February 6, 2012 12:17:14 AM CET
Well this really depends on what you are trying to accomplish; in regards to heritage. As far as I understand the law; if you are trying to apply for dual-citizenship, the cut off is your immediate family (Parents); if however you are looking for a Familienzusammenführung you would need to have an extended family member in Germany who are willing to sponsor you.
I do know of a few people who have successfully pursued this action (Familienzusammenführung) but it is tedious and generally requires knowledge of the last male in the family who was actually born in Germany. You would also need to know exactly where there where born and contact the Gemeinde of the village/town in question, to see if they can produce records of his birth.
There after you would need to make contact with extended family in Germany and convince them as to why they need to sponsor your return, hence tedious.
With that I must say that your question is rather vague in regards to residency, as there are many forms of residency. I would like to ask however if you have skills in the medical field or in IT. That would make your application easier and would also mean you need to apply to in entirely different manner altogether.
More information would be insightful.
MFG aus Gusternhain