|One more piece of identification, where I look like a monster.|
Last Thursday, I got my unbefristete Niederlassungserlaubnis. I have an unlimited residence permit for Germany. Some residence permits have rules on what jobs you can have and how long you can stay. I married a native, so after three years Germany is my oyster. I can get Hartz IV, the German version of welfare. (I can't really get Hartz IV because we have too much income.) I can get a spot in a kindergarten. (Many day care centers are administered by the government.) (I have no children, so I don't need a spot.) My life is not too different today than it was last Wednesday. The big difference is that I don't have to get my visa updated. That's a big deal to me. I ma so nervous going before the immigration officer. I speak German to prove that I belong here and I am trying to be funny because I want them to life me. It is like a really bad first date. Now, I got a commitment, so I'm done with the awkward meetings.
This is wild as my life can get now. Germany only allows people to have the nationalities that they are born with. If I were to get German citizenship, I would have to give up my American citizen. That ain't gonna happen.
Germany has many faults but difficult immigration isn't one of them. We thought about getting a green card for Asmus. We needed reference letters, a physical, a 10-page form and interviews. The form asked about his education, his parents, his current job, etc. Even after jumping through all those hoops, it's not even assured that you will get the card. However, if you are a normal couple in an actual marital relationship, you are going to get it.
In Germany, I showed our marriage certificate and my passport and I got the first visa. Of course, I had to spend a day in New York going from the city government office, the county government office and the state government office to get an apostille from each for the marriage certificate. An apostille is an official notation that says a document is legal that foreign nations must recognize. Thank God, I am American. Europeans, Americans, Israel, Australians, South Koreans, Japanese and New Zealanders can just show up. People from other questions have to enter the country with some German skill. As a citizen of the United States of America, I had the ability to start life here without knowing any German.
USA! USA! USA!