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Hello,

I am retired and considering a move from the US to Germany or the Netherlands by applying for a German Passport and dual citizenship under the Article 116 ruling as my father was the lone survivor in his family of the Holocaust. He came to the US in 1946.
My purpose would be to finally get to travel and see my family's homeland.
I was wondering if anyone knows of people who have done this. Is it feasible?
I know there are international health care plans I can purchase that appear to be less expensive and more comprehensive than what I currently have as a retired teacher here. I am researching cost of living and access to the things I like to do- museums and art classes in the main, plus doing as much family research on site as I could. My father's family was from Upper Silesia which today is part of Poland so it would be a multiple country research project. My mother was Austrian and I suppose I would qualify to apply for a dual with Austria too- (I recognize I'd need to pick one of these) so either would allow for the ability to settle for long stretches anywhere EU without extra visa applications, right? Any tips or pointers to forum locations on this topic much appreciated. I've been searching this site and have only found one thread on this from 3 years ago... no idea how his situation resolved at all.

Thanks!
Susan
 

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Hello,

I am retired and considering a move from the US to Germany or the Netherlands by applying for a German Passport and dual citizenship under the Article 116 ruling as my father was the lone survivor in his family of the Holocaust. He came to the US in 1946.
My purpose would be to finally get to travel and see my family's homeland.
I was wondering if anyone knows of people who have done this. Is it feasible?
I know there are international health care plans I can purchase that appear to be less expensive and more comprehensive than what I currently have as a retired teacher here. I am researching cost of living and access to the things I like to do- museums and art classes in the main, plus doing as much family research on site as I could. My father's family was from Upper Silesia which today is part of Poland so it would be a multiple country research project. My mother was Austrian and I suppose I would qualify to apply for a dual with Austria too- (I recognize I'd need to pick one of these) so either would allow for the ability to settle for long stretches anywhere EU without extra visa applications, right? Any tips or pointers to forum locations on this topic much appreciated. I've been searching this site and have only found one thread on this from 3 years ago... no idea how his situation resolved at all.

Thanks!
Susan
There was a member on this forum whose husband got a German passport under this rule.

Lots of descendants of German Jewish refugees in Britain are currently applying for German passports due to Brexit.

Depending on the specific Austrian laws at the time of your birth (was your mother Austrian when you were born?) you may well be Austrian from birth and already have the right to live anywhere in the EU (as soon as you get an Austrian passport).

Multiple nationalities acquired at birth would not require you to chose, at least not from the German side.

Also from the German side, multiple nationalities acquired by application are okay in case of EU nationalities, so German/Austrian citizenship would not be a problem for Germany.

Not sure about the respective Austrian laws.

Do you have any documents regarding your parents' nationalities? Birth certificates? Old passports? Naturalization certificates if they ever took US citizenship?
 

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It just so happens that I have a friend who is currently applying for German citizenship. She reports that it is getting more and more difficult to qualify for the "hardship" exception to the need to renounce your prior nationality. She also reports that "just about everyone" applying for German citizenship has to speak a certain level of German and may have to pass a "citizenship test" (not unlike the sorts of questions they ask those seeking US citizenship).

As far as claiming German citizenship through one of your parents, I think you'd still have to take up residence in Germany for some period of time in order to claim German citizenship, even if your father had his German nationality taken away. But you may want to check on the details with the German consulate as the rules have definitely evolved over time.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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It just so happens that I have a friend who is currently applying for German citizenship. She reports that it is getting more and more difficult to qualify for the "hardship" exception to the need to renounce your prior nationality. She also reports that "just about everyone" applying for German citizenship has to speak a certain level of German and may have to pass a "citizenship test" (not unlike the sorts of questions they ask those seeking US citizenship).

As far as claiming German citizenship through one of your parents, I think you'd still have to take up residence in Germany for some period of time in order to claim German citizenship, even if your father had his German nationality taken away. But you may want to check on the details with the German consulate as the rules have definitely evolved over time.
Cheers,
Bev

I don't think any of this applies to descendants of Holocaust survivors, there is a separate set of laws. In any case, no residency in Germany needed.

As far as I know, the OP would be deemed German from birth through her father and would not have to give up her US citizenship that she acquired at birth.

Contacting the nearest German Embassy or Consulate would be a good idea. Same for the nearest Austrian diplomatic post.
 
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