Die Ausländerbehörde, the Foreigner’s Agency, is the place where expats, such as myself, go when they want to annoy the Germans by living in Germany. For most people is an extremely painful experience like having dental work done while waiting at the DMV. We, however, are experts. Experts, I tell you.
This morning we were in and out in twenty minutes.
Maybe its not fair to brag about that. We already have Aufenhaltserlaubnisse (residency permits) and only needed a ten day extension for a conference. We also made an appointment, the importance of which I cannot stress enough. Make an appointment! Don’t be like the dozens upon dozens of people who started waiting in line an hour before the office opened just to be told they would not be giving out Wartennummern (numbered tickets) today. O, be like us and enjoy a nice moment of schadenfreude instead.
So our number gets called and we thankfully open the office door to find Frau K, the woman who helped us with our permits the first time. S was incredibly well behaved and spoke up in her adorable toddler voice at just the right moments. There’s also a Familienraum, a playroom where you can wait for your papers to get processed. S and I played there last time, after showing our faces to Frau K, and made Jon do the waiting.
But applying for only an extension went much faster than applying for our original permits; we didn’t even have to show her the myriad of documents we brought with us. It was madness though, trying to get through the confused people wandering the halls, trying to get in to see someone. So here’s my second unasked for tip – if you don’t know German, at least learn the names of the forms you’ll need. Have multiple copies.
And if you can, bring a adorable, blonde baby and teach her to say “Danke tchussi.”