Unemployed - Options for Non-EU Citizen?

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I’m a 29-year-old American who has been living and working in Berlin for close to 1.5 years now. I’m here on a 3-year work visa (Aufenhaltserlaubnis 18 Abs.4.S.1 and 78a Abs.1) with the stipulation that the first 2 years of the visa are tied to my place of employment and after the 2nd year I am free to be employed anywhere without having to be sponsored.


The company that I work for is not doing so well and I expect there to be severe cuts within the next few weeks or even declaring insolvency by the end of the year. With this in mind, I would like to understand the full work visa and residence permit situation for a non-EU citizen who wishes to reside in Germany before any of these potential issues occur.


Since I have been working for this company for over a year and paying social benefits while on a permanent contract with a 3 month notice, my understanding is that I am entitled to unemployment benefits as long as I inform the employment agency in my area - https://www.berlin.de/willkommenszentrum/en/work-and-education/unemployment/


The above link states that “Those who lose their job and have been in employment subject to compulsory insurance for at least twelve months in the previous two years receive unemployment benefit I for the duration of up to one year” – how do they determine how long I will receive unemployment benefits for? I am assuming that I am eligible to stay in Berlin for the duration that I am receiving unemployment benefits for?


However, I have read that since my work visa is tied to my employer, I am not eligible to receive Arbeitslosengeld I since I do not have an open work permit. Is this the case?


Is it correct that even if I inform the local employment agency of my unemployment, I still need to contact the Ausländerbehörde to inform them of my situation since my work visa is tied to my employer? How will the Ausländerbehörde determine how long I can stay in Berlin for? What is the grace period from when I am officially unemployed to when I would have to leave Germany by if I do not inform the employment or foreigner agency?


Worst case scenario where I am nearing the end of the unemployment benefits and/or residence permit validity and I am unable to secure a job, what are my options then? From my research I can search for temp work, volunteer work, become a student, get married etc. I don’t foresee being unemployed for a long time but I would like to have a full understanding of my potential options. Thank you in advance for your help.



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