How to get German Citizenship and retain (dual) US Citizenship

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2. with Trump in power it might be getting free of charge since you will not be considered a true all American patriot, ie. fake. He doesn't want that kind of people around him.

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 Too good to be true. Anyway, the drastic increase to over $2,000 was pure vindictiveness, it seems to me that the chances for another round should be good.

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Yes I hope a fee hike is due, though not sure when. The fear, though, is that Trump, who is pro business, whatever that means, might be pressured into getting rid of the fee, as those who tend to renounce voluntarily are mostly the wealthy trying to avoid taxes - that's right up his alley. So, I want to get this done ASAP.

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I've been thinking about this loophole and have a couple questions to try to figure out how it works in more detail-

1. What period of time do they look at your income for? Is it the average over the full time you've been in Germany? For the last year? For the last two years?

 

2. As a freelancer, I don't always make the same amount per month. Some months I make well over the limit, others I make nothing. Do they look at monthly income and individual invoices? Or just tax returns for the full year and compute the monthly average?

 

Largely, I think knowing what financial statements are required/usually submitted (especially for freelancers) would answer these questions to some extent. Of course, all of this could change by the time I can apply for citizenship and so it may be irrelevant, but it is worth knowing for planning purposes anyways.

 

I'd also be interested in hearing if anyone has had this loophole (or any other exception under the same section of the law) work when applying for citizenship after 6 years with German knowledge that sufficiently exceeds the requirements. I'm wondering how different that process is in their discretion to ignore this loophole and deny citizenship vs. waiting the full 8 years (or 7 with integration course).

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On 22.1.2017, 21:49:53, Conquistador said:

It's quite possible that the salary loophole could be challenged in court as violating Gleichbehandlung because it treats US citizens differently from other US citizens based on an obscure and arbitrary benchmark that has nothing whatsoever to do with their eligibility for naturalization in Germany.

 

Getting back to what Conquistador said a month ago, I think that sounds quite reasonable. I would be interested in looking into that angle myself. I was actually a civil servant in NRW for 29 years, teaching in the public school system. There would seem to be no reason why that shouldn't give me a bit more leverage over someone who has simply lived here for 8 years, done the necessary language and citizenship qualifications, and happens to have a different income level (small wonder on that). I hope that didn't come out sounding insulting, I by no means intended it that way.

 

Since I would need a lawyer on this, what I would like to ask is if anyone could recommend------  no, not a lawyer, but a Rechtsschutzversicherung. I hadn't any need for one so far, having been active in a simpler age than today. I could find one at the next corner, of course, but if anyone knew one which specialized more in Bürgerrechte, let's say, instead of traffic quibbles, that would be a great help. There would be Wartezeiten before I could claim their help, but that's not so important.

 

 

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2 hours ago, PigeonoakY said:

Since I would need a lawyer on this, what I would like to ask is if anyone could recommend------  no, not a lawyer, but a Rechtsschutzversicherung. I hadn't any need for one so far, having been active in a simpler age than today. I could find one at the next corner, of course, but if anyone knew one which specialized more in Bürgerrechte, let's say, instead of traffic quibbles, that would be a great help.

 

For a qualified answér you really need to contact an independent insurance brokers specializing in interests of English-speaking expats. There are a few who are authorised advertisers in Toytown (not all those flash banner ads) but the ads in the forum Finance section or the TT Business Directory section.

 

The two most likely to respond to your post if I put their tags here are @Starshollow (CR&Cie.) or @john_g. (Gunn & Partner)

 

2B

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On 2/20/2017, 6:03:23, Zeitbuch said:

1. What period of time do they look at your income for? Is it the average over the full time you've been in Germany? For the last year? For the last two years?

 

2. Do they look at monthly income and individual invoices? Or just tax returns for the full year and compute the monthly average?

 


1. They only asked for my balance sheets for January to end of September. I applied in July, and the request came end of November. So expect to be asked about income for a ca. 9 month period.

2. They see the monthly income from the balance sheets I provided, but did not ask for invoices, bank statements or any other evidence other than my own statement. I could, of course, have provided evidence had they asked, but they did not.

 

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Here in Bayern they make it relatively easy to find out what is necessary:

https://www.stmi.bayern.de/suk/asylmigration/einbuergerungundstaatsangehoerigkeit/index.php

 

and a list of necessary documentation:

https://www.stmi.bayern.de/assets/stmi/suk/asylmigration/einbuergerung.pdf

 

Dem Einbürgerungsantrag sind folgende Unterlagen beizufügen:
  • ein Lichtbild
  • ein handgeschriebener Lebenslauf, der grundsätzlich bei der Einbürgerungsbehörde zu schreiben ist (no one does this)
  • Nachweise über Deutschkenntnisse (Schulzeugnisse, Zertifikate usw.)
  • Geburtsurkunde
  • evtl. Heiratsurkunde
  • evtl. Scheidungsurteil
  • Einkommensnachweise aller FamilienmitgliederNachweise über Alters, Kranken und Pflegeversicherung
Ausländische Urkunden und Dokumente müssen übersetzt sein. Im Einzelfall können weitere Unterlagen notwendig sein.

 

I would not put too much hope in trying to outlawyer the Beamte in the Einbürgerung Amt. I am sure they have seen and heard it all. But if you hear some good news, post it here.

They put the last statement (weitere Unterlagen...) so they can paper trail applicants to death. And while we all think we are great candidates to be German, the Beamte who actually submits your application to the local government might have other ideas and do whatever he or she can to run out the clock (I applied while being unemployed, 8 months later still no decision and the ALG is limited to 12 months...). I am pretty sure my Beamtin would have no qualms saying that since my ALG is no longer being paid, I no longer earn enough to make the exception (or I could inform that my financial situation has changed, but I see no advantage for myself in doing that).. If possible, stay on the good side of the Beamte.

Note also you don't pay in Munich until you have had your application approved and you decide to take German citizenship.

(My german teacher said she has had the first wave(let) of Americans who want to Einbürger coming into her integration course. The last wave were the Brexit - refugees).

 

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I have a question - I was unemployed from August-January, but now have an indefinite contract. Would I have to wait a certain amount of time before applying? I will have my tests done by end April, and I wanted to have those before going to the Einbuergerungstelle. Would that be ok, or can I expect a problem due to my recent unemployment? Should I just go to their office now before having the test results?

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I would start the process. In Munich the first meeting is to set up a second meeting where you actually submit. At the first one they give you the list of what you need to apply. Not sure what happens in Franken but it is likely similar. And you can get some Beta from the local Beamte.

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Hmm, my reasoning for waiting for my test results is that I would arrive generally prepared to the first meeting (like I'd done my general homework) with my tests passed, to make a better impression, as I'm requesting dual citizenship. But, maybe I should go and get more information. I'm not sure.

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7 hours ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

Hmm, my reasoning for waiting for my test results is that I would arrive generally prepared to the first meeting (like I'd done my general homework) with my tests passed, to make a better impression, as I'm requesting dual citizenship. But, maybe I should go and get more information. I'm not sure.


I got the impression they weren't really concerned with how little I make as it is when you apply for the residence permit, but rather concerned that you don't make too much since it has to fall under the $2350 per month maximum.

A word of encouragement to you all: this is not the German government doing you a favor, this is you exercising your legal rights as a resident of Germany. And whether you get German citizenship or not is not up the the random decision of some petty tyrant bureaucrat, it is simply a rote matter of fulfilling the criteria according to the rule of law. If some Beamter in the Bürgeramt turns anyone down for anything less than a very obviously valid reason, then get an attorney or let them know that you will be getting one... 
 

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21 hours ago, 2B_orNot2B said:

 

For a qualified answér you really need to contact an independent insurance brokers specializing in interests of English-speaking expats. There are a few who are authorised advertisers in Toytown (not all those flash banner ads) but the ads in the forum Finance section or the TT Business Directory section.

 

The two most likely to respond to your post if I put their tags here are @Starshollow (CR&Cie.) or @john_g. (Gunn & Partner)

 

2B

Thanks a lot. One address looks pretty good!

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No, I mean one of the requirements is a secure livelihood, but a 6-month unemployment stint doesn't look good on that front, does it?

 

Also, I'm applying using the three-years-married-to-a-German rule. Isn't that more discretionary than right? Doesn't one only have the actual right after eight years?

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1 hour ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

Also, I'm applying using the three-years-married-to-a-German rule. Isn't that more discretionary than right? Doesn't one only have the actual right after eight years?

 

Looks like this person on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/germany/comments/47pzym/i_became_a_german_citizen_yesterday_ama/) got citizenship under that rule and successfully used the income exception to keep US citizenship.

 

16 hours ago, pianostar69 said:

1. They only asked for my balance sheets for January to end of September. I applied in July, and the request came end of November. So expect to be asked about income for a ca. 9 month period.

Thanks. What precisely do you mean by balance sheets? My accountant prepares summaries of income/expenses/profit, but that is always on a yearly basis rather than monthly. Are there some additional monthly records I should be keeping?

 

I also suppose that they may have had access to your tax returns for previous years if needed. And the application form seems to ask for monthly income, but doesn't specify over what period, or if it should be the average if income varies (presumably so). Guess some of the specifics aren't super clearly defined here.

 

I'm just wondering on this as I make near the limit usually, sometimes a bit above and sometimes a bit below. But I'm worried that if I made, say, $2500 a month two years before, or if I made $2300 average a month but made $4000 just one of the months of the preceeding year (offset in the average by making less than limit in other months), that may disqualify me. So I'd like to be aware of the precise standards used for planning purposes in case this is still an option when I am eligible to apply.

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kaffee, I read somewhere that being on ALG specifically does not disqualify (sorry for the double negative but you can't really say it does qualify) for german citizenship. I understood this to mean that it also does not disqualify for utilizing the exception we are all trying to use.I also read somewhere that ALGII (H4) does disqualify (and I think the amount is too low, but that is not a problem, I don't think non EU folks can even get H4). Unfortunately I do not have the source for the information. But with ALGI the calculation is easy, netto = brutto. Does it look good? Mir egal. Rechstaat und alle... Gleichbehandlung...

Also note that getting a Termin (appointment) takes weeks (München), so if you have taken the tests and have the documentation, see when you can get an appointment.

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Thanks for the infos y'all!

 

If they accept ALG I, which is what I got, then great, as it was quite low. using that to average my salary would be great. The whole brutto/netto thing also seems to be flexible, so I really hope they go netto. I just got a letter from the consulate stating the fee, in addition to the email they sent me before. They've been quite good about it.

 

Thanks for the reddit thread, Zeitbuch. I hadn't thought of looking there for anecdotal evidence. Really, if my unemployment is counted, I think I really stand a chance. But, I'm still unsure whether the 3-year rule is discretionary, and how friendly the Frankfurt Einbürgerungstelle is...

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Has anyone taken the TELC B1 test in particular? Do you get the entire test except for the speaking part at the same time, and can decide which parts to do first? Or, do they give you each section in order and give you a certain amount of time to do that? Any practical tips, like take a certain kind of pen/pencil? Thanks!

 

MY TEST IS TOMORROW!

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On 2/24/2017, 1:57:24, Zeitbuch said:

What precisely do you mean by balance sheets? My accountant prepares summaries of income/expenses/profit, but that is always on a yearly basis rather than monthly. Are there some additional monthly records I should be keeping?

 

I also suppose that they may have had access to your tax returns for previous years if needed. And the application form seems to ask for monthly income, but doesn't specify over what period, or if it should be the average if income varies (presumably so). Guess some of the specifics aren't super clearly defined here.

 

I'm just wondering on this as I make near the limit usually, sometimes a bit above and sometimes a bit below. But I'm worried that if I made, say, $2500 a month two years before, or if I made $2300 average a month but made $4000 just one of the months of the preceding year (offset in the average by making less than limit in other months), that may disqualify me. So I'd like to be aware of the precise standards used for planning purposes in case this is still an option when I am eligible to apply.

 

By balance sheets I mean a text document listing income as a freelancer less expenses. Since this is a summary of income prior to paying taxes on it, it is called Bruttoeinkommen, but they do not (for freelancers) mean gross income before expenses with that term. And yes, I figured this on a monthly basis, which I usually don't bother with either. They didn't ask for tax returns, they didn't need to since I already signed a document giving them permission to access all of my Finanzamt records. 

 

On 2/23/2017, 11:47:40, kaffeemitmilch said:

No, I mean one of the requirements is a secure livelihood, but a 6-month unemployment stint doesn't look good on that front, does it?

 

Also, I'm applying using the three-years-married-to-a-German rule. Isn't that more discretionary than right? Doesn't one only have the actual right after eight years?

 

I would think it might look better to show a good year's employment behind you. The 3 year rule appears to be discretionary but I have never heard of somebody being turned down on it, besides you have to meet the language requirements too...

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22 hours ago, pianostar69 said:

I would think it might look better to show a good year's employment behind you. The 3 year rule appears to be discretionary but I have never heard of somebody being turned down on it, besides you have to meet the language requirements too...

 

Yeah, I would think that too, but mako1 is saying they just count it too? I mean, I had worked for a couple of years before that, and now have an indefinite contract, so that might work in my favor. I have no idea, but I will speak to them. Hopefully they're nice and accommodating.

 

It also seems that one can just walk in for the first meeting in Frankfurt: http://www.xn--frankfurt-brgert-ein-zec.de/wiegehts/. Am I correct?

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