Residence permit expires and I am abroad – what to do? (English Subtitles)

Your temporary German residence permit will soon expire while you are abroad. You will not be able to return to Germany in time to go to the Aliens’ Registration Office before expiration. But your German residence permit expires. What can you do so that your residence permit does not become invalid?
We have experienced this problem many times and especially in the Corona winter months. For example, flights are canceled, they are not allowed to leave because of lockdown, you are taking care of relatives abroad.

Here are the 5 tips from the Sonnenberg Law Firm.

1. apply for extension before the residence permit expires. You send an application to the foreigners authority of your residence in Germany – not to the embassy! -, for example by e-mail or fax. Because: a request does not have to be made in person for it to be timely.

2. request a certificate of fictitiousness; the certificate of fictitiousness certifies that the application was submitted on time and that the time limit of the residence permit has been extended, usually for three to six months. With the certificate you can enter the country. But how do you get the certificate if you are still abroad? For example, you can instruct the lawyer to collect it. Some immigration authorities also send the certificate by mail to your German residential address. Then you can have the document forwarded to you.

3. do not be dissuaded with “fantasy certificates”. Some immigration authorities use their own forms to save themselves time. You cannot cross the border with it. Insist on the fiction certificate, you are entitled to it.

4. settlement permit: The explanations do not apply if you have a settlement permit. This is because the settlement permit is an unlimited residence permit. Only the validity of the card is linked to the validity of the passport. However, if the card expires, your right of residence remains. Like your nationality. You won’t lose them just because the passport expires. You can enter the country with the expired settlement permit card, the old passport and the new passport.

5. remember that you must return to Germany no later than six months after leaving the country. Otherwise the residence permit expires. For some residence permits, the time limit is twelve months. However, it is possible to request an extension of the deadline. On this topic I have published a video on this channel.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.