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Anyone who has managed to get hold of a permanent residency in Australia will sooner or later ask themselves whether it is worthwhile to take on Australian citizenship. As if the bureaucratic hurdles for the application of the Australian Citizenship were not enough, the right to remain German citizens is a challenge that must first be overcome.

How can I become a citizen of Australia?

If you are not very familiar with the Australian immigration system, you should first know that there are 2 basic ways to stay permanently in Australia as an immigrant. After successfully applying, every migrant receives a visa for permanent residency in Australia in the first step. With this visa you can usually stay in Australia indefinitely. However, if you travel a lot in the world, you have to make sure that the visa is valid when you leave the country in order to avoid problems with the entry. After several years of residence in Australia you can apply for Citizenship put. This is not a must because you can also sign up as a Permanent resident reside in Australia all his life.

As Citizen/ Citizens of Australia will then get an Australian passport and never have to worry about visa matters again. You also get various rights that you can call Permanent resident does not have, such as the right (or rather the duty) to vote, to receive certain social grants, etc.

In order to become an Australian citizen, one must meet certain residence and health criteria. The easiest way to do this is to use the Citizenship Wizard to find out whether you should apply. There is also a good list of the criteria that must be met here.

Tip for everyone considering emigrating to Australia: The first step is to get a realistic assessment of your chances and possibilities. Our emigration advisor will be happy to help you!

If you then have clarified that the receipt of theCitizenship is possible in Australia, the question arises of the so-called Dual Citizenship or dual citizenship.

Dual citizenship Australia - Germany

The concept of dual citizenship is quite complex. To put it simply: Germany basically doesn't like it when you want to be more than just German. With the acquisition of the Australian passport or the Australian citizenship you automatically lose your German citizenship. This means that from that point on you are no longer German and need a visa if you want to return to Germany for a visit!

To prevent this from happening, you should prior to applying for Australian citizenship deal intensively with the topic. It is entirely possible to be a citizen in both countries. However, you have to before Submit a so-called “Application for Retaining Citizenship” (BBG) at the German consulate. In this application you have to prove in great detail the reasons for the following intentions:

  1. Why do you want to become an Australian citizen?
  2. Why do you want to keep your German citizenship?

For both points, emotional reasons are not sufficient (“I still feel connected to Germany”), but you have to prove to the consulate that you have direct disadvantages if you do not apply for Australian citizenship. Here some examples:

I want to apply for Australian citizenship because ...

... I intend to apply for the job XYZ. However, this job pretends that I Citizen Must be in Australia (copy of job advertisement as proof)

... I regularly have to go abroad for longer periods of time for professional reasons and may have problems entering the country if my return visa for permanent residency expires. (Proof that you have to travel for work)

I want to keep the German citizenship because….

... I own several apartments in Germany and therefore still have accounts, contacts and obligations in Germany (evidence)

... my parents continue to live in Germany and are likely to be entitled to the XYZ inheritance (evidence).

You then have to send this letter to your consulate together with the official application and the certified copies. According to the German consulate here in Melbourne, processing this application alone takes about 6 months.

You can find important information on the website of the consulate in Melbourne or the consulate in your area. Download the PDF files there too!

Since I am currently in the process of providing the BBG myself, I looked around for help on the Internet and found an extremely helpful forum. In this Yahoo group you will not only find very active members who are happy to answer questions quickly, but you can also download some successful and rejected application letters, which can be very helpful when writing your own application.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize again that you should under no circumstances apply for Australian citizenship if you have not previously received confirmation from the German consulate that you can continue to retain German citizenship. This is no longer possible afterwards!

I wish you luck that my application is approved. Namely, I do not want to lose my German - or should I say European - passport under any circumstances! 😉

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Comments (+)

Stefan wrote on 02/04/2012:

Just for fun …

In 2000, I was one of the first 10 applicants worldwide to apply for a retention permit and received it after a long struggle. As a "pioneer" in matters of dual citizenship AUS / Germany (I was one of two back then) you may thank me retrospectively that nowadays it is still associated with bureaucraticism, but compared to the D-Mark times (500, - DM for the approval of Germans to stay ...) today it is more of a “walk in the park” - a “children's birthday”!

At that time "overriding reasons" had to be proven in order to be allowed to remain German - that means that "Germany had to recognize a SPECIAL interest" in wanting to keep someone as a German.

Today there are the reasons to want to become Australian AND stay German EQUAL. Literally, the text was changed to "personal and public motives are weighed against each other ...".

In practice it was probably discovered that not everyone can win a gold medal for Germany at the Olympics, or that Albert Einstein's name is ...

An assessment of the Consulate General Melbourne was obtained at that time by the Federal Administration Office. A Mr. Stocker from the Consulate General in Melbourne had excelled at the time through hopeless ignorance. Sentences like "I know so many Germans here, they have no problem getting cheap business loans ..." he secreted at the time - concrete hints as to where, as an all-German, you can get the same conditions as an Aussie at Australian banks and he didn't want to give. Of course, the adviser to the Commonwealth Bank does not say "like, you are not an Australian citizen, then please go to the other department ..." - open discrimination is of course forbidden. A hint that a Mr. Stocker from the German Consulate General in Melbourne says that "discrimination" is "prohibited" for only Germans when granting business loans would not have impressed the decision-makers at banks ...

At that time, Mr. Stocker made it very easy for himself to push off the table as quickly as possible to such "disrespectful motions" like remaining German AND wanting to become Australian as well ... There was no support there - rather sabotage. Anyone who believed that a PR visa for AUS is difficult to get, found out at the time that it was EVEN harder to stay German ... (A Juergen Klinsmann became an American one or two years ago (and remained German) - he is today National coach of the US - everything went more smoothly ...)

However, the processing and support by the Federal Office of Administration (Koeln, later Berlin) was very good and effective - at that time a Ms. Palm and a Mr. Stein were sitting there - they were SUPER! Their hands were partly tied due to the narrow wording in the implementation provisions of the new law, but we then found a way, in compliance with all requirements, to pave the way for me as a “German abroad”. Statistically, only ONE in a hundred applicants can get them back after losing their German citizenship - so CAUTION! Pay attention to the order: FIRST retention permit, THEN Australian Citizenship! Otherwise you end up in the "Aus" - I also like to be German. The long-term prejudice of Germans who have never dealt with the topic is that you “pick the raisins - later get two pensions etc ...” - That's true, but then you don't have double the money - claims are made in Germany added to the claims in AUS. Since you can usually not be subject to pension insurance in two places at the same time, it is only right and reasonable to be able to assert the claims for which you have worked for the respective times. If you lose your German citizenship, for example, substitute periods such as the armed forces simply no longer apply - this means that there are no times for the pension calculation for the period of military service - considering that there is no longer any compulsory service in Germany, you would be once more "Stupid" ...

I guess that Mr. Stocker from the GK from Melbourne just had too much "stress" to improve his golfing skills - such an "insignificant" application from an "insignificant" person for a retention permit is not so right ...

In Australia, pioneers have achieved great things - in Germany it no longer happens that often that one can enter "new territory" - as I said: "No cause" - and good luck!

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