Where to go:
Landeseinwohneramt Berlin (LEA)
Wedding U9 Amrumer Str.
Opening Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 07:30 - 13:00, Wednesday: closed, Friday: 07:30 - 12:00 (A queuing system is in operation. Doors open at 7:00 - take a ticket & wait for your number to appear on the LED)
Useful German Words when applying for a Residence Permit:
Aufenthaltserlaubnis - residence permit
Reisepaß - passport
Zulassungsbescheid - enrolment certificate for university
Arbeitsvertrag - Employment contract
Unterhaltsnachweis - Proof of financial support
Stipendienbescheid - grant confirmation letter
Kontoauszug - bank statement
Unbefristet - permanent
Befristet - temporary
What paperwork do you need?
How long is this permit valid?
3 years for EU citizens (varies for other nationals). A provisional permit, valid for up to three months can be granted while you get your paperwork (health insurance, certification of employment etc) organised. So long as you come from a "nice" country (like the EU, Australia or North America) then this should be granted without much hassle.
How much does it cost?
(see below for an explanation of terms )
How long does it take?
Always moving with the times, the LEA has offered a service guarantee for EU citizens - "be there by 7:30 get served the same day." As for non EU nationals; there are rumours of children born at the LEA who reached schooling age before being served.
Is there a way to get it done fast?
Unless you have an employer who is willing to submit your application through the express "Firmenpaßstelle" the only way to get out of the LEA quickly is to get there early (like before 7:00).
Immigration law was updated in 1990 to cope with the new influx of people into the country. Four categories of residence permits were created (before 1990 there was only one type of residence permit!). These categories, under the generic title Aufenthaltsgenehmigung, are defined as follows:
Where can I find more information?
Ombudsman for foreigners in Germany:
Ausländerbeauftragte des Senats von Berlin
Potsdamer Str. 65
Tel: 90 71 +23 72, 23 67, 23 68 or 23 79 | Fax: 262 5407.
Opening hours: Mon, Tues, Fri: 9:00 - 13:00, Wednesday: closed, Thursday: 9:00 - 13:00 and 15:00 - 18:00
Ausländerrecht, Nr 5537, Beck-Texte im dtv,- book outlining German/EU immigration law (language: German)
Das Aufenthaltsrecht - ein Leitfaden zum Auländergesetz - Available from the Ausländerbeauftragte des Senats (language: German)