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Article 116 of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany (Grundgesetz, GG) sets forth the definition of "a German" and guidelines for the restoration of German citizenship.


(1) Unless otherwise provided by law, a German within the meaning of this Basic Law is a person who possesses German citizenship or who has been admitted to the territory of the German Reich within the boundaries of December 31, 1937 as a refugee or expelled of German ethnic origin or as the spouse or descendant of such person.

(2) Former German citizens who between January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945 were deprived of their citizenship on political, racial, or religious grounds, and their descendants, shall have their citizenship restored upon their request. They shall be deemed never to have been deprived of their citizenship if they established their domicile in Germany after May 8, 1945 and have not expressed a contrary intention.


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If you wish to apply for German citizenship according to article 116, you have to meet the following requirements:


Legitimate Children (parents legally married)


  • Until December 31, 1974 citizenship could be obtained only through the father.

  • Children who were born between April 1, 1953 and December 31, 1974 and whose mother held German citizenship could not obtain citizenship unless the mother declared her desire to transfer her German citizenship to her descendants.

  • Children born on or after January 1, 1975 are Germans if the mother or father is a German citizen. 


Illegitimate Children (parents not legally married)


  • Illegitimate children born before July 1, 1993 may inherit citizenship only through their mother, unless their father signs an affidavit recognizing his paternity before the child reaches the age of 23 and the child declares himself a German citizen.

  • Illegitimate children born on or after July 1, 1993 may obtain citizenship upon presentation of an affidavit recognizing paternity in accordance with Israeli law. Note that a birth certificate stating the father’s name is sufficient.


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If you cannot prove such entitlement in accordance with the parameters detailed above, we can help you searching for the necessary documents in the German archives.


If you meet the parameters entitling you to citizenship, you can schedule a meeting with the secretary at the Consulate, by calling us at 04-8381408. 

Please bring the following original documents with you to the meeting:


Application for Naturalization according Article 116 Basic Law


  • Your original birth certificate as issued by the Ministry of the Interior, in Hebrew and in English.

  • The birth certificate of the person transferring citizenship to you. 

  • If you are married, your marriage certificate.  If you are not married, your parents marriage certificate.

  • Documents proving the German citizenship of the person transferring citizenship (mandatory confirmation, German passport, or any document issued by a German authority proving nationality).

  • If any names have been changed, a certificate attesting to this.

  • If there has been any change in marital status, a certificate attesting to this.


Note that the final decision on whether you will be granted German citizenship is based on your application and the accompanying documents and will be made exclusively by the German authorities in Cologne.

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