If you need to apply for a residence permit or renew a German visa, you must go to the Ausländerbehörde. There are two ways to go to the Ausländerbehörde in Berlin:

  • With an appointment
    Get an appointment online, then go to your appointment. It's often impossible to get an appointment in time. You must check Berlin.de again and again. Appointments are only released for the next 3 months. New appointments are released every day.
  • Without an appointment
    Go to the Ausländerbehörde early in the morning, and wait in line. If you arrived early enough, you will get a token. When the doors open, you will get an appointment. You could get an appointment on the same day, or in a few weeks. If there aren't enough appointments for everyone, you must try again another day.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: The Ausländerbehörde offers appointments online. Since December 16, it is NOT possible to queue outside and get an appointment1, 2. You must get an appointment online. Sometimes, translators can't come inside with you1. If your visa expires in a few days, contact the Ausländerbehörde by email, and you should receive an appointment. You can find more information on this page.

Which Ausländerbehörde should I go to?

There are two Ausländerbehörde locations. Each Ausländerbehörde offers different services, for different nationalities.

The Ausländerbehörde on Keplerstraße

The Keplerstraße office handles these types of residence permits:

  • Blue Card
  • Internship visa
  • Job seeker visa (for graduates of a German university)
  • Language course visa
  • Permanent residence
  • Research visa
  • Student visa
  • Vocational training visa
  • Working Holiday Visa

The full list of services is on Berlin.de.

The Ausländerbehörde on Friedrich-Krause-Ufer

The Friedrich-Krause-Ufer office handles these types of residence permits:

The full list of services is on Berlin.de.

How to get an appointment

Book your Ausländerbehörde appointment here

Enter your information, and the type of visa you need. You will see a calendar with the available dates. The calendar only show appointments for the next 3 months. You don't need to look more than 3 months in the future. Sometimes, the appointment page will show an error message. This happens often. Just visit the page again in an hour.

Most of the time, there are no appointments available. This is not a bug. Keep the calendar page open, and refresh it every 5-10 minutes. If you wait too long, you will need to enter all your information again. New appointments become available at random times. There are often new appointments early in the morning, between 6AM and 8AM.

Sometimes, the website crashes. This happens often. Just come back in a few minutes.

If your visa expires in a few days, contact the Ausländerbehörde by email. They should give you an appointment. You can find more information on this page.

Berlin Ausländerbehörde appointment booking form - part 1
Choose your nationality, and the type of visa you need
Berlin Ausländerbehörde appointment booking form - part 2
Enter your contact information, and your residence permit number
Berlin Ausländerbehörde - no available appointments
The appointment calendar. Most of the time, there are no appointments available.

How to go without an appointment

Coronavirus update: This is not allowed since December 16, 2020. You can't go to the Ausländerbehörde without an appointment. The only solution is to get an online appointment.

If you don’t have an appointment, go to the Ausländerbehörde before it opens, get in line, and wait until the doors open. Bring all your documents with you, just in case.

Each Ausländerbehörde has multiple offices (A, B, C, D...). Each office handles different types of visas. You must wait in the correct line. They are only open on certain days.

  • If you go to Keplerstraße, you must go on a Thursday1.
  • If you go to Friedrich-Krause-Ufer, you must go on a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday1.

There isn't always enough appointments for everyone. While you wait in line, you will receive a token. If you have a token, you will receive an appointment when the doors open. The appointment could be on the same day, or on a different date. If you arrive too late, you will not get an appointment, and you will need to come back on another day1.

This Facebook group tells you when you should get in line to get an appointment. Usually, you must arrive between 4AM and 6AM to get an appointment.

    You will wait outside. There are no bathrooms, no chairs, and no protection from the rain. There are small coffee kiosks nearby, but they are closed at night.

    Useful links:

    What happens during your appointment?

    When you got to your appointment, you must enter the correct Haus, sit in the correct waiting room, and wait until your number is called. The numbers are called on the television. When your number is called, you must go to the office number shown on the television.

    You will sit in front of an Ausländerbehörde employee and show your documents. This takes around 5 minutes. The employee will tell you to go in the waiting room again. They will call your number again in 10 to 40 minutes.

    Some Ausländerbehörde employees speak English, but many don't. Always bring a German speaker with you. Red Tape Translation and c/o Germany can go to the Ausländerbehörde with you.

    If your visa application is approved

    If you are lucky, you will get your new residence permit on the same day. You only need to pay for the residence permit, and you're done. A few weeks later, you will receive your electronic residence permit in the mail.

    If you are not lucky, you will get your residence permit in a few weeks. You will get an email or a letter that tells you to go to the Ausländerbehörde again. If your current visa is about to expire, don't panic! You usually get a temporary permit (Fiktionsbescheinigung). It lets you stay in Germany for a bit longer.

    Next, you must pay the fees. You will receive a plastic payment card (Kassenkarte). Bring that card to a payment machine (Kassenautomat). Follow the signs to find the payment machines. These machines only accept cash and EC cards1. They do not accept credit cards, Maestro cards, or foreign debit cards. If you don't have an EC card, you can get cash from this ATM, even at night.

    If your visa application is rejected

    If some documents are missing, you can often come back on the same day. In some cases, they will give you a new appointment in a few days.

    If your current visa expires soon, you might get a temporary visa (Fiktionsbescheinigung). It lets you stay in Germany a little longer.

    If you get a rejection letter later, it will ask for more information, or tell you that your application was rejected. You still have a month to respond or appeal. If this happens, you should probably hire an immigration lawyer.

    Related guide: List of English-speaking lawyers in Berlin

    Where to get help

    If you need someone to go with you, I recommend Red Tape Translation and c/o Germany. Kathleen and Johanna often help me with Ausländerbehörde questions. They also offer help sessions for visa applications.

    This Facebook group helps people who are trying to get an appointment. People say where they went, and how long they had to wait. This is the best way to get help.

    Useful resources: