Naw. It's not really a German word. It's actually a "Antrag auf Beibehaltung der deutschen Staatsbürgerschaft" -- a petition to keep your German citizenship. German law doesn't recognize dual citizenship as a rule. There are exceptions -- if you're born with two citizenships (like my boys), then it's mostly OK. But if you want to acquire the citizenship of another country any day later than your birth day, you have a problem. The reasoning is that if you go and apply for another citizenship, you obviously want to get the hell out of Germany and live somewhere else. So you might as well lock the door when you step out. It makes a certain amount of sense. I mean, can you please make up your mind who you want to be?
Since the world isn't all black and white, though, there is a back door. You may apply to keep your German citizenship while obtaining a foreign citizenship, and in some cases this application is even approved. It's not easy, though, and you have to make a good case for yourself. This is how it works. First, you download the form and fill it out. You have to proof you're German before you can apply to continue being German, if you get my gist. Then the document asks for your ties to Germany - whether you have relatives, business connections, property or insurance claims. And last, you have as much space as necessary to list your reasons for a. wanting to keep the German citizenship and b. pursuing another citizenship. That's the crucial part. What to write? A. I'm German and always will be German, no matter what passport I carry. I'm horrified by the idea one day I will not be able to walk through the "EU" border line anymore, or that I can't just go and live in Germany indefinitely if I please to do so. I teach my boys to speak German and we have the Christmas presents on Christmas Eve. Half of the boys' toys live in my parents' house. We visit them regularly. Our life insurances run on our German address. I really only want the US citizenship if I can keep my German citizenship. B. I really only want the US citizenship to get out of the claws of the USCIS, formerly known as INS. I've had one, repeat ONE, good experience with them, all other experiences were nasty to really, really horrible. I want to be able to live in the US with my family without my fearing that I'll be shown the door at the slightest misdemeanor. Oh. And I want to vote in both countries. Either country can be the future for my boys and I feel the need to do my best to ensure it's a good future. It's as simple as that: We are a US-German family. We have ties in both countries and we want to be able to live in both countries without being pestered by officials of either color. Doug has an Irish passport, which with Ireland being EU, makes it equally easy for him to live in Germany or in the US. He can even vote in Germany. I want to have the same right. What do you think? Am I making a good case for my cause?