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Everything posted by Berlinexpatnine

  1. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    It seems like Chris needs a lawyer to have any hope at all, but the German bureaucracy really seems to function by the principle of "I was just following orders". Even if you are integrated and meet other standards according to the spirit of the law, all that really matters is if you can somehow follow the letter of law. That also seems to be how Germany has ended up with so many "criminal clan" members with German passports. All the news lately in Berlin is about how they are trying to revoke passports of these Arab mafia members, but you have to wonder what system was in place that extended these passports in the first place. It seems like it is both too easy and too hard to get a German passport.
  2. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I actually didn't provide any proof of continuous residency, but I am not a UK citizen; I assumed they were going to get the information from the Ausländerbehörde. Alternatively, they could see that I had proof of a rental agreement that started when I arrived, supplemented by a current letter showing the latest increase in rent, or they could see I had health insurance that was uninterrupted for more than 10 years. I also brought but didn't show my expired passport showing a string of 1-, and 3-year residency permits. But I was never specifically asked to prove continuous residency. Perhaps they only need specific proof from EU citizens, since they don't have the Ausländerbehörde keeping tabs on them. Continuous residency is required for a non-EU citizen to keep a residency permit.
  3. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Could we get a survey going of the amount of time it has taken to get dual citizenship processed? I would appreciate it if partipants could name the jurisdiction they applied in and the amount of time it took from complete submission of documents until acceptance. You can also state extenuating circumstances if the amount of time was particularly short or particularly long.   My lawyer was surprised at the estimates that have been given to me by the people doing the processing work (2 years as stated by one agent, 18 months stated by another -- both in Berlin Pankow). He wants to check in with them three months after initial submission of documents.
  4. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Not sure what number 1 is referring to (an annual income tax assessment?), but you would want number 2 to certify when insurance began at TKK. If you had previous coverage in Germany, you would want to show proof of that as well.
  5. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Actually, I looked and they didn't immediately release the appointment for June 26 that we cancelled. It looks like it will be released at the normally scheduled times on Monday and Wednesday morning (or perhaps Tuesday -- whatever schedule it follows).
  6. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Just got back from dropping off my documents for naturalization at Bezirksamt Pankow. They said that one two people were processing applications and they it would be 18 months before they would contact us again for our final appointment.   We are also cancelling our backup appointment time for dropping off documents on June 26th, so an appointment on that date should become available in a bit, if they re-release the appointments immediately.
  7. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Thanks! This last form from EJM in particular is super helpful!
  8. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I’m submitting my naturalization application in Berlin, and as a freelancer, they want a statement from my tax advisor showing my monthly net income after social insurance contributions and taxes are subtracted out. Are there any other freelancers on this board who have also had their tax advisor submit this statement? Both my tax advisor and my immigration lawyer are confused about it. My lawyer has been researching it but still doesn’t have clear answers for me yet. Anyway: 1.      For social insurance, it seems logical that they would want the health insurance costs of my entire family taken into account (because the entire family is applying for citizenship at once), not just my personal health insurance costs, which happen to be private. 2.      I only have private pension insurance contributions, so I have subtracted them out as well, but it’s also not really clear whether they need to be included. Certainly that would be subtracted out if it was the Deutsche Rentenversicherung. I’m not sure if my wife’s numbers (as a housewife) for private pension insurance should be included at all. 3.      I would assume that since they want taxes taken into account, they also want me to subtract out my income tax, but that wasn’t clear either. Has anyone gotten clear answers to these questions?
  9. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Every one of these posts gets me worried that I will be expected to provide all sorts of things that weren't requested in my initial meeting -- a "super" Meldebescheinigung going back perhaps 30 years and covering five Länder and five cities in my case, Steuerbescheide going back 10 years instead of the two I was asked for, confirmation letters from agencies like the Job Center that they say they are checking with anyway. It seems like they could suddenly want proof of de-registration of residence and ex-matriculation from every university I ever attended too. And will they also suddenly want all my foreign degrees translated if I hit the wrong person on the wrong day, and what else? The decentralization of the naturalization process is really unnerving as we all compare notes like this. I know Bavaria's requirements aren't relevant to Berlin, and they can't spring new requirements on us at the last second, but still. On the other hand, the treatment we get from decentralized Germany by all accounts is kinder and gentler than the treatment my country gives to foreigners in a completely centralized system.
  10. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I made the appointment earlier this week. The Pankow system for giving out naturalization appointments is not for the faint of heart. They offer new appointments at a certain time of day on two days out of the week. Typically something like 4 or 6 new appointments are offered. When they open up the new appointments, you literally have less than 5 seconds to snatch one and try to fill out the robot detector question. This was about the 4th time my wife and I had tried to get an appointment over the past few weeks, and we each had 10 browser tabs open in order to hit refresh on each of them in turn to find the moment when the new appointments opened up. We then each went for a different appointment, but I was the only one to get to the robot detector question. I think I might have actually stumbled in answering the robot question but it gave me another chance and I got an appointment one month in the future.   Anyway, it's an absurd situation, and good luck to anyone else trying to get an appointment in Pankow.
  11. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Thanks for the tips! Yes, I am in Pankow, and I'll start reordering my binder and making copies as suggested.
  12. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I have a second question: On the Berlin form, there is an item that isn't ticked as necessary, but it is next to some items that I believe need to be brought to the document drop-off appointment: a handwritten Lebenslauf. Are we expected to provided this handwritten CV, and do they really still want you to write it out by hand?
  13. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I have an appointment to drop off all my documents for my German citizenship application in Berlin.   Does anyone have advice on how to make this appointment go more smoothly? For example, I have the application and the originals of all the documents in a big binder. Does it make sense to create another folder that is just copies of all these documents? Or do they want to take and keep the originals for the duration of the process? Or make all the copies themselves on the spot? Also, does it make sense to be prepared to hand them a USB stick with scans of all the documents?
  14. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I thought that only two districts have online booking of Einbürgerung appointments, Pankow and someplace else, and that with the rest you had to make a request for an appointment directly in person at the Bezirksamt. It seems like you could assemble your entire packet and then go to any district and ask to either drop off documents / request an appointment to drop off documents with an agent. If they happened to neglect to check the location of your registration at that point, it seems like you might get processed in another district.
  15. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Regarding my comment about taking your application to a district other than where you are registered: I know such a thing shouldn't work, but the first rule of German bureaucracy I learned 30 years ago: If you don't like the answer you are being given, ask someone else. You could always state that you want to move to the other district in the future and that rather than having your application forwarded there, you went ahead and turned it into the new district, so couldn't they make an exception in your case? Likely you would be laughed out of the office, but I can name various experiences I have had with German bureaucrats who made something happen that would seem to be against their own rules.   Yes, all of it would be a crapshoot, but sometimes you are desperate. By the way, I am not interested in speedy citizenship because of Brexit, but for entirely other reasons that I consider actually direr. I'm not actually a UK citizen, and it seems like all UK citizens will likely get fair treatment after Brexit, such as quick granting of permanent residency for long-term residents, just as if they were from Australia, Canada, USA... That's just speculation, but Germans actually like the British and will bend over backward to make things easier for you... just as they do for all citizens of rich, English-speaking countries. If you look into it, you'll see that special favors are always done for this group of countries and that it is very easy to get permission to stay... unless you are destitute, and in that case, you probably have other things to worry about, such as how to pay the rent.
  16. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Has anyone submitted their citizenship application to a Bezirk in Berlin that they don't live in? Often the Bezirksamt will serve people from other districts for other matters. Depending on luck, it seems like that could either speed things up... or unnecessarily delay the process. But it is certainly not a crime to submit your application in the wrong district.
  17. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Point taken, but she wants to live on her own after the summer, so I am going to make sure she moves out of Pankow, since it is obviously swamped with Brexit-related naturalizations of UK citizens. Maybe Reinickendorf, since that was in the French sector.
  18. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    So to speed up the naturalization process, I am going to have my daughter move to someplace other than the places listed here, since they are UK hotspots:   All of Bezirk Pankow Friedrichshain Kreuzberg Mitte Charlottenburg Wilmersdorf Westend   Am I missing anything? 
  19. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    We were recently told at Bezirksamt Pankow (in Rathaus Pankow) that they were currently taking two years to process Einbürgerung/naturalization appointments.   Our daughter is somewhat flexible as to where she could live in Berlin in the near future, so we were thinking of having her take up residence in a Bezirk with fast naturalization processes so that she could get faster service.   Which Berlin Bezirks/districts are currently known to be processing naturalization permits quickly? Or is there someplace closeby in Brandenburg that is also processing applications for citizenship quickly (a long shot from what I understand, but I thought I'd broaden the query in case Brandenburg might be an option)?