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About Berlinexpatnine

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  • Location Pankow, Berlin
  • Nationality USA
  1. Naturalization income requirement?

    I am currently in the 12th month of my process. The lawyer was absolutely essential to the process, and I expect him to eventually represent me in administrative court if necessary. I don't think he is speeding up the process in any way, but I can't really judge. The process might come to a quicker end with a decision not in my favor without him.   What your lawyer can do is use his knowledge of the actual people involved to perhaps use informal channels to find out where you are in the process. That is something my lawyer has done for me. The current info is that very little is happening because of the coronavirus crisis and the inability of the authorities to work under these circumstances, and that may also apply in your situation. Hopefully we won't all be stuck in limbo like this until the crisis is over.
  2. kurzarbeit---- short-time work

    Does anyone know how quickly Kurzarbeitergeld is paid out to employers? I can't find any information online.
  3. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    My situation was about timing. They asked for info through March 31 to be delivered in mid-April. Kurzarbeit didn't start until April and I had no documentation even showing what the Kurzarbeit level would be, so mentioning that Kurzarbeit would be coming would not be helpful. Now a bit more time is passed, but my lawyer still said that there was no rush, since nothing is happening regarding application processing and that I would likely have to wait until Kurzarbeit period passed to get citizenship. I think he may have miscalculated my income level, since I think I still qualify for citizenship without the Kurzarbeit subsidy, but who knows how these things are handled. I would have to submit an explanation from my accountant of how I still would be earning enough even without Kurzarbeit money, and we are just waiting for any sort of response from the naturalization authority.   Naturalization is something that people work towards for a decade or more, and this whole situation with coronavirus throwing a wrench in the works really sucks. I am kind of questioning whether this whole painful and expensive process was worth it, especially with naturalization being snatched away in the last instant. It is about creating some sort of certainty in life, but maybe it is best just to live with uncertainty.
  4. Naturalization income requirement?

      It depends on how complicated your situation is. If you are single person, earn the correct amount of money, and are from the EU, it is probably not worth getting a lawyer involved. You would likely be wasting your money.   If you are a non-EU freelancer with a non-EU family and need special permission to retain your old citizenship, your situation is probably too complicated and you need a lawyer.
  5. Unemployment benefits running out soon and I can't get a job

    By the way, Hartz IV is not doing wealth checks during the coronavirus crisis. They will not be looking at your bank accounts to decide if you qualify.   By the way, why is this young mother being attacked in some of the posts for asking for advice on how to better get by in this situation? She can't get childcare, so it is hard for her to work. We are all in this boat together, and I'd like it if Toytowngermany could be more of a resource in this situation without the troll tax.
  6. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I actually just found this PowerPoint on the topic:   The only problem is that it isn't clear if all of this applies when citizenship is being applied for and whether Kurzarbeitergeld is an acceptable source of income (although it seems to be strongly suggested that it is).
  7. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I think I should say lawyers, because I've had more than one lawyer on this case, and at times I've been given incomplete and conflicting advice, in part because there are certain matters that are not completely settled in German law. I try to confirm what they tell me independently by reading the relevant decisions and policies myself because the stakes are very high. In this case the lawyer gave me this advice in writing, but it was not clear to me what part of my situation might now prevent my naturalization. In any case, my lawyer has suggested that we will have to have the matter settled in administrative court. I believe what he tells me, and I'm really impressed with the research and argumentation of my current lawyer, but I know he is simply doing the best he can. I still would like to hear from others on the Kurzarbeit issue. On other forums I've read that Kurzarbeit should have not have any bearing on naturalization unless your income is too low to sustain you and your family members. I don't know if that is really true. In any case, attaining citizenship will be crucial for one of my family members, and they ask me every few days about what is going on with the decision and whether I have it all figured out yet.   Why am I asking here? Because I'm worried to death about it and was hoping someone might have already tested this issue, perhaps during the last period of mass Kurzarbeit after the financial crisis. I'm in a position of just waiting for the next move the authorities, but it sucks to have no certainty. I've also been watching the news to see if the issue of Kurzarbeit and naturalization is being addressed. Strangely enough, the issue is discussed a lot in Switzerland, but I see nothing about it in Germany. Germany seems to be too concerned with the immediacy of the crisis to worry about foreigners and their naturalization problems, which I guess is understandable.
  8. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Unless you could immediately show that your business was making sufficient money right from the start, becoming self-employed would definitely be a problem for naturalization. They ask your accountant to show how much money you have left over each month after paying all expenses, taxes, and contributions for health insurance and social security. If that amount isn't sufficient, you have no basis for naturalization.
  9. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

      I went for the original appointment in May 2018 or so, but didn't have the application together for submission until May 2019.   In May 2018 they told me that it would take two years for them to process the naturalization application from the point it was submitted. When I went back in May 2019 to submit the application, they said it would be 18 months unless the Bezirk got more staffing. I estimate that each Bezirk in Berlin normally has to process about 50 people per month for naturalization, but that Brexit was really gumming up certain Brit-rich Bezirke through the sheer number of applications all at once. We're talking about Pankow here, of which Prenzlauer Berg is a large part, and I would guess it has 10 times the normal number of UK citizens, although I guess the former British sector probably has a lot too.   They've had me update the file twice since I submitted, asking for a few other documents each time in addition to my financials. The documents they wanted were things like a letter from my son's grade school teacher stating that he was well integrated in the German classroom and copies of his current Aufenthaltstitel. Not anything serious.  
  10. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    My lawyer advised me to not inform them immediately because I just submitted paperwork going through March 2020, which was the second update to my file. He also thought that no real action would be taken until the crisis was over, and that I would simply have to wait until Kurzarbeit was over to get citizenship. I then started wondering whether Kurzarbeit is a KO condition for citizenship (it is not listed as one), but my understanding now is that the non-sustainable nature of my Kurzarbeit income is the problem. I believe my income is sufficient, but I will not be allowed citizenship because my income is in part based on non-permanent Kurzarbeit income.
  11. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I am in the final stages of getting German citizenship for my family (submitted our documents in May 2019), but I have gone on Kurzarbeit due to the coronavirus crisis in the last month.   Does anyone know if Kurzarbeit disqualifies you for citizenship? It isn't mentioned in the brochure on getting citizenship in Germany; it just says you can't be getting ALG II (Hartz 4) or Sozialhilfe. The brochure I am referring to is here, page 20:    I think I am earning enough even with Kurzarbeit, assuming I understand the earnings minimum for Berlin correctly: Warmmiete + 416 per adult + 296 per child. Is that correct? Elsewhere I've heard something like "900 per adult and 600 per child" but now I can't even find where I might have read that and I'm not sure that is true at all.
  12. Naturalization income requirement?

    Here's another message so I am notified of replies.
  13. Naturalization income requirement?

    I just updated my information with Bezirksamt Pankow/Berlin in regard to my naturalization application for my family.  The requested update went through March 2020 and everything looked good as far as sufficient earnings and all other matters. My process started in early summer 2019. My impression is that my application is now being passed to the Senat for final approval of a special situation regarding my family keeping their original citizenship (not UK), but I'm not sure.   I am going on partial Kurzarbeit starting in April 2020, and it looks like I no longer meet the income requirements to support a family independently without the Kurzarbeit money. I think it would be tight even with it, but the situation is in flux. My Kurzarbeit level will likely change next month.   Is there anyone on this board with info on how quickly Berlin is working through naturalization during the crisis? I was hoping the whole process would finish before they asked for another update, but that is perhaps too optimistic. I think I will likely have to wait for the economy to recover before getting German citizenship. Even if they approved immediately, if they asked for current paystubs before I could pick up the certificates, they would likely then balk at handing them out.   I have already spent more than €5000 on lawyers and have one on retainer now, but I was hoping there might be other info out there from people going through this process right now. I heard construction permits have come to a halt in Berlin due to technical problems with not enough capacity for the entire staff to work from home.   If there is a more active or relevant thread for this topic, let me know.