I have been at Ausländerbehörde in Berlin many times, for example: converting a blue card to permanent residence. I'll write down the tips that I used to get appointments (Termin) and this should work for both the locations: at Keplerstr. and Friedrich-Krause-Ufer.
If you are changing jobs on blue card, you might have to get an appointment at Ausländerbehörde. In rare cases, they handle this through email.
What is the Ausländerbehörde?
Ausländerbehörde is the Foreigners Office responsible for visas and residence permit issued to foreigners. Also known as Landesamt für Einwanderung (LEA).
Getting an appointment at Ausländerbehörde in Berlin
Here is the list of services that you can book online including permit extensions - if you find an available appointment slot. If not, read below about the alternative ways.
I learned about this method pretty late. Using the contact form has always worked better for me, in contrast to email, phone, letter, fax, or when I could not find appointments online. I applied for my Permanent Residence (Settlement Permit) this way.
This form is same for both locations. You must choose the responsible department. From their page, I copied these instructions.
- Responsibility is usually based on nationality.
- In some cases, nationality is irrelevant, for example for: Asylum and toleration (Units A 2, A 3 and A 4)
- EU Blue Card, residence permits for skilled workers, students, trainees and scientists as well as their family members (Units B 1 and B 2),
- Visa procedures (Unit B 4)
- Extension of Schengen tourist visas (Department B 5)
- Please use the online appointment form if you need an appointment for the issuance of a residence title.
On the form, you can upload your documents. Currently it supports only one file - so I would recommend merging your documents into a single PDF and then uploading.
Online Appointment form
This is the most straightforward way to get an appointment. This is also quite difficult, because there are no appointments online most of the times. Your only hope is to keep refreshing the page, and luck out on booking an appointment
I booked an appointment for Blue Card this way.
When you book using the online appointment form, you must choose the correct location and your category. They can (and most likely will) turn you away, if you do it incorrectly.
You can write them an email asking for an appointment, or extension of your residence permit.
Instructions to apply by Email (from the same page):
By applying for an extension of residence, please provide the following data:
- Your concern (e.g. extension of residence, extension Blue Card),
- First name and surname,
- Date and place of birth,
This e-mail will be classified as an application. Please consider the following:
- Your residence title (permit of residence, Blue Card, visa for long term residence) will be considered as lawful in Germany. This also applies to all conditions stipulated on your residence title. That means that you can continue to work or study in Germany so far.
- The prerequisite is that you have sent your e-mail before the expiry of your residence permit, Blue card or visa for a long-term stay.
- Please note in case you wish to travel abroad: you are not allowed to re-entry Germany.
Standing in line at the location without an appointment
Update on 20.07.2022: I have been told that this method is no longer possible.
If you cannot get a response via contact form, email, or you require an appointment immediately, you can go directly to the location. People stand in line, sometimes starting from 2 AM (yes, 2 in the morning).
You have to stand in a line for a chance to get an appointment, either the same day or later. Take all your documents with you.
Sending a letter or fax
You can write the Ausländerbehörde a letter and send it by post or fax. If you send it by post, send a registered mail (Einschreiben). You can find the addresses at their location pages: Keplerstr. and Friedrich-Krause-Ufer.
Appointment for Permanent Residence in Berlin
When I wanted to book an appointment for converting my blue card to permanent residence (settlement permit), I could not book one online. I had to send in an application and Ausländerbehörde provided me an appointment. You can find more information on this page. You can also send the application in via the online contact form mentioned above.
Do they speak English at the Ausländerbehörde?
In my four visits or so, they have spoken in English once. This depends on your case worker (Sacharbeiter) and how comfortable they are with English. For liability purposes, they tend to stick to German.
If you would like to take a German speaking person with you, you should consider a certified Translator.
Do I have to go to Ausländerbehörde to update my address?
If you move to a different apartment in Germany, you have to do an address registration (Anmeldung). When you do Anmeldung, they will automatically update the address on your residence permit with a sticker and they will inform the foreigners office.