Applying for and Extending Your Residence Permit

  SuperC Copyright: © Martin Braun

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Branch of the Immigration Office at SuperC

As a special service for RWTH students and researchers, the Immigration Office of StädteRegion Aachen operates a branch office in the SuperC building. This Immigration Office is exclusively responsible for issuing and renewing residence permits for RWTH members and their family members. Despite its location on the RWTH premises, the Immigration Office here is an independent, state authority.

The new online appointment tool of the Immigration Office allows you to book an appointment yourself and independently. If in urgent cases (e.g. a residence permit has already expired or is about to expire) no appointment is available in the appointment tool, please contact the new information desk of the Immigration Office in SuperC foyer.

The new information desk of the Immigration Office is now open for visitors in the SuperC foyer intermittently during office hours. There will soon be a letterbox at the desk, which you can use to submit applications. Please bring your residence permit and additionally your passport to every visit to the Immigration Office besides the usual required applications and documents and apply for an extension about 3 months before your permit expires.

On this page, you will find general information on how to apply for and extend your residence permit. For individual questions or binding advice on residence law, please contact the relevant Immigration Office.

 

FAQ

I come from an EU member state or a country in the European Economic Area, EEA for short. Do I need a residence permit?

You do not need a residence permit, only a valid passport or ID card. If you are staying in Germany for longer than three months, you must register your new German residence with the relevant Residents' Registration Office within two weeks of moving into your apartment.

Information on how to register at the Citizens' Services Office (Residents' Registration Office) of the City of Aachen can be found on our Registering with the City page.

I come from a non-EU country. Do I need a residence permit?

If you stay in Germany longer than 90 days, you need a residence permit. Citizens of non-EU countries that allow visa-free entry must also apply for a residence permit if they are staying in Germany for longer than 90 days.

Where do I apply for my residence permit?

If you are new to Germany and register your first German residence in Aachen, the branch of the Immigration Office in the SuperC is responsible for issuing your residence permit (and, if applicable, the residence permits of your family members).

If you move to Aachen within Germany and were registered in another German city immediately before, you will apply for your residence permit after registering at the Citizens' Services Office at the Main Immigration Office next to Aachen Main Station. Your file will later be handed over to the SuperC branch.

Important: Before applying for a residence permit, register your residence at the Citizens' Services Office of the City of Aachen. You have to register your residence at the Citizens' Services Office within two weeks of moving to Aachen. Your data will be transmitted to the Immigration Office only after about 24 hours and you can apply for your residence permit. On our website, we have summarized information about registering in the city.

How can I arrange an appointment at the Immigration Office?

RWTH students, researchers, and employees and their families whose primary residence is in Aachen can book an appointment at the branch of the Immigration Office in the SuperC building via the online appointment tool of StädteRegion Aachen. A personal visit or consultation at the SuperC branch is currently only possible if you have an appointment.

General questions can be asked, applications submitted, and, in urgent cases, appointments made at the Immigration Office's information desk in the Super C foyer.

If you were registered in another German city immediately before moving to Aachen, you can book an appointment online at the Main Immigration Office or make an appointment in person at the Information Office of the Immigration Office (2nd floor) at Hackländerstraße.

I can't find any available appointments at the SuperC branch via the online appointment tool. What should I do?

Due to high demand, there may be no new dates available via the online tool. New dates will regularly be activated. Please check the online tool regularly and refrain from further inquiries by email or telephone if possible.

In the meantime, you can either submit your application for the issuing or extension of your residence permit by email or hand it in personally at the Infopoint of the Immigration Office in the SuperC building (in the foyer). Submitting an application by email before your residence permit or visa expires will be considered a timely application and your residence permit will continue to be valid with all rights and obligations beyond the validity date (acceptance by default).

What documents do I need to apply for my residence permit to study?

The following documents are usually required to apply for a residence permit for study purposes:

  • please always bring your passport as well as your residence permit and "Fiktionsbescheinigung" (temporary residence permit) with you every time you come to the Immigration Office!
  • a completed initial application for a residence permit or an application for an extension of the residence permit
  • a passport with a valid entry visa (for extensions: the valid electronic residence permit with an additional sheet)
  • a current passport photo according to the requirements of the passport photo sample chart of the Bundesdruckerei (Federal Printing Office)
  • Bachelor's and Master's students: a certificate of enrollment containing information on your field of study and number of semesters. You can print this out from RWTHonline: (under "Registrar's Office" > "Certificate").
  • Doctoral candidates (without an employment contract): confirmation of supervision from your host institute and an admission agreement.
  • Evidence of financing: proof that you are able to cover your living expenses for the amount of at least 861 euros per month or 10,332 euros per year (as of June 2022), for example, a scholarship approval, a statement of commitment from your parents or another person in connection with proof of income, a blocked account, or pay stubs (usually the same documents that were submitted for the visa application).
  • Evidence of health insurance.

Further information about the application as well as forms and leaflets can be found on the Immigration Office website.

What kind of residence permit can I apply for as a research assistant, visiting researcher, or doctoral candidate at RWTH?

One of these two residence permits is usually issued for doctoral candidates:

  • Residence permit for study purposes according to §16b AufenthG (for so-called full-time studies).
  • Residence permit for research purposes according to §18d AufenthG (you have an employment contract and/or finance your studies via a scholarship, for example).

For researchers and visiting scientists, one of these two residence permits is usually issued:

  • Residence permit for research purposes according to § 18d AufenthG. (you have an employment contract and/or finance your stay via a scholarship, for example)
  • Residence permit according to § 18b Abs. 1 or the EU Blue Card according to §18b AufenthG.

What documents do I need in order to apply for my residence permit as a researcher or visiting scholar?

To apply for a residence permit as a researcher and visiting scholar with or without a doctorate (§18d AufenthG), the following documents are generally required:

Further information on the application process as well as forms and leaflets can be found on the Immigration Office website.

How do I apply for an EU Blue Card?

You can find information on applying for an EU Blue Card on the Immigration Office website or on the German Government's website for skilled workers.

When and how do I get my residence permit?

After submitting your application, it can take up to six weeks for your residence permit to be processed and issued.

The production order for your residence permit will be forwarded to Bundesdruckerei GmbH in Berlin after your appointment at the Immigration Office. After receiving a PIN letter (approximately three to four weeks after your application), you can make an appointment online to pick up your permit.

In Aachen, residence permits are usually handed out at the Main Immigration Office at Hackländerstraße 1 (Information Office on the 3rd Floor). Please take the letter, your passport, your old residence permit, and, if necessary, your temporary residence permit ("Fiktionsbescheinigung") with you!

You will receive a confirmation of the residence permit applied for - a so-called "Temporary Certificate of Approved Residence Title" - when you submit your application. This certificate serves as proof of the provisional extension of the right of residence (see following questions), but is not sufficient for the purpose of leaving the country. A  temporary residence permit ("Fiktionsbescheinigung") is required for leaving the country.

How long is the residence permit for study purposes valid for?

A residence permit for study purposes is issued for one to a maximum of two years. The residence permit can be extended if the purpose of the stay (e.g. graduation) has not yet been achieved or can still be achieved within a reasonable period of time. The average duration of studies plus three semesters is decisive.

If you expect to need more time for your studies than the standard period of study, for example, because you can prove that you have not completed any or only a few study components, the Immigration Office can demand a so-called academic progress certificate or Study Progress Assessment. This certificate is a general estimate from your study advisor and, if applicable, from the International Office, about the further course of your studies. You can find more information about the Academic Progress Certificate on our website.

What do I have to consider when my residence permit expires?

Please make sure to apply for an extension of your residence permit approximately 3 months before it expires! If your application is submitted on time, i.e. before the expiry of your permit, a further stay is considered permitted until the decision of the Immigration Office with all the subsequent effects (for example, the right to pursue gainful employment).

Late filing of applications may result in considerable legal disadvantages. Submitting applications by email before the expiry of the validity of the residence permit as well as a written request (sent by to the Immigration Office) to make an appointment for the extension of the residence permit are considered a timely application submission.

What is a "Fiktionsbescheinigung" (temporary residence permit)?

A temporary residence permit or "Fiktionsbescheinigung" in German is an official certificate confirming that you have a temporary right of residence until the Immigration Office has reviewed your application for a residence permit or residence permit extension and issues you with the actual residence permit or residence permit extension. Unlike the actual residence permit, this temporary residence permit can be issued at very short notice and is usually only valid for a few months.

If you already have a valid residence permit and have applied for an extension (not the initial issue!), the temporary permit will be accepted for re-entry into Germany and will also enable you to work. You can find more information on the temporary permit in this fact sheet.

My residence permit has already expired and I have not yet been able to make a personal appointment at the Immmigration Office due to high demand. What consequences does this have for me?

As long as you have submitted your application for the initial granting or extension in time (see previous questions) or have contacted the Immigration Office in writing to make an appointment, the so-called Fiktionswirkung (acceptance by default) applies, i.e. you have a temporary permit until you receive an appointment and the Immigration Office reviews your application and decides on your case.

Can I work alongside my studies with a residence permit for study purposes?

You may work up to 120 full days or 240 half days (up to four hours correspond to a half-day) per year alongside your studies with a residence permit for study purposes. The working days or hours can be flexibly arranged and a permit from the Federal Employment Agency is not required. The same time restrictions and regulations also apply to self-employed activities, for example, freelance translator work.

If you work as a student assistant or undertake a compulsory internship, the time restriction outlined above does not apply.

Does a change of study program have to be coordinated with the Immigration Office?

If you would like to change your field of study or even transfer to another university, it is imperative that you have the change approved in advance by the Immigration Office. The purpose of your residence permit is tied to your field of study and type of university. As a rule, a change is possible within the first 18 months (three semesters). A later change is only possible if the maximum duration of stay of ten years is not exceeded.

What do I have to consider before a planned stay abroad or departure?

You may stay abroad for up to a maximum of six months, for example for a student exchange semester, an internship, or to visit family. The deadline for re-entry can only be extended by the Immigration Office if you receive written approval from the Immigration Office early (before the re-entry deadline expires). A subsequent extension of the period for re-entry into Germany is not possible. In this case, a new visa must be applied for at the embassy in the respective country.

Where do I extend my residence permit during a (temporary) internship in another city?

In principle, you always apply for an extension of your residence permit at the responsible Immigration Office of your main place of residence, i.e. if you are still registered at the Residents' Registration Office in Aachen, you can still apply for your residence permit at the Immigration office in Aachen.

If you have already deregistered your address in Aachen, please contact the authority of your new place of residence.

Is my residence permit still valid after I have completed my studies?

Your residence permit is valid even after you have completed your studies and is sufficient for you to take up a job for the first time, provided that the 120 full days or 240 half-days have not yet been exceeded (see previous questions).

Nevertheless, it is imperative that you inform the Immigration Office as soon as you have completed all the required study achievements. The ZPA will confirm the completion of your studies via a so-called certificate of completion. From this point on, you have 18 months to look for a suitable job (i.e. the job corresponds to the field of your studies). For this purpose, you can apply for a residence permit for your job search. Once you have found a job, contact the Immigration Office to apply for a work permit or EU Blue Card.

What do I have to consider in case my residence permit gets lost or stolen?

If your residence permit or EU Blue Card has been lost or stolen, please take the following steps immediately:  

  • Report the theft to the police.
  • Inform the Immigration Office in Aachen about the theft or loss of your residence permit (in writing, by email, by phone, or in person).
  • If the online ID function was activated in your residence permit, have it blocked. This is for your own protection and prevents misuse of your data. You can have the online ID function blocked by calling the nationwide blocking hotline at 116 116.

When does my residence permit automatically expire?

The residence permit automatically expires if you have left Germany for a period that is not merely temporary or if you remain outside Germany for longer than six months.