Unresponsive American consular services

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Hi everyone,

 

I have been trying for the last four months (at least) to file for my DD's social security number with the American embassy in Frankfurt. I would like to finish filing my American taxes and cannot do so until I have her number.

 

I have respected embassy wishes and not emailed over and over again---although a month ago I also emailed the embassies in Munich and Berlin in an attempt to get an in person appointment somewhere.

 

No response from any location. A representative did leave me a voicemail about two months ago and the number she said I could call back to schedule an appointment---but this number is constantly routed to a voicemail which states people should email instead.

 

I feel like I am being forced into the option of having to send my and DD's passports to the embassy via post.

 

As some of you might know, my household has had problems with packages being not delivered or lost by DP over the last few months. I rather scared to send our passports through the mail.

 

Has anyone else done this? What has the 2020/2021 outcome been for you? Perhaps there is an option I have overlooked. 

 

Thank you.

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I'm sure you followed these guidelines, but just for reference - and maybe others in the same boat:

here's what they want you to do 

https://www.americansabroad.org/guidance-for-obtaining-your-social-security-number-from-overseas/

 

Applications made at FBU offices:

1. Call/write your local US Embassy or Consulate and make an appointment with the FBU for application for a Social Security number.
2. You will receive a letter confirming you appointment and telling you what documents to bring with you.
3. Keep this letter and bring it with you to the appointment as it will have information as to the person/office dealing with your case.  
4. Submit documents (including application form: https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5fs.pdf) and request a contact phone number/email for the person treating your dossier.
5. For applications made at an FBU, processing time can vary from several week to several months.

 

There's only one Federal Benefits Unit in Germany, the one at the embassy in Frankfurt.

Their phone # is +49-69-90555-1100
Their email address is FBU.Frankfurt@ssa.gov

 

SSA tells you how they want you to obtain that appointment:

https://de.usembassy.gov/social-security/#:~:text=If%20you%20wish%20to%20visit,we%20will%20review%20your%20request.

Federal Benefits appointment hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. except German and U.S. holidays. If you wish to visit the FBU Frankfurt in person, please email us at FBU.Frankfurt@ssa.gov and specify the day, date, and time you prefer and we will review your request.

 

I wouldn't recommend sending any original documents via postal mail. Just plan on travelling to Frankfurt a few times for this. Even if you can't visit the FBU in person, maybe you can hand-deliver your documents?

 

Maybe they'll even open up for business at one point in the future, meanwhile - hang in there...

https://de.usembassy.gov/social-security/

 

The IRS tax returns part of your question has a more clear-cut answer, though:

https://www.irs.gov/faqs/filing-requirements-status-dependents/dependents/dependents-9

 

Good luck!

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3 hours ago, NativeFraulein said:

the American embassy in Frankfurt.

 

22 minutes ago, karin_brenig said:

There's only one Federal Benefits Unit in Germany, the one at the embassy in Frankfurt.

 

you guys mean "consulate"   (picking nits)

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1 hour ago, DoubleDTown said:

 

 

you guys mean "consulate"   (picking nits)

 

thanks for clarifying that - we didn't talk about the American embassy, we actually talked about the US Consulate General, to be precise the FBU office inside the US Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany.

 

Maybe that's the root cause of OP's problem?? not alking to the right people?

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Don't know what DD stands for, but almost all American government offices are way behind in their processing (covid).

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4 hours ago, catjones said:

Don't know what DD stands for, but almost all American government offices are way behind in their processing (covid).

The KVR (Kreisverwaltungsreferat) isn’t any better: big queues at the entrance when they opened again in Munich. Before, almost not responding or simply not available. 

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5 hours ago, catjones said:

Don't know what DD stands for, but almost all American government offices are way behind in their processing (covid).

 

DD is likely Darling Daughter.

 

@NativeFraulein, I hope you have more success than me.  I've been trying to get a response from the FBU office at the Frankfurt Consulate since February.  The Conuslate used to have a webpage to schedule appointments, and I used it several times before.  I don't see the link now, so I assume they removed it and moved the appointment process to email requests.  Unfortunately, it does not appear that anyone at the FBU office  is checking the email queue.

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5 minutes ago, JG52 said:

DD is likely Darling Daughter.

They haven't met mine when it's a race for the last fish finger.

 

No quarter is asked for, or given... :wacko:

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15 hours ago, catjones said:

Don't know what DD stands for, but almost all American government offices are way behind in their processing (covid).

 

Dear (or darling) Daughter

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8 hours ago, karin_brenig said:

 

Dear (or darling) Daughter

couldn't be that 'dear' if it was too much effort to spell it out.

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26 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

I've never heard of that DD before and I'm American. What would it be if it were a son? 

DS. I think these are forms of “forum speak” 

I see them on all the mommy community forums. 
 

The consulate in Berlin was pretty responsive when we applied for US citizenship for our daughter. We got an appointment within a few weeks of sending an email. This must’ve been around November/December 2020, and our appt was in January 2021. Her passport came within six weeks after the appt., and her SS card followed not too long after. Anytime I had a question regarding the process, they replied fairly quickly.

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Typing DD, SO, and other assorted nonsense is a bit like typing "himself" instead of simply using "my husband".

 

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4 hours ago, BonnBonn said:

Typing DD, SO, and other assorted nonsense is a bit like typing "himself" instead of simply using "my husband".

 

actually, more like HS or MH

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Let me get this straight, you have the US passport but not a SSN? I don't recall that it was a separate process. Did this change a small number of years ago?

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21 minutes ago, whynot said:

Let me get this straight, you have the US passport but not a SSN? I don't recall that it was a separate process. Did this change a small number of years ago?

 

It's been quite a few decades since I applied for my SSN or my first passport, but these two processes have always been separate.  From the DS-11 form (I bolded the text):

 

"Section 6039E of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 6039E) and 22 U.S.C 2714a(f) require you to provide your Social Security number (SSN), ifyou have one, when you apply for or renew a U.S. passport. If you have never been issued a SSN, you must enter zeros in box #5 of this form."

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Hi everyone,

 

Thank you for all of the replies. 'DD' is indeed all school forum speak and stands for 'dear daughter' though I really like 'dear dependent' in this case :)

 

Thank you Karin the information you provided is also what I have been using as a guide---that number listed is the one that is constantly in voicemail mode. The appointment booking service online seems to have been completely removed and emails go unanswered for months.

 

I can't believe (or can I?) that we are talking about an official government entity here. 

 

I am thinking perhaps my last option is to call the social security administration based in the United States directly---they probably won't be able to help but I do feel as if I have run out of options.

 

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Just went to the consulate yesterday to renew my daughter's passport. We could go in, and passed the sign to the FBU. I expect they are open for in-person applications, so I don't know what's going on. Try emailing another department to inquire. You might get lucky and get a helpful person there.

 

I applied in 2015 for my daughter's passport and CRBA and there and then they suggested I just walk over to the FBU and apply for the SSN. It was fairly informal. For my son in 2019 the rules changed, so I didn't bother and just applied in the US when I went. If you're traveling to the US, consider doing that if all else fails.

 

The embassy/consulate website has been redesigned and is really annoying now, but maybe the information has changed? https://de.usembassy.gov/social-security/

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I don't like the new website design much either. I am currently in the process of renewing my passport by mail and in the middle of getting everything together the design changed. On the new website there is a YouTube video titled something like "Remember Five to Keep your Passport Alive" and only there did they even state, at the very end of the video, that you can only submit your passport by mail to the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, and not the other two locations in Germany where you can go in person. I thought it was so odd that this information wasn't written clearly somewhere. Maybe I missed it, but I read through everything several times and could only find it in the video.

 

I had also tried to contact them per email with several questions, but as experienced by the OP I received no reply. I had emailed in the past with a general question and received a rather prompt reply, so that did surprise me. 

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