A Visit to the Auslanderamt - Fun With Auslanders! - Germany

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mlovecan
Had a fun morning.

Didn't notice the address on the letter but went to the Auslanderamt office I had just been to a couple of months ago.

Saw a sign in the locked door into the place that just stated it had moved. Mentioned a new number on the same street ( numbers not being exactly a big thing in downtown Germany ). The first thing I thought was how helpful it would have been if they just had an arrow pointing in the direction of the new office.

Walked right past it as the office was in a new building that looked still under contruction. Came back to the building and went up an elevator to the second floor as stated in the building directory. When I got to the 2nd floor, all of the doors were locked and there was a sign indicating that you must enter the Auslanderamt through the buildings back door ( back down the elevator, out of the building and into an entrance in the building's back alley )!

I found it all quite amusing, especially knowing it was my last visit to the Auslanderamt for a long time. But I can just imagine how some poor soul from Pakistan or Africa must feel when he is directed to the back alley - not fit to come into the front door of the office building with the non-auslanders!

I really wonder how much of the treatment of poor auslanders is just some kind of oversight or rather somebody in the planning department is really showing contempt for those that wish to settle in this country!
Diane
I really wonder how much of the treatment of poor auslanders is just some kind of oversight or rather somebody in the planning department is really showing contempt for those that wish to settle in this country!
Believe me, most of you guys will never know what is like to be a 'real' foreigner in Germany, with this I mean, non-European and non-white.

The way people are treated when going to those offices for some document or something is beyond human standards, I know this from friends of mine and my own experiences.

I've been to offices like that only about 3 times and always with my German husband and the people serving in those places are rude and patronising beyond belief.
Even after 12 years of marriage they always imply that I might be married to my husband only to get a German passport. As if!

Last time my husband ended up threatening the guy that served us with publishing an article about the way people are treated in these places as the guy kept making really bitchy comments while stamping my passport for a 3 year visa and acting quite offended that my husband left Germany for so long to live in the UK.
He said I HAD to enroll in an integration course right there and then if I wanted to become a German citizen and he wouldn't let me go without signing so my husband told him that I wasn't interested anyway as we are not staying here permanently, then the guy was like: Oh, what's wrong with staying in Germany? etc, etc.

I'm glad I only ever have to go to those places every 3 years or so!
TT-Tripple Trouble
guy kept making really bitchy comments
He would do that only ones with me .
mlovecan
Believe me, most of you guys will never know what is like to be a 'real' foreigner in Germany, with this I mean, non-European and non-white.
Fortunately ( for the purposes of visiting that office ) I am white, though not European ( I am Canadian ).

I have previously only sent a visa specialist to get my visas. Now that I am at the permanent resident stage, they need to see me in person - so yesterday was only my second visit.

The office workers have been quite nice to me. So nice the visa specialist ( she came last time ) remarked about it in disbelief when we walked out of the office together. Somehow I think my good treatment is related to the fact that I am lily white in color and an "IT Worker". I get the impression that this combination has earned me quite a preferential treatment at the Auslanderamt.

I have noticed a difference between the service I get and what the non-whites have to deal with. I have no idea what goes on once the door is shut if you are non-white. But I guess that walking into the office building through a back alley ( right past the garbage bins ) is an indication . It really gives you the impression that they are setting the scene for you before you even enter the building.

I believe you Diana. I will never know what it is like to be a "real" foreigner in Germany. I feel sorry for anybody who is.

I was thinking when walking past the garbage. The building is quite new now and the only garbage I saw in it was of the construction nature. Once the building is fully occupied, the garbage would be of a different nature ( old food and stuff ). Being in a back alley in a downtown location, I can just imagine what it would be like to see a couple of rats as you walk into the building to see the Auslanderamt! Welcome to Germany, come on in and take a number!
eric the vicar
Oh, yes. The joys of the Ausländeramt. I didn't have too many problems with them myself. I live near a smaller town. The Ausländeramt is the cellar! However there's a nice man there who does everything to help.

But speaking to others in larger towns a typical story goes like this. You are first in the queue. The doors open at 8.30am. Everybody runs in and pushes in front of you. By the time you realise you should pull off a ticket, you're number 50 in the queue. Wait there all day. Then they shut up shop at 4.00pm without seeing you and tell you to come back tomorrow.
yebo
Diana,
It is with great interest that I read what you've written. My non-white friends are complaining about exactly the same thing. But most Germans simply don't believe this (even this friend's husband). I have never told this to my friends, but I've noticed that my visa was from day one issued for a longer period of time than theirs, etc, etc. I was told that they will consider me for citizenship after two years while my friends were told not to bother applying before 8 years...? Is it because I'm white or it could also be because I have a 'von' in my surname? I have also noticed that the officials are rude but when the see my surname they change completely. I find it all very sad, it is racist and does not belong in this country where they are quick to want to ask you about freedom and equality in a silly test.
MO33
Last time my husband ended up threatening the guy that served us with publishing an article about the way people are treated in these places
Your husband shouldn't have threatened to publish an article he should have DONE it. I can not speak for auslaenderamt but had some nasty experience at the arbeitsamt couple years ago even as a german you get treated as a second class person.
louise
I agree probably complaining is the right way to go, but you do feel vulnerable in those places because the Beamte seem to have almost unlimited discretion in how they 'interpret' the law, and although theoretically we have rights, I was advised by the Auslaenderbeirat not to pursue a complaint as foreigners always lose. In my case the Beamtin ignored EU law and gave me a very limited residence permit, because she 'disapproved of foreign scientists taking jobs from German graduates'. What did work was my boss, increasingly fed up of the way his foreign staff were being treated, making a formal complaint to the mayor about blatant racism in the Auslaenderbehoerde = all of a sudden all our problems disappeared.
MarkJC
I've witnessed this for myself in the Arbeitsamt. I was made redundant recently, and have already found a new job - but I'll be out of work for a month so I've had to go through all of the registration & red tape down at the amt. When I went in, I was one of the only 'whites' there, and certainly the only one in a suit. I was seen very quickly, and had quite a few 'Tuts' from the other people waiting as no sooner had I sat down before I was 'called'.

When i sat down with the woman & we started, I did my best to do it all in my broken (yet fluent when drunk?) german, and apologised to the woman saying I was still learning the language. She looked over at my fellow 'Arbeitslos' and commented 'Don't worry, Its better than any of THEM can do'. Charming people, really
Adi
I never have a problem with the German authorities. I don't understand why...

Purple Muffin
Christ I almost fell off my chair!!!

I need to renew my Aufenthaltserlaubnis now!
Ami in Berlin
Every time I go there I thank God (and I'm an athiast) that I can use the 'Non EU but still a friendly country' room. Things are much much more difficult for people from other countries, while with only one exception they have always been very friendly to me.
tsinkoy
Wow. Reading this is scaring me.

Any updates on this?
horseshoe7
Be happy if you're tall and blue-eyed.

Despite this trait, it's still easy to hate germans. Maybe this hate is amplified because in my home country you've learned through years of experience who's gonna be trouble before you even talk to them, and so you don't and thus don't have to deal with as many people that make your blood boil.

Every Amt is a crap shoot. In my experience I've found the Ausländeramt the most smooth running bureaucratic experience yet. Get there early, have every possible piece of paperwork with you, and don't back down if they start grumbling at you. Be polite, act like they are the king, but say "I read this on your website and it says i need this this this and this, not to forget that that that and that, here's a sample of my blood and I'm willing to be tattooed. But had I known I had to bring document X with me I would have."

You never know with those Beamten. Sometimes they're nice, sometimes they're not. It's good to go when they're on strike, or overworked. Then they don't get so petty - there simply isn't time.
Oblomov
A visit to the Ausländeramt may be even less enjoyable than other dealings with public administration and perhaps it is intentionally made that way. However, I do wonder how many here have ever seen their own country from the perspective of an immigrant. The perception of how welcoming their own may seem might change substantially in that case.
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