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South African + German Citizeship - Passport nightmare

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South African + German Citizeship - Passport nightmare

Post by Lizzy_BEE » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:41 pm

I have duel citizenship - I was born in SA and I have German (EU) citizenship by descent - so I am allowed duel citizenship by both countries.

I've lived in the UK for 13 years, no problems. Bizarrely enough, as a Commonwealth citizen I can vote here and as an EU citizen, I can live and work, so I've never needed to apply for citizenship... until all this Brexit nonsense.

However, my SA passport has expired. I tried to renew it before it expired, and I was turned away from the SA Consulate on the basis that I had to bring a translation of the citizenship document (Stadsangehorichkeit) that was issued.

I've not had this document translated, but it expired in 2012. Now as far as I know, the Stadsangehorichkeit (citizenship certificate) is only issued by the Germans when citizenship is granted. After that, you apply for a passport and off you go.

As far as I can tell they only re-issue this document if the Germans need to re-determine if you have citizenship or if it's required by German law - in cases where you apply for a job with the state etc.

The South Africans however have changed the SA law and now you have to apply to keep your citizenship before applying for a second nationality. This happened AFTER I had my duel citizenship.

The problem is now the SA consulate is giving me all kinds of grief about documents because a German passport is apparently not enough proof of citizenship.

Will I need to apply for a new Stadsangehorigkeit in order to renew my SA passport. I'm still a citizen - it's just the certificate that's expired.

I am dreading the jobsworths looking at the documents and turning me away yet again.

I live in Wales so it's a huge mission to go to London every time for nothing. Also it's unbelievably expensive to travel back and forth.

Does anyone know what I can do to make sure the passport gets renewed?

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Re: South African + German Citizeship - Passport nightmare

Post by RFC1795 » Sun May 19, 2019 4:48 pm

Interesting situation, and a very old post I know... but wondering how things turned out for you?

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Re: South African + German Citizeship - Passport nightmare

Post by moni2911 » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:51 pm

Hi there, I am in the same situation now. What was your outcome? Did you eventually get your SA passport renewed? Short of flying home and doing it there, I am at a loss. It will be expensive and inconvenient, as I start a new job in London next week.

I was born in SA in 1989, and have German citizenship by descent as my father is German.

The guy at the SA embassy in London just handed me a page saying I need the certificate of acquisition of German citizenship by declaration (Urkunde über den Erwerb der deutschen Staatsangehörigkeit durch Erklärung), a page my father never remembers getting for us. I emailed the Germans, who said:
The document “Urkunde über den Erwerb der deutschen Staatsangehörigkeit durch Erklärung“ is a certificate which was issued between 1975 and 1977 to the children of German mothers married to foreigners, if those children were born before 1975. These children did not acquire German citizenship at birth due to the laws of the time. When the law changed in 1975, there was a two-year window in which women could declare they wanted their children to become German, and then this document was issued.
If you are German through your German father, this does not apply to you.
I regret to inform you that the German Embassy in London cannot issue letters to confirm when and on which legal basis German citizenship was obtained. German citizenship can only be confirmed by the competent citizenship authority, the Federal Administration Office (Bundesverwaltungsamt) in form of a certificate of citizenship ( ... itizenship ). Please note that this certificate does not contain information on when and how German citizenship was obtained. The processing times vary, but usually take a minimum of one year or more.

The German Embassy in London is not a citizenship authority and can thus not bindingly confirm German citizenship. I am, however, happy to provide a leaflet containing information on German citizenship law. This document lays down in detail when German citizenship can be obtained by descent. When German citizenship is obtained by descent, this takes effect automatically at the time of birth, irrespective of when a German passport is issued.

The South African Embassy in London has been officially informed of this change in our procedure, which is in accordance with the practise of the German missions in South Africa. I regret to say the South African embassy does not seem to accept those letters anymore, as far as other bi-nationals in your situation are telling us.
So I phoned the SA Embassy in London again, only to be told that "the Germans can't tell us what to do". The woman told me to give power of attorney to my father in Cape Town to get this mysterious certificate that the Germans say they don't give out anymore.

Anyone else in a similar situation?

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