Why should I become an Australian citizen?

Welcome to the website of the Federal Foreign Office

General information

German citizenship is automatically lost if you acquire another citizenship on your own application and do not have a retention permit.

As part of its discretionary decision in the retention procedure in accordance with Section 25 (2) sentence 3 StAG, the BVA has to weigh up the public (avoidance of multiple nationality) and private interests. In this context, it checks whether the applicant can provide plausible reasons why the intended acquisition of foreign citizenship is advantageous for them in their specific situation or eliminates disadvantages (further information on this below).

The BVA has also updated the leaflet “Information within the meaning of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on citizenship procedures in federal jurisdiction”. This contains, among other things, information on the direct exchange between the Federal Office of Administration and the applicants via email. The Federal Office of Administration expressly advises applicants not to send applications and documents containing personal data via unencrypted email. However, it points out that general inquiries received by e-mail are generally answered by e-mail, unless the applicant expressly excludes this type of communication. However, this does not apply to correspondence in the context of the application processing, this is done - if necessary for data protection reasons - by post.

Notes on the application - disadvantages to be proven

In order to obtain a residence permit, you will need to prove that you have not accepted Australian citizenship by not accepting Australian citizenship specific disadvantages arise. These specific disadvantages must arise directly for you personally. The processor in the BVA must be able to get an idea of ​​the topicality and seriousness of the reasons given.

Exception: for applicants from 60 years with 10 years of residence (Proof of length of stay required) and for applicants up to 60 years at 20 years Residence (proof of residence time required) in the host country is assumed to have a distinct, final need for integration. If this group of people can make credible that they still have and maintain ties to Germany, a specific lecture on disadvantages in the country of residence is no longer required. However, evidence of the length of stay must be submitted.

The usual restrictions for foreigners (Entry formalities, renewal of the residence permit and the associated costs, integration into the personal environment, no right to participate in elections or participation in public life (e.g. in the parents' council, honorary offices), fear of changing social legislation to the detriment of foreigners, etc.) affect everyone Foreigners and are therefore reasonable restrictionsthat are not a sufficient reason for a retention permit.

There may be professional disadvantages if the desired nationality is required for employment or promotion opportunities demands becomes (e.g. in the civil service). The current professional activity may be restricted if the foreign nationality is required for security-related reasons for the performance of individual areas of activity (e.g. contract award by the government, work in security-sensitive areas). Longer stays abroad or frequent business trips that are necessary for professional reasons or in special cases also for private purposes can endanger the residence status.

Foreigners are often involved in the award of training, further training measures, research projects or scholarships disadvantaged, because either the foreign citizenship is required, or because of their foreign status they have to pay higher fees, sometimes in advance and without a discount.

Such or comparable disadvantages do not have to already exist. They can also be taken into account if they will occur with sufficient certainty in a comprehensibly planned way of life in the future. However, they must be made credible in a suitable manner (e.g. through job advertisements, confirmations from the employer, from your professional activity).

Notes on application - ties to Germany

When processing each application for retention, it is important to consider, among other things, whether the The applicant's ties to Germany are so fundamental are that they carry more weight than the general public interest, which lies in the avoidance of multiple nationality.

Clues for this decision are

  • At least sufficient German language skills (with regard to written communication, reading comprehension, listening comprehension and oral communication)


  • Evidence that suggests a solid, permanent bond with Germany, such as
    • long stays in Germany
    • intensive care of relatives and friends living in Germany
    • Ownership of real estate or maintenance of an apartment in Germany
    • Pension entitlements and insurance claims
    • Visit to German schools
    • Belonging to German clubs

documents to hand in

Please note the following important information when submitting an application:

The application must be submitted as follows:

Set 1: Original application and documents to be attached (certified or simple copy, see below)

Set 2: Copy of the application and simple copies of all documents to be attached

Please do not staple or staple your application.

Documents that must be enclosed with the application:

  • Certified copy of the German passport.
    The documents, which have to be submitted as certified copies, can be certified by a German diplomatic mission (also honorary consul!), An Australian police station, an Australian 'notary public' or a 'Justice of the Peace'. Certifications from other bodies will not be recognized.
  • Proof of residence permit in the host country, available free of charge
    Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) certificate
    This should not be older than 14 days when the application is received / submitted at the Consulate General.
  • Only for applicants who were not born in Germany: birth certificate, if necessary marriage certificate of the parents and proof of the German citizenship of the parents, to be submitted as a certified copy
  • Proof of possession of other nationalities (e.g. passport copy), simple copy
  • Proof of custody of minor children (e.g. birth certificate or custody verdict), certified copy
  • Information on continuing ties to Germany (see BVA leaflet); Please provide information with evidence (simple copy)
  • Information on the reasons for acquiring the desired nationality (see BVA notice board); Please provide information with evidence (simple copy)

For the rest, please see the information in the leaflet of the Federal Office of Administration:

Leaflet for applying for a retention permit


The application cannot be submitted to the German Honorary Consuls in Australia but only to the Consulate General in Sydney - either in person (only by appointment) or by post (Level 17, 100 William Street, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011). It will be checked there and forwarded to the Federal Office of Administration.

Please understand that we can only accept complete applications. Incomplete applications will be returned.

Please refrain from inquiries about the status during the processing time. A confirmation of receipt is generally not given. Registered mail is therefore recommended for applications submitted by post.

It is no longer necessary to send the Australian certificate of naturalization after naturalization.

Validity / certificate of affiliation

The retention document is two years valid. Must be naturalized in Australia within the validity take place in order to prevent a loss of German citizenship. There is no reminder of the expiry date.

If naturalization in Australia does not take place within the period of validity of the certificate of retention, a so-calledCertificate of affiliation to apply.

From now on, the application for an affiliation certificate is only possible with a completed application form (see application for renewed retention permit below). The competent diplomatic mission abroad does not need to be involved in this process; no new statement has to be submitted. Applicants can submit their application for a renewed retention permit directly by post (Not by email) to the BVA. If, in individual cases, a statement from a diplomatic mission is required, this will be requested from the BVA. This is explicitly explained in the updated information sheet.

Please note that naturalization after the first retention certificate has expired and before the affiliation certificate is issued will result in the loss of German citizenship.

Minor children

Minor children can only lose their German citizenship if:

  • Both parents are German citizens and have parental custody and both apply for foreign citizenship together with the child without first obtaining a retention permit


  • The German parent has sole custody of the child and he / she applies for foreign citizenship together with the child without first obtaining a retention permit.

A retention permit for the minor child is required NOT can be requested if:

  • The child takes on the foreign nationality together with both parents who have custody, but one of the parents does not have the German nationality, but a different nationality


  • Only for the child or only for one parent and the child the foreign nationality is applied for


  • The naturalization of the legal representative automatically extends to the child without an application having been made for him.


This is a fee-based procedure (€ 255.00 for adults, € 51.00 for children). The fees are charged by the Federal Office of Administration after the procedure has been completed and must be made by bank transfer to Germany. Proof of payment must then be sent to the Consulate General in Sydney.

Note for German-Australian dual citizens

Please note: According to Section 1 of the Passport Act (PassG), German citizens are obliged to enter and leave Germany with a valid German passport. Failure to comply with this regulation is an administrative offense that can be punished with a fine of up to € 5,000.