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Story Of My Thai Citizenship Application


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I was asked to move my question to this thread

Can somebody clarify if I understood well? I am not an English native speaker

To apply for Thai citizenship in my case that I have been married more than 3 years with a Thai lady I must:

1) Have 3 consecutive 1 year extensions on my non-O or non-B

2) Have a work permit

3) Income 40000 bath a month for 3 years proved by tax receipts

4) Criminal record clearance

5) Have made a donation to a charitable organization in Thailand

6) Have my name in a tabian baan

I don't need to:

1) Be fluent in spoken and written Thai language, or sing Thai National Anthem

2) Have permanent residency in Thailand

3) Give up my nationality because my country allows double citizenship

Time to get the citizenship less than 3 years

In my case I have a 1 year extension based on marriage. We rent our apartment but the landlady doesn't allow my wife (or me) to put her name on it. So I showed immigration her house registration (in a different address) and the rental contract on my name, and it was fine for them. What shall I do? Can I ask my mother in law to put my name on her tabian baan together with my wife? And when renewing my extension I show immigration the rental contract of the place where we actually live even if we both are registered in my mother in law tabian baan in a different province? Can this be done? Can this be a problem in case I apply for Thai citizenship?

Thanks a lot

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Hi All, For those who are interested, the application process for Thai Citizenship in my case went as follows: Late 2003 - Picked up the checklist from the Police Headquarters on Rama 1 Road Janu

Not sure why you chose to go through all this humiliation ! But you obviously had your reasons ! If you are from Africa or the Indian Sub-Continent or such, then Thai citizenship may be regarded as u

"Humiliation"? Sorry, I don't see whats humiliating about this . . . . . G

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Your list of requirements looks to be complete and correct.

You will need to get yourself a yellow house book (Tor Ror 13) you cannot be listed in Thai house book.

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I was asked to move my question to this thread

Can somebody clarify if I understood well? I am not an English native speaker

To apply for Thai citizenship in my case that I have been married more than 3 years with a Thai lady I must:

1) Have 3 consecutive 1 year extensions on my non-O or non-B

2) Have a work permit

3) Income 40000 bath a month for 3 years proved by tax receipts

4) Criminal record clearance

5) Have made a donation to a charitable organization in Thailand

6) Have my name in a tabian baan

I don't need to:

1) Be fluent in spoken and written Thai language, or sing Thai National Anthem

2) Have permanent residency in Thailand

3) Give up my nationality because my country allows double citizenship

Time to get the citizenship less than 3 years

In my case I have a 1 year extension based on marriage. We rent our apartment but the landlady doesn't allow my wife (or me) to put her name on it. So I showed immigration her house registration (in a different address) and the rental contract on my name, and it was fine for them. What shall I do? Can I ask my mother in law to put my name on her tabian baan together with my wife? And when renewing my extension I show immigration the rental contract of the place where we actually live even if we both are registered in my mother in law tabian baan in a different province? Can this be done? Can this be a problem in case I apply for Thai citizenship?

Thanks a lot

1. Tabian baan. The first thing to understand is that nothing is negotiable here. The ministerial regulations state that you must have a tabian baan and without one your application cannot be accepted. Technically it is OK to be on a tabian baan in another province where you don't live but in practice it probably won't work for two reasons. One is that you will be obliged to apply to the Special Branch in that province and only Bangkok has a special office for nationality applications. Most of the provinces will either refuse to process your application because it is too much trouble and they don't know where to start or cock it up which will mean you will find out years later that you have been rejected because of incorrect wording in the covering letter or some such nonsense. Provinces where there are large numbers of expats working, such as Chonburi, Phuket and Chiang Mai may be exceptions to this rule. The other reason is that it will not believed that you live out in the sticks and commute daily to Bangkok either when you are investigated by the National Intelligence Agency or when you are interviewed at the Ministry of the Interior which could result in rejection for providing false information about your address. Finally you might receive important letters from the MoI, e.g. invitation to interview, too late to attend.

Your only option is to find some way of getting on a tabian baan in Bangkok or wherever it is you live or work. Find a more cooperative landlady, or buy a condo in your own name or a house in your wife's name.

2. Marriage. You need to be legally married to a Thai for three years but only one year, if you have a child together who is a Thai citizen.

3. Income. For those married to Thais this must be over Bt 40,000 per month but please note only income from legal employment in Thailand can be counted.

4. Tax receipts. You need three complete calendar years' worth of tax receipts (PNG 90 or PNG 91) relating to tax paid on your salary in Thailand. The receipts need to be notarised by the Revenue Department (not difficult to get done).

5. Visa extensions. If you have had a visa for three years, obviously you have the correct visa extensions.

6. Criminal record clearance. You don't need to provide this. They will check for themselves that you are not on any international wanted lists and that you have no criminal record in Thailand or any involvement with narcotics or subversive political activities.

7. Charitable donations. You need to show receipts to prove that you have been contributing regularly to registered Thai charities. According to ministerial regulations donations made clearly just to try to qualify for citizenship will not be accepted.

8. Thai language. You don't need to able to sing, if you have a Thai spouse and the written Thai tests are optional. You DO need to be able to speak and understand Thai to intermediate level in order to handle interviews at Special Branch and the MoI. If they cannot interview, they will be unable to form a view on your suitability and you be rejected. So, if your Thai is hopeless, get working on it now. You will need to know some of the specialised vocabulary that regarding nationality and formal words for things like wife, child etc, in order to answer their questions.

9. Since 2008, you don't need permanent residence to apply, if you are a male married to a Thai and females married to Thais have never needed it.

10. You need to submit a declaration of intent to renounce your existing nationality once you have been approved for Thai nationality. Once you have been approved, the MoI will inform your embassy that you have been approved for Thai nationality.

11. Processing time. Unfortunately this seems to have got much longer since dbrenn started this thread after being fully processed in only three years. There are apparently still some exceptions made for those with big shot connections or whatever but nowadays you will be very lucky to get to the MoI interview stage within three years. If you are successful there, it could take several more years for the minister's signature, particularly in these times of revolving door interior ministers. After that you need at least a year for palace approval, publication in the Royal Gazette and issuance of naturalisation certificate. But as Special Branch will tell you, "I know it seems a long time but, if you don't apply, Khun Brunus, you will certainly never get it."

12. Points system. You didn't ask about this but you need to get 50 points out of 100 in Special Branch's assessment. Depending on your situation, this can be a bit more difficult for those who don't have permanent residence, since 20 points are allocated for PR. I have attached my own translation of the current points system. The original can be found on Special Branch's website.

I think that covers all your questions. Detailed information is available in Thai only on Special Branch's website http://www.sbpolice.go.th/ . If you are seriously interested in applying it is advisable to visit Special Branch's nationality section in Building 24 at National Police Headquarters, Patumwan, Bangkok. No appointment is needed. Just go along during normal civil service working hours. Good luck.

Points Allocation 2010 EN.doc

Edited by Arkady
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Thanks a lot Arkady for your very useful and clear post. I appreciate very much. I still have a few questions

- So it seems the entire process in my case that I have to put my name on a tabian baan could take around 10 years if everything goes smoothly. Now the question is: do I have to keep the financial requirements until I get the Thai citizenship or is it enough to have them until I submit my application, or maybe until interviewed by the Mol? From now to 10 or more years many things can change, I could lose my job or forced to go back to my country.

- As for the points I see some are assigned on your age. Is it your age at the time you submit your application or a the time of the Mol interview?

- At the moment I live in Pattaya but I will probably move to Trat province in the near future because of my job. Let's say in 3 years time my name is on a tabian baan in Trat (but could be another province), together with my work permit, who do I submit my application to? If I understand correctly it's likely that Trat Special Branch will refuse to forward my application. But at the same time If I put my name on a tabian baan in Bangkok but my job is in Trat, they won't believe I travel back and forth everyday. So what can I do? Is there a solution?

Thanks again

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Thanks a lot Arkady for your very useful and clear post. I appreciate very much. I still have a few questions

- So it seems the entire process in my case that I have to put my name on a tabian baan could take around 10 years if everything goes smoothly. Now the question is: do I have to keep the financial requirements until I get the Thai citizenship or is it enough to have them until I submit my application, or maybe until interviewed by the Mol? From now to 10 or more years many things can change, I could lose my job or forced to go back to my country.

- As for the points I see some are assigned on your age. Is it your age at the time you submit your application or a the time of the Mol interview?

- At the moment I live in Pattaya but I will probably move to Trat province in the near future because of my job. Let's say in 3 years time my name is on a tabian baan in Trat (but could be another province), together with my work permit, who do I submit my application to? If I understand correctly it's likely that Trat Special Branch will refuse to forward my application. But at the same time If I put my name on a tabian baan in Bangkok but my job is in Trat, they won't believe I travel back and forth everyday. So what can I do? Is there a solution?

Thanks again

It is as well to assume it will take a long time and be pleasantly surprised, if things go faster. I have come across a case that took 18 months and another that took 11 years. Personally, I have been waiting for the MoI interview for 2.5 years following application. It all depends on the policy of the Interior Minister but it seems the last few weren't in a hurry and currently there isn't a minister. In the past some ministers set timelines for processing citizenship and PR. It could happen again and I suppose pigs could fly too but honestly anything can happen here

Mostly they take things including your age as a snapshot at the time you applied. If you get older because they are very slow, that is not your fault. You don't have to show you still have the same bank balance and I don't think they check that you are still earning at least the same salary. They will likely ask you about your work briefly at the MoI interview but it doesn't matter, if you change your job after applying. However, one thing that is very important is that you must be in employment with a work permit continuously. You will need to show your WP when you are interviewed and when you go back to Special Branch for the vow of allegiance and your naturalisation certificate after your application has been approved by the King. If you don't have one, your application will be rejected because you no longer fulfill the requirements of the Nationality Act that you have a profession in Thailand. If you have retired by then, you could set up your own small business and obtain a WP. Unfortunately, if you have to move overseas to work, you are no longer qualified.

Chonburi Special Branch certainly knows how to process applications but I don't know about Trat. It would be best to go to them along with copies of the Nationality Act and ministerial regulations which clearly say it is their responsibility and ask them if they have ever done it and would they be able and wiling to do it for you. If the answer is no or just blank incomprehension, you had better make alternative arrangements. If your company has offices in both Pattaya and Trat, you could have a tabien baan in Pattaya and a WP with addresses of both offices on it and tell them you divide your time between the two. I think it won't work to have your tabien baan in a place of convenience where neither actually live or work but you could ask SB in Bangkok frankly about that. They are happy to give free advice to those seriously interested. Otherwise you would have to get some connections with the police in Trat to persuade SB there to process your application and take them out to lunch or dinner. I am sure that SB in Bangkok would be willing to coach them on what to do and send them some examples. There was a poster from Samui who was refused by SB in Surat several years ago but things may have improved in the provinces since then as a lot of males with Thai wives have been applying since the law was changed in 2008 and they don't need PR.

Edited by Arkady
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You will need to show your WP when you are interviewed and when you go back to Special Branch for the vow of allegiance and your naturalisation certificate after your application has been approved by the King. If you don't have one, your application will be rejected because you no longer fulfill the requirements of the Nationality Act that you have a profession in Thailand. If you have retired by then, you could set up your own small business and obtain a WP.

I was never required to show my work permit to anyone after my MOI interview. However, others may have different experiences.

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You will need to show your WP when you are interviewed and when you go back to Special Branch for the vow of allegiance and your naturalisation certificate after your application has been approved by the King. If you don't have one, your application will be rejected because you no longer fulfill the requirements of the Nationality Act that you have a profession in Thailand. If you have retired by then, you could set up your own small business and obtain a WP.

I was never required to show my work permit to anyone after my MOI interview. However, others may have different experiences.

That's good to know CJ. Special Branch told me recently I should be sure to maintain a WP right up until the end in order to comply with the Act and I assumed that meant they would check. I would think it wise to maintain one, if possible, in case things change.

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Are there still staff of MOI going to home and see the circumstances before the interview at MOI, update appreciated? As waiting for there call to interview.

Edited by Oasis
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@skippybangkok, I also had at Amari in 2009, but after that the staff of MOI will be coming home to see if there are circumstances same as mentioned in application just during the MOI interview call, is still this practice going on???

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Had interview at McDonalds 2.5 years back...............

whats next step ? how long left smile.png ?

Hi Skippy - I'm not sure who the McDonalds interview was with. Was it with the MOI. Your official interview with the MOI will be held at the Ministry of Interior in front of a panel of four to five officers. I was interviewed in August 2008 at the MOI and received my citizenship in August 2012. It seems like 2 to 4 years from the MOI interview is standard - although there seem to be variances either way.

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I believe that the interview at Amarin Plaza (McDonalds) is with the National Intelligence Agency, not the MOI.

TheChiefJustice, how long was it between filing your application with Special Branch to being called for an interview at the MOI?

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I believe that the interview at Amarin Plaza (McDonalds) is with the National Intelligence Agency, not the MOI.

TheChiefJustice, how long was it between filing your application with Special Branch to being called for an interview at the MOI?

I think you are right, Garry. I also had the interview with the NIA - but it was at my office.

My application process dates were as follows:

May 2007 - application filed at Special Branch

November 2007 - NIA interview at my office

August 2008 - MOI Interview

August 2011 - Minister Approves application

December 2011 - HM Approves application

April 2012 - Approval published in Government Gazette

May 2012 - Swear Oath at Special Branch

August 2012 - Obtain Naturalisation Certificate

August 2012 - Apply for/obtain Thai ID Card and Passport

My understanding is that the length of time overall is standard - although from what I have heard from others the time between my initial application and my MOI interview was quite quick.

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I believe that the interview at Amarin Plaza (McDonalds) is with the National Intelligence Agency, not the MOI.

TheChiefJustice, how long was it between filing your application with Special Branch to being called for an interview at the MOI?

I think you are right, Garry. I also had the interview with the NIA - but it was at my office.

My application process dates were as follows:

May 2007 - application filed at Special Branch

November 2007 - NIA interview at my office

August 2008 - MOI Interview

August 2011 - Minister Approves application

December 2011 - HM Approves application

April 2012 - Approval published in Government Gazette

May 2012 - Swear Oath at Special Branch

August 2012 - Obtain Naturalisation Certificate

August 2012 - Apply for/obtain Thai ID Card and Passport

My understanding is that the length of time overall is standard - although from what I have heard from others the time between my initial application and my MOI interview was quite quick.

Thanks for the information. From what I understand, your interview with MOI did indeed happen very soon. However, I can't understand why it took so long for the Minister to sign off (three years from MOI intercview to signing). Is that normal?

If I haven't already congratulated you then let me do so now. Congratulations!!!!!!

Edited by GarryP
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Thanks for the information. From what I understand, your interview with MOI did indeed happen very soon. However, I can't understand why it took so long for the Minister to sign off (three years from MOI intercview to signing). Is that normal?

If I haven't already congratulated you then let me do so now. Congratulations!!!!!!

Hello Garry - and thank you for your kind congratulations. ;-)

One of the reasons this takes so long is that during the waiting period there is never just one Interior Minister. Between the time I applied and the time I was approved there were a total of seven (7) Interior Ministers! This, as you might imagine, has a major impact on the stable working of the MOI. For those interested, here is a list of Interior Ministers. When I applied it was No. 46. I was approved by No. 52.

List of Interior Ministers of Thailand

Edited by TheChiefJustice
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I believe that the interview at Amarin Plaza (McDonalds) is with the National Intelligence Agency, not the MOI.

TheChiefJustice, how long was it between filing your application with Special Branch to being called for an interview at the MOI?

I think you are right, Garry. I also had the interview with the NIA - but it was at my office.

My application process dates were as follows:

May 2007 - application filed at Special Branch

November 2007 - NIA interview at my office

August 2008 - MOI Interview

August 2011 - Minister Approves application

December 2011 - HM Approves application

April 2012 - Approval published in Government Gazette

May 2012 - Swear Oath at Special Branch

August 2012 - Obtain Naturalisation Certificate

August 2012 - Apply for/obtain Thai ID Card and Passport

My understanding is that the length of time overall is standard - although from what I have heard from others the time between my initial application and my MOI interview was quite quick.

The CJ, was staff of MOI went to your home or office to see if the circumstances were the same as written in your application just before or during your MOI interview process or not?

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The CJ, was staff of MOI went to your home or office to see if the circumstances were the same as written in your application just before or during your MOI interview process or not?

Dear Oasis - I was never visited by the MOI. The only contact with the MOI was during my official MOI interview and at the very end when I was calling them and pestering them about when my approval would be published in the Government Gazette. I was not contacted by the MOI for an interview either before or after the official MOI interview.

Before the MOI interview, however, I was visited by two officers from the National Intelligence Agency at my office. Originally they had asked to visit my home but as I was working long hours and spending most of my time at the office I requested an interview at my place of work. They did go through the contents of my application and asked me questions about my circumstances, my family, and the reasons I wanted to apply for citizenship. They are there to assess your general character and demeanor and to quiz you on the contents of your application.

Edited by TheChiefJustice
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The CJ, was staff of MOI went to your home or office to see if the circumstances were the same as written in your application just before or during your MOI interview process or not?

Dear Oasis - I was never visited by the MOI. The only contact with the MOI was during my official MOI interview and at the very end when I was calling them and pestering them about when my approval would be published in the Government Gazette. I was not contacted by the MOI for an interview either before or after the official MOI interview.

Before the MOI interview, however, I was visited by two officers from the National Intelligence Agency at my office. Originally they had asked to visit my home but as I was working long hours and spending most of my time at the office I requested an interview at my place of work. They did go through the contents of my application and asked me questions about my circumstances, my family, and the reasons I wanted to apply for citizenship. They are there to assess your general character and demeanor and to quiz you on the contents of your application.

Dear CJ, Thanks, for the information. Congrates for your achievement.

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Sorry to be asking so many questions, but how does the MOI get in touch to invite you to the official MOI interview? Is it through Special Branch? I am just asking because as the process takes so long, I can envisage applicants having moved home or place of work by the time it comes round to being invited to the interview. I understand it can be anywhere up to 3 years after submission of the application (or more) before one receives the formal invitation (but don't know the form the invitation takes).

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Sorry to be asking so many questions, but how does the MOI get in touch to invite you to the official MOI interview? Is it through Special Branch? I am just asking because as the process takes so long, I can envisage applicants having moved home or place of work by the time it comes round to being invited to the interview. I understand it can be anywhere up to 3 years after submission of the application (or more) before one receives the formal invitation (but don't know the form the invitation takes).

When I called MOI this month, they told will be informing the Special Branch about interview when it will be. Note that I am calling MOI and Special Branch every 2-3 months regarding Interview.

Edited by Oasis
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Sorry to be asking so many questions, but how does the MOI get in touch to invite you to the official MOI interview? Is it through Special Branch? I am just asking because as the process takes so long, I can envisage applicants having moved home or place of work by the time it comes round to being invited to the interview. I understand it can be anywhere up to 3 years after submission of the application (or more) before one receives the formal invitation (but don't know the form the invitation takes).

You may ask as many questions as you like, Garry. I understand that not so many here have been through the entire process yet - so any light I am able to shed on the matter I am more than happy to do.

The MOI notifies you of the interview by letter. I agree with you that it may be problematic if you move your residence. In fact, I was on holiday when my letter arrived. When I returned to receive it, I learned that my interview was the next day! So I could have easily missed it had I been on holidays longer. The letter had been in my mailbox for almost two weeks.

I think that if you move your residence, it would be prudent to contact the MOI to let them know - especially if you have not yet had the interview. Missing an interview would be a shame and may cause even further delays to an already very long process.

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Sorry to be asking so many questions, but how does the MOI get in touch to invite you to the official MOI interview? Is it through Special Branch? I am just asking because as the process takes so long, I can envisage applicants having moved home or place of work by the time it comes round to being invited to the interview. I understand it can be anywhere up to 3 years after submission of the application (or more) before one receives the formal invitation (but don't know the form the invitation takes).

When I called MOI this month, they told will be informing the Special Branch about interview when it will be.

I was never told by the Special Branch about my impending interview - but perhaps things have changed.

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It seems that the NIA have given up visiting homes and/or offices in recent years and currently interview candidates at McDonalds in Amarin Plaza with their Thai spouses, if they applied on the basis of having one. Like everything else in the process this could change without notice. I don't think the MoI people have ever interviewed applicants outside the MoI but some people might have thought the NIA people were from the MoI, as they tend not to advertise themselves. The MoI, however, dominates the committee that makes the recommendations to the minister, as they have 8 of the 15 seats.

Special Branch does get advance warning of who has been selected for interview about 3 weeks before the interviews but they are not required to contact applicants and, unless you have a good contact at SB, you will just receive the official invitation letter from he MoI which you must bring with you to the interview along with your passport, tabien baan, WP as well as residence book and alien book, if you have PR. Not having a WP without a good reason (e.g. in process of renewal) at this stage could be a show stopper, as you are required to be employed according to the Act. Among other things you will nowadays be asked about your intention to dump your existing nationality and the wrong answer here could also be a show stopper. At least one applicant has reported receiving the invitation letter only the day before the interview. So, if you have changed address before being interviewed, you had better make sure that you get the new one with copies of your new tabien baan to SB and get them to confirm they have sent it to the MoI or you may never hear anything from them.

As CJ says, the revolving door of interior ministers must be responsible for much of the delays in processing applications. According to the law the whole thing is up to the minister's discretion but citizenship is understandably a low priority for most of them and it takes a new minister several months to get around to coming up with his policy on how he will exercise his discretion. In the past some ministers came up with applicant friendly policies that established precise timelines for the process but unfortunately that has not happened for several years and things have been allowed to lapse. Even the 60 day limit for the initial screening by the police and security agencies seems to have fallen off the official MoI flowchart recently. Apparently the MoI usually still presses on with the interviews, while waiting for new ministers' directives, and currently conducts them nearly every month. I don't know how many people apply annually but there is a limit to how many 10 minute interviews you can do in a day and I doubt that they interview more than 300 a year, if that. So there seems to be a fairly long queue which could get worse, if there is a bulge of applicants with Thai wives who found out they could apply without PR after the 2008 amendments. SB says that right now it is not unusual for applicants to wait 4 or 5 years for interview. Why some people have got their citizenship 18 months after application and others have waited 11 years is a mystery that could only be solved by the people at the MoI and they ain't talking.

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Naam may be interested in the section quoted below from the thesis where it indicates a condition whereby Germans may retain citizenship and the involvement of their diplomatic mission in this.

quote follows

[Loss of citizenship on acquisition of a foreign citizenship following due application for the same; approval of retention of citizenship]

(1) A German shall lose his or her citizenship upon acquiring a foreign citizenship where such acquisition results from an application filed by the German concerned or his or her legal representative, whereas the represented person shall suffer such loss only if the qualifying conditions for application for release from citizenship apply as stipulated in Section 19. The loss under sentence 1 shall not take effect if a German acquires the citizenship of another member state of the European Union, Switzerland or of a state with whom the Federal Republic of Germany has signed a treaty under Section 12, sub-section 3.

(2) Citizenship shall not be lost by any person who, prior to acquiring foreign citizenship following their application for the same, received written approval from their competent authority for retention of their citizenship. Where an applicant is ordinarily resident abroad, the German diplomatic mission abroad shall be consulted in this connection. The public and private interests shall be weighed up in reaching the decision on an application pursuant to sentence 1. With regard to an applicant who is ordinarily resident abroad, special consideration shall be accorded to the question of whether he or she is able to furnish credible evidence of continuing ties with Germany.

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