New Residence Permit

In applying German visa, there are two options: less than 3 months visa and more than 3 months. However, even when one applies for more than 3 months visa, still one will be given 3 months visa and then one shall adjust this in immigration office in Germany. Yes of course it’s weird, why wouldn’t they just give a one-year visa at once? But normally there won’t be any problem to adjust this visa because one’s data has been filed in the immigration office where one will stay.

So my 3 months visa is valid until end of October. It means I have to adjust it before end of October. That’s perfect, because by early October I’ll be arriving in Bremen. But then there’s the surprise. October is the beginning of a semester, which means a lot of new foreigners are in the same state as me. And although there’s an immigration service in the university, which makes all the bureaucratic process less complicated, still this is the peak season for immigration affairs.

The office, called BSU, only provides public service 3 days a week: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. And again, although they knew that October is the peak season for visa application, they are still not adjusting their service time. This cause pretty chaotic situation. The queuing line is very long and for hours. Everyday people start lining up in front of the office 2 hours before it opens! People even can queue for hours without getting anything! Very crazy!!!

So when I have to adjust my visa, I started queuing from 8 AM although the office opens at 10AM! So it means I had to stand for 2 hours just waiting for the office to open. And when I arrived, there were about 20 people in front of me! And after some times (the office still not open), this is the queuing behind me!

After fighting the cold and tiredness for 2 hours, finally the office was opened. But still that didn’t mean I could get the real quieting number. I had to wait for the first 20 persons before me. And then the chaotic thing started to happen. BSU serves visa application and residence registration. The latter needs not queuing. However there were some people who seemed to do the registration but instead they went to take the visa’s queuing number!!! The lady, who gave the queuing number, didn’t realize this; she didn’t know the queuing outside her room. So at around 11 AM, the queuing number had gone!!!

The lady informed us about this, which made us realized that something went wrong. How come the queuing number gone so fast? How come only less than 20 people, who started queuing 2 hours before the office opened, could get the queuing number… But this how it got interesting. The office had to take a lunch break at 1 – 2 PM and then it would open again for the next two hours. The people who had queued like me started to make an alliance. We organized ourselves to not let other people cut our queuing anymore. We set our queuing number until 15, and nobody could cut within. We remembered who was going to be the first, second, third, until fifteenth. And we also watched each other back. If there was a person wanted to take lunch break or toilet break, we promised to keep his/ her line. Now, this is what I called self-organization! I should have made my PhD research here in BSU…

So when the BSU opened after its lunch break, the arrangement worked. We really complied with the rule we set and ensured that nobody could cut in the middle. Once there was a girl who tried to cut the line and entered the office to get the queuing number, but poor her, she got slammed from us. Well you don’t want to make people who had been queuing for 4 hours to be angry!

Finally I can get my queuing number. I got it after queuing for 5.5 hours!!! And the visa adjustment process, it only took 40 minutes including my time in the waiting room!!! What a nightmare!!!

Fast-forward one month. The new visa isn’t attached to the passport anymore. It’s in form of a card, just like identity card, and it takes a month to get that. When I did my visa adjustment, the officer at BSU told me that I would be contacted via email when the card is ready. But after one month, I didn’t hear any news. To make things worse, my friend who applied together, had been contacted to get his visa! Okay, something is not right here…

So after a month plus a week, I went to BSU office to ask about my visa. And apparently my visa was already there for weeks!!! Yeah right, they would inform me eh?! But at that time I couldn’t get it right away because I have to queue, and the queuing number had gone… [sigh]. So I went again in the next day, queuing for awhile (I was glad that the peak season had past), and got my adjusted visa. Lesson learned: if you need something, be proactive! Aaaaah... at least now I can breathe freely before doing it again next year…!!!
My new residence permit/ Visa