Staying In This Great Country

Staying in This Great Country

Six Things Descendants Of Former German Citizens Should Know About Article 116 Citizenship

Rachel Curtis

Those who wish to have their ancestral German citizenship restored if it was lost as a result of Nazi persecution should understand some of the terms of Article 116. The following are six things descendants of former German citizens should know about Article 116. 

Article 116 can restore citizenship to some former German Jewish citizen descendants

Many Germans lost their German citizenship due to Nazi persecution in the 1930s and 1940s. In particular, many German Jews lost their citizenship. Under Article 116, many descendants of German Jews who lost their German citizenship are eligible to have their citizenship reinstated. 

Descendants of those who lost citizenship for other political and religious reasons can also regain citizenship

Descendants of German Jews are not the only individuals who may be eligible to have their German citizenship reinstated under Article 116. Nazi persecution also deprived many Germans of their citizenship due to other political and religious reasons.

Many former German citizens lost their citizenship as a result of being socialists, communists, Quakers, members of the Roma community, or members of the Sinti community. Descendants of these individuals may also be eligible to have their citizenship reinstated under Article 116.

Recent changes could lead to successful naturalization applications for those turned away in the past

The German parliament updated Article 116 in 2021 to make it possible for many affected individuals who had citizenship applications rejected in the past to now be eligible for citizenship. This means that those who sought German citizenship in the past may now be eligible to reapply. 

Individuals can have citizenship restored even if they have since acquired citizenship of another country

A descendant of a former German citizen may still be eligible for German citizenship even if he or she is a citizen of another country. In this case, the individual may become a dual citizen under Article 116. 

Those living abroad can have their application processed by the Federal Office of Administration

Many of those impacted by Article 116 who may be interested in pursuing German citizenship are living abroad. Those who are living abroad can get information and apply for citizenship through Germany's Federal Office of Administration. 

An Article 116 lawyer can handle the process of filing a citizenship application for an impacted individual

Those who wish to apply for German citizenship under Article 116 should hire an immigration lawyer specializing in German citizenship.

An Article 116 lawyer can handle the process of filing an application on behalf of a descendant of a former German citizenship who is eligible. 


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Staying In This Great Country

The instant I first stepped onto American soil, I truly felt like I was at home. I didn't know what the future would hold for me, but I knew that the experience was special. I dedicated my life to staying in this country and making a life for myself, and it was really fascinating to see how much of a difference my environment made for me. I was able to learn more, do more, and succeed more than I would have been able to in my home country, and so I started talking with immigration attorneys to see how I could stay. Check out this blog for more information on making the USA your home.