Visiting the Ausländerbehörde without an appointment in 2019

Visiting the Ausländerbehörde without an appointment in 2019

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 applying for a freelance visa, 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 Beamter2, 3. 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 expires 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

Comments

  • Emily

    Hi I’ve just recently moved to Berlin and I’m trying to apply for my residence here so I can apply for my visa.
    Am I able to apply for my visa without doing my residencey first as there are no appointments for another two months.
    Thank you in advanced

    Reply

    • Reply to Emily

  • Nicolas

    Hi,
    what´s your experience with spouse visa, my 90 days are soon to be over, we were in italy doing my wife citizenship and decide to move to Berlin with our daughter. Should I bring a long a translator or just present the papers and wait?

    Thanks,

    Reply

    • Reply to Nicolas

  • Daniela

    Hi! Thanks for the information. Do you know how much time they usually take on processing “Arbeitserlaubnis” in Berlin? I used to live in Burg and everything related to the Ausländerbehörde took ages. On the website it says between 4-6 weeks, but I don’t know if it actually goes faster/slower.

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Reply to Daniela

  • Twh

    Do you have an updated link showing that an appointment automatically extends a category D visa? That link doesn't work for me. I can't get an appointment before my visa expires, but I need to leave the country between the time my visa officially expires and the time that I can get an appointment online. I'd rather know for sure before creating any problems for myself.

    Reply

    • Reply to Twh

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      Yes, the link is invalid. I could not find a permanent link, because of the way the Ausländerbehörde website is built. However, I saw it with my own eyes, and confirmed it with my visa interviewer (I had a category D work visa).

      Reply

      • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

    • Loc

      Yes, I booked an appointment for Blue Card with D visa and got this "note" in the receipt.

      ===
      Note: if your residence permit has not expired yet, the residence permit will remain effective in Germany at least until the appointment scheduled today. This also applies to all conditions stipulated on your residence permit, including the regulations pertaining to gainful employment. Please be ware, that this will only apply, if you attend the booked appointment!
      Travelling abroad is only possible within the validity of your last residence permit.
      Schengen visa (type of visa: C) always expire with the date of validity. Apointments do not extend the legal stay with a Schengen visa.

      Reply

      • Reply to Loc

      • Chris

        One quick question, my visa expires on the 27th of July, I've got a type D visa and I'm extending it on the 24th of July to a Blue Card. They told me not to travel but I have an expensive holiday in Turkey from the 11th to the 20th.. What are your thoughts on travelling?

        Reply

        • Reply to Chris

  • Justin

    Thanks for the insightful article. I went this morning to get my Residence Permit for Employment, or rather apply for it. I woke up @ 04:30 to get to the office before they opened and was seen shortly after opening hours. The case worker hardly spoke English and I hardly spoke German so we had some issues understanding one another, especially since we are separated by a glass window. He took my paperwork and said wait for an e-mail and if I don't receive one, come back in a few weeks. He gave me an exact date to return because the Schengen Visa is soon to run out.

    The case worker said I had all the necessary documents and I made sure before I left. I tried to give him my credit card to let him know I wanted to pay for the application fee, but he said he doesn't need it and just wait for e-mail or come back on the date he mentioned. I am worried they won't process the application with out payment for fee and I also completely forgot a bio-metric passport photo. I tried calling the office which lead to no answers and having me call another number that no one answers.

    I am hoping I can get a knowledgeable answer as to if this is the correct procedure and have nothing more to worry about, in that my application is going to be evaluated properly. I need to begin job as soon as possible and already made my future employer wait longer than I feel comfortable. Any information is much appreciated.

    Reply

    • Reply to Justin

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      That's right! You only need to pay for the application fees when you receive the visa. I know because I went to collect the visa this morning. You're doing great so far! If something is missing, they'll invite you back. Contacting them is futile.

      Reply

      • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

      • Alejandra

        Hi! I wanted to ask if you also had to go super early in the morning to pick up the Visa and if you had any advice :)
        Thanks in advance!

        Reply

        • Reply to Alejandra

  • Jobi

    I guess small cities got less crowd, Is it better to choose a smaller city to live and process blue card?

    Reply

    • Reply to Jobi

  • Arun

    Germany’s got a bad reputation when it comes to bureaucracy - Disagree with this statement. It is the right thing to have to wait in line for your turn and to have the relevant documentation to get your requests approved. From my experience, if you have your documents right, this is the easiest place to get things done, unlike in other countries, where you need to start wondering about the bribes that you need to pay or the mood swings of the person that you are talking to

    Reply

    • Reply to Arun

    • Adam

      I think Arun works for the German government. Being asked to wait in line for hours in a sweaty room is wrong, we have the internet now, this shit should all be done online in a first world country. Moreover, it doesn't make sense to sign for a year lease on a rental so you can register it only to take the risk that you get a working visa in time to start a job you already accepted and signed on. It makes no sense, on so many levels.

      Reply

      • Reply to Adam

  • Leave a comment