What is the nationality of children whose parents were born after 2000?

This is a question that is of particular interest to young immigrant families, because:

Due to the citizenship reform in 2000, children of German parents born abroad no longer automatically acquire German citizenship upon birth abroad if both the parents and the future child were born in or after 2000. For children of parents born before 31.12.1999, the old legal situation applies.

According to the previous legal situation, children of German parents or of a German parent who were themselves already born abroad acquired German citizenship by law if they were born abroad. In contrast, this no longer applies to children whose parents were born in or after 2000. Their children no longer automatically acquire German citizenship. The legal purpose behind this regulation is the assumption that in these cases a close connection to Germany no longer exists if and because the parents live abroad and were themselves born there.

An exception exists only in the case that the child would become stateless by the denial of the acquisition of the German nationality. Then it continues to acquire German citizenship by law.

However, there is a possibility that the child born abroad acquires German citizenship upon application. For this purpose, the parents must notify the competent foreign representation of the birth within one year after the birth of the child. This one-year deadline is mandatory, otherwise the child is excluded from acquiring German citizenship. Therefore, German parents born abroad and living there who want to enable their child to acquire German citizenship should keep an eye on the notification until the child’s 1st birthday.

To illustrate the new legal situation, consider the following example:

Mr. Alt is born in Canada on January 2, 2000 as a child of German citizens. He automatically acquires German citizenship at birth. If Mr. Alt now has a son, John, with his girlfriend, the Canadian citizen Mrs. Young, in 2020, and this son is born on May 7, 2020, he does not automatically acquire German citizenship. Rather, Mr. Alt must apply for German citizenship for John at a German diplomatic mission in Canada before May 7, 2021.