German citizenship was generally lost (in the absence of a permit to retain it or the 2007 changes in the law) when a foreign nationality was applied for and received. Specifically, naturalization in a foreign state was one of the main mechanisms by which German nationality was lost.

Does this apply to acquisition of Irish citizenship through foreign birth registration?

On one hand, this acquisition of Irish citizenship is not Naturalization, and relates to "facts of birth". On the other hand, it must be applied for, and those who acquire Irish nationality through foreign birth registration are not considered to have been Irish citizens before their registration.

2 Answers 2


Reading through the administrative guidelines concerning the German nationality law (page 43 of this link), I found the following paragraphs concerning the loss of German citizenship when a foreign citizenship is applied for and awarded:

Ein Antrag im Sinne des Absatzes 1 ist jede freie Willensbetätigung, die unmittelbar auf den Erwerb einer ausländischen Staatsangehörigkeit gerichtet ist. Antrag in diesem Sinne ist damit neben einem Einbürgerungsantrag auch der Erwerb einer ausländischen Staatsangehörigkeit aufgrund einer Option, durch Registrierung oder durch Erklärung.

Ergänzende Anmerkung: Bei einem Antrag ist zu unterscheiden zwischen konstitutiver und deklaratorischer Wirkung. Bedarf es lediglich aus formalen Gründen zur Inanspruchnahme einer ausländischen Staatsangehörigkeit, auf die von Rechts wegen sonst ohne weiteres ein Anspruch besteht, eines Antrags, einer Option, Registrierung, Erklärung oder sonstigen Handlung, liegt somit kein Erwerbsantrag im Sinne des § 25 Absatz 1 Satz 1 StAG vor.

With the following machine translation:

An application within the meaning of paragraph 1 is any free will activity that is aimed directly at acquiring a foreign nationality. In this sense, an application in this sense is, in addition to a naturalization application, the acquisition of foreign citizenship based on an option, by registration or by declaration.

Additional note: When making an application, a distinction must be made between constitutive and declaratory effects. If an application, an option, registration, declaration or other action is required only for formal reasons to claim a foreign nationality, to which there is a legal right otherwise, there is no application for acquisition within the meaning of Section 25 (1) sentence 1 StAG before.

While the first paragraph seems to suggest that obtaining a foreign nationality (in this case Irish) by "registration, option, or declaration" would result in loss of German nationality, the second paragraph ("additional note") seems to walk this back, suggesting instead that when the "option, registration, or declaration" is "just a formality" needed to claim a nationality for which the person already has a legal right - German nationality is not lost.

My interpretation is that this "additional note" is intended to directly address situations like Irish foreign birth registration and clarify that such registration does not lead to a loss of German citizenship.


Have look at the answer below, which may answer most of your questions.

The important point is:

Did you, as a adult, ask for and recieved a foreign nationality?

  • when no: apply for Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis

This assumes you were German through birth (before foreign birth registration)

  • one of your parents were German


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