How strict is the ABH likely to be about renewing a freelance permit?

9 posts in this topic

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?

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following this because my visa renewal is slated for October, and I'm also wondering how the ABH is going to handle the income hit freelancers will inevitably take due to COVID-19.

 

Best of luck with your appointment (whenever it is), and let us know how it goes!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you heard anything back on your renewal? Apparently, you're supposed to mail in the application with all supporting documents.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where did you hear that?

 

According to the FAQ, you still need to come for a meeting in person. There's nothing about mailing in supporting documents.

 

I filled out the category 1 form, just my name and address, and passport/permit numbers. It said they will invite me to an in-person meeting, whenever they resume doing that. It gave me a certificate saying my permit remains valid until their decision, but only if I come to the meeting. In the meantime I can't leave and re-enter the country. That was three weeks ago, I haven't heard anything yet.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an update - on 30 April I got an email saying I have to come for an in-person meeting, "Vorladung zur Vorsprache". There was a list of documents and forms etc. in the email, which is different from the list I got in the confirmation when I registered to get an appoinment, both of which are different from the list on the website, and all of which are different from what I was told in the previous email last year. Some of them are definitely the wrong forms.

 

I went, but there wasn't any meeting. In Berlin, it's set up outside in "tents", temporary portable buildings, next to the normal building you used to go to. I made the mistake of standing for a while in the long lineup trying to get into the main building, that's for people without an appointment in emergency situations. It's the other entrance to the right of the building.

 

I went into the portable and they just took my passport and documents and put them in a plastic envelope, gave me a receipt and an appointment to come back next week and get them back, with their decision; maybe a new permit, maybe not. Seems like there's no chance to explain anything (like why I don't have to give the forms they said I did), or ask questions. That doesn't bode well, to me. I had written a two-page letter about various things, hopefully that will be enough. I guess I'll see next week.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 18/05/2020, 17:51:49, sumguy said:

I went into the portable and they just took my passport and documents and put them in a plastic envelope, gave me a receipt and an appointment to come back next week and get them back, with their decision; maybe a new permit, maybe not. Seems like there's no chance to explain anything (like why I don't have to give the forms they said I did), or ask questions. That doesn't bode well, to me. I had written a two-page letter about various things, hopefully that will be enough. I guess I'll see next week.

 

Any update? Did they give you a GüB, a Duldung, or an extension?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got the permit renewed! Thanks for asking. They back-dated it to the expiry of my last Fiktionsbescheinigung, so it's good until late December 2021.

 

I went back a week after handing in my papers and the person behind the glass in the tent - who was obviously just a helper and not someone who was actually working on cases - dug through some boxes, found my file, and just said "here you go..." - no discussion at all the whole time, and nothing written from them about it. So if you need to get a renewal, be sure to write a letter if there's anything you need to say. And be sure to hand in everything required.

 

The answer to my original question seems to be that they won't be especially more strict than usual. In other words, they're not just kicking out as many people as possible on technicalities. I was worried that the virus would be a lot worse than it has been, with hospitals overflowing, and they'd try to send immigrants away. Thankfully that wasn't the case. The fact that I had no income to show so far in 2020 wasn't grounds for rejection either, so in that sense they were more lenient than usual, at least in my case. I had earned (barely) sufficient income in the previous years, and I submitted legitimate letters from people who had paid me for past projects saying they intend to pay me for work coming up later this year. It's going to be a very lean year, but at least there's a lot less uncertainty for me now... what a relief!

 

 

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's excellent news, congrats! I've had two friends who just received theirs in the last month, and one of them had just got Soforthilfe. I'm far less nervous about renewal than I was previously.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now