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About OnTheFritz

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  • Location Berlin
  • Nationality American
  1. Brief update: I finally heard back from my case worker. She said that my past several years' income was definitely too high to qualify for the exception but still offered me the opportunity to submit my 2020 Steuerbescheid if I meet the criteria. I definitely fall below the income threshold for that year. I hope that means it will be a done deal soon, or does anyone here think I can expect another round of follow-up? Just curious. I submitted my application in Berlin-Kreuzberg almost exactly a year ago. Thanks.
  2. They're probably not going to grant unrestricted status to a freelancer in your situation before you qualify for your Niederlassungserlaubnis (5 years). The law you cite states that the employment restrictions will only be removed after two years of "versicherungspflichtige Beschäftigung" (i.e. employment that requires you to pay into all social safety nets). I'm also a freelancer and even paid voluntarily into the state pension system, statutory health insurance (GKK), private pension fund, and private disability insurance from day one and was still restricted to freelancing until I got my Niederlassungserlaubnis. In general, the bar is always higher for self-employed people. If you do find an employer who wants to hire you, they will generally issue you a work permit restricted to that specific employer. If you stay self-employed, however, you'll have to be patient and I would focus on having all your ducks in a row once it's time to apply for your Niederlassungserlaubnis.
  3.   It's $2,350 *gross* (Brutto), not net. If you're a regular employee, you won't have much wiggle room with your arguments. The wording of the current law is pretty clear on this. If you're self-employed, there may be some flexibility depending on several factors (KSK, GKK and GRV contributions), as I'm trying to argue right now (application still pending, see post from last year). To be honest, arguing anything about your IRA is unlikely to get you anywhere. They are interested only in your immediate financial situation and how it relates to your ability to pay the renunciation fee right now. Also, if you're married, they will probably look at you're total income as a couple. Even if you are a penniless spouse on paper, if your gross income as a couple divided by two still averages out to be more than $2,350/month, they aren't likely to be sympathetic. The number of dependent children you have is definitely your strongest argument. To my knowledge, there isn't any precedent here so I expect they will still deny it on principle unless you still clearly fall below the income limit. That said, I think an appeal has a decent chance (disclaimer: I am NOT a lawyer), assuming you're financial hardship is plausible, i.e. you're not a high earner.   Another possibility is simply to wait it out and hope that a future government coalition will shift to the left and change the law. The topic of dual citizenship is revisited periodically in the Bundestag, and depending on the outcome of this "Superwahljahr", something might actually happen on that front in the relatively near future.