Residence Permit after Loss of German Citizenship

After being a long-time resident, people like it here so much that they become naturalized. But when you apply for another citizenship, you will loose German citizenship ex lege (§25 StAG). What happens now? Do you have or even a need a residence permit? Will the time accumulated as a foreigner prior to naturalization be credited for a new residence permit? OVG NRW answered all these questions with its judgment on January 31, 2008 (re 18 A 4547/06).


Alec has been living for “ages” in Germany. After eight years of residence, he applied for and was granted naturalization. A couple of years later, he applied to obtain another country’s citizenship and received it. As soon as the German administration found out about this, they revoked his German citizenship (§25 AufenthG).

After loosing German citizenship any previously held residence permit does not come back into force. In other words, the time of residency needed for the permit (§39 I no. 1 AufenthG) does not include any period of a residence permit prior to naturalization. The court held that this is clearly worded by the statute. This section of the law requires that a former German has been living in Germany as a German for at least five years at the time of loosing his German citizenship. Therefore, any other periods may not be counted.


However, when losing German citizenship for whatever reason and even though you do not have a residence permit (yet), your sojourn in Germany is legal for at most a half year (§§50, 81 III AufenthG) .

Additional information