Returning and renewing Aufenthaltstitel

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Here is the background before the questions.  I moved to Germany in 2016 with my wife from the US and received a residence permit.  The language requirement was waived because I had a university degree. When I renewed my US passport in 2018 I had to get a new permit valid till April 2021.  In 2019 my wife and I split and I moved back to the US.  We're not yet divorced but soon will be (I filed in Texas).  Lately I've been thinking that I would like to live back in Germany for either part of the year or a year off and on.  My question is, what would be involved in renewing the permit?  Would I have to simply re-register my new residence in Germany and then apply for a renewal?  Would they not like that I've lived now 9 months outside the country?  What about language requirements?  I was probably A2 when I left, seems to me they said I needed B1 for a permanent card, but would I be able to apply for another temporary?  If anyone has any thoughts or similar experiences it would be greatly appreciated.

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I don't think you can renew an Aufenthaltstitel. At least, I, as a single person, can't. I will have to start over again, and I was so close the last time to being able to apply for a Niederlassungserlaubnis! Of course, this might be different for you, if your wife is German or there may be other reasons, too.

I don't know how that works, so maybe someone else will be able to help or give a TT link where this is mentioned.

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I received my Aufenthaltstitel last year.  Even though I have a BS degree from a U.S. university and my wife is German, I still had to provide an A1 language proficiency certificate in order to receive my three-year Aufenthaltstitel.  If I want to make it permanent at the end of three years, I have to provide a B1 language proficiency certificate and complete the integration course; otherwise, I start the process again for a three-year permit.  Apparently, there is no limit to the number of times I can apply for a three-year permit, but I think it will be less pain for everyone if I take the courses and provide the B1 certificate.

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10 hours ago, Buzznut3000 said:

Here is the background before the questions.  I moved to Germany in 2016 with my wife from the US and received a residence permit.  The language requirement was waived because I had a university degree. When I renewed my US passport in 2018 I had to get a new permit valid till April 2021.  In 2019 my wife and I split and I moved back to the US.  We're not yet divorced but soon will be (I filed in Texas).  Lately I've been thinking that I would like to live back in Germany for either part of the year or a year off and on.  My question is, what would be involved in renewing the permit?  Would I have to simply re-register my new residence in Germany and then apply for a renewal?  Would they not like that I've lived now 9 months outside the country?  What about language requirements?  I was probably A2 when I left, seems to me they said I needed B1 for a permanent card, but would I be able to apply for another temporary?  If anyone has any thoughts or similar experiences it would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

1.  Did you get the residence permit based on being married to a German citizen? 

 

If so, that residence permit, based on Family Unification, becomes invalid upon divorce.  If you were still here, and working, or able to support yourself independently of a job, you could apply to have your residence permit basis altered to employment-based or the like.  Since you are not, you would have to re-apply for a residence permit.

 

If you have minor German-citizen child/children who live here, you could apply for a new Family Unification residence permit on that basis, but it remains valid only if you are a care-giver/have frequent contact with the child/children.  If your only connection to Germany was a German spouse (no children), or you are estranged from your German child/children, you are SOL for this type of permit.

 

2.  You have been gone from Germany for more than 6 months, so your current permit is invalid, despite its future expiration date, unless you got special permission to be gone longer than 6 months, and are still within that window.

 

IIRC you must be physically present in Germany for more than 6 months per calendar year, and maintain health insurance, in order to keep a DE residence permit.

 

So, no matter what, it is highly unlikely that you can "renew" your existing permit.  You would have to re-apply.

 

3.  In order to get and keep a residence permit on your own, you will almost certainly be required to take an integration course, and eventually pass the B1 test (and be able to support yourself).

 

4.

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Lately I've been thinking that I would like to live back in Germany for either part of the year or a year off and on. 

 

Yeah, no.  The point of a residence permit is that you are RESIDENT.  You are expected to live here, work here, pay taxes here, maintain health insurance here.  Without special permission, if you are not here for at least 6+ months per year, you are not a resident.

 

If your goal is simply to stay in Germany part-time, on a periodic basis, you can do that as a US citizen without having to apply for a visa or permit, or meet any other residence requirements.  You are permitted to stay as a tourist, visa/permit-free, in the Schengen area for up to 90 days every 180 days, for a non-consecutive total of nearly 6 months per year.  But, you will not be able to get a (legal) job here as a tourist, and if you overstay, they won't let you back in for a year or two at least.

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7 hours ago, JG52 said:

I received my Aufenthaltstitel last year.  Even though I have a BS degree from a U.S. university and my wife is German, I still had to provide an A1 language proficiency certificate in order to receive my three-year Aufenthaltstitel.  If I want to make it permanent at the end of three years, I have to provide a B1 language proficiency certificate and complete the integration course; otherwise, I start the process again for a three-year permit.  Apparently, there is no limit to the number of times I can apply for a three-year permit, but I think it will be less pain for everyone if I take the courses and provide the B1 certificate.

 

They do it differently here in Rheinland-Pfalz, apparently.  I came here with a German spouse, and a child with German citizenship.  Even though I have a Master's degree from a US university, and met the A1 requirements, I was only given a 1-year Aufenthaltstitel, and immediately placed into an integration course.  I took and passed the B1 Prüfung, and my Aufenthaltstitel was renewed for two years upon expiration of the 1-year permit.

 

At the end of three years, I applied for a Niederlassungserlaubnis based on Family Unification with my child, and it was granted.

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23 minutes ago, Space Cowboy said:

They do it differently here in Rheinland-Pfalz, apparently.

And yet again differently down here in Konstanz I guess.

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Even though I have a Master's degree from a US university, and met the A1 requirements, I was only given a 1-year Aufenthaltstitel, and immediately placed into an integration course.  I took and passed the B1 Prüfung, and my Aufenthaltstitel was renewed for two years upon expiration of the 1-year permit.

I was never required to provide a language proficiency certificate or take an integration course, and I went directly to a 3-year residence permit in February 2020 after joining my spouse here 6 months before that.  🤷‍♀️

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3 minutes ago, BethAnnBitt said:

And yet again differently down here in Konstanz I guess.

I was never required to provide a language proficiency certificate or take an integration course, and I went directly from a 1-year to a 3-year residence permit in February 2020.  🤷‍♀️

 

It's also possible that my now-ex, who was my original Family Unification "sponsor," had a side conversation and told the local ABH that I wasn't planning on integrating or sticking around, so they put strict limits on the temporary permits.  That's unfortunately the sort of thing she would do :wacko:  When I applied for the Niederlassungserlaubnis, I had to get a sworn statement from her that I was in regular contact with my daughter.  She provided it, and then tried to walk it back.

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52 minutes ago, Space Cowboy said:

 

They do it differently here in Rheinland-Pfalz, apparently.

 

It appears, based on my conversations with recently retired friends, that there is one BAMF standard, but it can be interpreted differently at each Ausländerbehörde.  When I presented my application and supporting documents at the Ausländerbehörde, the agent verified the retirement income, assets, health insurance, and then removed the certified college transcripts and copy of the diploma, as these weren't needed.

 

I have a retired friend in Wiesbaden who can barely comprehend "Wo ist der Bahnhof?" and is married to a U.S. citizen working in Germany.  She had no problems receiving her three-year Aufenthaltstitel and has no intention of learning German beyond what she needs now.  She will reapply for the permit when the time comes if they are still living in Germany.

 

I have another retired friend near Grafenwöhr, who is married to a German wife, has two Master's Degrees from U.S. Universities, and has lived in Germany continuously for over 30 years.  He retired from the U.S. military as an officer and recently retired as a DoD civilian.  He conducted his Ausländerbehörde interview only in German, but still had to produce the A1 certificate for the initial permit and the B1/Integration Course certificates for the permanent permit.  Since he was an adjunct professor for three years at a German military school, he had no problem producing a C2 certificate, just to rub it in. 

 

I have another retired friend in Stuttgart who speaks German as well (or not as well) as I do and has a BS degree from a U.S. University.  He received his permanent permit with his initial application and was not required to provide a language proficiency certificate.

 

I suppose it's the luck of the draw based on where one lives and the mood of the interviewer.

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Another story: My husband submitted everything via email for the family reunification visa and the ABH actually scheduled my appointment past the time when my 90 day tourist visa would expire!  He sent an email about it and got no response.  I was very concerned and went to the ABH during open hours to drive this point home.  I was told "It‘s really no problem.  It‘s just a matter of a week.  And you are American.  If anyone asks for any reason direct them to me.  If you are really that nervous I can make a paper for you now to cover you until then.  Whatever you like."  I was quite stunned.  He was very busy and I said ok and left without the paper.  I guess this means a mother nationality would have had a problem?  I didn't feel good about that possibility.

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7 minutes ago, BethAnnBitt said:

Another story: My husband submitted everything via email for the family reunification visa and the ABH actually scheduled my appointment past the time when my 90 day tourist visa would expire!  He sent an email about it and got no response.  I was very concerned and went to the ABH during open hours to drive this point home.  I was told "it‘s really no problem.  It‘s just a matter of a week.  And you are American.  If anyone asks for any reason direct them to me.  If you are really that nervous I can make a paper for you now to cover you until then.  Whatever you like"  I was quite stunned.  He was very busy and I said ok and left without the paper.  

 

I had something similar.  I actually got a letter from the Einwohneramt in the town where we were registered, that said, in a nutshell, "You need to make an appointment with the ABH as soon as possible, or GTFO."

 

I called the ABH to make an appointment, and it was scheduled by them to take place several weeks after the 90-day tourist time was to expire.  Based on the seemingly threatening tone of the letter I had received, I commented to the ABH Beamter the same thing you did.  I got the same response, "You are an American - I don't care, and Frau Whatsername at the Einwohneramt won't either.  We only care that you called to schedule the appointment before the tourist time expires."

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4 hours ago, JG52 said:

I have a retired friend in Wiesbaden who can barely comprehend "Wo ist der Bahnhof?" and is married to a U.S. citizen working in Germany.  She had no problems receiving her three-year Aufenthaltstitel and has no intention of learning German beyond what she needs now. 

 

 

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I have another retired friend near Grafenwöhr, who is married to a German wife,

 

Do you realise that you are comparing apples to oranges?

 

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I suppose it's the luck of the draw based on where one lives and the mood of the interviewer.

 

I would suggest reading the actual law first. There are different legal requirements for family reunion to a German citizen and family reunion to an American citizen (use the search function I have explained this before).

 

 

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3 hours ago, engelchen said:

Do you realise that you are comparing apples to oranges?

 

I would suggest reading the actual law first. There are different legal requirements for family reunion to a German citizen and family reunion to an American citizen (use the search function I have explained this before).

 

I don't recall ever asking for assistance, but thank you for pointing out the existence of a search function.  It might come in handy some day if I need or want it.

 

Of course I realize the difference in fruit.  I used these recent examples only to demonstrate how the same BAMF rules are interpreted differently in at least four areas.  My interview in Gross-Gerau and my friend's interview in Grafenwöhr happened the same week.  While these were in different states with different agents, the same hammer was applied to these very different nails. 

 

By contrast, the agent in the Stuttgart office was satisfied that the applicant had a decent enough grasp of the German language and recommended the permanent permit, which he received four weeks later.  I doubt the differences are due to evolution of the process, given that these three interviews occurred within a four month window.  The differences might be due to local culture.  I am familiar with the law and have no problems with how my servicing ABH interprets it.

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