If you need to extend your visa soon, then the Ausländerbehörde (Migration Office) in the Berlin is the place to get it done.
What started as a method to try and reduce the work load that is bogging down the local office has ended up going against the German Migration laws. The overworked officials have resulted into issuing visas for longer than allowed and even issuing visas without investigating the person as required by law.
A duldung that is usually issued for only 3 to 4 months is currently being issued for 18months; a visa extension that goes for 6months is now being issued for 12months and for those applying for a Permanent Residence Permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis), the requirement to present a police abstract has been avoided. Their logic is, giving a visa that is valid for longer means the person doesn’t have to come to the immigration office soon, thus reducing their work load. I’m sure applicants in Berlin aren’t complaining.
According to a note sent to the Interior Secretary, Bernd Krömer (CDU), the Immigration office has since beginning of the year resulted to measures that may “go against the migration laws” in an attempt to ensure the applicant doesn’t come back soon.
This method of issuing visa under less stricter rules has come under criticism with some groups complaining that criminals might be getting Permanent residence permits. However, the spokesman of the Innenverwaltung has defended the move saying the required 3months for asylum applications to be processed can easily be reduced in cases where the immigration office responsible is under stress and can’t afford to work on the documents that long.
Unfortunately, the overworked migration office isn’t making everyone happy with their new business model. Some applicants have to wait from 4am for their applications only for them to be given a note at the end of work day that the application hasn’t been processed. This has led to some losing their homes and even jobs.
The Innensenator Frank Henkel (CDU), has promised to support the head of the migration office and will look into suggesting more people being hired to work at the Ausländerbehörde.