The process duration for a new residence card, the "elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel" or "eAT" is approximately 6 to 8 weeks. Going without appointment is possible but takes 5-6 hours wait, with appointment there is no waiting time at all, however, be aware that there is also a lead time of approximately 4 weeks for the appointment. Thus, make sure you have that date noted with alarm function in your calendar!
You can only apply for the prolongation at the alien office of your district. Appointments can at the moment only be arranged by phone. The Hamburg.de
pages offer a quick way to identify "your" office. Type in your adress and you will provided with the office address and phone number.
Personal presence is obligatory, because fingerprints will be taken, also from children aged 6 and older.
- completed form (available in English)
- One Bio-metric passport photo (45mm x 35mm)
- Old and new passports
- Proof of your income
- Proof of your healthcare insurance
Sometimes additional documents need to be provided - that depends on the type of your residence permit (ie.if on student visa you need to provide proof that you are still studying). The officers will give you information when calling them.
The document you need to fill out is called "Antrag auf Erteilung/Verlängerung eines Aufenthaltstitels". It is available here
in several languages.
The processing time once in front of the officer is approximately 20 minutes. The fees differ depending on your residence permit. See here
- Two fingerprints are recorded
- A book is handed out ‘All you need to know about the electronic residence permit (eAT)’ and you must sign to agree you have received it
Approximately 3 weeks later, notice will be sent from Berlin that the card is finished and available for collection. You don't need an appointment for collecting your new eAT.
You must sign another form agreeing to advise the Bezirksamt if there are any changes to your status during these 3 weeks. Changes include: address, marital status, new child, work place, income, studies and lost passports. Bring your passports (all of them if you have several) and the change document. The old permit will be cancelled.
Usually, the assistants are helpful, patient and kind.