CORONA-VIRUS IN BERLIN

Content

FAQ on handling and processing applications during the corona pandemic

(last updated on November 19, 2021)

Services

Yes, Berlin Immigration Office is open. Owing to Covid-19 and for reasons of protection against infection we serve customers in general only with pre-booked appointments. The following applies to our customers in detail :
  • Syrian nationals and stateless persons / persons with undetermined citizenship from Syria
    • Services are only available with pre-booked appointment. Additional appointments for urgent cases will be released always on Friday every 2 weeks for appointments on the following Wednesday.
  • People in an ongoing asylum procedure or with an obligation to leave the country
    • If you are in possession of a certificate confirming permission to remain pending an asylum decision (Aufenthaltsgestattung), have a temporary suspension of deportation status (Duldung), a border crossing certificate, a so-called L4048 certificate under Section 84(2) of the German Residency Act, or a certificate on the confiscation of a passport please register with the online form on our website.
  • Qualified skilled workers, education and training programs, school attendance, studies, scientists and researchers and their family members
    • For urgent cases the units B 1 and B 2 release daily short-term online appointments for Mondays and Tuesdays on a daily basis.
    • In addition every Wednesday afternoons hundreds of fast lane appointments for the following Thursday at Keplerstraße will be released.
  • Persons in possession of a residence permit for family and humanitarian reasons, au-pairs, self-employed persons, participants in voluntary services or working holiday programs and holders of permanent residence permit
    • Services are available with pre-booked appointments. For urgent cases waiting numbers are issued at our location in Friedrich-Krause-Ufer 24 during regular opening hours (Mondays and Tuesdays 7am to 2pm and Thursdays 9am to 5pm).
  • Unlawful entrants with a certificate from the police or the main customs office
    • Department R issues waiting numbers. You receive waiting numbers at our location in Friedrich-Krause-Ufer 24 from the employee at the gate window during regular opening hours (Mondays and Tuesdays 7am to 2pm and Thursdays 9am to 5pm).
  • If you need to travel and you are in possession of a temporary residence permit together with a valid passport, please send an email including your travel dates and the reason for your travel to the unit responsible for you. We will process your request to verify that you can receive a certificate that enables you to travel. Please note that due to the long production we cannot issue travel documents for tourist travel.
  • In addition you can reach the Berlin Immigration Office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9am and 3pm, and on Wednesdays and Fridays between 9am and 12pm by calling 90269-4407 or 90269-4408.
  • Owing to the pandemic outbreak of Covid-19 the following hygiene measures are in place for your benefit:
    • Please wear a mask of the standards KN95/N95 or FFP2 as soon as you enter the service building.
    • If you can prove with a medical certificate that you are exempt from the mask requirement, you can visit in person in accordance with the so-called 3-G rule (you need to be vaccinated, recovered or tested).
    • If possible we kindly ask you to come without accompanying persons.

We ask for your cooperation regarding these measures.

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  • No, please do not seek unasked an appointment.
  • If the Federal Office of Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has granted you asylum or refugee status or complementary protection and you do not yet possess a residency permit, the matter will be examined on the circumstances of the case. The responsible office department will then invite you to attend an appointment as soon as possible.
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  • No, please do not turn up at our offices without an appointment.
  • Please notice that the Berlin Citizens’ Offices are responsible for the transfer of titles. Traveling without prior transfer of the title to the new passport is still possible if you are carrying both your old and your new passport as well as your valid residence permit.
  • You can find further information about transferring your residency permit and how to book an appointment online here.
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  • Please do not turn up at our offices without an appointment.
  • Please book an appointment for extension of your residence permit. You can find further information about our online booking system here.
  • If there are no available appointments before your travel and you are in possession of a valid travel document (passport or an equivalent), please send an email including your travel dates and the reason for your travel to the unit responsible for you. We will process your request promptly and check if you can receive a certificate that enables you to travel. Please notice that due to the long production we cannot issue travel documents for tourist travel.
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  • No, please do not turn up at our offices in person without an appointment.
  • You can apply for a permanent settlement permit or EU long-term residence permit by email or post from the relevant department. Please enclose copies of the required documents with your application. For an overview of the various permanent residence titles and necessary documentation, please visit the section Permanent residence titles of our website.
  • If your residence permit is still valid, we ask for your patience regarding the processing of your application, since priority must be given to processing applications to extend temporary residence permits. We kindly ask for your understanding. Applications for permanent residence permits will be processed as soon as capacity allows it.
  • If your temporary residence permit is expiring and you wish to apply for a permanent residence permit, please book an appointment.
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  • No, please do not come to our offices unless requested.
  • If you wish to apply for an amendment to a stipulation, please get in contact with the responsible office department by letter or email. We will consider your request and get in touch with you.
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  • No, please do not turn up at our offices in person without an appointment. The documents cannot be sent by post either.
  • Should you wish apply for an extension of your travel document or replacement document, you can do so by email or post. We will consider your request and get in touch with you. If you possess an electronic residency permit (a plastic eAT card), you can use it to prove your lawful residency.
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  • Please do not come to our office for an appointment. If your residency permit is still valid, it will remain valid even if your passport has expired. Please try to obtain a reissued passport or an extension of your passport’s validity by means of an official stamp or entry. If your state has issued a blanket declaration on the extended validity of all expired passports, we will require proof of this.
  • When your residency permit is up for renewal, you will be required to present your new passport or old passport with extended validity.
  • Until December 31, 2020, temporary extension notes and stamps from the embassies and consulates in the expired passports or evidence to explain the flat-rate extension were also accepted for the extension of a residence permit A regulation by the Federal Foreign Office beyond that date is excluded.
  • Please therefore ensure that you obtain a new passport in good time. With effect from 1st January 2021 Berlin Immigration Office will not issue travel documents.
  • Please do not worry, even if your appointment can only take place in a few weeks’ time. By booking an appointment the validity of your temporary residence document is extended until the date of your appointment at Berlin Immigration Office. This also applies to all supplementary entries on the document, in particular concerning the scope and nature of admissible employment.
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  • Please do not come to us unless you have an appointment.
  • If you have lost your passport, please get in touch with your embassy. This of course does not apply if you held a German travel document issued to refugees, stateless persons or foreign nationals. In such cases please get in touch with the relevant department responsible for you.
  • If your embassy requires confirmation of your right of residency in Germany or if you already have a new passport, once again please get in touch with the relevant department responsible for you.
  • In the event of passport theft, please also include a copy of your police report of the theft in your submission.
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  • No, this is not possible.
  • Please rest assured that in principle you are entitled by law to the right of free movement in Germany. Consequently you can take up any employment whatsoever.
  • Should your employer/ landlord/ another authority have any questions about our online procedure, please refer them to the up-to-date information on our website. Please also consult our website yourself at regular intervals. Here we will keep you informed about any current developments.
  • If you have any questions about your right of residency, please send an email to the unit responsible for your case (e5@lea.berlin.de). We will examine your enquiry and get in touch with you.
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Online registration

  • You are in possession of a certificate confirming permission to remain pending an asylum decision, have temporary suspension of deportation status, a border crossing certificate, a so-called L4048 certificate under Section 84(2) of the German Residency Act, or a certificate on the confiscation of a passport? Then please complete this online form.
Please notice:
  • You only can register if you are in possession of one of the documents listed above and if you live in Berlin.
  • See our Corona-FAQ before you register online. Here you will find all informations about how to get in touch with Berlin Immigration Office in your case.
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  • The possibility to apply online for a certificate regarding the extension of your residency status enables you to resolve the necessary matters with regard to your residency status. We will examine your request in good time. Following the examination we will send you any certificate regarding the extension of your residency status by email.
  • Should your employer/ landlord/ another authority have any questions about our online procedure or refuse to accept the transmitted confirmation, please refer them to the up-to-date information on our homepage at https://www.berlin.de/einwanderung/. Please also consult our homepage yourself at regular intervals. Here we will keep you informed about the resumption of normal service as well as about any other current developments.
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Residency in Berlin?

  • That’s right, the Berlin Immigration Office is only responsible for foreign nationals and their family members who already live in Berlin. It does not suffice for you to work in Berlin.
  • If you do not live in Berlin, please consult your local Foreign Nationals Office in your place of residency.
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  • Please enter while the residence permit is still valid. If this is not possible, get in touch with the German embassy or consulate in the region where you currently find yourself and apply there for a re-entry visa for your intended purpose. For this you will require your passport and your existing residency permit.
  • Since you are abroad, the responsibility for your matter lies with the German representations abroad (Section 71(2) Residency Act).
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  • Please get in touch with the German embassy or consulate in the region where you currently find yourself. These authorities will then make contact with us.
  • Since you are abroad, the responsibility for your matter lies with the German representations abroad (Section 71(2) Residency Act).
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  • You are currently able to enter Germany. For information on your travel options, please contact your airline directly.
  • If you do not re-enter the country within six months of leaving, or a longer period determined by the foreign nationals’ office, your residence title will expire.
  • Please note:
    The General Decree with which the deadline for re-entry was extended, will no longer apply after 30.09.2021. If you left Germany between 18.09.2019 and 17.03.2020 at the latest and have not returned to the federal territory until 30.09.2021, your temporary or permanent residence permit will expire.
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  • If you have more than one place of residency in Germany, the responsibility Foreign Nationals Office will be the one in your primary place of residency.
  • If you are only registered in Berlin with your secondary place of residence, please report instead to your local Foreign Nationals Office in your primary place of residency.
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  • If you are not registered as resident in Germany, but simply commute to Germany for work from another EU member state or a third country, then you can not book an appointment at Berlin Immigration Office or come to our offices either.
  • Please consult the responsible authority in your place of residence.
  • Please bear in mind, that owing to the pandemic outbreak of coronavirus there may be sudden border closures and entry bans.
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After legal entry with a visa or without a visa

  • Yes, but please do not come to LEA unless you have an appointment. Please book an appointment.
  • If you are required to self-isolate, you should not apply in person.
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  • In principle, it can be assumed that you will be able to return to your home country. All in all the options for international travel have improved considerably. According to the available information there is no longer an entry ban in place in any country with regard to its own citizens. For information on your travel options, please contact your foreign mission in Germany or your airline directly.
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  • No, please do not turn up at our offices in person without an appointment. Please book an appointment.
  • For the time being our online appointments booking service will not be available for UK nationals.
    We ask British citizens who are not within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement because they had not lived in Germany before January 1st, 2021, to contact the department responsible.
    This does not apply to British citizens who have already lived in Germany before January 1st, 2021! Information on Brexit and the GB residence document can be found in our Brexit FAQ.
  • If you are only in Germany for tourist or business purposes or do not wish to submit an application for a permit and if you require assistance in leaving the country, please get in touch with your embassy or commercial airlines directly. The basic assumption is that it is possible to return to your home country at any time. All in all the options for international travel have improved considerably. According to the available information there is no longer an entry ban in place in any country with regard to its own citizens.
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  • As a tourist you can stay in Germany for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without the need for a visa. Therefore you need only ensure that you leave Germany in time during the stipulated period.
  • Therefore you do not need to obtain any further residency documents.
  • The basic assumption is that it is possible to return to your home country at any time. All in all the options for international travel have improved considerably. According to the available information there is no longer an entry ban in place in any country with regard to its own citizens. Please consult your embassy or consulate in Germany, or commercial airlines directly, for more information about options for travel back to your home state.
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  • As a tourist you can stay in Germany for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without the need for a visa. Therefore you need only ensure that you leave Germany in time during the stipulated period.
  • The basic assumption is that it is possible to return to your home country at any time. All in all the options for international travel have improved considerably. According to the available information there is no longer an entry ban in place in any country with regard to its own citizens. Please consult your embassy or consulate in Germany, or commercial airlines directly, for more information about options for travel back to your home state.
  • Therefore, we ask that you leave Germany by the stipulated time.
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Employment or vocational training

  • Have you been working in Germany for at least two years whilst holding a residency title which entitles you to work? Or have you resided in Germany for at least three years with such a residency title?
    Then in general you can switch jobs with prior authorisation. Please consult our website for the precise conditions governing a change of employer as well as the necessary documentation.
  • You require an amendment to the supplementary entry on employment in your residency permit, and you meet the relevant conditions? Then please book an appointment at Berlin Immigration Office.
    Please bring all necessary documentation with you to your appointment.
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  • The requirements for a residence permit for the purpose of employment and the required documents can be found here
  • If you meet the requirements, please book an appointment
  • With regard to the permission to work as part of a residence permit for the purpose of study we wish to point out the following:
    • With your residency permit for study purposes you can work for a total of 120 years or 240 half-days in a calendar year.
    • Provided your residency title for study purposes is still valid, you may be able to undertake any form of employment with immediate effect. For example, if you began working a five-day week on 1st January 2021, you can undertake any form of employment on your student residency permit until 30th June 2021. If you only commenced work at a later date or are only working part-time, the timeframes are shifted accordingly. If for example you commenced a five-day working week on 1st April 2021, you can undertake any economic activity under your student residency permit until 30th September 2021.
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  • Yes. If your residence permit contains the invalidating condition ‘Expires when you leave your au-pair employment with […]’ and your employment contract as an au-pair is terminated after 30.09.2021, your residence permit will expire.
  • Do you want to remain in Germany after leaving this employment, e.g. as a result of another job? Then please make an appointment with the Berlin Immigration Office.
  • Please note:
    The General decree that cancelled the invalidating condition, ‘Expires when you leave your au-pair employment with […]’ during the period 18.3.2020 to 30.09.2021 will no longer apply after 30.09.2021.
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  • Yes. If your vocational training ends after 30.09.2021 and your residence permit contains the stated ancillary clause, your residence permit will expire. If you finish your vocational training before 30.09.2021, however, your residence permit will not expire when you complete your training.
  • Do you want to remain and work in Germany after successfully completing your vocational training? Then please make an appointment six weeks before the end of your vocational training.
  • Please note:
    The General decree that cancelled the invalidating condition, ‘This residency permit expires upon conclusion of the vocational training with the company… […]’ during the period 18.3.2020 to 30.09.2021 will no longer apply after 30.09.2021.
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  • Yes. If your training ends after 30.09.2021 and your residence permit contains the stated ancillary clause, your residence permit will expire. If you finish your training before 30.09.2021, however, your residence permit will not expire when you complete your training.
  • Do you want to remain and work in Germany after successfully completing your training? Then please make an appointment six weeks before the end of your training.
  • Please note:
    The General decree that cancelled the invalidating condition, ‘This residency permit expires upon conclusion of the training with… […]’ during the period 18.3.2020 to 30.09.2021 will no longer apply after 30.09.2021.
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  • Yes. If you or your employer terminate your employment after 30.09.2021 and your residence permit contains the stated ancillary clause, your residence permit will expire. If, however, your employment was terminated by your employer before 30.09.2021, your residence permit will not expire.
  • Do you want to stay in Germany and work here after you terminate your employment? Then please make an appointment before the notice period expires and bring a new employment contract with you to the appointment.
  • Please note:
    The General decree that cancelled the invalidating condition, ‘This residency permit expires upon conclusion of the employment with the company…[…]’ during the period 18.3.2020 to 30.09.2021 will no longer apply after 30.09.2021.
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  • Where tolerated status for the purpose of employment (Beschäftigungsduldung, Section 60d Residency Act) is concerned, this status is to be revoked if the criteria for granting it are no longer met (Section 60d(3) sentence 1 Residency Act). However, short interruptions in employment which is subject to social insurance contributions and in the securement of self-subsistence through no fault of your own are discounted (Section 60d(1) sentence 1 nos 3 and 4 in conjunction with Section 60d(2) sentence 2 Residency Act).
  • Between 18th March 2020 and 30th September 2021 Berlin Immigration Office will discount Section 60d cases where employment is terminated and self-subsistence is not secured through no fault of your own. Termination of employment through no fault of your own occurs where your employer terminates your employment during this time period. If your employer terminated your employment after 30.09.2021, we will review your case on an individual basis.
  • The above does not however apply if you terminated your employment voluntarily. In that case your tolerated status will be revoked. Until your status has been revoked you remain with tolerated status for the purpose of employment (Beschäftigungsduldung).
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  • No. If your residence permit contains the stated ancillary clause, you cannot extend this once it has expired.
  • Please note:
    The General decree that cancelled the ancillary clause, ‘Extension of residence permit excluded (§ 8 Section 2 of the German Residence Act (AufenthG))’ during the period 18.3.2020 to 30.09.2021 will no longer apply after 30.09.2021.
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Draw of public social benefits

  • Yes. The situation on the labor market has improved.
  • Please note:
    The General decree that stated that your residency permit does not become invalid if you draw short-term work benefits, SGB II (Hartz IV), SGB XII (social assistance) or AsylbLG (Asylum Seeker Benefits Act) benefits during the period 18.3.2020 to 30.09.2021 will no longer apply after 30.09.2021.
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Further questions

  • If a father or mother has exclusive custody and
    • holds a residency permit issued by Berlin Immigration Office at the time of the child’s birth, and
    • is registered as resident in Berlin together with the child, and
    • the child meets the passport requirements (i.e. has their own passport or is entered on yours), then please make an appointment at Service-Portal Berlin.
  • This is also possible where custody is shared,
    • provided that both parents hold a residency permit issued by Berlin Immigration Office at the time of the child’s birth and
    • the child meets the passport requirements (i.e. has their own passport or is entered on one of the parent’s passports).
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  • Section 53(1) of the Code for Lawyers and Solicitors (BRAO) stipulates that a lawyer or solicitor must make provision for a representative if they are prevented from exercising their profession for more than a week or if they will or are required to stay away from their offices for longer than a week.
  • The issuing and servicing of official notifications therefore continues to remain possible, even in the event of a lawyer falling ill in connection with the Coronavirus.
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Data protection

  • The data requested for our online form will be processed in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation.
  • As soon as we invite you to attend an appointment or otherwise resolve your application, we will immediately delete these data.
  • If you have any questions concerning this you can contact Berlin Immigration Office’s data protection commissioner at datenschutz@lea.berlin.de.
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Do you have another question?

  • We have set up a telephone hotline for questions relating to the right of residence, e.g. visa procedures, employment, studies, family reunification or asylum procedures, that are not already answered in our FAQ. This can be reached as follows:
    On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., and on Wednesdays and Fridays between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on telephone numbers 90269-4407 and 90269-4408.
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