When I applied for Visa to Germany, I was given a 3-month Visa as a start. I have to extend it in Germany by myself before the 3 months over. At first, I thought I have to go to city office or something like that to apply it. Luckily in Bremen University, they have a special office to help International Students in granting Visa and registering residential related matters. So the procedure is I have to register myself as a temporary citizen in Bremen before I can apply for Visa extension.
By hearing the words ‘administration’ and ‘bureaucracy’ what come to my mind is a long tiring process full of documents. In Indonesia, usually there’re people who provide a service in dealing with this. So we just pay them and everything will be settled in no sweat. But here in Germany, of course I have to deal it myself. And I don’t know how complicated it would be. I know they have a good data system of citizen (I imagine it’s like in CSI TV series) so maybe I have to provide many detailed information for that. And I start imagining that I’ll be questioned to verify with what I fill in the form. I don’t know…
Anyway, first registering my residential place. Apparently it’s not difficult. I just have to fill in 1 form, which most of it I don’t have to answer cause I live alone, and then show my passport. The officer noted my name and my passport number and only noted my address from the form! I don’t know whether she only needs my address or she just noted that at that time and noted the rest of information later to make it efficient for the queuing sake. But it’s short and simple.
So one step is done. Next step: applying for Visa extension. For this, I have to show all the documents required at the front office before I can queuing for applying Visa extension. At the front office, there’s a senior lady. She asked what kind of financial support that I have in studying there. And since I am under the scholarship program, the requirements are somewhat just not many.
However when she looks at my photograph, she said that it’s not qualified as it’s not a biometric photograph. She told me to take a biometric photograph in the photo booth at campus. So I went to a photo booth and take a biometric photograph. It’s not easy, though, cause I have to fit my face into an outline face on the screen. And when I am ready to take my picture, the ‘click’ sound from the camera is not directly heard. So I thought there’s something wrong and I move my face, right at the time the camera starts clicking! But the good thing is, if we’re not satisfied with the result we can delete and try again before print it for real. So my € 5 isn’t wasted.
After I am done with my ugly picture; how come it’s not? It’s in the afternoon, after class, how should I look fresh?; I go back to the lady and show my picture. She confirmed it and allows me to queue. She also gives me 1 A4-double page form to fill in. This is the form that exactly the same as the one I filled in Indonesia. And since I photocopied the previous one, I just copy all what I wrote before. And then I am done. So I am ready to enter the room for Visa extension application.
The officer here is a guy. I hand over my documents including my passport. He takes my passport and types it into the computer. After a while, he looks at my documents and start dividing it. He returns my scholarship reference letter and my picture! He said that they are not needed! What?!! I spend € 5 for nothing??? Hey, I could use that for having 3 lunches in Mensa (student cafeteria)! Aargh…
Then he continues to divide. He takes the residential evidence and put aside the form. He doesn’t even look at the form! Apparently all my data are there in the system as I’ve been applied it before in Indonesia. Including my picture!
In the end, he just print the Visa extension and stick it to my passport. As simple as that! Thank God! But then, why should I need to waste € 5 for the ugly picture and time to fill in the form? You know what, I could write my name ‘Julia Roberts’ there and I am sure he won’t notice it!