Registration of births and birth certificates
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There is no legal obligation to register the birth of a child to a German parent abroad, nor to request a German birth certificate.
However, there is one exemption:
Children who were born outside of Germany to one or more German parent(s) who themselves were also born abroad on or after January 1st, 2000, will no longer automatically acquire the German citizenship through the sole principle of descent from a German parent unless the German parent(s) register(s) the birth with the competent German mission abroad within one year of the birth of the child.
The Canadian birth certificate corresponds in content to the German birth certificate and is therefore recognized (if necessary with legalisation and translation) by German authorities. A German birth certificate is no proof of German nationality.
You also do not need a German birth certificate to apply for a passport for your child.
In certain cases, you may need a declaration of your child’s name when applying for a passport. This declaration differs from the birth certificate, but it can be given as well together when you register the birth.
It is recommended that you register the birth or request a German birth certificate under certain circumstances – for example, if the child is to live in Germany in the foreseeable future.
Who is entitled to register a birth or request a birth certificate?
The parents of the child, the child him-/herself and his/her spouse, partner and children are entitled to register the birth of a German citizen born abroad. Any one of these people can independently submit a request to have the birth registered.
Which registrar’s office is responsible for children born abroad?
The registrar’s office responsible for children born abroad is the registrar’s office in the place where the child or the applicant (the child's parent, spouse, partner or own child) has his/her residence in Germany.
If none of the above mentioned persons has a residence in Germany, the primary registrar's office in Berlin (Standesamt I in Berlin) is responsible for recording the birth and issuing a birth certificate. (2)
If you are still registered as living in a particular place in Germany, you can also register the birth of your child with the local registrar’s office personally. You need to appear there in person. For the Canadian birth certificate to be recognized by the German registrar’s office, it needs to be legalised by a German mission abroad. The registrar’s office will then enter the birth of the child in the register of births on the basis of the Canadian certificate and issue a German birth certificate if you so wish.
If you live permanently in Canada, you can register the birth of your child at your local German mission abroad and request a German birth certificate. Please make an appointment if you wish to do so.
Which documents do I have to bring along to register the birth?
|all documents below as originals with 2 copies|
Birth certificate of the child (in Canada: 'long form')
Birth certificates of both parents (in Canada: 'long form')
Currently valid passports of both parents, including all German passports, which were valid at the time of the birth
For children over 14 years: Valid passport of the child
Marriage certificate of the parents (only official marriage certificates from the province/vital statistics can be accepted)
If the parents were not married to one another at the time of the birth: Proof of acknowledgment of paternity
Where appropriate: Proof of dissolution of parents’ marriage or any previous marriage (e.g. decree of divorce or death certificate of spouse)
Permanent Residence Card or Canadian visa of German parent(s)
All Canadian documents are to be submitted in their long form. Documents written in French or any other language tha German or English must be submitted with translations into German.
In individual cases, further documents may be required.
A declaration of the child’s name may also be required before a birth can be registered. In such cases, both parents need to come in person to the German mission abroad; children older than 14 years also need to come in person. Additional fees apply.
The fees for registering births and conducting the associated formalities amount to approximately €60 to €80, depending on where in Germany the registrar’s office is located. The fees for recording the birth must be transferred to the account of the registrar’s office only after the process. You will receive a letter with detailed information.
At the German mission abroad, the following additional fees may apply:
Fee for certifying photocopies: approx. C$15,-
Fee for registering a birth without declaration of child’s name: approx. C$30,-
Fee for registering a birth including declaration of child’s name: approx. C$37,50
All fees given in Canadian dollars may vary, depending on the current rate of exchange.
It can take up to 4 years for the Standesamt I in Berlin to process the registration of a birth. The German missions in Canada have no influence on the registration process and cannot provide any information as to the current status of any application. We cannot provide estimates on how long registration takes at other German registrar’s offices.