Germany is waiting for an answer, if they will get Chris Kaman, to have the last chance in a LONG time to go to the Olympics. Proably Dirk also wants to know – the German national coach even postponed his decision if he will keep working as a national team coach and last but not least even some Clippers fans want to know.
So what is going on? Does anybody have an answer for us? It looks like the German Federal Foreign Office ( Auswaertiges Amt) can give us some help, since we don’t get any information from the German Basketball Association.
The FAQ on their web site provide us with some useful information. the first question seems pretty obvious.
Can I become a German citizen even though I am not living in Germany
Yes, in principle this is possible. Mastery of the German language and proof of ties to Germany are just as important as the prognosis that the applicant for citizenship will not require state funds for maintenance if he/she moves to Germany. There are a number of other conditions.
Well I am sure that a NBA player of his caliber does not require any state funds – but does Chris speak German?
My ancestors were German nationals. Can I get a German passport?
German passports are only issued to German citizens. Having German ancestors is unfortunately not enough to attain German citizenship. Rather, your father and/or mother have to have been German citizens at the time of your birth. If you were born before 1 January 1975 and your parents were married, you only attained German citizenship if your father was German at the time of your birth or if your parents submitted a declaration by 31 December 1977 stating they wanted German citizenship for their child.
Chris was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1982 as the child of Leroy and Pam Kaman so I assume that neither his father or mother have been German at the time of his birth. Doesn’t work then.
So is there any chance for Germany and Chris to team up? Maybe this one helps:
I think I am still a German citizen but cannot prove it. What can I do?
In such cases, you are advised to launch a procedure to establish your nationality after consultations with the competent German mission abroad. This procedure traces the nationality back as far as your grandparents (and sometimes even further). Birth certificates and/or certificate of parentage must be submitted.
This looks like what Chris and the German Basketball Association are trying to do – go through his grandparents and a bunch of certificates.
But what if that does not work? At the end of the web page you can find this:
Have you not found the answer to your question? Give us a call (hotline number +49 3018 17 2000) or send us an email. One of our help desk staff will answer your inquiry as quickly as possible.
Yes, we sent an email and called that number – haven’t heard of anybody yet at all though…
But now comes the interesting part – at least for Chris Kaman and I wonder if anybody in Germany has told him yet. As Germany accepts dual citizenship Chris can keep his US passport but also agrees to a few responsibilites and the following is one of them:
Depending on the laws in effect, level of income, source of income, etc., an American-German dual national may owe taxes in both countries. All dual nationals must report all worldwide income by filing an annual U.S. income tax return, regardless of whether they owe taxes to the U.S. or pay taxes elsewhere. For more information about taxes, please contact the
U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt
Internal Revenue Service
Giessener Str. 30
or your local German tax office.
Maybe we will get an e-mail by tomorrow from that office. I doubt it though.