Philippine and German passports
MANILA, Philippines - Filipino youth in Germany can now choose to have dual citizenship, thanks to a new law.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said the amended German citizenship law, the German Nationality Act (StAG) has abolished the exclusivity rule that obliged children born in Germany of foreigner parents to choose one citizenship over the other citizenship.
Effective December 20, 2014, children born of foreigner (non-German) parents in Germany after 01 January 2000 can now have both citizenships.
The children's parents should be both foreigners (either both Filipinos or a Filipino parent and a non-German parent). One of the parents should have also stayed in Germany legally for 8 years.
The child should also have grown up in Germany. This means the child should have lived in Germany for eight years or attended a school in Germany for six years, or graduated from school or occupational training in Germany.
The child can now opt for both German citizenship and the citizenship of their parent’s country when they turn 21.
In the past, children born to foreign parents had to face the difficult decision of choosing only one citizenship upon reaching 21.
The same exemption from the obligation to choose on citizenship is applicable to those children of foreign parents who were born in Germany between 01 January 1990 and 31 December 1999 and were naturalized, becoming German citizens in the year 2000.
They are also no longer required to choose one from both citizenships and can retain their dual citizenships, provided they grew up in Germany.
However, the changes to the citizenship law will not affect the current rule in the Philippines that children born of mixed marriages (ex. Filipino-German) are entitled to both citizenships (dual citizenship by reason of blood).
Philippine Ambassador to Germany Melita Sta. Maria-Thomeczek welcomed the recent amendments to the German law.
"The changes to the immigration law are important in ensuring that Germany continues to be an open and multicultural society. It is especially important that Filipino-German youth, many of whom continue to closely identify themselves with the Philippines, are able to stake their claim to their parent’s homeland. No difficult decisions will have to be made – the only decision they will have to think about it is when to renew their Philippine passport," she said.