Visiting the Ausländerbehörde without an appointment in 2018

Visiting the Ausländerbehörde without an appointment in 2018

Kathleen Parker from Red Tape Translation shares her tips for finding a slot and getting your papers stamped with no appointment.

This guide is a guest post by Kathleen Parker from Red Tape Translation. It is updated periodically.

Germany’s got a bad reputation when it comes to bureaucracy, but once you start moving around in the red tape circles, you realize the people in charge are not so bad. And they all seem to have a cute penchant for cat calendars. Here’s a guide on what to expect when you visit the Ausländerbehörde, and how to use your charm and savvy to leave the room with a shiny sticker in your hand.

Which Office?

If you’ll be studying, doing research, accepting a job that makes you eligible for a Blue Card, going for a Working Holiday Visa or taking part in a language course, go to the Ausländerbehörde on Keplerstr.

If you’ll be freelancing, working in a job that doesn’t make you eligible for a Blue card, using your foreign degree qualification to search for work or getting medical treatment, go to the Ausländerbehörde on Friedrich-Krause-Ufer in Wedding.

When To Go?

If you don’t have an appointment, both offices can see you between:

  • 7am-2pm on Mondays and Tuesdays
  • 10am-6pm on Thursdays

If you don’t have an appointment, don’t go on a Wednesday or a Friday. Get there several hours before the doors open, find the right line and just wait until the doors open shortly before they begin work. Take food, drinks and possibly a catheter.

Many Berliners reported that you need to show up between 4 and 6 AM to see a Beamter12. There is reportedly 50-70 people in the queue by 6 AM. If you leave the clubs early, you can get a good spot in the queue.

What Normally Happens on the Day?

If you don’t have an appointment, you’ll either draw a number from a ticket machine in the area responsible for your case or you’ll wait in line to go into a booth where they check your documents and will only give you a waiting number if they know they can serve you.

Ausländerbehörde.jpeg#asset:233:contentFullwidth

They Like Me, They Really Like Me

If it is possible to issue you with a permit same-day, here’s how it goes down:

Once things are clarified, she/he will probably ask you to wait outside while they scan the docs into your electronic file and issue you with a permit. This is normal, so don’t panic. You might be waiting for 20-40 minutes before your number gets called up on the board again.

Then, all your documents will be returned to you and a sticker will be put in your passport. They give you a payment card, send you down to the payment machine, and more often than not, you don’t need to come back up, you can just go home and celebrate.

Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round to be a Resident)

If your application needs to be sent somewhere else, here’s how it goes down:

Your case worker checks to make sure your application is complete, then sends it away to another department. It can take weeks to get a response, so if your tourist visa is about to run out, you’ll probably get a temporary permit for 3 months for 20 Euros. Once a decision is made, you’ll either get a happy e-mail (yay!) or a scary letter (boo). 

When Things Go Wrong

If it’s not possible to issue a permit or even submit your application, you might get sent away empty-handed, but if you’ve still got some time on your Schengen Visa, you’ll have the chance to come back with any missing documents. 

If your Schengen Visa is due to run out really soon but your permit application is incomplete, don’t assume you’ll automatically get an extension just by visiting the office. Your caseworker might advise against submitting your application, knowing that it won’t be approved because it is incomplete, and if there’s no submitted application, there’s no reason to give you an extension while they wait for a decision. In other words, don’t leave this until the absolute last minute.

If you get a scary letter, it will either be asking for more information or to tell you that your application was not approved. Don’t worry – you still have a month to respond/appeal. At this point, it’s probably a good idea to get an immigration lawyer involved.

Tips for Winning Over Hearts at the Ausländerbehörde

  • Be early
  • Take a German speaker
  • Use your calm voice
  • Don’t argue
  • If you’re sensing some hostility, you could try finding something personal in the office and making a friendly connection if appropriate (e.g. a cat calendar, a drawing that was clearly done by a three year-old or a poster of scenes from New Zealand. Best thing I’ve ever seen: a naked poster of Robbie Williams from his Take That days)
  • If you’re going to quote the law, try asking a genuine, wide-eyed and seemingly innocent question about the law and treating your case worker like an expert. 
  • Don’t argue

Cheers and best of luck on the day!

1

Ausländerbehörde Berlin

Keplerstraße 2
2

Ausländerbehörde Berlin on Friedrich-Krause-Ufer

Friedrich-Krause-Ufer 24