pianostar69

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  1. It has to be under the amount that the USA currently charges for nullifying US citizenship. I had netted 1950/mo. the year before (luckily a low income year, haha) and it went through fine. If the cutoff is 2100, you should show that the amount you were taxed on the year before averages out to under that amount. As to whether they judge the previous year as the only evidence, or if your income thus far THIS year plays a factor, I don't know... if last year's is too high, best wait it out, submit your taxes for 2020 in January, and give it a go as soon as you have your Steuerbescheid back. Only a suggestion, but before you do it based on 2020 income thus far you'd best find somebody with evidence that current year income would work too.
  2. What happens if my US American friend submits a residence permit application (Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels) by mail now -- the only way possible due to corona--  but still has no answer by the time her initial visa runs out on 14 June? Or if the answer comes after that? Even under normal circumstances, if you apply for a residence permit within your tourist visa stay, are you allowed to stay beyond that date if in process with the residence permit?
  3. Thank you Sumguy, that is very helpful. I also learned that tourists are not required to get a residence registration (Wohnanmeldung) unless they are actually renting or subletting a place, so that is sorted out too. Cheers!
  4. A US-American friend of mine wants to remain in Berlin beyond the length of her EU travel visa, which expires mid-May. According to what I could find out on berlin.de, "force majeur" (ie "acts of god") are a valid reason for extending a tourist visa; included in that should be 1) flight cancellations due to COVID-19; 2) not wanting to board an airplane during the coronavirus crisis; 3) not wanting to enter a heavily infected New York City (which may already bar her entry by that point anyway). Also according to this page on berlin.de,  people who are "required to leave" should not apply for a tourist visa extension until two weeks or less of the visa expiration.   Has anyone tried to extend a travel visa since the crisis started? For that matter, has anyone tried to get a residential registration (Wohnanmeldung) since the crisis started? The latter is also theoretically a requirement.
  5. If you are a US citizen living in Germany for at least 8 years with a residence permit, have a net income of less than $2,350 per month, and have a B2 or higher German language certificate, you probably qualify for German citizenship and are exempt from having to give up your US citizenship.   There has been much discussion on Toytown Germany and other sites with a lot of conflicting information on how a US citizen can get German citizenship and simultaneously retain US citizenship. I turned in my application for German citizenship (Antrag auf Einbürgerung) in July 2016 and today (4 January 2017) received the confirmation letter that my application was accepted — and I am not required to give up my US citizenship.    I am a native-born US citizen, single (previously divorced), have lived in Berlin since 2004, and already have a permanent residence/work permit in Germany.  Some of the hurdles required by the Bürgeramt included getting notarized translations of my birth certificate and divorce decree, but if you shop around you can find an inexpensive certified translator. You have to have a B2 language certificate (or higher) in German in order to qualify. You will also have to take the Citizenship Test (Einbürgerungstest), which I managed to pass with 100% and which, despite 300 or so possible questions, is pretty easy if you study up beforehand.  The loophole that only in recent years made it possible for US citizens to get German citizenship without giving up their US citizenship (as Germany generally does not allow dual citizenship) is the fact that several years ago the US Government raised the price for annulling US citizenship to 2,350 dollars. German citizenship law (paragraph 12, line 1.3) considers it "unreasonable" (unzumutbar) to require anybody to have to pay more than 1,278 euros to give up their citizenship. You must furthermore earn less than the required annulment fee of 2,350 dollars per month in order to qualify for retaining your previous citizenship.    Although the law stipulates you are not allowed to earn more than the annulment fee amount as gross (brutto) income, it appears -- at least for a freelancer like myself -- that they actually only look at net income, as the last requirement the Bürgeramt contacted me about was to provide them with a statement showing my net income (gross income minus expenses) from 1 January to 30 September 2016.   The key statement in the application form (Antrag auf Einbürgerung) for retaining US citizenship is number 11 on page 6 (at least in the Neukölln application, there may be slight variances in other municipalities): Avoidance of multiple citzenship (Vermeidung von Mehrstaatigkeit).   The statement reads:    Ich bin bereit, meine bisherige(n) Staatsangehörigkeit(en) aufzugeben, und verpflichte mich, nach schriftlicher Zusicherung der Einbürgerung, die erforderlichen Schritte zu unternehmen. (Roughly: "I am prepared to give up my previous citizenship(s) and am obligated, after written confirmation of naturalization, to take the required steps in doing so.")   Here you have to check NEIN.. Under reasons (Gründe), I wrote to see the attachment (siehe Anhang). In the attachment I stated the reason I checked NEIN to question 11 is:   Roughly translated: I think it is unreasonable to have to give up US citizenship, because the US Government requires a fee of $2,350 to annul US citizenship. According to Paragraph 12, line 1.3 of German Citizenship Law, such a fee is to be considered an "unreasonable condition" for giving up previous citizenship. According to the guidelines of the German Office of the Federal Government for Migration, Refugees, and Integration, if such a fee is higher than 1,278 euros, as is the case here, and requires more than you earn gross in one month, which is again the case, it is not required to give up previous citizenship.   Other sites state incorrectly that applying for a foreign citizenship will automatically annul US citizenship because it shows the intention of giving up US citizenship; in addition to this statement being wrong from a legal standpoint – it is only possible to give up US citizenship by formally renouncing it at specific US Embassies and paying the $2,350 fee — by answering NO to the above statement on the application you are stating in no uncertain terms that you have no intention of giving up US citizenship.  I would encourage any US citizen who has lived in Germany for 8 years or more and earns less than $2,350 monthly to go down to your local Bürgeramt as soon as possible and apply for German (dual) citizenship. If you don't have the B2 German certificate yet, then maybe it's about time you get that together ; ) The process requires some paperwork and getting a lot of personal documents together, but all in all it has cost me less than 500 euros and maybe 10 days of work and running around. I wish all of you the best of luck!