Due to COVID-19, many people are stuck in Germany with visas and residence permits close to expiry. Immigration offices have limited their services and it can be quite difficult to get an appointment and extend visas and residence permits. However, considering the pandemic situation, Germany has the following facilitations in place for expiring visas and residence permits.
National visa (D visa)
Citizens whose national visa (D visa) is about to expire should submit an application for an extension to the relevant immigration office by email before expiry. Until the decision of the immigration office has been made, the residence will remain legal. Personal details (surname, maiden name, first name, spelling of the names, date of birth, place and district of birth, gender, nationality, passport number), type of title and any file number must be specified. It is advisable to carry a printed version of the application in addition to the expired visa and your passport/ID card.
Valid Schengen visa (C visa)
Citizens who were in Germany on 17 March 2020 with a valid Schengen visa (C visa) or who entered Germany after 17 March 2020 and before 9 April 2020 with a valid Schengen visa are exempted from the requirement of a residence title until 30 June 2020. The other conditions under which the respective Schengen visa was issued remain unaffected until then.
Visa free stay in the Schengen area for 90 days within a period of 180 days
Citizens who are allowed to enter and stay in the Schengen area for 90 days within a period of 180 days without a visa should contact the relevant immigration office before expiry of that period and provide their personal details (see above) to legalise their stay (if necessary by email). Provided that this application reaches the authority before expiry of the named period, the stay will remain legal until a decision is made by the immigration office. It is advisable to carry a printed version of the application in addition to the expired title and your passport/ID card.
Application to third-country nationals
This also applies to third-country nationals of those countries listed in section 41 (1) of the Ordinance Governing Residence who did not require a visa to enter the Federal Republic of Germany. If the individual has approval from the Federal Employment Agency and has applied for a residence title as described above, they may take up the employment stated in the notification approval from the Federal Employment Agency.
The solution above does not apply to third-country nationals of those countries listed in section 41 (1) of the Ordinance Governing Residence who have already entered the Federal Republic of Germany and did not require a visa but who do not yet have approval from the Federal Employment Agency. They are asked to contact the relevant immigration office.
Citizens whose residence permit expires during their stay abroad and who were unable to travel to Germany in time due to existing travel restrictions may submit an application for renewal of their residence permit informally (i.e. by email) to the relevant immigration office. If the application is submitted before the expiry of the residence permit, the residence Permit will remain valid from the time of its expiry until a decision is made by the immigration office. For subsequent re-entry, however, a Fiktionsbescheinigung (fictional certificate) is required, which will normally be sent to the diplomatic mission nearest to the person’s place of residence. The procedure described above also applies if the residence permit has already expired at the time of the application and the immigration office has approved its continued validity.
Further details are available here.