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  1. In case this information is useful to others, here I share my experiences at the Ausländerbehörde last week, applying for permanent residency due to brexit. I was stressed by the lack of information before I went, and didn't find much information here. So maybe this will help those who haven't yet had their appointment.    it didn't take me long to find the right waiting room, although there are many in the building. I would allow approximately 10 minutes once at the building to climb the stairs and locate the room. It's also important to get off at the correct underground exit, assuming you arrived that way. The building is not obviously official, though it does have a plaque on the gate with the correct name.  it's opposite a beautiful garden with fountains, which is a nice place to go once you've finish there.    I think that at the at the moment they're only seeing people who have lived in Germany more than 5 years. I'm in that category. Everybody else in the waiting room with me at the Ausländerbehörde was too, and some of them had already been granted permanent residency, and were coming back for their children.    I prepared a lot of paperwork, including a letter signed by my employer which confirmed my employment, also previous tax returns, Anmeldungs,  health insurance certificate, bank statement, employment contracts past and present, and more. I had actually got new private health insurance, and finally settled old self-employed income taxes in preparation as well.    However none of this appeared to be necessary once at the Ausländerbehörde.  during my appointment last week the only thing which was requested was the completed residency application form, and my passport. I was called into the room twice within the space of about 15 minutes, and spent no more than 90 seconds in the room itself. First time in, my documents were requested. Second time in, I got my passport back with the permanent residency included. No questions asked. I had taken a native German friend to act as a translator, but this turned out to be unnecessary. The person I dealt with spoke English to me and had no problem or resistance doing so, though only a few words in total were ever exchanged. I suppose other workers there may not offer English, hard to say.   I do not know how much of the information and documents that I brought with me had already been checked online or with other relevant agencies before I arrived at the appointment. It's possible that the work I did with my taxes and new insurance plan had an influence, and that my residency and income had also been pre-checked. It's also possible that all the paperwork I brought was irrelevant, and that they would have given me permanent residency whether I had Anmeldung, insurance, etc or not.  I just can't say.  Maybe they just waved me through because I was the second appointment of the day and they were keen to avoid delays. My friend and I wore suits and were deliberately polite, which theoretically could also have had an influence. I just don't know.    overall the experience was Swift and efficient. The process went very well, there were no Surprises, and I was delighted to get my residency. There was no evidence of stress or chaos on the part of the authority, as has been suggested in the local Media. The impression I got was that this process was mostly a formality. There was no suggestion of an interview, and if you read the email or letter you got carefully, it refers to an invitation rather than any kind of examination.     I hope this account helps somebody, and wish anyone who is anxiously awaiting their appointment good luck.
  2. Hi all,   So 10 weeks ago I submitted my application via email to the ABH in Berlin (the one that handles blue card holder requests.)  I didn't get an auto-reply so I emailed them asking if they had received it.  They said they had and it would be worked on in the order it was received.  My partner who is german said the tone of the letter implied I should not email them again with questions. If by chance, any of you have submitted a similar request since early November and have already received the appointment date, I'd be super interested in hearing from you.  I'm really concerned the application has gotten lost.    Also, if anybody can provide me with some comparative time lines or stories from their own emailed application for the Niederlasungserlaubnis, I'd appreciate it.   
  3. Hi there,   My situation is unique and complicated but I desperately need some insight.    I am American, came to Germany on a student visa for my masters. It was issued in Bavaria, valid for 1 year. About 9 months later, I moved to Berlin for a Praktikum for 6 months. My student visa was set to expire during my Praktikum, so I extended it for one more semester while in Berlin, aka another 6 months. When I completed my Praktikum, I moved back to Bavaria to finish my, now 4th, and final semester. My studies ended about 2.5 weeks before my extension visa was going to expire, so I applied for the 18-month post studies job seeker permit during that time. I was instead given a Fiktionsbescheinigung, valid for 6 months, to hold me over until I received my diploma in print.I had also informed them with a letter from my university that I had completed my studies, and it would take a few weeks to get the grades back, and another few weeks for the actual diploma to be printed. This Fiktionsbescheinigung then allowed me to travel in the meantime, and I left the country a total of 4 times after receiving it (i.e. went through border control).    Now, here's the tricky part. The local ABH asked for my official diploma about a month after I applied for the 18-month job seekers permit/finished my studies. It was not ready for print yet from the University, so my University advisor sent the ABH documents to prove I had passed the course and told them my diploma would take a few weeks to print, etc. They said this was not sufficient. Another month rolls around and my diploma finally comes in. I submit it shortly after. One month later, I get another letter saying my documents still aren't sufficient and to submit more (i.e. the University stamp wasn't clear enough, and more information about my bank statements). This runaround of events goes on for about 3 months. The ABH sends me letters asking for more documents, I send the requested documents, wait for 4 weeks, another letter comes, and same thing. This continued 5 months into my 6-month Fiktionsbescheinigung, only then did the ABH decide to call me in for a 'consultation.' And in case you're wondering, this office does not answer phone calls, emails, and is closed to the public, no online appointments, etc. So yes, I did try to contact them - many times. Furthermore, they billed me for the permit about 2 months ago, yet I still do not have it.   At this so-called consultation, the officer told me that my insurance wasn't correct (??? no mention of this in any prior letters) and told me to straighten that out, send those updated documents back to her, and I was good to go.   I do all of this, get it sorted. No response for about 4 weeks and my Fiktionsbescheinigung has finally reached its 6 month mark.   Since then, I've gotten an attorney to help me but the ABH has only told her that I'm here illegally and should've left the country the day I got my diploma in the mail (?? what?) Although none of my letters from them state this, nor was I told this in writing or in person at the ABH when they issued my Fiktionsbescheinigung. They also told my lawyer since I'd already been rejected, it wouldn't entitle me get my money back for my non-existent permit so goodbye 98 euros. The ABH also argued that because I was issued an extension in Berlin, I was ineligible for a new permit in Bavaria since they're honoring my Fiktionsbescheinigung, and not my application for the 18-month job seekers visa. Not sure what Berlin has to do with this, but my application was submitted in Bavaria, and my Fiktionsbescheinigung was issued there as well. None of their arguments make much sense, both logically and legally.   My attorney will be representing me in a hearing in a few weeks with the ABH to explain my case. I'm just wondering if anyone else has been through something similar and what to expect? I have so many questions that remain unresolved and don't add up. (i.e. Why ask me to come in for a consultation if I was supposed to be back in the US? Why did I never get anything in writing stating I had to leave? If I was here illegally, why was I allowed to leave and re-enter legally 4 times? Why did the officer make no mention of me being here illegally during our 'consultation?') My lawyer admits that the ABH was in the wrong and wasn't consistent with me, but this may not matter regardless.   Furthermore, does being rejected from this produce problems for applying for future status or permits, either in Germany or the EU as a whole?   Any insight is greatly appreciated. And apologies for the long post. Thanks.
  4. Can anyone offer any information about Hamburg offices. I will apply for my permit residency due to Brexit. Uk living in Germany since 2013. I am married to my husband who is Germany and we both live in Hamburg. I am self employed so my german skills in language are poor as i know the absolute basics. This worries me as it says you need adequate german skills to get the permit. I already have a permit got this when we got married in 2013 but i now need the permeant permit. I have private health insurance, i have a german driving licence , UK passport. Tax returns are join with my husband. Any info would help as i am really worried i wont be accepted.