Withdrawal of Naturalization of Dependants Obtained by Deceit

The OVG Lüneburg decided on July 13, 2007 (re 13 LC 468/03) a case where a person had given false details when applying for German citizenship. His German was citizenship withdrawn. But not only his, also the German citizenship of his children was withdrawn – allegedly illegally.


Cezmi married a German women in September 1988. In December 1988, he traveled back to Pakistan. There he married a Pakistani woman on February 7, 1989. A child emerged from this marriage in December 1989. After his return to Germany in November 1990, he applied for his naturalization. He supplied the application form with CV, in which he did not mention his second wife and his children in Pakistan. In 1992, Cezmi became a German citizen by naturalization. Two days later, he left his wife and moved away.
In April 2001, the authorities found out that his real marital and family relationship was totally different from that as in the CV submitted. In the mean time, his Pakistani wife relocated with their children to Germany. In 2002, the authorities formally withdrew his German citizenship. This decision was justified because Cezmi would not have been naturalized if it had been known that he had married a second time. In this respect, the plaintiff was not integrated into the German way of life.

Cezmi objected and justified his protest that he was forced to marry the Pakistani woman. The families made him marry her because he started a relationship with her. Since he was already married in Germany, this new marriage was without importance for him. Since this second marriage was invalid, he did not mention it in his application. The Pakistani marriage does not effect the marriage in Germany. Therefore, the naturalization is valid and no grounds for its withdrawal exist.

The authorities did not remedy his protest: His naturalization could be withdrawn pursuant to §48 I VwVfG (beause his naturalization was obtained by fraud. From the beginning, his naturalization was invalid due to his marriage in Pakistan. Cezmi has not adopted to the German life style. Besides this, the existence of an illegal marriage cannot be tolerated as it conflicts with the public interest to maintain the rule of law. Cezmi knew that he would not have received German citizenship if this had been known. These details are relevant for the office’s decision. In addition, his Pakistani wife and their joint children are now living in Germany. This is fraud.

Cezmi filed a suit in court and further argued that German citizenship may not be withdrawn with general rules of administration procedure, i.e. VwVfG. Through the retraction of the naturalization, he will be stateless in the future. Following art. 16 I GG, a German may not lose his German citizenship and then become stateless.

The Higher Administrative Court of Lower Saxony in Lüneburg generally agreed with the naturalization office’s arguments. Furthermore, Cezmi did not adopt to the German culture and to the values of the federal constitution when he legally married a second time abroad. The concept of second legal marriage does not exist in the European countries. This contradicts the German constitution that in art. 6 monopolizes a marriage between two persons. It is irrelevant that for him the Pakistani wedding was invalid. It does not depend if the second marriage were valid or not. Furthermore, it is unimportant that Cezmi is not subject to prosecution for bigamy. Relevant is the fact, that he is still connected with the traditions in his home country. Marrying his second wife only five months after his marriage in Germany shows that he has not integrated. A marriage in force cannot be imagined in a culture that widely accepts multiple marriages.

An initially illegal naturalization can be revoked, pursuant to §48 II VwVfG, when it is obvious that a right has been obtained by fraud. This is the case here. The general trust in the reliability of a granted legal position, is not worthy of protection when it has been obtained by deceit. The plaintiff must for that reason reproach himself that he withheld essential circumstances concerning his naturalization. A naturalization requires a voluntary and permanent orientation to German cultural values, which was to be shown by his entire conduct. The assumed living conditions and duration was, in part, based on the marriage with the German spouse. Cezmi disproves this when he marries another woman in his homeland and has five children with her five months after being wed to a German. All the facts of the case clearly point that he lead a sham marriage with the German. Besides that, plural marriages are reason to doubt the acceptance of integration policies, as ruling case law of the Federal Constitutional shows, and therefore hinder a naturalization.

Cezmi wrongly argues that his innocent children are to be exempt from the withdrawal of his German citizenship. Some could not have obtained German citizenship by birth because their father was not a German at the time of birth of the oldest children. All children born after his illegal naturalization are also subject to revocation of their German citizenship even though they have not participated in the deceit because they have not yet oriented their lives to German circumstances and have not yet obtained a protectable trust in having German citizenship. They were born in Pakistan and most of their previous lives have lived together with their mother in Pakistan. This remains untouched because it cannot be understood that the children will become stateless. Even if their father has lost his Pakistani citizenship, they will surely be able to derivate Pakistani citizenship from their mother.

The topic of this article is especially related to: Naturalization by Deceit



Published on the old CMS: 2007/11/2
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