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Found 9 results

  1. Work culture clashes

    Hi all   Feeling extremely frustrated right now.   I work at a German firm in Berlin for almost two years now. I've been trying to adapt to the German work culture but not without difficulty. Not because I have no prior experience working internationally, with multidisciplinary international teams (multiple cultures, multiple languages) in a high steaks environment nor because I lack experience for my position.    There's a glass ceiling there - that's clear but it's not surprising (as anywhere else). But what is really getting me now is the cultural divide which basically translates in my mind to simple prejudice. I was literally told that the company (unofficially) hates working with foreigners since one has to teach them how the 'German culture' works. Meanwhile, German colleagues with less experience and less time in the company, albeit with the exact same position, have gotten raises twice now, others have had increased responsibility (climbing up), and haven't had to succumb to the micro-managing that I (or my other international colleagues) have had.    My issue is, I am finally and presently on vacation: on the first week, I got disproportionally angry calls on my personal mobile from my boss, asking me to come in for this or that and now, on the last week, I got a call again from them asking me to come back in tomorrow, despite the fact that I still should have until the end of this week for vacation - as agreed.   My German colleagues tell me that I should fight for my rights, this means constant discussions with managers, which to me is simply stressful and a waste of time and energy... it also doesn't bring much (for me). Also, this type of behaviour, constant arguing with bosses, is simply unprofessional as I see it. More often than not I feel that 'arguing' is just how Germans speak to one another... as in stereotype. As for my stereotype, Canadians are known for their politeness aka non-confrontational means of reaching the same results.   Another thought, that is coming slowly to me, is that this might not be so much about cultural differences but simply their ineffectiveness as leaders. But I can't tell... I doubt myself, maybe I'm not seeing something obvious about how they need me to communicate with them effectively.   In an attempt to try and better understand how Germans argument, I started watching a Youtube channel called the 'Best of Bundestag' https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkN8kMDOekn8uxxxsvwEnow - among others. It basically shows how German politicians get their point across. Politics is not my field but I found it to be informative, seeing how politicians of different countries argue... it does kind of mirror the everyday culture (see how they do it in the UK, or in Canada, or elsewhere). Or does it... well, it still doesn't directly mirror my office though... leaving me feeling stuck and frustrated.   I need more opinions... is this normal work culture anywhere?... am I just in a bad job situation?... have You also had difficulty fitting into the work culture here in Germany? Please tell me about it. I would love some perspective.   LG
  2. I am interested to know the implications of switching from a full time job to a phd position as a non-EU person.  If i am currently working with a blue card and wish to switch to a full time phd program also in industry, how will this change affect the status of my blue card? will I have to revert to being on a normal residence permit for students again? or can I continue to retain my blue card as a working phd student?   any advice on this is much appreciated. 
  3. Hello,    I am moving from Frankfurt to Berlin and holds a blue card residence permit. I am leaving my current job after 1.5 years of getting the blue card and very well aware that I have to notify and seek approval from Ausländerbehörde. My new job in Berlin also satisfies the blue card requirements, therefore, I asked my current Ausländerbehörde if they can update my Zusatzblatt (green supplementary document with company name).    Surprisingly, they are asking me to get this sorted from concerned authorities in Berlin and they can't do it even though I am still registered here and I will move to Belin next month (i.e. August).    My question is if I do it in Berlin, I will have to first register myself there, and then this file transfer issues from one Ausländerbehörde to another would probably take time. Can someone guide me if this is normal or what I can do in this situation?   p.s: I work in Frankfurt but my Ausländerbehörde is Groß-Gerau
  4. Hi everyone, I have a bit of a complicated situation and couldn’t find any info about it on the forums.  I work in Germany with a blue card for 23 months. My wife started her own company here on dependent visa and her business has been doing quite well. I want to quit my job and help fulltime to her. I was thinking to quit my job and freelance for her but as far as I understand I can’t keep blue card with a freelance-only job. What if she hires me as a fulltime employee from a salary above blue card limit? Can I keep my bluecard in this case? I know I can always change my visa to another visa category but I want to apply to permanent residency after 33 months. That’s why ideally I want to keep my blue card for a couple more months.
  5. Dear all,    I am a EU blue card holder looking to apply for a permanent residence permit later this year and I have a couple of questions regarding the requirements and application process.   First, I was wondering the calculation of the accelerated period starts. I understand that blue card holders can apply for a permanent residence permit at 21 months if they have B! language level and 33 months if they have A1 language level (according to section 19 a, passage 6 of the German Residence Act). I started working and paying into the social security scheme since April 2018. Between April to October 2018, my salary did not meet the blue card requirement. However, I switched to a different company that pays more (same profession) in November 2018, which qualified me to obtain blue card.The immigration office has issued a blue card in August 2018 as I already showed the contract with the new company with the higher salary.    Due to the above, I am not sure when the starting date is when considering the 21 or 33 months requirement for the permanent residence permit. Can anyone of you advise as to when the period starts:  August 2018 (when the blue was issued), or November 2018 (when the new job started)?    Additionally, as applicants are required to take the "Life in Germany" test (which I assume is the same as the naturalization test), but the language level can vary (someone with A1 or B1). Do you know if the test can it be taken in English?    Many thanks for your help. 
  6. I have been working here in Germany for almost three years under a blue card, and away from my family and friend for almost 8 years (of which 4 years in the UK). Now I'm planning to take a time off and leaving Germany for one year (for a country outside the EU) and spend as much time as possible with family and friends, then probably come back and continue working/living here. I discussed this with my employer, and he said that he is open to the idea of me working remotely for one year.    I read that the blue card can be maintained 12 months after leaving, and probably the same settlement permit (PR) received from a blue card (please correct if I'm wrong). I would like to get your opinion about the feasibility of my plans, would it be possible to spend a year outside Germany then come back? What should I keep in mind while planning this, would it be possible to not continue paying my health insurance, broadcast fees, taxes, rent ... while being away? and would it be better to opt for a PR or would renewing my blue card be more suitable for my plans? should I de-register? would it help to come spend a couple of days every now and then during this one year? Side note: Although my plans are for next year, I'm also thinking about start selling my furniture starting from now, as I read it is very hard to sell used furniture in Germany and people chose to give it away instead. I plan to rent a new place after coming back. Any advice about this would also be appreciated.
  7. Dear Toytown So I submitted my documents to have my employer updated and my visa renewed in early December. My visa was going to expire at the end of February They Auslanderbehorde Berlin said it would be ready before christmas. That date came and went. I waited and I started to asked for information in Late January and got no responses. I was able to get a termin in March but that got cancelled due to the virus.   I have now been sending these people emails every 3 weeks. They answered once asking for my name even though it was in the signature at the bottom. After that I have not received any responses and I have continued to try to get any information from them.   I reached out to a well regarded lawyer who basically said she was too busy to take my case.   I really need the visa renewed and most importantly I need to be able to leave the country.   Im not really sure what else to do as all efforts have failed. Does anyone know a lawyer or someone else who can put pressure on these people to get an answer.   In a related question I am hoping in August to apply for the permanent residency but since I was unemployed for about a year during the blue card period and I need to have 22 months of contributions to the rentnerversicherung I would have to back pay some money but no one seems to know exactly how much I owe. I tried to reach out to the german pension fund and even tried to get an acquaintance who works there to ask but no one seems to know who to even ask.   I really appreciate everyone's help.   thanks
  8. Hello, I think I am in tricky situation here, I have type-D visa and recently I have applied for the Blue Card in the Ausländerbehörde referencing my residence address, it is small Kreis near Frankfurt. But my Immigration File or documents are in the Frankfurt Ausländerbehörde. The small Ausländerbehörde had requested my immigration file from Frankfurt but it had not yet arrived. It have been a month or more since the date of my application and I am starting to be very worry. Is it normal that it is requiring so much time or do you think that it should be a problem with that ?   I have contacted many times my Ausländerbehörde and they are saying that they are just waiting for the immigration file to be arrived and every thing else is fine.   What should I do , is it a good idea to go to the Frankfurt Ausländerbehörde and to request them in person to send my immigration file to the other Ausländerbehörde ?   Marry Christmas to all!   Thanks
  9. After having recently (Oct-2019 to Jan-2020) undergone the painful process of applying and receiving my Niederlassungserlaubnis in the Munich KVR with an EU Blue Card, would like to share some (hopefully helpful) pointers--this is a long detailed post. The Munich KVR:  is extremely understaffed with short opening hours (check Google Maps reviews to get an idea of what awaits you).  The first thing they will tell you is: 'make an online termin/appointment'.  This is almost impossible as the calendar is generally fully booked for 140 days in advance (can only book 140 days in advance).  Occasionally people cancel their appointments and the database servers are updated sometime in the early morning.  I checked online almost every morning (from May 2019) at around 6-7am for over 2 months before finding one slot open 140 days later on 31 October.   The appointment:  Depending on the clerical worker processing your application, you can have a difficult time or a smooth application.  I ended up with a very strict person who spoke German very quickly and with little patience.  I came prepared with basically my life's documentation sorted into a folder, but was still missing two little details that required a lot of phone calls and running around. Required Documents: In my case, I had a EU Blue card for over 33 months (only the language requirement is different if one applies earlier after 21 months). Employer statement on employment duration and status.  This is a form that states how long you work at a company, your salary, and your status: Permanent, terminated, or on probation.  My employer thought it was enough to check only the 'Permanent' box, but the KVR required that they also check the other boxes to indicate that I was not terminated or on probation as well...    Three Months of Salary Payments Living Arrangements: Either rental agreement or apartment ownership.  For apartment ownership, had to show property tax documents that list address and size of apartment.  Also had to show the bank transfers to pay off the mortgage (this was new and not mentioned in the required documents). Pension Payments: From the Rentenversicherungsamt, I obtained a list of pension payments made over the past 3 years.  This was not enough--the official paper was missing the word 'Wartezeitauskunft'.  When we asked them to send this document, the Rentenversicherungsamt officer had never heard of it and we spent a lot of time trying to explain that the KVR requires this document.  In the end, they sent us the same list as before, but with the title of 'Wartezeitauskunft'--this was accepted by the KVR two weeks later. Language Certificate:  For EU Blue Card holders that have stayed in Germany for over 33 months, only an A1 certificate was required.  For my appointment, the clerical worker used at least A2/B1 level German to explain everything.  They were satisfied that in addition to the A1 certificates, I showed current enrollment in A2 classes at Goethe Institute. Current Passport and application form Biometric photo: There are some photomats in the U-Bahn station and in the KVR that takes photos that makes you look like an escaped convict, but would recommend going to a small photo shop to have one professionally done (around 15 euros). Payment of processing fee:  When everything is in order, the processing payment is paid at a kiosk nearby--either EC bank cards or cash. After the appointment: I was given a little piece of paper with the Niederlassungserlaubnis number and was instructed to check online for picking up the card in 6 to 8 weeks.  The online check did not work for my case.  After checking every day for several weeks after the 8 week period (including telephone checking) and getting close to end of my visa, I went to the KVR to apply to extend my EU Blue Card visa. The first try: As another reviewer put it, going to the KVR without an appointment is the equivalent of the German Hunger Games.  For the first try, we went to the International Professional Office at the KVR to check if we needed to extend my visa while waiting for the Niederlassungserlaubnis application.  We went on a Thursday (International Professional Office only accepts non-appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays now in 2020), arrived at 7:40 (50 minutes before opening) with a mob of 100 people already at the doors.  After the doors were opened, we ran up to the International Office, but were number 31 in line and were blocked as they will only process 30 individuals a day.  Fortunately, somebody had went to the wrong line and gave us their ticket when exiting (#27).  After waiting for another 2 hours, the clerical officer told us, we must first go to Wartezone 6 on the 2/F to get confirmation that the Niederlassungserlaubnis hasn't arrived yet--apparently the online and phone checks were not enough.  By that time, the waiting line at Wartezone 6 was over 200 people, so went back to work. The second try: The next day (Friday), the opening hours are earlier from 7:30am.  In order to not make the same mistake, we arrived early at 6:30am and were at the front of the doors (Entrance B).  At 7:30am, one door opens (it is somewhat random--not always the middle door), and the crowd surges forward--there is pushing, pulling, shoving, with everyone sprinting towards their Wartezones. One of us received ticket number 3, the other (with a separation of 2-3 seconds) received ticket number 19...16 people in 2-3 seconds... The Niederlassungserlaubnis:   After waiting for 10 minutes, we were called to a room to discover they did receive my Niederlassungserlaubnis (they explained that they don't have time to update the status online--which just leads to even longer lines). After signing a document and checking my passport, I received the Holy Grail and went out to have breakfast to celebrate.   In summary: Be patient, be nice, and bring a good book or a portable gaming device Bring all documents imaginable in an organized folder (when I initially applied for the EU Blue Card, I was told that my PhD was not accepted since the requirements were a Masters Degree which I fortunately had in my folder...sigh) Be early.  On the days that open at 730am, one hour early is enough; for days that open at 8:30am, better to be 1.5 hours early.   Hope this helps--I know I was looking for details in Toytown last year to match my case. Let me know if I forgot to mention anything or have questions relevant to my specific circumstances.   Ciao ciao