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I have received permanent residency in Germany some time ago. The card says Gültig bis UNBEFRISTET (valid until unlimited), but at the bottom it says Erwerbstätigkeit gestattet Kartennutzung bis 16.07.2020 (roughly employment allows card use until 16.07.2020). What exactly does this mean?

July 16th is when my old travel passport expires, which I have already replaced with a new one. I have contacted the immigration office about the card replacement, but due to COVID-19 the communication is by email only and apparently they are very busy and it takes them a week or more to reply to my emails. I am afraid that I will not have a new card by July 16th. What happens in that case? Is my residence status affected somehow? My ability to work?

If that is relevant, I have a permanent contract here.

  • It means the card itsself must be renewed. If you have made an appointment to renew the card your fine. – Mark Johnson Jul 8 at 13:32
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Your translation of the text is not correct. You have to read it as two different remarks:

  • Erwerbstätigkeit gestattet
  • Kartennutzung bis 16.07.2020

This translates as:

  • Employment allowed
  • Card usage until July 16th, 2020

The right to work is not limited in time, but the usage of the card. The reason is as you probably have guessed that the residence permit card is only valid together with your passport. Your old passport number will also very likely be mentioned on the residence permit. If you get a new passport, you will also have to get a new residence permit card (eAT).

Again: Be aware that your residence or work permit does not expire on July 16th, 2020, it is just the validity of the eAT card. German authorities are very well aware of the practical impact of the corona restrictions, so I wouldn't worry at all if you are just planning to stay in Germany. You might however run into problems if you plan to travel abroad, especially leave and/or reenter the Schengen area with the expired card.

How to proceed depends on where you live. In Germany, the foreigners authority is a municipal office and each office seem to deal differently with all the corona related problems. Unless your local office has a web page telling you how to proceed, your only option is to try to get in touch with them and ask. Some municipalities now allow 'simpler' things like in this case the renewal of an eAT card (as long as the residence right itself is not expiring) to be done by e-mail, fax or mail. In Frankfurt, you could for example simply mail the application with a scanned copy of your new passport to the authority and you would get the new eAT card sent by mail to your home address.

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  • I see. Reading them separately does make more sense. I finally got a response this morning - I now have an appoint for bio-metric data collection in two weeks and then for card pick-up in September. Meanwhile, I will just carry that card pick-up appointment letter with me just in case, but I am not planning to travel until I get the new card. I guess I should have been just more patient, but it is good to have that cryptic "appointment allowed with card usage" message clarified! – Renat Jul 9 at 8:10

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