Military Service in one's Home Country as a Dual Citizen

Though Germany does not have compulsory military services anymore since March 1, 2011, problems with compulsory military service in your other home country still can be an issue. We discuss this below.

Do multinationals have to fulfill military service in both their countries?

Generally, every national of one’s country has to serve in the military according to its laws. This normally has nothing to do with a citizen’s residence. All male Germans, whether they have a second nationality or not, were liable to serve time in the military between the ages of 18 through 45. Foreign citizens are generally liable to military service in their second home country. Details and conditions depend on the laws of that country. German authorities cannot normally have you exempted from service in your second country. So get information from the military attaché at the embassy of your second home country. Are you planning to leave Germany and visit your second country? Your German draft board can certify that you, as a multinational, are under military control and that you are slated for the draft. This may keep you out of your other country’s service. It might be wise to get the certification before you leave Germany.

Can the fulfilled military services in Germany be credited for services in the other home country?

International or bi-national agreements are for the good of some multinationals when they contain stipulations crediting fulfilled military services of one home country in the other. The most important international agreement is the Strasbourg European Convention on Reduction of Cases of Multiple Nationality and Military Obligations in Cases of Multiple Nationality (see following table). Countries having signed this Convention grant credit for time fulfilled in military service in the other home country for their service. Therefore, a German-Norwegian national does not have to serve twice in the military because he has permanent residence in Germany. His service in the military in Germany will be credited.

Strasbourg European Convention on Reducing Multiple Nationality, and on Military Obligation in Cases of Multiple Nationality

The following table will list the countries, which uphold the Strasbourg European Convention.











The Netherlands

United Kingdom



My conscience told me to serve in alternative civil service instead of the military. Will this time be credited in my other home country?

Rarely. Most countries signing the relevant international agreements will not give you credit. There are in fact very few such agreements. Most of the countries, which have signed international agreements on civil alternative service, will not give credit for alternative civil service. Therefore, if you do fall under such an agreement you may serve your civil alternative service here in Germany, but you will also have to serve in the military in your other home country.