How We Climbed Up a Mountain and Came Down a Hill

Global Life © 2014 Stefanie Neumann

Dieser Beitrag ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar.

A while ago we have been at the alien’s office to extend Kim’s residence permit entitling.

A little over a year ago we applied for a residence permit going beyond the regular three months of a visa for him for the first time.  In this post you got a little view on the administration mountain we had to climb.  To get the one year residence permit entitling we still had to pass some challenges.  The information we got from the authorities had often been incomplete, contradictory or simply incorrect.  They denied us appointments for our meetings.  So Kim had to get in line outside the closed building at 3 AM to make sure he gets a number for meeting somebody at the office at all, that day. But sometimes we also met very friendly people who take their work and the people who come to see them seriously.  That always gave us courage.

For this time we aspired more ease for the path.  We spent a wonderful year together.  We grew even closer.  Our love for ourselves and for each other grew even more.  We continuously followed our heart’s compass and could experience how much more ease it brings when we do so and simply allow the best for us.  The major part of the work is basically to let the programmes of fear and old Energy pass by without feeding them  –  and over and over again remember where the heart really leads, instead.

We did this work.  Over and over again.  And we are still doing it.  Additionally we contacted the alien’s office via e-mail as soon as we had our wedding appointment in Denmark to inform them and inquire on how our next step looks to extend Kim’s residence permit entitling.  The reply of our e-mail contact person was short:

“You have to take your marriage certificate and your spouse and attend at the office.”

Well.  Take the marriage certificate and attend the office together.  Will do.

Right after the wedding when we returned from Denmark Kim mailed to the alien’s office once more, and asked for an appointment for the 12.12.2013.  Our Enquiries for an appointment had always been rejected so far, yet, this time we simply opened for the best potential.  Lo and behold!  We got an appointment right at 8 AM.  The e-mail contained details about the time and the room we were supposed to attend.  Additionally we were noted that Steffi as Spouse also had to attend.  Rightyo!

We arrived at the office sharp to the minute and met a very nice clerk who was freshly married herself as we learned later.

Her first question was if we had already filled in the application form for extension.  –  Huh, what?  What application form?  The gentleman whom we had e-mailed with did not even tell us that.  Well, no worries, it is a relatively short form written in German, English and French.  So it was a quick catch-up.  And we had brought the marriage certificate and our IDs, anyway.

Additionally we separately had to answer a questionnaire about our marital community.  They want to make sure that everything is in order and the marriage was entered by both on free will and out of love.  As the questionnaire is in German I even was allowed to help Kim with the translation which surely is not a given as they want to make sure that everybody is answering the questions themselves and without interference.

Then, the Lady at the office wanted to know how far Kim was with his German course and if he had brought the certificate of his passed B1 test.  –  The certificate needs to be picked up at the language school  –  which is virtually at the other end of town.  As we had so much going on, we had not done that, yet.  Had we known that we would need it for extending Kim’s residence permit entitling we would have taken care of that before our appointment at the alien’s office, of course.  Unfortunately nobody told us.

Explanation:  The passing of the B1 test at the integration course (that is the course Kim had taken to learn German) states that you know the basics of German colloquial speech.  If you have not passed this test yet, the residence permit entitling will only be extended for 18 months with marriage, bound to the condition to do the corresponding course.  If you have the B1 certificate the residence permit entitling will be extended for three years without troubles.  Only premise for the continuously validity of the entitling is merely that our marriage persists.  And, of course, that Kim abides by the law.  –  That is always a premise for a residence permit entitling.

We agreed on that the friendly clerk would prepare everything for us and we would hand in the B1 certificate as soon as possible.  Then she would send the completed application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin.

Finally she was asking for a biometric passport photo…  –  How, we need another one?  Nobody told us that, either.  Something we otherwise would have loved to do in advance, as well.

Ultimately Kim and I decided that we would go to Kim’s school in Wandsbek subsequently to the appointment at the alien’s office in Altona to pick up the B1 certificate and find a photo studio on the way back to create the required passport image.  I apologized several times to our clerk and explained that prior to the appointment we specifically had written an e-mail to inquire what we would need for extending the entitling.  She was very understanding to the situation and allowed us to knock on her door without another appointment on the same day to hand over the missing documents, as soon as we would have them.

The ride by public transportation to Wandsbek went smoothly.  I finally could see Kim’s school and meet the manager with whom I used to talk on the phone so often.  Close to the school is a shopping mall where we found a photo studio to create Kim’s passport pictures.  The photographer was very kind and even encouraged Steffi on her path into photography.  That was a nice bonus.

Back at the alien’s office everything went really quick.  Our friendly clerk cropped the passport photo (the offices in Germany prefer to do this themselves), made a copy of Kim’s B1 certificate and issued the temporary residence permit entitling.  That one is valid for three months and served as transitional document until Kim would receive his proper residence permit entitling in about four weeks’ time.  He would be notified this by a letter from Berlin.  In Hamburg Altona, you then take the letter to the alien’s office on a Wednesday ante meridiem to pick up the entitling.  With a written authorisation it is also possible that another person of trust does that.  You have to bring along the passport of the applicant and the old residence permit entitling.  –  I am writing it that detailed here, because it might help others who yet have to run through this process.

Oh, at the end we were allowed to pay 110, – Euros for the new residence permit entitling.  That is another thing which the gentleman whom we had e-mailed with in advance had missed to point out.

Because of the German-Danish agreements on legalization (Deutsch-Dänisches Beglaubigungsabkommen) a marriage performed in Denmark has to be accepted without a post notarisation (Nachbeurkundung) in the German marriage register (deutsches Eheregister).  Some people at the public authorities don’t know that right off, either, and I have heard about problems regarding this.  Obviously our clerk knew all about it and everything was easy.

The German authorities may require a legalization of the marriage certificate – a so-called apostille which according to my information can be obtained via the Danish ministry of foreign affairs (Außenministerium). Such an apostille can be required but doesn’t have to.  Our clerk supported our path of ease and did not require any further time- and money-consuming procedures.

Additionally we learned from the very friendly clerk who completed Kim’s application with us that you can absolutely get appointments at the alien’s office in Altona if you announce it about two weeks in advance.  Thank you very much!  That is good to know.

After the announced four weeks Kim got his letter from Berlin with the information that his electronic residence permit (eAT) has now been sent to the office in Hamburg.  That a document is sent by the sender does not mean that it already reached the receiver nor that it is processed by the same. So we wrote another e-mail to the alien’s office to validate that everything is in order and find out when we can pick up the proper residence permit entitling.  It actually took another three weeks and two more e-mails until we got a gruffly answer from our e-mail contact person.  Obviously it was not to their liking that we stood in for ourselves and had not made a secret of the unreliable information habits we had encountered before.  Anyways!

While last time we climbed a steep mountain to obtain Kim’s residence permit entitling, we rather found ourselves on a hill, this time.  True, it still was a little arduous to reach, yet it provides a wonderful view.


Verbreite Deine Liebe - Spread Your Love

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