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German Law/Keep US Cititzenship via StAG§12_1_5 and StAG§12_1_4


Hi thanks for this blog, I have a question I have not seen addressed directly.

I am a 60+ US citizen applying for German naturaliation and I meet all the requirements and could get it tomorrow as all paperwork, test etc. are done.  However, I do not want to give up US citizenship and local Landratsamt seems to be keen that I do.

For StAG§12_1_4 they say I qualify for all, but the part of it being hard to renounce US citizenship (I am fit and 2K USD fee does not hurt me THEY say).

For  StAG§12_1_5 I am maintaining that I will lose Medicare for which I quality shortly (worth about 200K according to US government web links).  They are saying I need a Bestätigung from US government which of course the US officials just say "go to the website" and that this would not even be a loss since Medicare is only good when one is IN the US and I could just buy extra health insurance when I go there, which to me is yet another example of an economic disadvantage.  I plan to spend about six months in each country when I retire, whether a German citizen or not.

Do you have any idea how I might "unconvince" them of their wrong way of looking at this issue in a polite manner?  They seem to be afraid to say anything, but no.  Or, better a nice way to suggest that they handle my case a bit special (which they are allowed to do) because of my age, 25 years of being registered in Germany, owning property in the old DDR, having paid into the Rente all this time.  I just want to get through the local guys so that the Land can approve/disapprove.

Hello Maxx,

regarding § 12 I no. 4 StAG we probably really don't have a case.

The issue with § 12 I no. 5 StAG is trickier.
I am not sure what the value of 200,000$ refers to. Isn't Medicare a medical insurance, so the value to you will depend on whether you need it, what kind of treatments you get and so on? In the extreme case, if you never need it, the value to you is 0$.
When looking at the "substantial disadvantage" we would rather have to point out how much it would cost you to obtain extra health insurance (but considering that Medicare doesn't cover 100% anyway).

I know that it's very hard to get a clear answer from the local authorities and in fact the only way to get one is to file an application and insist on it being decided.

The internal guidelines for the StAG mention the loss of retirement benefits (no. c VV-StAG), which suggests that the loss of benefits may only be relevant if you accrued the right to these benefits by paying into social security or a similar system, but not if you only receive them due to your citizenship (like a welfare payment).

We would need to submit evidence about your financial burden and we would need to provide better evidence than a website printout about your loss of Medicare. The provisions in the Medicare Act or a statement by the US Consulate would be options. It's not made easier by the Medicare website saying that Medicare is available to non-citizens in certain cases:

If we are able to obtain such documentation, then we could put all of this in writing, submit the application, and worst case, it will be denied. But there is really no other way to know how it will be decided.

I am sorry that I can't provide any shortcut either,

Andreas Moser

German Law

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Andreas Moser


Extensive experience in international family law, especially international child abductions and child custody cases. All other areas of German law as well: constitutional law, criminal law, business and contract law, immigration law, inheritance law, and so on.


Lawyer in Germany from 2002 to 2009. Lawyer for US Army JAG Corps before. Bar-certified specialisation in family law and in administrative law. Articles and lectures about international and domestic family law.


2000 Law Degree from University of Regensburg, Germany 2002 admitted to the bar (until 2009) 2013 MA Philosophy at the Open University, UK

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