How to get an Ausländerbehörde appointment

This guide explains how to get an Ausländerbehörde appointment, and what to do if you can’t find one.

You need an Ausländerbehörde appointment to…3

If you go to the Ausländerbehörde without an appointment, they will not help you.8

How to get an appointment

There are 2 ways to get an appointment:2

  • Send your documents and wait 
    Use the contact form to send your residence permit application, and wait for a response. This is usually the fastest option, especially if your residence permit expires soon. You can also mail your documents.29
  • or book an appointment online
    It’s really hard to find an appointment.15 You must refresh the appointment booking page hundreds of times. Your appointment might be in a few months.19

Other solutions

Send your documents and wait

Don’t get an appointment. Instead, use the contact form, send your full residence permit application, and wait.6 This is usually the fastest option, but it can take a few months to get a reply.

If you have a residence permit or a National Visa, send your documents 8 weeks before it expires, not sooner.1 You must send your application before your residence permit expires.5 If your visa or residence permit expires, sending your documents usually allows you to stay in Germany.

To send your documents…

  1. Use the contact form
    Write a message in German. If you don’t speak German, use Deepl to write it. Your message must include…
  2. Attach your application documents
    Send all the required documents. Complete applications are processed faster.23 You can only upload 5 small documents. If possible, use PDF documents. You can merge PDF documents or make PDFs smaller online. If you have too many documents, send them by post.29
  3. Send your message
    If you get an error (Anti-Spam-Schutz), it’s because you took too long to send your message. Just send it again. After you send the message, click Zusammenfassung ausdrucken to print the confirmation message. This is a proof of your residence permit application. You will not get a confirmation email.14
  4. Wait a few weeks
    You must wait weeks or months to get an answer. While you wait, you can usually stay in Germany, even if your residence permit expires. If you wait more than 3 months, you can sue the Ausländerbehörde.
  5. Get an Ausländerbehörde appointment
    After they process your application, they will email you. Usually, when they contact you, it means that your residence permit is approved.12 They usually give you an appointment to bring missing documents or scan your fingerprints. You should get your residence permit 6 to 10 weeks after the appointment.

You can send your residence permit application by registered mail, but it’s not better or faster.23 Do not fax or email your application.17 Use the contact form.

If you apply for a Blue Card, don’t use the contact form. There is a different form for the Blue Card.

Book an appointment online

It’s really hard to find an appointment. Usually, there are no appointments available. Refresh the page every few minutes until you find one. It can take a few weeks to find an appointment. Your appointment might be in a few months.19

To book an appointment…

  1. Open the official appointment booking page.
  2. Choose your nationality and the type of residence permit. If your type of residence permit is not in the list, use the contact form. For permanent residence applications, use the contact form.
  3. Click Weiter to see appointment dates. Usually, there are no appointments. Try again until you find one. New appointments appear at random times, mostly during work hours. This Chrome extension can refresh the page automatically.
  4. If there are free appointments, you can select a date and book the appointment. You will get an appointment confirmation by email. Save this email.

If you apply for a Blue Card, you don’t need an appointment. Apply for a Blue Card online instead.

If your situation is urgent, contact the Ausländerbehörde. They might give you an earlier appointment. Usually, they don’t reply, but you should still try.

If your visa or residence permit expires soon

Other solutions

  • Use the Business Immigration Service (BIS)
    You can apply for a work visa or a Blue Card through BIS. Your employer or your relocation service must register for this service. It’s free. – More information
  • Buy an Ausländerbehörde appointment
    Some services sell Ausländerbehörde appointments for around 100€. They use scripts and bots to book appointments before other people. I will not help you find those services. Some of those services are scams.22
  • Apply in another city
    If you are a Berlin resident, you must go to the Berlin Ausländerbehörde. If you register your address in another city, you can apply at the Ausländerbehörde there. Immigration offices in small cities are often faster.4
  • Hire a lawyer
    When you hire an immigration lawyer, things tend to go faster. A lawyer can also sue the Ausländerbehörde when they take too long to process your case.

If your residence permit expires soon

Your visa or residence permit might expire while you wait for the Ausländerbehörde. Don’t panic! Usually, you can stay in Germany.20

If you have a residence permit or a National Visa

You can stay in Germany after your residence permit or National Visa expires if…

  • You sent your application documents
    You must submit a full residence permit application before your residence permit or National Visa expires.5
  • or you booked an Ausländerbehörde appointment
    You must book the appointment before your residence permit or National Visa expires.18 The appointment can be after it expires.

While you wait for the Ausländerbehörde

  • Work or study like before
    After you send a residence permit application, the conditions of your current residence permit or National Visa still apply. You can work or study like before. Look on your Zusatzblatt to know what you are allowed to do.
  • Do not leave Germany
    You might be unable to re-enter Germany with an expired residence permit or National Visa. Citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Kingdom or the United States can usually travel. Others need a Fiktionsbescheinigung.

Travel with an expired residence permit

Everyone else

If you are a citizen of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Kingdom or the United States, you can stay in Germany for 90 days without a visa.11 You can stay longer if…

  • You have an Ausländerbehörde appointment and you booked the appointment in your first 90 days in Germany
  • or you sent your application documents in your first 90 days in Germany

You need a residence permit to work, study or freelance. If you don’t have one, you must wait.

If you have a Schengen visa, you must leave Germany before it expires. You can rarely extend a Schengen visa.16 You can rarely convert a Schengen visa to a residence permit. You can’t get a Fiktionsbescheinigung.27

Before your appointment

Read your appointment confirmation and follow the instructions. Usually, you must…

  • Prepare the required documents
    This can take a few weeks. Bring all your documents, even if you’re not sure you need them. If your documents are old, bring a newer version. Some case workers look at every document. Some ignore half of them. You never know, so you must bring everything. Print everything on A4 paper. Don’t staple the pages together. If you forget a document, it can delay your application by a few weeks.
  • Hire a translator (optional)
    Some Ausländerbehörde employees only speak German. If you don’t speak German, bring a translator with you. I recommend Red Tape Translation. If you hire a relocation consultant or an immigration lawyer, they can also translate for you.

During your appointment

Go to the Ausländerbehörde

Go to the correct Ausländerbehörde: Friedrich-Krause-Ufer, Keplerstraße or Fasanenstraße. Arrive early. You need enough time to find the correct waiting room. If you are late, they might refuse to help you.24

Print your appointment confirmation and bring it. You need it to enter the Ausländerbehörde.3

Inside the Ausländerbehörde, Find the right office, floor and room. This information is on your appointment confirmation. The security staff can also help you.

Berlin Ausländerbehörde appointment room

Sit in the correct waiting room. Wait until the television calls your number. Go to the office number (Platz) you see on the television.

Go to your interview

The Ausländerbehörde employee will ask for your documents one by one. After a few minutes, they will send you back to the waiting room. 5 to 45 minutes later, you must go back to the same office.

During your appointment, ask for a Fiktionsbescheinigung. It’s a temporary residence permit. You might need it to travel outside of Germany.

What is a Fiktionsbescheinigung?

They might ask you to pay a fee. You must pay it at a payment machine. The machine is somewhere else in the Ausländerbehörde.

How to pay the residence permit fee

If they approve your residence permit, they must print the plastic card. This takes a few weeks. You might get a temporary certificate while you wait. It allows you to start working, but it’s not a valid travel document. It does not allow you to re-enter Germany.31

In a few weeks, you will get your plastic residence permit by post, or an invitation to collect it at the Ausländerbehörde.30

Pay the fee

When your residence permit is approved, you must pay a fee: 100€ for a new residence permit or 96€ for a renewal.

  • If you must pay now, they will give you a plastic payment card (Kassenkarte). Bring that card to a payment machine (Kassenautomat). Follow the signs to find the payment machines. These machines accept cash, EC cards, Visa and Mastercard.10 If your card is not accepted, you must get cash from an ATM.
  • If you must pay later, you will get an invoice by post. You will have 30 days to pay.25 They might also ask you to pay during your next Ausländerbehörde visit.

After you pay, you can go home. Keep your receipt; residence permit fees are tax-deductible.

Ausländerbehörde Kassenautomat

After your appointment

If your application is approved

6 to 10 weeks after your Ausländerbehörde appointment, you get 2 letters:7

  1. The eID activation code
    This letter arrives first. It has a PIN and a PUK to activate the eID function of your residence permit. You will need this later.
  2. Your residence permit
    2 to 4 weeks later, you receive your residence permit, or an invitation to collect it at the Ausländerbehörde.30

Your residence permit is a plastic card. Your address is written on the card. If you move to another address, they will update your residence permit during the Anmeldung. They put a sticker with your new address on your residence permit.

How to change your address

Your residence permit has a chip in it. You can use it with the AusweisApp to log into online government services. By default this feature is not activated. You must activate it yourself.

How to activate the eID function

If you had a German residence permit for over 3 years, your new residence permit might say Erwerbstätigkeit gestattet. This give you permission to do more things, and change employers more easily.

What does “Erwerbstätigkeit gestattet” mean? – Red Tape Translation

If your application is rejected

If some documents are missing, you have 2 options:

  • Send your documents by email
    If you have the missing documents at home, ask if you can email them. You will pay the fee and give your fingerprints, so you don’t need another Ausländerbehörde visit.32
  • or get another appointment
    They will give you another appointment in a few days. It gives you time to prepare the missing documents.

If your current visa expires soon, ask for a Fiktionsbescheinigung. It lets you stay in Germany a bit longer. If they refuse, you can insist. You have the right to get one.

If you get a rejection letter, it will ask for more information, or tell you why your application was rejected. You have 1 month to respond or appeal. If this happen, you should hire an immigration lawyer to help you.

If you don’t get an answer

After you submit your residence permit application, the Ausländerbehörde has 3 months to make a decision.28 If you don’t get an answer, you can sue the Ausländerbehörde. It can speed things up.

If the Ausländerbehörde can’t reach you because you changed your address, they will post the information here.

Contact the Ausländerbehörde

The Ausländerbehörde is really hard to contact. They removed emails and fax numbers from their website. You must use the contact form.26

To contact the Ausländerbehörde

  1. Use the contact form
    Use the contact form to contact your department. Do not email or fax the Ausländerbehörde.
  2. Wait a few weeks
    The Ausländerbehörde answers in a few weeks to a few months. You might never get an answer.

Fax the Ausländerbehörde

Fax does not work.13 Do not fax the Ausländerbehörde. It’s not better or faster. Use the contact form.

Sue the Ausländerbehörde

After you submit your residence permit application, the Ausländerbehörde has 3 months to make a decision. If you don’t get an answer after 3 months, you can sue the Ausländerbehörde for inaction.9 This is called an Untätigkeitsklage nach § 75 VwGO. Usually, it makes them move faster.21

In most cases, the state pays for your legal expenses. In other cases, it costs around 400€, because the Ausländerbehörde reacts without going to court. An immigration lawyer can help you do this.

English-speaking lawyers

Need help?

Where to ask immigration questions

Sources and footnotes

  2., Red Tape Translation, Touring Artists 




  6., Red Tape Translation 

  7. Red Tape Translation, Facebook (2022),,,,, 


  9.,,, Red Tape Translation 


  11. §41 AufenthG 

  12. Kathleen Parker at Red Tape Translation (July 2023), Sebastian Hoffmann at Touring Artists (July 2023), Emily Archer at Archer Relocation (November 2023) 

  13. Facebook, Facebook, Facebook 

  14. Twitter (December 2023) 

  15. Touring Artists 

  16.,,, Auswärtiges Amt 

  17. (September 2023) 

  18. Touring Artists 


  20.,, §81 Abs. 3 AufenthG, 

  21. Fiona Macdonald, immigration lawyer 

  22. Tagesspiegel, taz, rbb24 

  23. Fiona Macdonald, immigration lawyer (August 2023) 

  24. c/o Germany 

  25. Multiple relocation consultants (October 2023) 

  26. Multiple relocation consultants, an Ausländerbehörde employee (October 2023) 

  27. Fem.os (September 2019),,, Auswärtiges Amt,, 

  28. §75 VwGO 

  29. Red Tape Translation 

  30. Facebook (2022), Facebook (2023) 

  31. Kathleen Parker at Red Tape Translation (December 2023) 

  32. Kathleen Parker at Red Tape Translation (December 2023)