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Everything posted by danielg

  1. old US appliances

    If they were truly government issued appliances, the housing office should take them back.   Do they still work? That would be amazing! Probably energy hogs but hey, at least they don't need replacing every 5 years.
  2. It should be in the Mängelliste. If it wasn't listed then you should be good. They wanted a Nebelschlussleuchte for my car back in the day. At that time, I was driving a US spec BMW so I just had to buy a new light assembly for the back and a new control unit for the panel (as the US unit didn't have a physical button for the rear fog light as it was non-existent). Annoying but kind of a non-issue as pretty much the exact same car was being sold in Germany.   I've seen two or three obviously US spec cars driving around locally that have a separate rear fog light that was just screwed onto the rear bumper. Quite ugly but I guess it does the trick and satisfies the TÜV. Personally I would be surprised if you can get around not having a rear fog light.
  3. Try this one. It is in German, however:   https://www.tuvsud.com/de-de/branchen/mobilitaet-und-automotive/import-und-zulassung/importfahrzeug-richtlinie   It gives a general overview as to what is acceptable and what not for a non-EU car in Germany.
  4. From my understanding, only spouses of active duty military can naturalize abroad and immediately. If your contracting position qualifies, then your spouse doesn't lose her green card after 6 months of being outside the US (or is it after 3 months?) and she can get her interview and naturalization the same day instead of waiting weeks to months between the two appointments. So instead of two trips back to the US it'll only be one which is nice. But the 3 year requirement still applies it just doesn't all have to be physically in the US.   The big one with you, and this is why I would get legal counsel, is whether in your situation as a contractor your spouse's green card continues to stay valid when outside the US for a prolonged amount of time. It should but personally I would want to be sure of this.
  5. The devil is going to be in the details on this one whether working as a contractor will meet the requirements. For what it's worth, working as a GS civilian overseas does. I'd really get legal guidance on this one before you move, perhaps your contracting company has some contacts. She still needs to have a green card and be married to you for 3 years before she's eligible for naturalization. It's a pain in the ass to do from abroad and will require a trip to the US for the naturalization but it is doable.
  6. TESA/SOFA and taxes

    Perhaps consult a PA lawyer before doing this to be sure, depending on your particular situation things may be complicated, or not at all. But if you are not planning on keeping any property in Pennsylvania, and really have no other (ie rental income, business income etc) ties to the state, you could fly to your parents, get a drivers license and register to vote in Texas and you should be good on being a Texas resident. Texas of course has its own residency requirements, maybe you need to pay for your parent's utilities or something like that for a few months.   But yes, just changing your address by itself is probably not going to be enough.
  7. I just want to say that the info given by @JG52 is really amazing and a great resource.   I spent around 170 Euro to get my US spec car inspected at the TÜV and I would have had to replace both headlights (you can actually look at the lights yourself and if there is an "E" stamp on them, you're ok, if not you'll have to get Euro-spec versions). Now before you go to the TÜV, they'll want a technical specifications sheet (Datenblatt) which you can get via your dealer (if they offer it, mine didn't) or via the TÜV itself. Some independent companies also offer this service. I had to pay about 250 Euro for it.   Now something to consider will be what emissions category your US spec call will fall under in Germany as this is the basis for the Kfz-Steuer. For many gasoline powered cars, they will default to Euro 3. So you'll end up paying a bit more in Kfz-Steuer than the comparable Euro-spec car. The more displacement and CO2 emissions (so most US spec cars) the more you pay per year.   Good luck and please post your experience here!
  8. Active duty to SOFA status

    The websites are easy: usajobs.gov, also nafjobs.org. It is however not all that easy to slide into a nice overseas GS job with LQA directly from active duty unless you truly have some skill that is in demand, often you have to return to the US and then reapply.
  9. Mailing to U.S. military abroad from Germany

    For what it's worth, I just MPS'd a package from Germany to Japan and it arrived within a week. For free! Your milage will definitely vary with the military postal system.