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:

    When the doors open

    When the doors open, they let people come inside in groups of 301. You will get a ticket with a number on it. When you have a ticket, you must go in the waiting room, and wait for your number to be called. There are multiple waiting rooms. Make sure you are in the correct one.

    The numbers are called on the television. When your number is called, you must go to the office number shown on the television.

    Your number will be called a first time. 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 20-40 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. I personally recommend their services.

    If your visa application is approved

    If you are lucky, you will get your new residence permit immediately. 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 visa 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 that lets you stay in Germany for a bit longer.

    If you need to pay something, you will get a plastic card. You must bring that card to a payment machine in the same building. You put the card in the machine, then you pay with your credit card or debit card.

    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 other cases, they will give you a new appointment in a few days.

    If your Schengen visa expires soon, but your permit application is incomplete, you won't always 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's 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 rejection letter, it will either ask for more information, or tell you that your application was not approved. You will still have a month to respond or appeal. At this point, you should probably hire an immigration lawyer.

    Where to get help

    If you need someone to go with you, I recommend Red Tape Translation and c/o Germany. Kathleen and Johanna regularly help me with Ausländerbehörde questions.

    There is a Facebook group for 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: