Desis in Deutschland / 'Foreigner Policy' and Applied Law in Germany

3. Arguments and Methods

3.1. Phase I: application and delay (1970)

"through long-standing residence I feel attached to Germany and do, also in consideration of my wife and her family, not wish to leave this country" (reason given in the application form by Dr. Agarwal/ own translation)

As reasons for his application for the German citizenship Dr. Agarwal emphasised his strong link to Germany which had been formed through ten years of residence in the country and his marriage to a German. He, furthermore, argued that he did not want to take his wife out of her familiar surroundings and intended to stay close to his parents-in-law in Eastern Germany. Not satisfied with the impact this might have on the authorities he also referred to the gain Germany experienced through his employment as a scientist and mentioned that neither he nor his wife would be able to find a suitable occupation in India given the tense labour market situation there. He then concluded with stressing the fact that he never had received a scholarship linked to development politics. The reasoning clearly indicates that Dr. Agarwal anticipated some objection from the German authorities and thus tried to present as many points in favour of his application as possible. Accordingly he not only argued by emphasising his own integration into the German community, but also referred to the interests of his German wife, which he imagined would be protected by the German state, and economic and intra-German advantages for the country arising from his presence. He was careful to mention also that India would not experience any disadvantage from his not returning there. Dr. Agarwal's application, thus, not only attempted to prove that all legal requirements are fulfilled but that in fact Germany would benefit from the naturalisation. His whole approach was, thus, directed to please the authorities.

It did, however, not have the intended effect. The German authorities reacted by focusing on the interests of German development politics in general and their opposition to any naturalisation of applicants from developing countries. The particular circumstances of Dr. Agarwal's case were dealt with only in so far as he was informed that his personal professional interests were secondary to the country's interest and that his wife by marrying a foreigner had had to expect to leave her country of origin with him. Dr. Agarwal was, thus, faced with a purely exclusionary reaction, displaying no intention of accommodating him.

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© Urmila Goel, / englishDesis in Deutschland/ Recht/ naturalisation 1998/2004