Reform of Nationality Act

German passport can be revoked

The amending law adopted today by the German government has introduced a new provision regulating loss of citizenship in the Nationality Act. Under the new provision, German citizens with dual nationality, who take part in combat operations on behalf of a terrorist militia outside Germany, will lose their German citizenship.

Invalidated passport

An invalidated passport. The new provisions will apply to future cases.

Photo: mauritius Images

In the view of the German government, people who leave the country to become involved in combat operations on behalf of a terrorist militia demonstrate that they have rejected Germany and its fundamental values and have embraced another foreign power in the form of a terrorist militia.

The amendment to the Nationality Act (StAG) now introduces a regulation for future cases, which ought to act as a deterrent to individuals considering leaving Germany for areas controlled by the IS terrorist group and to IS supporters.

The new provision translates into law an agreement laid out in the coalition agreement. It is intended as a clear message that Germans with dual citizenship, who reject Germany and embrace a terrorist militia will lose their German citizenship in future. The provision will not apply to under-18-year-olds.

The new legislation cannot be applied to IS fighters already being held outside Germany, since provisions cannot be applied retroactively. That would clearly contradict the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court.