification paper (identity card / passport)
  • certified copy from the birth register / birth certificate
  • Residence certificate (issued by the registration office)
  • for divorced fiancées: marriage certificate and divorce decree (all marriages already concluded)
  • additionally for widowed fiancées: marriage certificate and death certificate of the deceased partner
  • In addition, for children living in a partnership: birth certificate and acknowledgment of paternity
  • Additionally for foreigners: Residence permit and certificate of marital status
Austria

 

  • valid identification paper (identity card / passport)
  • certified copy from the birth register / birth certificate
  • Proof of citizenship
  • Certificate of Residence
  • additionally for widowed fiancées: marriage certificate and death certificate of the deceased partner
  • In addition, for children living in a partnership: birth certificate and acknowledgment of paternity
  • Additionally for foreigners: Certificate of marital status
Switzerland

 

  • valid identification paper (identity card / passport)
  • Birth certificate
  • current certificate of residence
  • additionally for widowed fiancées: marriage certificate and death certificate of the deceased partner
  • In addition, for children living in a partnership: birth certificate and acknowledgment of paternity
  • In addition, for foreigners: Certificate of marital status and certificate of residence
Italy

 

  • Valid identification paper (identity card / passport) and certified photocopy
  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of Residence
  • additionally for widowed fiancées: marriage certificate and death certificate of the deceased partner
  • In addition, for children living in a partnership: birth certificate and acknowledgment of paternity
  • Additionally for foreigners: Certificate of marital status
Denmark

 

  • valid identification paper (identity card / passport)
  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of Residence
  • additionally for widowed fiancées: marriage certificate and death certificate of the deceased partner
  • In addition, for children living in a partnership: birth certificate and acknowledgment of paternity
  • Additionally for foreigners: Certificate of marital status
Holland

 

  • valid identification paper (identity card / passport)
  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of Residence
  • additionally for widowed fiancées: marriage certificate and death certificate of the deceased partner
  • In addition, for children living in a partnership: birth certificate and acknowledgment of paternity
  • Additionally for foreigners: Certificate of marital status and certificate from the Dutch Immigration Office in accordance with the law to prevent marriages of convenience
Las Vegas (USA):

 

  • valid identification paper (identity card / passport)
  • Marriage license from the Las Vegas Marriage Permits Office

Tip: Many of the necessary papers, such as:

  • Copies from the marriage, birth and civil partnership register (certified)
  • Marriage certificates (with or without notice of divorce) (national and international as well as multilingual)
  • Birth certificates (national and international as well as multilingual)
  • Deeds of divorce
  • Death certificates (national and international as well as multilingual)

can be applied for conveniently online at application24.de.

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