What is the change? The German Ministry of Interior has passed a regulation that broadens a constitutional provision that allows descendants of those who lost citizenship under the National Socialist regime to apply for citizenship.

What does the change mean? The regulation fills gaps in Germany’s citizenship laws that excluded certain groups, and allows more individuals to be eligible for citizenship they would have inherited if not for National Socialist persecution.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing. The change took effect in September.
  • Processes impact: German citizenship.
  • Who is impacted: Descendants of former German nationals who lost German citizenship because of National Socialist persecution.
  • Business impact: While the overall impact on business is minor, the opportunity to obtain citizenship could carry significant personal importance to individuals who qualify.
  • Next steps: Those interested in an assessment to determine if they may be eligible for citizenship may contact Deloitte Germany’s immigration team.

Background: Under the Germany constitution, descendants of German nationals who lost their citizenship under National Socialist persecution are eligible to apply for citizenship. Some groups were excluded from this right, however, including marital children born before 1953 to a mother who lost citizenship after marrying a non-German. The Ministry of Interior implemented rules last month that will allow for such applicants to obtain citizenship if they meet other eligibility requirements.

Analysis & Comments: This legal right was established to provide a form of redress to descendants of people who lost their German citizenship under National Socialist persecution. Deloitte welcomes this new regulation that will make this redress available to a greater number of people who are still affected by their ancestors’ loss of citizenship.

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