Finally, last Thursday, I got my Residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel ) to live legally in Germany. It feels so different knowing that I’m not a visiting tourist anymore. I live here now, so to speak. My paperwork is done. As an Expat,paper work always come with every move and you know that feeling that you don’t really feel at home unless your papers are done, right?
So, as I shared in some of my posts that from the last 4 months, I was a trying-hard Expat wanting to fit-in as much as possible in my new German routines & lifestyle. It took exactly four months of processing, but it was a very neat wait and I think I have done a lot during those months! I started my application last June 27 and I received it last October 27, even falling on the same date. The Bureaucracy in Germany might be a shock to you if you are unfamiliar with German ways but comparing it with my observations from Gulf countries vs. Philippine Bureaucracy, I must say that Germany is rather structured when it comes to Immigration.
Are you planning to live in Germany to join your spouse?
I want to share with you my experience with Auslandbehörde for processing my residence permit. This is especially for Non-EU Spouses (Third World Country national ) who wants
planning to reside in Germany . To be able to join your EU/EEA/Switzerland Spouse/partner,these general conditions should be met and supported with proof of evidence ;
- Have a resident permit
- Have enough room for you (as judged by the German Auslandbehörde or Immigration’s office)
- Have sufficient & secure finances (again assessed by the Auslandbehörde)
My Application for German Residence Permit as a Non-EU Spouse (Third World Country National)
- Secure a valid Visa (depending on your nationality)
I came to Germany under a Schengen Visa valid for 90 days. Since my husband is an EU national, I entered Germany through the Right of Free Movement for EU/EEA/Switzerland nationals.This privilege is basically for Spouses & Family members of EU/EEA Nationals to live & reside in any Schengen country excluding their home country. I don’t have to submit a proof of German Language proficiency since this is not mandatory on my case, although in some cases, a Language proficiency certificate is required such as in Family Reunion Visa applications. Since I am holding a Philippine passport (Third World Country national), I needed only a valid Visa to enter Europe. I arranged my Schengen visa from the Dutch Embassy in Kuwait ,and arranged all German translations/ Attestation for our documents in the German Embassy in Kuwait. Another option is the Family Reunion Visa but this is a complicated & a tedious process for me.I am still holding a residence in Kuwait and we only have 2 months to prepare to move to Germany. If you will be coming from the Philippines, you need to check with the German Embassy for different requirements. You can choose which one work best for you.
2. Register in the local Town Hall (Rathaus) upon your arrival in Germany
Upon arrival in Germany, it is important to register in the Alien’s Office or the Auslandbehörde in your local City Town Hall or Rathaus. Look for the Registry Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) that is responsible for your community or your city neighborhood. Registering is a simple matter of going there and filling out a form.Your personal appearance is a must.
The following listed documents are required by the Auslandbehörde throughout the whole process of application of residence permit.
- Valid Passport
- 1 current biometric photo ( They may require another recent biometric photos in the latter part of application)
Photo properties : 35mm x 45mm, frontal shot with neutral facial expression and closed mouth, looking straight into the camera, light background. This is available in most Photo studios.
- Filled out form “Angaben zur Ausstellung einer Aufenthaltskarte” . (Note: All forms are in German)
- Proof of relationship (Original copy of Marriage certificate) with German translations and attested by the German Embassy, for us it’s in Kuwait.
- Proof of registered residence of the EU/ EEA /Switzerland national ( Passport & the Anmeldebestätigung)
- Proof of the right to free movement of the EU/EEA citizen
In individual cases, proof of the right of freedom of movement of the EU/EEA citizen may be required. You also need to bring the following documents of your Spouse;
- for employees: confirmation from the employer of the appointment or employment or his Bestätigung über Arbeitsverhältnis
- Health Insurance – ( You need a copy of your Anmeldebestätigung for you to apply for a Health Insurance) This is a mandatory requirement for all residents & Expats in Germany.
- Lease Contract or Mitvertrag –Proof of residence in Germany.
- Original copy of 3 months recent Pay slip ( of your Spouse)
- Sicherheitsbefragung für ausländer – you need to arrange an appointment for this and bring your Passport, & your Spouse or Interpreter’s passport & 1 biometric photo. This personal interview normally lasts about 45 minutes. In this security interview, it is very important to give accurate information since false statements could nullify your application and getting banned from EU.
3. Getting your Bescheinigung – This is a proof that you started the request for an Aufenhaltstitel (Residence permit) . All the documents needed for the application needs to be submitted within 6 months. If your visa expires within the processing period, this document gives you the right to stay in Germany , but not in other Schengen countries. My visa expired while my application was still in process so this documents gave me the right to stay in Germany until it was done.
Legal basis : Section 5 para.1 Freizügigkeitsgesetz/EU-FreizügG/EU
Note : If you leave Germany before receiving your Aufenthaltstitel,it would complicate your application so its best to stay and complete your residence application first til its done.
4.Reporting to Auslandbehörde to finalize & paying the Fees.-The following fees are assessed based on the actual technical effort:
- Up to the age of 24: 8.00 to 22.80 Euros
- Over the age of 24: 28.80 Euros
- Signing of the legal document attesting that you live together as married couple and living in the address that you declared.
5. Your eAT (Electronic residence permit/ Aufenthaltstitel )
Since 1st September 2011, the electronic residence permit is issued as a separate document in a credit card format.All Third country nationals will be issued with their own card.This card has an electronic ID function for business/activity conducted on the internet and machines. This card also supports electronic signatures for legally binding signing of digital documents. The eAT is only valid as long as you possess a valid passport or alternative document so keeping your passport in its validity period is very important. The validity of the eAT is determined by the kind of residence issued by the Auslandbehörde. In my case, I was granted for 5 years. After 5 years, I am eligible to apply for permanent residence if I wish to. I am also allowed to work, attend the Integration course and learn the language at my own pace. This allows me as well to open a bank account etc. I can travel across Europe & Schengen countries without needing a visa.
It is very important to become responsible Expats and be aware of our responsibilities as residents in a foreign country. Respecting their culture & abiding their laws is the least that we can do to become worthy of the privilege that was given to us to live and enjoy life with our families. My whole experience with the Auslandbehörde here in Bavaria is very professional & efficient. I must say that not all the things that I’ve read in the internet before was true but I ma sure its depending on case to case basis. Almost all the information is found online and you can inquire personally in the local Rathaus (City Town Hall).
Now its time to learn the German language seriously!
How was your experience doing your paperwork in your new country?
For those of you who are working on your residence permits, Goodluck!
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