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

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1 hour ago, lotsofballoons said:

 

Oooooooh! Keep us updated on what they say! I earn less than 2k a month too and would love to use it as an excuse to apply for dual citizenship USA/DE. This is fascinating!

Where will you be applying? If you clearly earn under USD2,350 a month, you should be pretty good. It's just that I'm currently likely over the limit most months (net), and definitely over the limit gross. But, if they take the average of the last six months, including ALG I, then I'm borderline gross, and way under net. So, we will see. Then there's the question of my partner's income. If they take that into consideration, I'm fucked.

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20 minutes ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

Where will you be applying? If you clearly earn under USD2,350 a month, you should be pretty good. It's just that I'm currently likely over the limit most months (net), and definitely over the limit gross. But, if they take the average of the last six months, including ALG I, then I'm borderline gross, and way under net. So, we will see. Then there's the question of my partner's income. If they take that into consideration, I'm fucked.

 

Hey! Did you pass?

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20 hours ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

Where will you be applying? If you clearly earn under USD2,350 a month, you should be pretty good. It's just that I'm currently likely over the limit most months (net), and definitely over the limit gross. But, if they take the average of the last six months, including ALG I, then I'm borderline gross, and way under net. So, we will see. Then there's the question of my partner's income. If they take that into consideration, I'm fucked.

 

I earn about 600USD less than the amount you mentioned each month and also don't have a partner. So maybe I'd have a chance? I guess the only way to find out would be on application day.

 

I'll be applying for the shortened route to citizenship in NRW exactly a year from now (6 years instead of 8 or 7). I might not meet all the requirements due to having only 1 year of community service by then instead of 2+, but I am trying to strengthen my qualifications before it's time (join lots of clubs, take integration test, etc.). If you actually have any tips on the Ermessenseinbürgerung, please do share!

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I have a bit of an update:

 

My husband has a week of vacation and can't sit still, so he is running every errand and making every phone call he can think of. One of them was to the Ausländerbehorde on my behalf, to find out the status of my application.

 

Now, I will not believe it for real until I am holding my German ID card and German passport... But the man said I am number 45 on the einbürgerung list, and once they gather 60 there will be a ceremony. Probably end of June/early July. And I can vote in the Bundestagswahl in September! It looks like it worked!

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You might be able to keep your US citizenship if you can prove that you have pension/Social Security and/or inheritance rights/expectations in the US.

However, you would need solid documentary evidence of this which would probably entail the use of a German lawyer specialising in such issues, which would not be cheap.

Just a thought.

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On 4/28/2017, 4:22:48, onemark said:

You might be able to keep your US citizenship if you can prove that you have pension/Social Security and/or inheritance rights/expectations in the US.

However, you would need solid documentary evidence of this which would probably entail the use of a German lawyer specialising in such issues, which would not be cheap.

Just a thought.

From what I've heard, receiving social security or inheritance from the US doesn't require US citizenship, so this may not work?

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So, passed the Einbürgerungstest. Now, time to get documents together and submit!

 

I'm still trying to get a new birth certificate from a country where red tape surrounds all official buildings, and only the toughest scissors can get through them. I don't know how touch my scissors are, but a friend is trying to get it for me.

 

I explained to the woman at the Einbürgerungsbehörde (EB) that I have no connection to my country of birth or former citizenship (two different countries, mind you), and it might be hard getting a new birth certificate, especially since I can't really go all the way there just for this. And, the original on I have, which is from the embassy of my country of former citizenship, is laminated! I have never had the one from my birth country (my actual birth certificate). The woman seemed understanding, and said if I can't get anything new I can just submit what I have and they will make do. I don't know if she meant it, or if she was just saying it. I hope it's the latter, because there is really no guarantee I can get a fresh copy.

 

Anyway, I will write a cover letter explaining this situation, plus the reasons for requesting dual citizenship. I just have a couple of questions?:

- I'm applying as the spouse of a German citizen. Is this the StAG §9?

- I'm asking for an exception to giving up my current nationality on the grounds that it is too expensive. This is StAG §12 Absatz 1 Satz 2 Nr. 3, or is it actually Nr. 5? Isn't the Unzumutbare Bedingung that refers to the high renunciation fee? Or, is it the Erhebliche Nachteile we are talking about here? If I were also to request an exception based on the fact that my career prospects/salary level would suffer greatly without my US citizenship, would that be Nr. 5?

 

Thanks. I think I also have questions about the application form, but I will post those when I have more time.

 

 

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I believe the renunciation fee would be Unzumutbare Bedingung not erhebliche Nachteile which would be you losing something in the future like inheritance or your job/business.

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On 4/30/2017, 9:07:47, Zeitbuch said:

From what I've heard, receiving social security or inheritance from the US doesn't require US citizenship, so this may not work?

That's correct.  Neither of those things have any impact on getting dual as the US has no differences in the law on receiving social security or inheritance rules for German citizens and thus you have no disadvantage.  Many Germans who do the Beibehaltung when going dual with the US, use employment as a reason.  This also can work here too for Americans going dual with Germany.

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I still believe it is Nr 3 because:

 

der ausländische Staat die Entlassung aus der Staatsangehörigkeit aus Gründen versagt hat, die der Ausländer nicht zu vertreten hat, oder von unzumutbaren Bedingungen abhängig macht oder über den vollständigen und formgerechten Entlassungsantrag nicht in angemessener Zeit entschieden hat,

 

Here it is the foreign state creating an unreasonable condition - the renunciation fee in the case of the US. It could also be they take too long to do so etc.

 

Nr 5 is

 

dem Ausländer bei Aufgabe der ausländischen Staatsangehörigkeit erhebliche Nachteile insbesondere wirtschaftlicher oder vermögensrechtlicher Art entstehen würden, die über den Verlust der staatsbürgerlichen Rechte hinausgehen, oder

 

Here usually they mean losing your job or your inheritance would be a significant disadvantage because of the loss of your citizenship.  This would happen after you pay the fee and are no longer a citizen.  Nr 3 happens in order for you to make the loss of citizenship happen. Nr 5 is usually because your status has changed to non-citizen and therefore the foreign state treats you differently like not allowing you to inherit land that your family owns.  However, after paying that renunciation fee, you will have a financial hardship because of it. 

 

So you can probably use both stating that the fee is unreasonably high compared to your income (Nr 3) and once you've paid it, you'll have a financial hardship (Nr 5).

 

These are just my opinions though.  Not sure if you can get or afford some professional advice. Its hard to find even if you have the money!

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Yah that's a good way of looking at it.

 

At this point I'm not getting a lawyer. I'll give it a go, and maybe I'll get lucky. Who knows. I haven't heard any anecdotal evidence from anyone who's applied in Frankfurt/Darmstadt, so its an open book right now.

 

i wonder if I can use number 5 and say that once I give up US citizenship, Donald Trump's government might give me a hard time as I was born in a Muslim country. Will try to throw that in, too, if I can word it properly.

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A question on the fee loophole- does only income matter? Or also money in the bank and other assets?

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I guess it depends on where you apply. It seems in Schleswig-Holstein it's easier. I will have to see what happens with my application here in Hessen. It's a shot in the dark. I'll just have to cross my fingers :(

 

For me, even my monthly gross salary is too high, and with this stupid exchange rate, the net is sometimes higher, sometimes lower. The average gross of the last six months is also sometimes higher or lower, depending on the day, but the average net is WAY lower. Of course, this is just my personal income. If they decide to ask about my bank account, or count my partner's income and decide based on that, I am out of luck, but I really don't know what they will do. I will just appeal to them in a letter as best I can to get the point across that paying a month's net salary to give up citizenship is a really high cost, in the sense that this is to be seen as a whole month's net salary, and not specifically what amount it is. Practically speaking, if I make a couple of hundred euro over the limit, it doesn't mean it's still not an insane proportion of my net salary, i.e. practically ALL of it.

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17 hours ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

Yah that's a good way of looking at it.

 

At this point I'm not getting a lawyer. I'll give it a go, and maybe I'll get lucky. Who knows. I haven't heard any anecdotal evidence from anyone who's applied in Frankfurt/Darmstadt, so its an open book right now.

 

i wonder if I can use number 5 and say that once I give up US citizenship, Donald Trump's government might give me a hard time as I was born in a Muslim country. Will try to throw that in, too, if I can word it properly.

The advice I got on that is that "could have" is not good enough.  It has to be "definitely will".  But you can write as many points as you want, they can also refute as many points as you make. You also have 30 days to contest their answer and refine your points and rebut their refutations. After that, you'll need to go to the next level above them.  After that only administrative court is possible and then you have to have a lawyer. 

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

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).

 

First of all, thanks everyone for posting about this. I'm an American who's been in Berlin 7 years next month and am coming up on my final visa renewal in the next few weeks. I was planning to go for permanent residency as the best-I-could-hope-for and just learned about the possibility of dual citizenship via a different argument, something about needing to retain your original citizenship because your work is in both countries. (I haven't been able to find more details on that information yet, but given the source, I'd be confident it's accurate and can post more when I get it!)

 

My plan has been permanent residency now, then apply for dual citizenship after my 8 year anniversary here (June 2018). But what's this about 7 years with integration course?! I did that when I first arrived, so does that mean I can apply for citizenship now and use this too-expensive argument to go for it now already? I'm definitely not earning over their limit despite freelance contracts in various countries, so I could use that loophole...

 

According to the information on the local website, I would need a min. of eight years of residency AND a permanent residency permit to apply for citizenship. If no one can confirm this, I'll just try to speak to them in person ASAP and see what they say about my personal situation, I guess.

• Anspruchseinbürgerung: https://www.berlin.de/ba-friedrichshain-kreuzberg/politik-und-verwaltung/aemter/amt-fuer-buergerdienste/staatsangehoerigkeitsbehoerde/artikel.165501.php

• Ermessenseinbürgerung: https://www.berlin.de/ba-friedrichshain-kreuzberg/politik-und-verwaltung/aemter/amt-fuer-buergerdienste/staatsangehoerigkeitsbehoerde/artikel.165524.php

 

One other thing, in Berlin, I believe you have to go the Bürgeramt for the neighborhood in which you're registered, but maybe they're not strict about it.

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