Strategies and Documents Needed for Resident Permit/Visa Extension


Extending resident permit can be taxing in terms of time and energy. The following strategies will help you prepare your documents, your approach, and yourself to get this process done as efficiently as German bureaucratic process allows. Since the process may varies according to your status (students, Ph.D. students with scholarship, Ph.D. students with employment, or visiting researchers), there may be some variation in the process. If you benefit from the information in this page and if you experience something that is not mentioned here, please take a few minutes to contribute to this page. The easiest way is to add a bullet point to the Raw Information section below. Chat will organize this page from time to time.

Documents that you will need

For the most up-to-date information, see the Ausländeramt's information sheet for the most up-to-date information. The link is on the right: "Merkblatt für Studenten englisch" (cached 22.02.13). RWTH also provide a nice information in their Residence Permit page (cached 22.02.13).

Here is a short list with some hints:
  • Application form: PDF
  • Passport: Make sure that the passport will be valid during the period you need the resident permit. They will extend the resident permit only within the duration of your current passport.
  • Current resident permit (both the card and the green paper) or entry visa
  • Passport photo: This has to be taken in a biometric standard. Just conforming with the regulations of the Bundesdruckerei won't work any more (Chat: 22.02.13). Chat tried taking the photo from Fotohaus Preim, near Dom. It costed 12.99 EUR (22.02.13) for 4 photos. Don't cut the photos! The Ausländeramt want to see all four photos and cut one of those themselves.
  • Proof of financial resource: (Ph.D. students, see below)
  • Letter from health insurance: Request your health insurance (AOK, TK, etc.) to make this letter for you.
  • Studienbescheinigung: Print this from CAMPUS office. The menu is called "Bescheinigungen" in the "Studierendensekretariat" section on the left menu bar.
  • Fee (as of 22.02.13):
    • First time: 110 EUR
    • Extension: 80 EUR
    • Free for scholarship holder (with a letter from the scholarship agency)
  • (Ph.D. students, full employment) Beschäftigung im rahmen der Promotion: This letter indicates that you are employed during your Ph.D. study. It must explicitly indicate the payment grade (or amount in Euros) and the duration of the payment explicitly — separated from the duration of the Ph.D. study. This can be used as a proof of financial resource.
"I hereby confirm that I intend to employ …your name… as a doctoral student from … until … at the Media Computing Group at RWTH Aachen University. This guarantees him a financial support from … until …. The pay grade refers to TV-L, Entgeltgruppe 13."

  • (Ph.D. students, scholarship) Letter from a scholarship agency: This letter must explicitly indicate the amount and the duration of payments.
  • (Ph.D. students, 1st time only) Betreuungszusage: This is an acceptance letter from Doktorvater (Jan) indicating that he will supervise your Ph.D. thesis. It should have the following text:
"Hiermit erkläre ich, dass ich die Betreuung des Promotionsvorhabens von …your name…, geb. am …date of birth…, übernehme."

  • (Ph.D. students, 1st time only) Previous degree certificates: Bring the real thing and one photocopy.

Opening hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 08.00 am - 12:15 pm
Friday 08.00 am - 12:00 pm
Wednesday afternoon 02:00 am - 04:45 pm
Thursday closed

Estimating time: It takes 20 minutes on average for a regular application process. A staff may be occupied for one applicant up to 45 minutes (Chat's experience).

How to get the first queue: Wait in front of SuperC from 7:00. The door opens at 7:30. The time has to be shifted to 6:30 in August and September because due to the influx of new students.

After the application

  • You should request for a letter indicating that you have applied for the extension. The letter should explicitly state the date that the extended permit will be valid.
Die Karte wird bis zum …date… gültig sein.

  • You will get two letters: one with a PIN, another inviting you to get the permit. You need to bring both letters to the Ausländeramt to get the real permit. (The waiting time is from 2–4 weeks. If you haven't heard from them within this duration, go to Ausländeramt to inquire the status.)


The staff that you will be requesting the resident permit are typical German tenured state employee. This means that they have a guaranteed employment — allowing them not to care much about their work. Since they are not trained with scientific background, they will not appreciate what we are working. It is likely that they are influenced by their emotional state in that morning rather than their professional ethics. They are also doing a tedious and boring work and met approximately 50 students request, problems, and concerns each day. Therefore, you should accept these facts and not take any of their offensive seriously, and use the following sunny strategies when dealing with them (in addition to having all documents above well-prepared).
  • Soft strategy: Be a sunshine. Smile and greet them. Note the artifacts around their workplace and compliment them.
  • Hard strategy: Be a sunburn. Be strict and voice all of your concerns concisely in a confident, strong, and solid voice. Don't complain superfluously. Be a German to the Germans. Do not smile.


  • Fr. Meier (Room 421): She is new (2012), incompetent, nitty-picky, and careless. Approach her with the Soft strategy, and shift to Hard strategy immediately when you detect her aggressive aura. Be careful and check all documents of the correctness and completeness before you leave her office. There are many dogs photos on her wall.
  • Fr. Dohm (Room 421): She used to be pretty aggressive, but this has been improved during the last few years. She is always professional and helpful, but strict. Make sure you have everything prepared.
  • Fr. Krey (Room 422): She is the first choice (unfortunately, the queue system doesn't let you choose). She is friendly, professional, and competent. She is probably the most senior of the three. Don't forget to note plants and kids' drawings in her room.

Raw Information

This section contain addendum information that is not organized in the sections above.
  • Title (author): Content…
  • Fiktionsbescheinigung (Kashyap Todi): If you want to extend your visa for a short period (≈one semester), there is also an option to obtain a 'Fiktionsbescheinigung'. This works pretty much in the same way as a residence permit, but has the benefit that it is cheaper—it costs approx. 20 EUR. The same documents, listed above for visa extension, are required for this too. Reasons to get a Fiktionsbescheinigung include extending stay to complete studies or thesis (I need to confirm the maximum duration for which such an extension is possible—will try to get this info when I go there again). A sample image of the booklet received from the office is available here: Fiktionbescheinigung Template
  • The personnel is changed. Fr. Meier and Fr. Dohm are replaced by two new staffs.
  • You’ll have to pick up the permit in another building, near Hbf.

Created by chat. Last Modification: Friday 16 of January, 2015 15:55:38 by chat.

Media Computing Group at RWTH Aachen