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Since I’ve spent so much tine venting about German bureaucrats on my blog, I thought I’d share the latest official missive that landed in my inbox.

Dear Ms. Swarthout,

Thank you for your message.

I regret to have to inform you that this Consulate General has no way to influence the FAO’s processing time.

Yours sincerely,

Gunther Zeiller

Herr Zeiller works in the German Consulate office in San Francisco, the office where we filed our Article 116 German citizenship applications just under two years ago. We are still waiting for Sam, the youngest (and adopted) member of our family, to receive his citizenship. Sam’s application was transferred from the City of Berlin to the FAO (Federal Office of Administration) last summer when we returned to the States.

We have never received a single official item of correspondence about Sam’s application (see More Bureaucratic Sludge at the Finish Line). I know I should be staging a protest on the steps of the FAO in Köln, but it would be so much better if the authorities would just communicate with us! And now that the rest of the family has been granted German citizenship, shouldn’t the German Consulate at least try to help us?

I don’t think Herr Zeiller had any regrets at all about declaring his inability to be of assistance. He’s politely put us back in the informational void where we will continue to languish. And his bureaucratic niceties do nothing to alleviate our frustration.