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Tuesday, October 04, 2016

The One Who Got Away (Part 1)

Oh damn, 2014... if only I had realized that my outrage had much more room to grow and fester.

Around two years ago, I started (and then proceeded to not complete) the series "Becoming German"

Read "Becoming German #1"
Read "Becoming German #2"

After getting Mr. Mayor's invitation, I gave myself a couple of years to really think about it (after all, my current passport doesn't expire until 2018). What ever could happen?

That $400 U.S. renunciation fee wasn't going anywhere. I'd reached the highest level of foreign residency in Germany that one can acquire (aside from the EU Blue Card). I just needed to square away the language requirements and take a 33 question test. 


Welll.... turns out... not long after I wrote parts #1 and #2 (literally a month after part #2) the fee jumped up from $400 to give up U.S. citizenship to $2,350.


I didn't realize the price change until last year, however. And to boot... the difference between renunciation and relinquishment became null and void (internet lawyers have more to say on the topic, but nuts-and-bolts-style... this is the case). Currently, $2,350 = ~2.100€

Now... Germany has some workarounds, in that, if the fee is "unreasonably high" to give up your citizenship (min. 1.200€) and more than your gross monthly income... then they can waive the requirement of renouncing/relinquishing your home country's citizenship.

As luck would have it, I don't qualify for this. But... I'm just fed up enough with the FACTA being all up in my butthole and my German bank account sharing my information with U.S. authorities (despite not receiving any funds in U.S. dollars and working for a German company, etc.). As a regular broke-ass person with no kinds of tax shelters or multi-millions/billions, calling this a hassle is a major understatement.

And... probably what pisses me off the most -- or at least at the moment, given the absolute ridiculous nature of the 2016 presidential election -- is when I see nationalistic dipshits professing, "If you don't like it -- then just leave!" Granted, I also hate the antithesis of that (e.g. "If Y wins the election, then I will move to Z."), because that completely disregards the complicated nature of borders and difficulties of migration. But the former is kinda worse to me, because it's like... bitch... I done left. And I keep trying to leave. You just want to keep fleecing me.

It's lame as hell and... I am done-zo. We've probably been done-zo for awhile, but now... we're super done-zo.

Today, I officially picked up my application for German citizenship. There's work to be done, but I'm no stranger to that.

I'll chronicle the process here. It's fairly straightforward from the German-side. We'll see what kinda shitshow is in store for the U.S. portion of it.

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