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  • Location Berlin
  • Nationality Canadian
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  1. According to the immigration office, it's not possible, but also not necessary, to request an extension to a tourist/business Shengen visa at the moment:   The bottom line is that your friend is granted an extra three months to leave the country, without needing to do anything.   The first general regulation about the coronavirus was issued by the immigration office and became valid on March 24th. It's intended to prevent unregulated stays by foreigners through no fault of their own:   My interpretation is that there is no extension of the visa, which for your American friend is automatic and has a maximum validity of 90 days out of the last 180. But without applying for an extension, the deadline to leave Germany is set a further three months after the expiry of the visa. She is expected to try to leave Germany as soon as possible after the usual travel visa expiry, because she has no legal right to stay. But if she meets the requirements (will be in Germany the whole time etc.) there will be no punishment if she's unable to leave, for up to three months after the expiry.   Here's an unofficial translation by me (ok, mostly by of the relevant sections about Schengen tourism/business trip visas:   3) Holders of Schengen visas for visiting or business purposes (so-called tourist visas, type C, § 6 para. 1 no. 1 AufenthG) whose validity expires between 18 March 2020 and 17 June 2020 are automatically granted an exit visa period of 3 months, calculated from the expiry of the visa's validity period pursuant to § 50 para. 2 in conjunction with § 51 para. 1 no. 7 AufenthG. § 59 paragraph 1 sentence 4 AufenthG. This applies to all foreigners who have actually been in Berlin at the time of the expiry of the visa and who are also staying here until their departure. [...] III. Due to the restrictions on travel in Germany and in Europe, numerous holders of Schengen visas are currently prevented from leaving the Federal Republic through no fault of their own. Since Schengen visas are issued for a limited period of time with fundamentally different periods of validity, it would require a decision on a case-by-case basis as to whether the visas could be extended under Article 33 of the Visa Code. The maximum duration of stay and the maximum period of validity would have to be taken into account. Even these individual case examinations cannot be guaranteed with certainty for the duration of the ordered infection prevention measures. Holders of expiring Schengen visas are thus obliged to leave the country without a valid residence permit pursuant to Article 50 (1) of the Residence Act. Since the persons concerned are prevented from leaving the country through no fault of their own, the Aliens Department can initially carry out an examination in accordance with § 50 Para. 2 in conjunction with § 59, paragraph 1, sentence 4 AufenthG to set a deadline for departure. By setting an exit deadline, the stay is still carried out without the required residence title contrary to § 4 par. 1 sentence 1 AufenthG, but it is not punishable under § 95 par. 1 no. 2 AufenthG. The group of persons pursuant to No. 3 only includes persons who are actually in Berlin at the time of the expiration of the visa's validity period and who will also stay here until departure. The restriction of the group of persons is made to delimit the responsibilities under the law on foreigners. The State Office for Immigration does not intend to make any regulations for foreigners in other areas of responsibility. In this respect, even short-term immigration or emigration within the period of validity of this regulation should be avoided.   There's an English translation of AufenthG here:    
  2. ALG / Help for Freelancers Affected By Corona Virus?

    Well, it generally never makes sense to listen to anything that random anonymous people on the Internet say, including you or I.   But you can read the relevant laws:   § 5 Abs. 1 AufenhtG - (1) The granting of a residence title shall generally presuppose 1.  that the foreigner’s subsistence is secure;   § 2 Abs. 3 AufenthG - (3) A foreigner’s subsistence is secure when he is able to earn a living, including sufficient health insurance coverage, without recourse to public funds. Drawing the following benefits shall not constitute recourse to public funds: 1.  child benefits, 2.  children’s allowances, 3.  child-raising benefits, 4.  parental allowances, 5.  educational and training assistance in accordance with Book Three of the Social Code, the Federal Education Assistance Act or the Upgrading Training Assistance Act, 6.  public funds based on own contributions or granted in order to enable residence in Germany and 7.  payments made in accordance with the Act on Advance Maintenance Payments.   It doesn't actually say you can't get public funds, but if you do (other than the exceptions listed), the conditions for your residence permit are not met. It's not obvious to me that the Soforthilfe II funds fit into any of the exceptions, so at this point I'd assume that it would invalidate a foreigner's residence permit (or at least prevent it from being renewed the next time), unless they announce specifically that it doesn't.
  3. ALG / Help for Freelancers Affected By Corona Virus?

    Fritsen, I think you're probably right to assume that you're not eligible. I doubt that it has anything to do with whether you pay income tax and health insurance - obviously you have to do that anyway. I hope I'm wrong, because I'm in the same situation, non-EU with a freelance Aufenthaltserlaubnis, and a lot of work has suddenly vanished. It would be nice to have a cushion for that... but it looks unlikely to me. I think I'll be lucky if they even renew my permit, due to the reduced income.   According to this: you have to show that you're also claiming all other forms of assistance possible, like Harz IV, etc., and whatever you receive from those eventually will be deducted from the Soforthilfe II amount. It's meant at least in part to be an unbureacratic emergency cash first aid, until people can work through the usual system, which is going to be overloaded. So it's closely tied in with the other social assistance schemes. Even if you were able to get some money from it, I would assume the next time you go to renew your permit, it would be refused. In my experience that's the main thing they're looking for, that you won't ever go on social assistance.  
  4. I just realized that I made a mistake of a few days between my non-EU freelancer permit expiry and making an Ausländerbehörde appointment. That and some income issues have me worried I won't be able to get it renewed.   I've been freelancing in Berlin and living in the same apartment for well over a decade. I'm lucky that I'm able to stay at home as the coronavirus hits. My age makes going to the supermarket scary, so the prospect of being kicked out of my home and having to relocate overseas right now is a bit terrifying. I'm sure lots of others are in the same boat, and worse. I wondered if anyone has some insight into what kind of leniency might be expected from the ABH, if any?   My Aufenthaltserlaubnis (§21.5) expired over a year ago. I had a Fiktionsbescheinigung that was good until the end of 2019 because I had failed to get my tax documents together. I finally sent them and on December 29, I booked the earliest appointment, for March 26 (today), which should extend the validity. The appointment was just postponed to an unknown date by the ABH due to the virus, and it should also be extended until then. But I just realized that the Fiktionsbescheinigung actually expired on December 24, five days before I made the appointment. How likely are they to look the other way about that? What happens if they don't? Do I need to hire a lawyer?   My income is low, under 15k average the last few years. But I can get by and pay my rent and health insurance. Several projects have been cancelled recently because of the virus though, and I haven't been paid anything yet in 2020. I could live off some retirement savings for a couple of years if necessary. I still have projects that will likely come through in a few months, I can get letters of intent but not actual contracts. I wonder if the ABH is likely to be lenient about uncertain or reduced freelance income due to the pandemic? Or maybe extra strict and send foreigners away so they won't burden the system?