Eased Path to Citizenship for Descendants of Victims of Nazi Persecution

October 9, 2019 | Germany

Effective immediately, the German government has passed two decrees aimed at facilitating the citizenship application process for those descended from individuals who lost their German citizenship as a result of Nazi persecution.

Eligibility
Under the new decrees, those who left Germany between January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945 due to Nazi persecution and lost their German citizenship by obtaining citizenship in another country are now eligible to restore their citizenship. Their descendants are also eligible for German citizenship. Those descended from women who lost their German citizenship by marrying non-German men after fleeing Nazi persecution in Germany are also eligible for citizenship. Previously, foreign nationals in these categories often had their citizenship restoration applications denied.

Applicants for citizenship under these decrees must evidence a basic understanding of the German language and German society, and must be able to prove their connection to Germany.

Application Details
Applications are free and may be lodged with a German consulate by appointment. Citizenship applications under the new decrees will be subject to less scrutiny than a regular citizenship application, as the language and integration requirements are relatively basic. Accordingly, those whose applications to restore citizenship were previously denied may have their applications more readily approved.
While Germany does not usually support dual citizenship, those who obtain German citizenship under the new decrees will be allowed to keep their existing citizenship as well.