Naturalization in Germany 3: Proof of identity

If you want the German citizenship, you must meet several basic requirements. One of them is proving your identity with original documents. Matthias Regenbrecht, who is responsible for naturalization at the Tübingen district office, considers this provision, which has been in force for about a year, to be “a great evil”. In the past, he could have accepted the required proof of identity as a certified photocopy and thus in a simpler form than today. Regenbrecht and his colleagues now must formally request original documents. The district official refers to countries where “there is no type of German registry office”, “where in some cases not even births or marriages are registered” or “where people only go to the mayor’s office after some months or years and say: ‘Then and then I became a father’.” The hard rule was also “to the detriment of a number of people who come from countries with civil wars happening.” He could not say to applicants for naturalization with a clear conscience: “Please go back to your country and have official documents issued first.” They would lose their asylum status and put themselves in additional danger. In such cases, Regenbrecht asks applicants to instruct acquaintances or relatives in the country of origin or a law firm to procure the original documents from the country of origin.


Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL; Mostafa Elyasian, 04.07.2020

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