I’ve just been down to the KVR to renew my German residence permit. Since I’ll have been here for 5 years when the current one runs out, I decided to go for the unlimited one. Here are a few things that I found out:
- They won’t give you an unlimited one until you’ve been here a full five years. So if you’re “fleißig” like me, and go there a week in advance, you still have to wait anyway.
- You need to take 2 passport photos. This is because they will issue a brand new permit, rather than just putting an extra stamp on the current one.
- For unlimited permits, they have to do a background check to make sure you’re not a terrorist. This takes around 1 week. So if you’re “fleißig” like me, and go there a week in advance, you still have to wait anyway.
- You have to take a copy of your apartment rental contract and your last payslip (your employment contract isn’t enough).
- On the KVR website it says the renewal costs €25 (5 year) or €61 (unlimited). This doesn’t apply to EU citizens – we pay nothing at all.
To dispell a couple of myths that go around:
- I got there at 7:40 and only waited 10 minutes before I got called in. That would be at 7:50, 10 minutes before the official opening time.
- The lady who dealt with me was friendly. She offered me the unlimited permit straight away, and was happy to answer all my questions. I did not have to sign in my own blood, or promise the soul of my first-born.
And finally, a couple of questions that I’m going to ask when I go back to finalise the renewal:
- (For Allen) – There is a section on the form for periods of time spent living outside Germany. Does this affect the renewal?
- (For Shamim) – What’s the penalty for living here 8 years without renewing the permit?
This has been a public service announcement.