News Alert: Dual Citizenship for Germans without Retention Permit (Beibehaltungsgenehmigung)

Image: Büdding Legal

Today, the amendment of the German citizenship law has been formally published, so that the new German law on dual citizenship will come into force at the end of June 2024. Here is the News Alert on this very substantial change of your situation if you are a German citizen and want to apply for the U.S. citizenship.

What will change:
On January 19th, the German parliament has decided on the Act on Modernization of the German Citizenship Law (Gesetz zur Modernisierung des Staatsangehörigkeitsrechts). After the Citizenship Modernization Act passed the Bundesrat on February 2nd and was signed by the German Federal President on March 22nd, it has been formally published in the German Bundesanzeiger on March 26th (BGVL. 2024 I Nr. 104).

What this means for you:
For German citizens wishing to apply for citizenship in another country (here the U.S.) while keeping their German citizenship, the changes provided by the Citizenship Modernization Act are substantial. With the Act coming into effect, German citizens can freely accept U.S. citizenship and no longer have to apply for a Retention Permit (Beibehaltungsgenehmigung). A significant ease on the way to your dual citizenship.

However, please note that the changes provided by the Citizenship Modernization Act will only come into effect on June 26, 2024, three months after its official publication (Art. 6 I of the Act). Accepting U.S. citizenship before that date without having obtained the Retention Permit will still result in losing German citizenship.

“The brand-new reform of the law regulating German citizenship is a big and important step forward, as it modernizes the previously existing legal framework and system decisively! A good and far-sighted decision taken by the German Government and subsequently by the German Bundestag – and a great moment in time for many – not the least for my team and me at the German Consulate General in San Francisco. Excellent news indeed for our German-American community in the Bay Area and beyond!”