Diplomatic Protection

Having more than one citizenship can surely be tempting if you get into trouble. Your temptation will be to which consulate do I go? Can I seek protection from my other home country in Germany? All these and more questions will be answered below. Keep reading!

What is diplomatic protection, anyway?

It is the help from the country of your citizenship (practically the consulate) in claiming your rights and opposing illegal acts of the country in which you are currently residing. This is great when you are in a place that violates international law or when you are stuck in an emergency abroad (§1, 5 I KonsG).

As a dual national, can I get diplomatic protection from both my countries in a third country?

No. Multiple citizens are not entitled to diplomatic protection from both home countries. Usually, you cannot even choose the home country whose protection you want. Third countries will treat you as if you only had one citi­zenship. Ge­nerally, they will consider your home country to be the one where you have habitual residence or to which you have the closest relationship. All this presumes that the third country knows you are multinational, so be sure to inform them if you need help...

Can I get diplomatic protection in my other home country?

Normally, the relationship between two home countries bars such help (§5 I KonsG). Every country treats its citizens exclu­sively as its sole national. Every country in the world treats its citizens as if they had only one nationality. So, if you are French-German, forget about invoking diplomatic protection from Germany in France.