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Renouncing German Citizenship

Who can and cannot be a dual national, as well as the joys and frustrations accompanying that status. Includes ROC Passport and Military Conscription issues
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Renouncing German Citizenship

Postby Pathtocitizenship » 29 Mar 2015, 23:13

Hey there!

Have been reading this forum for a long time and now finally decided to register as I have a rather complicated question to which i suspect I will not be able to find the answer by simply lurking around.

The Situation is as follows: I, a German national, am thinking about starting the process of acquiring Taiwanese citizenship. As you all know though, this would require me to relinquish my German citizenship in turn, which I for obvious reasons (right to abode in every country in the EU, unlimited freedom of movement within Schengen, etc) would prefer not to. I have been looking for some workarounds and believe I may have found something, however, recently I came across something that somewhat stymied my hopes.

Let me start from the beginning. As I am currently in the PRC, I do not have access to the Nationality Act of the ROC (VPN currently not working and websites are blocked), so I will just try to work with what I remember. To be considered a candidate for citizenship, you need to first renounce your current citizenship and procure a certificate of renunciation to be handed in with the other required documents. In case your home country does not allow you to renounce your citizenship, the beaurocracy will investigate and if your claim is found to be true, you will be allowed to procees with your current citizenship still intact.

Now, I have looked into German laws dealing with renouncing your citizenship and found that Germany is actually kind of a special case. You are allowed to renounce citizenship, but only under certain conditions, namely, you need to proof that renouncing your citizenship will not render you stateless. The procedure is as follows: You apply for loss of citizenship. You receive a certificate attesting to your intentions of giving up German citizenship, which you are supposed to show to governments (like Taiwan's) that require you to lose your current citizenship to acquire theirs. You then are given one year to acquire your new citizenship. Within this one-year period, you need to give proof of your new citizenship to the German government. If you do so, your application to renounce citizenship will be successful. Otherwise it will fail and you continue to be German.

My train of thought goes like this:
1. Fullfil requirements to become eligible for Taiwanese citizenship (five year period, financial requirements, etc)
2. Apply for loss of German citizenship, get certificate, hand in documents, explain (truthfully) that this is the most the German government will let me do as long as I don't have Taiwanese citizenship yet, let them investigate, should be no problems.
3. Be approved as a candidate for Taiwanese Citizenship
4. File for retainment of German citizenship (required process to not automatically lose German Natiinality when gaining new nationality, pretty straightforward though, just need to prove existing ties to Germany, family should be enough)
5. Spend one year in Taiwan
6. Get Taiwanese citizenship
7. Don't renounce German citizenship
8. Hukou, ID card, etc

The obvious flaw would be that after step 6 the Taiwanese government could ask me to renounce my citizenship, but I don't really see what they could do at this point. Assuming that they even care, by this point I would already be a Taiwanese citizen. And double-citizenship for Taiwanese citizens is legal. Furthermore, the documents and information i provided during the application process were all truthfull to the best of my knowledge, maybe I just decided that I want to keep my German citizenship after all. I would really doubt that they have grounds or motivation enough to take away my newly gained citizenship at this point.

This might seem a little dishonest, but I don't really think it is. After all, I am just required to procure the documents, my intentions are not asked of me. Besides, it's not really different from British citizens just reapplying for their original citizenship after becoming Taiwanese or American green card holders promising to relinquish their old citizenship but never doing so. In the end, the only thing I agree to is that the information provided by me is accurate and truthful and that would be the case.

Now, the problem is that a couple of days ago I came across a post on another forum (can't find it anymore, sadly) claiming that in a case like this a sort of temporary citizenship would be offered first, which I would have to use to successsfully renounce my German one and only then would I get full citizenship in Taiwan. Now, the post I read was not about Germany specifically and I would doubt that Germany would even accept such a temporary certificate (Germany is very adamant on the issue of statelessness), but if such a thing really exists, that would obbiously force me to rethink some of my plans and maybe probe the German and Taiwanese beaurocracy a little as to what their reactions to each others policies would be if I went ahead with my endeavour.

Any thoughts? Maybe people who've had similar experiences or could shed some light on whether this mysterious temporary citizenship reallt exists? Also, I would really like to know if there have been any Germans attempting to acquire Taiwanese citizenship in the past. Does anyone know of any?
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Re: Renouncing German Citizenship

Postby Zla'od » 07 Apr 2015, 12:15

I don't know the answer to your question, and was hoping for somebody more knowledgeable to post. My take: It might work, or it might not. The strategy has come up before in the case of...either Australia or the UK, which says that if you renounce--but don't get your new nationality within 6 months (which never happens in the case of Taiwan)--you can have your old nationality back, in order to prevent statelessness.

On the other hand, any dishonesty in your application for ROC citizenship would be grounds for voiding said citizenship. Also, Taiwan's legislature is now considering a revision to the nationality act which, if passed, would move the renunciation requirement to the period AFTER you receive your ROC citizenship, in order to prevent statelessness. I understand that this could go into effect around the end of the year. So, end of loophole.

Have you asked on either of the German-language discussion fora (here or Taiwanease)?
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Re: Renouncing German Citizenship

Postby bob_honest » 08 Apr 2015, 09:09

Guess people there might not know that much about it as they usually don't give up their citizenship :-)
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Re: Renouncing German Citizenship

Postby hannes » 08 Apr 2015, 09:38

bob_honest wrote:Guess people there might not know that much about it as they usually don't give up their citizenship :-)

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Re: Renouncing German Citizenship

Postby nonredneck » 15 Apr 2015, 11:57

Why would you want to renounce German citizenship? Isn't a Permanent resident card good enough? You should get open work rights after getting a PARC.
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Re: Renouncing German Citizenship

Postby Belgian Pie » 15 Apr 2015, 15:11

Germany is planning to do away with double nationality in some if not all cases. So, not two passports anymore.
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