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Obtaining a German passport

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

Shaltiel Devorah

Mr. Joshua Pex is knowledgeable and Professional. I really appreciate his courteous and direct approach.

Obtaining a German passport for Holocaust survivors and their descendants under the updated German nationality law: tens of thousands of Jews can prepare the required documents and submit an application for citizenship. According to the new nationality law, the vast majority of Jews with a historical connection to pre-WWII Germany will be able to obtain a second German citizenship and enjoy a quality European passport.

Our offices in Tel Aviv and in Jerusalem specialize in obtaining German citizenship. We have a professional translation department which takes care of translating the required documents into German and submitting them in a professional and organized way to the German authorities.

German passport for Jews

Obtaining a German passport

Between the years 1933-1945, over 300 thousand Jews left Germany as the Nazi regime made the country unlivable for them. The country, under a group of fascist leaders, deteriorated socially to the point where there was no longer room for values such as freedom of speech, equality, or a normal justice system.

Due to racial laws that were created arbitrarily and with the intention of alienating and denouncing the Jewish religion, the Jews began to leave in large waves to Britain, France, the USA, South America and other countries. Today, the descendants of those who left Germany due to the Nazis’ genocidal policies are legally eligible to apply for a German passport.

How to obtain a German passport

So how can you know whether you are eligible? First you must be related to a Jew who lived in Germany during the reign of the Third Reich, meaning the years 1933-1945. Then you must present an official document that proves that your ancestor (parent, grandparent etc.) was indeed a German citizen.

These documents can be an ID card, an old passport, an academic diploma, a certificate of exile or any other document that can prove a civil connection to the country. Afterwards you will need to verify the familial connection between the applicant and the German citizen on whom the application is based.

German passport eligibility

In general, obtaining German citizenship is not considered difficult for Jews whose ancestors lived under the Third Reich regime. This relative ease of obtaining citizenship is seen by the fact that the applicants will not be tested as extensively as other candidates, those who are not Jews with relatives from Nazi Germany. For Jews, the language test, as well as the culture test, will be administered orally in the German embassy, by a representative. The tests are usually considered “for protocol only”. That is, they are administered in a positive atmosphere and there is almost no need for advance preparation.

This in fact expresses the German will to repair the historical injustice. German lawmakers acknowledge the harm that was caused to many, and view the aforementioned leniency as part of a plan to correct the terrible injustice that was done.

Another important point – the most significant amendment in the process of obtaining a German passport is the rectification of the gender discrimination. In the past, descendants of female Holocaust survivors were only eligible if they were born before 1953. However, as of June 2021, this restriction was canceled. Descendants are also now eligible if the mother married a foreigner and thereby lost her German citizenship.

How long does it take to obtain a German passport?

The process for Jews with a historical connection to Nazi Germany is significantly shorter than the regular process of obtaining citizenship. The time period ranges between a year and two years on average. It is important to remember that a large portion of the time is spent waiting for an appointment at the embassy for the interview that you are required to undergo.

The cost of obtaining a German passport

German lawmakers determined that there is no fee for the process, or for the citizenship document that you will receive at the end of it, so the costs are not considered high. However, it is important to know that often the cost is determined by the quality of the documents submitted, as well as individual decisions by the German committee in charge of verifying and checking the documents.

Obtaining German passports for children

Obtaining German passports for children requires almost no effort if the parent has already received citizenship. In fact, if one of the parents is already a German citizen, the child will not have to go through the entire process again. The parent must simply make an appointment at the embassy for consular registration. They must come with a birth certificate, together with the parent’s German citizenship or passport. Afterwards the child must be registered in the German population registry and thus becomes a citizen.

German passport rights – German passport advantages

As the country with the strongest economy in Europe and a member of the European Union, Germany offers its citizens a variety of unique benefits. Considering that in all likelihood, Israelis will soon need a visa in order to enter Europe, take into account that once you obtain a German passport, this obligation will not apply to you.

Another advantage of the attractive passport is the right to live and work in any of the EU countries. Beyond that, you will not need to get a visa in order to enter various countries such as the USA and Australia. German citizens are eligible for a “working holiday visa” which grants permission to work for a year in countries such as: Canada, Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and more.

If you are considering living in Germany, you would enjoy convenient social conditions, a basic living stipend, a higher quality of life, advanced medical services, stipends for students and more.

Renewal of the process and its significance for many Israelis

In general, European citizenship is a sought-after goal for many Israeli citizens, given that it can grant you opportunities that do not exist on any other continent besides Europe. However, because the process requires comprehensive understanding and dealing with prolonged paperwork, it is important to make sure to choose a skilled attorney who knows German law well.

Thanks to the extreme changes that have drastically lowered the previous acceptance standard, today hundreds of thousands of Jewish descendants around the world can apply for and receive citizenship. As you saw in the paragraph above, the European passport obviates the requirement to obtain visas to many countries, and grants entrance to many others, which Israelis do not have permission to enter as of now.

In addition, as you read throughout the article, Jews with a historical connection to Nazi Germany will enjoy exclusive treatment from the German authorities. This treatment includes a significant reduction in requirements, intended to benefit any Jew or descendant with a historical connection to Nazi Germany. These reforms are somewhat of a revolution, so we think that this is a great opportunity to take advantage of them in order to enjoy a unique passport.

As mentioned, the German authorities are not making the standard stricter, and we believe that they will grant positive responses and that the vast majority of Jewish applicants will not encounter difficulties in obtaining a passport (except for those with a criminal background).

Contact us – obtaining a German passport

Our office has a developed and far-reaching method of obtaining German passports for Holocaust survivors. For any information or clarification regarding the reform, contact us and we will gladly assist you in understanding all the clauses of the new amendment.

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