German citizenship for Jews
Far-reaching changes recently enacted in Germany will grant German citizenship to Holocaust survivors and their descendants more easily than before. The changes include a wide spectrum of significant leniencies, along with specific clauses inserted in the Basic Law platform. This is in order to correct the great historical injustice perpetrated on German Jews in the 1930s. Obtaining German citizenship for Jews is now closer than ever.
Obtaining German citizenship for descendants of Nazi persecution victims in our office in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Our office only accepts clients whose applications have a good chance of success. Over the years we have developed a unique and professional work method that makes the process significantly easier.
German citizenship for Holocaust survivors
In the 1930s, Germany entered a new era that left an eternal black stain on the country’s long history. The Nazi regime, which was the pinnacle of the reflection of xenophobia, reached such monstrous proportions that it left the majority of the country’s Jews no choice but to leave even before WWII broke out. During these years many Germans were alienated and persecuted in their homeland, due to a racist and xenophobic policy that denounced “inferior races” – Jews in particular.
However, today the German state is focused on correcting the terrible past and the great suffering it caused its Jews. Therefore, it is easing the conditions for naturalization in an unprecedented way, and exclusively for Holocaust survivors and their descendants.
So what is new in the German law? In the last two years, the law underwent a comprehensive reform as part of a program to remedy the historical injustice. This program speaks to the desire to open the country’s gates to the descendants of female as well as male Holocaust survivors.
To explain – In the past, there were quite a few reservations regarding German citizenship for the descendants of women (but not men) who were formerly German citizens or had their German citizenship stripped away as part of the Nazi policy.
The Constitutional Court previously ascribed eligibility only to descendants born up to 1953. However, following changes to section 116 of the German Nationality Law, descendants of female German citizens will face no obstacles on their path to receive a German passport, similarly to descendants of male German citizens. This is in fact the most significant amendment to the law so far.
German citizenship for a grandchild
Every grandchild of a German citizen who lost their citizenship due to the Third Reich’s persecution is eligible to exercise their right and declare that they wish to regain the lost citizenship. In fact, the grandchild can apply for naturalization without their parents or grandparents having regained their citizenship first. They may therefore “skip generations” in order to obtain a passport. Of course, once the grandchild becomes a citizen, it will be possible for the rest of their immediate family to become naturalized by law.
However, we generally recommend submitting a joint naturalization file for all family members. The reason is that, naturally, legal processes related to obtaining foreign citizenship change over time, and therefore also sometimes pose different requirements. Right now, the situation seems absolutely ideal for anyone who wants to acquire the most advantageous passport in Europe.
The process is done under incredibly convenient conditions that do not require the candidate to come to Germany, pass language tests (unlike a regular naturalization process in Germany), open a bank account or establish a German place of residence. However, as mentioned, there is no guarantee that the situation will continue as it is forever. Therefore, our advice is to submit an application for the whole family so as to benefit from the current conditions and lower prices.
How many generations does the eligibility for German citizenship apply to?
A question that often arises with our clients is whether there is a generational restriction when it comes to the citizenship law
As of August 2021, there is no generational limit that could prevent you from obtaining German citizenship. The law allows the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and sometimes even great-great-grandchildren of the persecution victim to submit an application.
How long does it take to get a German passport?
The time frame varies from candidate to candidate and depends on the quality of the documents as well as the waiting time for an interview at the embassy. In general, it can be said that the process is not considered particularly long and lasts on average between 12-24 months. This time table includes the verification of the documents by the authorized German committee, which will professionally evaluate the necessary steps for restoring citizenship, after which it will provide a final answer.
For the most part, candidates do not encounter any difficulties that should disqualify their candidacy. However, on rare occasions there is a chance that the authorities will ask for additional documents, if they are not satisfied with those initially submitted.
The cost of obtaining a German passport
The price of the process varies based on the documentation and evidence presented by the client, and certainly depends on the work required in cases where genealogical research is needed. Combined applications for obtaining citizenship may significantly reduce the price for the family, as mentioned.
The process of obtaining a German passport — German citizenship for Jews
For the first step, you must submit documents proving that your family has German roots, and that your German ancestor was persecution victim who was forced to leave Germany between 1933-1945. After that you will be required to fill out a questionnaire to verify eligibility for citizenship. It is recommended to complete the questionnaire with the help of an attorney – so as to avoid amateur mistakes that may cause the application to be rejected.
Documents required to obtain a German passport
As part of the application, you must provide documents to the German authorities, such as your birth certificate, valid passport and marriage certificate. Along with these you must present documents of the relative who is held to be the victim of persecution — documents showing a connection to Germany such as a residence permit, an old passport, an academic diploma, an expatriate certificate, a divorce certificate, etc.
Note that if the documents are written in Hebrew, they must be translated into German. Our office has a large department of German speakers who specialize in handling clients who are waiting to receive German and Austrian citizenship. The office’s German department works around the clock, in accordance with the high demand for the attractive passports.
This is a golden opportunity for every descendant of a former German Jew who was persecuted by the Nazis. Considering the favorable conditions after the legislative change, it seems that there is no better time to submit the request than now. Since there are millions of eligible people worldwide, we recommend preparing the paperwork as early as possible, so as not to get stuck in the potential future queue – this applies to the embassy as well as at the authorized bureaucratic authorities in Germany.
Contact us – German citizenship for Jews
Obtaining German citizenship for the descendants of Holocaust survivors in our office – a law office for immigration to Germany. The office has extensive experience in the field of obtaining European citizenships and has already helped many people obtain EU citizenships. Our office submits applications for a wide range of citizenships such as Austrian, Portuguese, Romanian, French, Bulgarian and of course German.