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Thread: Germany...totally EARLY stages of discussion

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    #1

    Germany...totally EARLY stages of discussion

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    First off...I'll say I won't know technical terms or a lot of details and this literally came up yesterday with DH.

    BUT..........DH has an opportunity for a year long AD assignment in Germany (he's NG) that he can put in for. We've both agreed that he won't put in for it if we have to be separated for another year (since he hasn't even been home a year from his last deployment and this is voluntary). Orders would be only for him, not family.....but he says that the guy before him brought his family with, just on their own dime, not the Army's....which is what we're planning to do if we decide to do this. It would be good for his career and provide extra $$$$$ at retirement (since NG is based on points, he says it should be about $200/month more if he takes it on his retirement checks monthly).

    Sydney is 4 and in preschool on an IEP and receives private speech weekly...since we wouldn't be there on orders, would she be able to attend preschool at the CDC on base if they have one? Could we still see doctors and things on base if we aren't there on orders? We think it could be a great experience for the girls (well, Natalie is only 2 months, so not really for her ) and a chance to travel and things like that.

    I know we'll have to work out arrangements for our dogs and the house and a ton of other details if we decide to move forward...but I wanted to get any advice you ladies have to offer since this is all foreign to me since it's never really been on the table before since DH is NG

    I have no idea how any of this works or what questions to ask or things to consider that I'm forgetting...so any experiences or input of what questions to ask would be greatly appreciated while we're in the process of determining if he'll move forward or not
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    #2
    Can you even get SOFA status if you're not on the orders? I admit, I have no experience with this but I thought not.
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    Can you even get SOFA status if you're not on the orders? I admit, I have no experience with this but I thought not.
    I don’t know what SOFA status is ��
    Put on your big girl panties and deal with it like a boss.

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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by *Bazinga* View Post
    I don’t know what SOFA status is ��
    It's basically a stamp in your passport that says you're allowed to stay in the country outside of the "tourist" timeline (usually 90 days), because you won't be an employee/citizen there.
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    I hope Villa replies to you cuz all I know is from a friend who is PCSing right now and she complains about how hard it is a lot
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    #6
    I don't think what you are saying is really possible.

    SOFA is Status of Forces Agreement, and it's the agreement that the US has with each country where there are personnel stationed, establishing the rules. AMong many other things, it is what allows Americans to overstay typical Visa time requirements. I am too lazy to look, but I think for Americans in EU countries, you can generally only stay 90 days. Since you wouldn't be command sponsored (on his orders, basically, though there is slightly more to it than that), in the eyes of Germany and the EU, you would be just like any other American visiting, which means those rules would apply to you.

    You could try to find a job or maybe look in to a student Visa, but I don't know that this would get status for your kids.

    I will say that occasionally, someone shows up overseas without command sponsorship or SOFA status and manages to get through because the guy at the airport immmigration just assumes this is another military family and doesn't look at the documents. Sometimes it works, and sometimes they get caught and it causes serious issues. And sometimes, they think it worked because they get in, but when they go to leave, the passport agent (because there they check you passport when you leave as well as when you arrive, for exactly this reason) sees that you've been there for 450 days, and you literally be arrested, or banned from the EU for that. IOW, people do it, but you shouldn't. Or you could leave to travel, gets stopped at a boarder checkpoint, and be detained or arrested there.

    There there is the issue with housing. If he's on unaccompanied orders, it seems like he would get a barracks room, not a house.

    Even getting on and off base could be an issue. At our base, everyone had to register in a secondary system (DBIDS). An ID card was not enough. And to get registered, you need orders and dependent entry approval. (Our guests had to be brought in and show their passports to get a temp pass.)

    IOW, while I think Germany is friggin amazing, I don't see how you just going but not on orders would every work out, and it could get you in serious legal trouble and your DH in serious military trouble unless you were somehow able to get a job that gave you and your kids visas (pretty hard to do as they have to hire EU citizens first unless they can't find anyone with the skills they need).

    (I am not familiar with NG, so the housing might be different, but I can't imagine the SOFA status is.)
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    #7
    I am pretty sure you would be on a lower list for both schools and medical, more like if there is space available you might be able to get in. There is extra stuff you will have to go through to be able to drive a car there too, but it used to be that it would be possible. Not sure though if going through that extra stuff also would allow you to purchase gas though or whether that would have to be done by the military member. Basically, it is much more difficult to do what you are asking in Europe than it is in say Korea.

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