Benefits generally may not be paid to aliens who are outside the United States for
more than 6 months and who first became eligible for dependents or survivors benefits
after 1984, unless they have resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years.
Citizens or residents of a country with which the U.S. has a totalization agreement
are exempt from these requirements. Therefore, residents of Germany, or German citizens
regardless of where they reside, are exempt from these requirements (see GN 01701.150A.2).
As a result of the reunification of Germany, citizens and residents of the former
East Germany are now considered citizens or residents, respectively, of Germany (the
FRG) and are not subject to the 5-year residency requirement for dependents and survivors.
This exception applies to periods during which the beneficiary is a citizen or resident
of the former East Germany after September, 1990.