The German passport is safe

Anyone who has been naturalised in Germany and holds a German passport can no longer be deported. This is stated in Article 16 of the Basic Law. It states: “German citizenship may not be revoked.” This has been in force in Germany since 1949 and was a reaction to the fact that people were expatriated on political, racial or religious grounds during the Nazi dictatorship. The Basic Law now prohibits the revocation of citizenship if this would render people stateless.
Refugees with a German passport therefore do not need to worry because right-wing extremists are considering deporting migrants and immigrants with a German passport. This would require a large majority to amend the Basic Law. This majority is not in sight.
However, in rare cases it can still happen that naturalised citizens have their German passport revoked. This happens, for example, if they have lied in order to obtain citizenship. This was decided by the Federal Constitutional Court in a case against a man from Nigeria in 2006. This applies even if the person concerned becomes stateless as a result.
There are also ways to give up German citizenship—for example, in order to obtain a passport from another country. Anyone who joins the armed forces of a foreign country also loses their German citizenship. However, this only applies to armies outside the EU or Nato. According to the Federal Commissioner for Integration, there is another reason for the loss of a German passport: if someone has a foreign citizenship in addition to German citizenship and is specifically involved in combat operations of a terrorist organisation abroad.


Nach Artikel 16 im Grundgesetz darf die deutsche Staatsbürgerschaft nicht entzogen werden. Foto: tuenews INTERNATIONAL / Linda Kreuzer.






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