[This has been also asked on another site] I'm just curious:

It is been claimed here that the requirement of having renounced your current citizenship to get German citizenship can be accomplished by simply applying to your current government to renounce your citizenship. The user suggests that, to the German government, whether Turkish government allows you to renounce your citizenship or not is irrelevant, meaning that, during the German citizenship application process, even if you provide them with your renunciation application form with a big "Denied" stamp on it, the German government will consider you a stateless person, hence allow you to become a German citizen (provided that you satisfy all the other criteria).

First of all, does this true? Can you give any formal reference?

Secondly, does this mean that, after "renouncing" your citizenship, can the same person apply for a stateless person (grey) passport from the German government?

2 Answers 2


What you claim isn’t true.

You can’t usually get German citizenship if you have another citizenship. You can (possibly) get German citizenship if you tried to get rid of another citizenship and failed. You still have the other citizenship, you are not stateless. It’s just that Germany would make an exception for you and allow you to have two citizenships in that case.

So Germany will not consider you stateless, because it’s a fact you are not. They will consider you as someone who tried to become stateless.


There are nations in the world that do not allow you to renounce citizenship

That is a matter for those countries. However, whether another country considers you to be a citizen of any country is a matter for that country's domestic law.

So, whether Germany considers you to be a Turkish citizen or not is a matter for Germany - not Turkey. That is not to say that Turkey does not have diplomatic influence on the decision; just that the ultimate decision in general and on a case-by-case basis is a matter for German law, not Turkish law.

I am not sufficiently familiar with German law to answer the specific question but I do have an analogous example from .

Section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution prohibits a person from being a Member of Parliament if:

Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power:

A number of MPs have fallen foul of this provision, most recently in 2017-18 when fifteen MPs were ruled ineligible by the High Court sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns. Many of these people claimed to be ignorant of the fact that they were dual nationals, a claim that had some traction as a few were born in Australia and had (or were eligible for) foreign citizenship by descent. However, the court didn't care.

Since some countries do not allow renunciation of citizenship or do not allow it is specific circumstances; how does Australian law deal with that? Well, it requires a person to make "reasonable efforts" to revoke the citizenship irrespective of if the issuing country accepts it.

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