Dear Mat Grohlich,
Let me refer you, before I begin my answer, to the disclaimer on the
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If you feel that you need professional advice, it would be best to
contact an immigration lawyer.
Unfortunately, in general - wehther you live in Germany or not, and
regardless of the place you got married in - Germany does not
recognise double citizenship and does not grant automatic citizenship
to foreigners who marry German nationals. A foreigner who married and
German and wish to become a German citizen should go through a process
As mentioned before, Germany does not recognise double citizenship
(except for special circumstances, which have nothing to do with your
case: people who were illegally deprived of their German citizenship
during the Nazi period can receive it even if they have another
citizenship; a German baby born in the United States would not lose
his citizenship as a result of becoming automatically an American
citizen; etc.). That means, that your bride would have to concede her
American citizenship in order to become a German national.
(See: Staatsangeh?rigkeitsgesetz (StAG), ? 9,
<http://bundesrecht.juris.de/bundesrecht/rustag/__9.html>; for some of
the special circumstances under which a foreign national could keep
their citizenship after becoming a German AuslG ? 87 Einb?rgerung
unter Hinnahme von Mehrstaatigkeit
in English could be found in the German Consulate in London website
If after these explanations, you still wish to naturalise, there are
other obstacles on the way. The German "Ausl?ndergesetz" ensures that
a foreigner who marries a German citizen would get a permanent
residency as well as a work-permit in Germany. (See: Ausl?ndergesetz,
<http://www.datenschutz-berlin.de/gesetze/auslg/auslg.htm>). It does
not refer to cases whereas the German partner does not live in
fp-ga, bellow, in their comment, gave rather good links to official
laws regarding naturaliastion. According to their links, ?14 to the
German nationality law could give special arragements to a foreign
national that wishes to become a German citizen, although they do not
reside in Germany. It states, that they should be, among other things,
integrated to German society.
In other words, in order to become a German, you have to live in
Germany, but there are exceptions to the rule - you could become a
German if you show that you are alerady "Germanised".
I am not sure what are the reasons for your wife to seek German
citizenship. "Citizenship" is a very laden concept in republican
systems such as Germany, where a citizen is supposed to be an
integrated part of a greater society. As you could see, citizenship is
not equal, in Germany, to receiving work or residency permits, and one
could live and work for years without being naturalised. They cannot
vote in the national or European elections (but could vote in local
elections), and they cannot be elected to office above some level.
As a person married to an EU-citizen, your wife could work and live
(and naturally, also a reside) in your current place of living (Who
requires a work permit,
If you want to make further enquiries on your possibilities under
German law, you might want to contact the German consulate. If you
haven't registered your marriage (and residence in the UK) with the
consulate, you should do it anyhow:
German Embassy and Consulate in the UK
I hope this answered your question. Please contact me if you need any
further clarification on this answer before you rate it.
[names of the laws + the term "Ehe"]
[terms such as: "married to a German", "marrying a German", naturalisation germany].