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It is my impression that it is legal to leave the Schengen zone Area (specifically Germany) with an expired work/residence permit, then almost immediately re-enter with a passport which grants 90-day Tourist visas -- right? If so, would it then be illegal to continue working while in Germany on the Tourist visa?

I know that expired work/residence permit holders are allowed to remain living and working in Germany after their visa expires, as long as they are working towards renewing it at the Ausländerbehörde acquire a renewal appointment before their visa expires. The potential trouble is only with leaving and re-entering.

I know that usually, this situation is handled by a Fiktionsbescheinigung (granted by the Ausländerbehörde), but getting appointments is currently very challenging.

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    Have you directly contacted the Ausländerbehörde and explained the situation? My wife has twice had trips planned for some date a few weeks after the expiration of her residence permit, with no appointments available. On contacting the Ausländerbehörde and explaining the situation, they've been able to find appointments to give her a Fiktionsbescheinigung both times. The earlier you contact them, the better, of course.
    – Chris H
    Jun 30, 2023 at 7:22
  • Thanks for the tip, @ChrisH ! Yes, we emailed the Ausländerbehörde last week. However, according to this article the Ausländerbehörde in our area has a backlog of over 10,000 emails. Do you know of a better means of contact?
    – zim
    Jun 30, 2023 at 7:28
  • I don't have any special tips. I think my wife both emailed and called. It's possible the email backlog is less severe here (Hamburg), although the three-to-six month waiting time for appointments sounds pretty similar.
    – Chris H
    Jun 30, 2023 at 7:47
  • Welcome to this board. However, I believe that your question belongs to Expats SE, not Travel SE.
    – o.m.
    Jun 30, 2023 at 18:05

1 Answer 1

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The general rule presently is, where appointments are hard to get and leads to a made appointment that is after a deadline, the date that the (online) appointment was made is considered to be the date of the application under the condition that you attend that appointment.
A copy/printout of the appointment is advised.

For the extension of a residence permit (when the residence permit has not yet expired) this means that the date that the appointment was made is the date of the application for extension, then the residence permit is considered to have been extended until a decision has been made (§81(4) - Applying for the residence title - AufthG).

It is my impression that it is legal to leave the Schengen zone Area (specifically Germany) with an expired work/residence permit, then almost immediately re-enter with a passport which grants 90-day Tourist visas stay -- right? If so, would it then be illegal to continue working while in Germany on the Tourist visa?

If you have made application/appointment for the extension of a residence permit while residence permit was valid

  • then the residence permit has not expired
    • you can continue working until a decision has been made
    • there is no need to leave and reenter the Schengen Area

If you have not made application/appointment for the extension of a residence permit while residence permit was valid

  • then the residence permit has has expired
    • you cannot continue working

The potential trouble is only with leaving and re-entering.

A copy/printout of the appointment (or a Fiktionsbescheinigung) together with the residence permit card will be helpful in this case. Take into account that a possible verification of the appointment may be time consuming.


Update: based on the text of the Immigration Office Berlin FAQ Booking an appointment, you should not travel without getting a Fiktionsbescheinigung beforehand.

Landesamt für Einwanderung FAQ Booking an appointment:
My residence title will expire before my appointment. Is that a problem?
...

  • Moreover, you can travel abroad only within the scope of validity of the residence title most recently granted to you.

I would like to travel but my temporary residence permit expired or expires very soon. What can I do?
If there are no available appointments before your travel and you are in possession of a valid travel document (passport or an equivalent), please send an email including your travel dates and the reason for your travel to the unit responsible for you. We will process your request promptly and check if you can receive a certificate that enables you to travel [Fiktionsbescheinigung].

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  • Thanks for the answer, and the reference 81(4) looks quite useful! However, I have also just come across the following statement from my local LEA office: "Moreover, you can travel abroad only within the scope of validity of the residence title most recently granted to you." Which seems to imply that the residence permit is still valid, and that I cannot travel abroad after its originally-posted expiry date. Right?
    – zim
    Jul 4, 2023 at 13:07
  • That is was they wrote and further down: If there are no available appointments before your travel and you are in possession of a valid travel document (passport or an equivalent), please send an email including your travel dates and the reason for your travel to the unit responsible for you. We will process your request promptly and check if you can receive a certificate that enables you to travel [Fiktionsbescheinigung]. Jul 4, 2023 at 16:32
  • Thanks. Unfortunately "promptly" is not really possible for the Berlin LEA at the moment. We wrote them many weeks ago and we still have not heard back. We've also tried calling multiple times, waiting over 3 hours on hold, but no one picked up the phone.
    – zim
    Jul 5, 2023 at 8:38
  • @zim Even in the past, promptly has never been a word that most peaple associate with any administrative task in Berlin. Jul 5, 2023 at 9:02

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