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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

this is going to be somewhat hard to explain so please bare with me.

I have been working and living in Germany for about two years now. If everything goes well, I will be able to apply for a Germany residency permit (niederlassungserlaubnis) card in about three years. As I like to plan things in advance, I have already started looking towards that moment and making sure I am fully prepared for it. I have two passports and thus dual citizenship. I got one of the passports through birth (well through my parents' origin essentially as I wasn't born in their country, I was actually born in Germany) and the other one through naturalization when I was a young child. I applied, got my work visa and did all my papers through one of my two passports (the naturalized one) but on all the legal documents when I first came to Germany, I had to indicate that I have two passports so the German authorities have that information in their database and are aware of that fact. It's not like I could or thought about hiding this information from them.

My question/concern is this. The passport I am currently legally residing in Germany under is going to expire around the same time I expect to get my Germany residency permit card. Regardless of that coincidental timing, I do not plan to renew it and I had already made plans to renounce the citizenship I am currently using for my stay in Germany anyways and stick with my other citizenship for the timebeing until one day I can apply for German citizenship. Since the residency permit card is, like everything else, tied to the passport, should I go down that path, would I be able to apply and get a residency permit using my other passport even though I haven't used it at all during my stay or would I be "forced" to stick with the naturalized passport under which I got my work visa and apply for my residency permit card only with that one? As I wrote above, the German authorities are aware that I have two passports, I had to indicate that when filling in residency documents when I first arrived in German two years ago.

For what it's worth, it should be mentioned that both passports I currently have are non-EU. If one was EU, I wouldn't have to worry about this. Also and because I know some of you might ask, I am using the naturalized passport for my work visa out of convenience and because it has a better reputation than my other passport. Also, all my other legal IDs (driver's license and such) come from the country who naturalized me so it would just confuse everyone if I started using one passport for my visa and then show ID cards from another country on top of that.

Any suggestions or concrete answers would be appreciated, I am thinking of going to see a immigration lawyer about this at some point if need be.
 

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Hi everyone,

this is going to be somewhat hard to explain so please bare with me.

I have been working and living in Germany for about two years now. If everything goes well, I will be able to apply for a Germany residency permit (niederlassungserlaubnis) card in about three years. As I like to plan things in advance, I have already started looking towards that moment and making sure I am fully prepared for it. I have two passports and thus dual citizenship. I got one of the passports through birth (well through my parents' origin essentially as I wasn't born in their country, I was actually born in Germany) and the other one through naturalization when I was a young child. I applied, got my work visa and did all my papers through one of my two passports (the naturalized one) but on all the legal documents when I first came to Germany, I had to indicate that I have two passports so the German authorities have that information in their database and are aware of that fact. It's not like I could or thought about hiding this information from them.

My question/concern is this. The passport I am currently legally residing in Germany under is going to expire around the same time I expect to get my Germany residency permit card. Regardless of that coincidental timing, I do not plan to renew it and I had already made plans to renounce the citizenship I am currently using for my stay in Germany anyways and stick with my other citizenship for the timebeing until one day I can apply for German citizenship. Since the residency permit card is, like everything else, tied to the passport, should I go down that path, would I be able to apply and get a residency permit using my other passport even though I haven't used it at all during my stay or would I be "forced" to stick with the naturalized passport under which I got my work visa and apply for my residency permit card only with that one? As I wrote above, the German authorities are aware that I have two passports, I had to indicate that when filling in residency documents when I first arrived in German two years ago.

For what it's worth, it should be mentioned that both passports I currently have are non-EU. If one was EU, I wouldn't have to worry about this. Also and because I know some of you might ask, I am using the naturalized passport for my work visa out of convenience and because it has a better reputation than my other passport. Also, all my other legal IDs (driver's license and such) come from the country who naturalized me so it would just confuse everyone if I started using one passport for my visa and then show ID cards from another country on top of that.

Any suggestions or concrete answers would be appreciated, I am thinking of going to see a immigration lawyer about this at some point if need be.
What's the reasoning behind giving up one of the nationalities? Will you have advantages/disadvantages if you keep or renounce it?

Like not having to file taxes, doing x years of military service, etc.?

With very few exceptions, you'd have to renounce both non-EEA nationalities when naturalising as German.

Passport expiry has nothing to do with renunciation - is it a great hassle or very expensive to get a new passport for the one that's expiring?

Personally, I'd wait with any kind of drastic changes like this until you have your indefinite residence permit in hand.
 

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If and when you start the process to take German nationality, they will require you to produce certificates proving that you have renounced your prior nationalities - before they will process the final round of paperwork. But as most of the expats here in the forum will tell you, there is little or no issue with producing documents (drivers license, etc.) from your current country of residence whether you are a citizen there or not. But you aren't necessarily required to have a valid passport from a country in order to renounce your nationality there.

I would simply ask the immigration office (the one you get your residence card from) how to change your status to indicate that your "other" passport is your primary one. It may be possible to do that in connection with getting your residence card - but you'll never know if you don't ask.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What's the reasoning behind giving up one of the nationalities? Will you have advantages/disadvantages if you keep or renounce it?

Like not having to file taxes, doing x years of military service, etc.?

With very few exceptions, you'd have to renounce both non-EEA nationalities when naturalising as German.

Passport expiry has nothing to do with renunciation - is it a great hassle or very expensive to get a new passport for the one that's expiring?

Personally, I'd wait with any kind of drastic changes like this until you have your indefinite residence permit in hand.
The reasoning is that it's caused me almost nothing but problems since I came to Europe with little to no advantages and I don't see myself ever going back to that country even for a visit. Also, I'm simply not emotionally attached to that passport in any way. I don't think I will have any advantages renouncing it but above all I'd like to avoid shooting myself in the foot with respect to my status in Germany if I do that in a few years right before I get my residency permit card. For instance, I wouldn't want to renounce it without knowing for sure if I can get the German residency permit card with the other passport. I don't want someone at the immigration office to tell me: "Sorry, since you renounced the citizenship under which you lived here for the past 4-5 years, you cannot get your residency permit card with your other passport and your time spent here doesn't count so you have to live another 5 years under your other passport to get permanent residency". I hope that can't happen but you never know. Thankfully, as far as I know, my other passport is an exception so I get to keep it when naturalising as German but that's a seperate issue I'm not worried about for now.

It is a great hassle and quite expensive, yes. I had to renew it already last year and the procedure took almost 2 months. Also the embassy was anything but helpful which just made me want to get rid of it in due time even more.

That's the thing about indefinite residency permit, I have to act BEFORE I get it because my passport expires around the same time I'm due to get the residency permit. If I renew it everything is fine but I'd rather not renew it and show them my other passport for the residency permit card which they are already aware that I have. But I won't do it like that unless I can be 100% sure that it's totally doable and won't cause me any issues going forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If and when you start the process to take German nationality, they will require you to produce certificates proving that you have renounced your prior nationalities - before they will process the final round of paperwork. But as most of the expats here in the forum will tell you, there is little or no issue with producing documents (drivers license, etc.) from your current country of residence whether you are a citizen there or not. But you aren't necessarily required to have a valid passport from a country in order to renounce your nationality there.

I would simply ask the immigration office (the one you get your residence card from) how to change your status to indicate that your "other" passport is your primary one. It may be possible to do that in connection with getting your residence card - but you'll never know if you don't ask.
Getting German nationality is a whole other thing, I won't get for at least another year or two after getting the residency permit card unless there is a way to get permanent residency AND German citizenship altogether at the same time or within a few months span but I doubt there is.

I plan to ask that for sure, I was just thinking of getting that information beforehand. I need to make sure it doesn't confuse them and that it doesn't cause me some issues I could have easily avoided.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I wasn't born in the US, I don't have US citizenship and on a sidenote I'm glad I don't. I never even lived in the US.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Still I'm not sure why having a US passport is that bad of a thing, yes the situation in that country is very unstable right now but it's a passport that's overall well ranked in the world. Even solely on reputation, it's better perceived than a passport from about half of the other countries in the world and maybe even more.

Anyways, I just remembered something else I wanted to ask which is indirectly related to my situation. Is the German residency permit card only related to having worked in Germany for at least 5 years or having lived AND worked in Germany for at least 5 years? Because I only started working 4 months after moving to Germany and while it's a fairly short period of time, that period spans over the end of a year and the beginning of another so it makes somewhat of a difference in terms of the year I'll be getting it at.
 

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On the US passport issue, you have to consider all of the various restrictions on things you can and can't do as a US citizen resident abroad. (How and if the country survives the current turmoil is a separate question.)

Having a US passport means that you are subject to US income taxes for life. And there are many tax laws and rules that restrict how you can invest outside the US, or subjects local retirement and savings investments (that are tax free locally) to full US tax rates, which wipe out the local advantages of the programs. For anyone who sets up a business outside the US there are other onerous conditions.

Not sure about the German residency permit, but generally speaking these kinds of documents are related to how long you have legally resided in Germany (i.e. with the appropriate visa or other authorization).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah about that, I remember wanting to keep a banking account active in another European country and being told it would be more problematic to do so if I was a US citizen. It seems like the US has set up a system where they purposefully make it difficult for their citizens if they move abroad.

"Not sure about the German residency permit, but generally speaking these kinds of documents are related to how long you have legally resided in Germany (i.e. with the appropriate visa or other authorization)."

I was on a 3 month stay which I had slightly overrun when I got hired at my current job so I didn't really have a visa in the first three months although I was legally registered in their national database with my date of arrival in the country and did my anmeldung.
 
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