Tuesday, January 19, 2010

PR in Germany

I was at the Munich Ausländerbehörde (ABH – International office or however you want to translate it) this month for my Daueraufenthalt EG (PR for EU). I had submitted the documents before and the lady who took them had asked me to come and collect the PR in 2 weeks unless she contacts me for additional documents and so there I was. She was on vacation but there was another person who asked me to wait for a few minutes and he gave me some reading material for the waiting time! While I was already surprised by his courtesy, he adds ‘This broschure tells you all about how you can apply for citizenship’ and I was literally open-mouthed. I have never seen someone at an international office voluntarily asking some foreigner to consider the citizenship option ever! He came out in a few minutes and asked me to pay the fee and collect my PR – no interview, no questions, nothing at all!! Either I should flatter myself that my application was so impressive or this ABH is really one of a kind! Truthfully though, in all my time in Munich, I have only seen friendly people and I have absolutely had no issues with any of my permits here. Even when I was there for the Niederlassungserlaubnis (PR for Germany), the whole process was over in less than half an hour.

Although this link is outdated, I really like the gist, the list of documents needed and especially the table at the end that enumerates the differences between the Niederlassungserlaubnis and Daueraufenthalt EG. Here is more information from the ABH itself.

The only extra document I provided was the ‘Rentenversicherungsvorlauf’ – this basically lists the time periods during which I have paid to the PF (Pension Fund) and this should add up to 60 months (Even a Hiwi or RA counts towards this). Depending on if you have public or private insurance and your DOB, your contact person will vary (It took me 5 phone calls to find mine) and with your ‘Sozialversicherungsnummer’, you can get this document posted to you. The whole process takes 2-3 working days. You can also request for this online but the phone call works faster.

Please be aware that the list of documents needed, processing time etc. changes from state to state. I know of a friend whose Daueraufenthalt application was processed for 6 weeks and he was asked to submit a letter from the Finanzamt (Tax office) that all his taxes were paid.

I think, for someone working at the ABH, there is nothing more annoying than someone who just walks in with an incomplete application, no supporting documents (irrespective of the details being explained in the website) and with absolutely no ability to speak German in spite of having lived here for years! As long as one doesn’t belong to this category, there shouldn’t be much friction in the process of getting any permits.

Note: I don't think anyone would wonder but for the one exception that does - PR implies Permanent Residency :)
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