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  1. 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!   
  2. Hi everyone!   My fiancé is an Aussie with a British passport by descent (thanks to his mum). I'm Mexican. We want to get married. His birth certificate is from Australia, when he was an adult he decided to get his Brit passport in order to move to Europe. His mom never felt the need to register him under a UK authority, as she spent the majority of her life in Australia.    Since he's here as a Brit, they're requesting for him a "Geburtsregisterauszug" from the UK. I've explained to the ladies in the Standesamt that he has none, as he was born in Australia, and he has a British passport. One of them was adamant that we have to go to the embassy or consulate and get one. She was so rude as to suggest that since there is no impediment for anyone to register her child as British abroad, then his mother "should have registered him". Like, what the heck.   We reached out to the UK Embassy in Berlin, and they bemusedly answered that of course my fiancé has no birth certificate from the UK as he was born abroad and never lived there. He's simply a Brit with a birth certificate from Australia. They, in turn, insisted we explain this to the Standesamt, as they don't issue anything like this, because my fiancé is already a British citizen!   We're very worried :-( because my papers were issued on Nov 22 of last year (when I was visiting Mexico). His birth certificate took longer than expected - around 3 months, from getting appointments at the Consulate for certified copies of stuff all the way to getting finally the damn paper. This means - time is running out for me, by May 22nd I need to have had submitted everything.    Has anyone had a similar issue? We don't know where to turn to. The people at the Standesamt that I've encountered have been so far unhelpful - one lady got upset and raised her voice at me when I asked for an alternative for this unexistent paper (DAS IST NICHT MEIN PROBLEM, DAS GEHT NICHT AN MICH AN!").   Thank you everyone for any help or advice you can provide! <3 <3 <3         
  3. Hi All,   Has anyone in the group successfully applied for German citizenship under the 2019 decrees regarding discretionary naturalization (14 StAG not covered under Article 116)?   As many of you may be aware, BVA now allows for applications for German citizenship to be made for those from a maternal line before 1953 who lost citizenship for a variety of reasons (including women losing German citizenship simply for marrying a non-German). This relates to children born in wedlock.   Curious as to whether anyone has practical experience, advice, and what processing times may be.   Thank you in advance for your feedback!          
  4. I am a USA/German dual citizen and I lived and worked in Germany Between 2015 and 2019. I recently moved to the UK. Therefore I spent 4 years paying German state pension insurance through my employer.   I know that it takes a minimum of 5 years (20 months) of contributions to become vested in the pension system and since I am below that, I can request to have my contributions refunded, so I'm wondering if that makes sense for me.     1. Would I get the full reimbursement for my contributions? 2. Could I go back to Germany, work for one more year and become vested? 3. What determines how much someone receives after pension age?     Any advice would be greatly appreciated!