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Living in Germany: Residency permit delays, long days and Bachfest

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Living in Germany: Residency permit delays, long days and Bachfest
Monument of the composer Johann Sebastian Bach in front of St Thomas Church in Leipzig. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Hendrik Schmidt

In this week’s roundup, we look at the struggle to get or renew a residency permit in Germany, the beauty of the German summer and celebrations for a world-famous composer.


Lots of people are interested in coming to Germany to start a new life. But one thing that is making the process much more difficult is the obstacles that foreign nationals face to get or renew their documents. We reported this week on major residency permit backlogs across the country.

As Imogen Goodman said in our Germany in Focus podcast released on June 2nd, the process for people trying to sort out their permits is going on for months in some places at the moment - and even longer if people are applying from abroad.

Complicating the matter, Germany’s coalition government wants to welcome 65,000 extra skilled workers from abroad per year through a reformed legal framework. But immigration authorities have questioned how realistic this goal is in light of sta shortages and a high workload. "We are going to have a problem getting the projected 65,000 skilled workers plus family members, we calculate about 100,000 people a year, into the administrative process," said Engelhard Mazanke, director of the Berlin State Oce for Immigration at a recent hearing in the Bundestag, adding: "We are already on the verge of dysfunctionality.”

Despite the issues, there are no concrete proposals yet on how to deal with the problems. The Local has heard from readers about how difficult it is to get an appointment at the immigration offices in Berlin recently. We’ll be looking into this in more detail in the coming weeks.


Tweet of the week

If you were in Leipzig last weekend, you may have spotted a lot of amazing gothic styles around, like these two pictured in this tweet. They were (of course!) at the annual Wave-Gotik-Treen, where the highlight is a Victorian picnic in Clara-Zetkin-Park. Get it in your diary for next year and start preparing your outfit.

Where is this?

Photo: DPA/Patrick Pleul

Thanks to the good weather and long hours of daylight, it’s a stunning time of year to be out and about in Germany. If you’re lucky, you’ll also see beautiful sunsets and early evening skies, like this photo near a wind farm in the Oder-Spree district in East Brandenburg.

Did you know?

Classical composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Thuringia. But the big celebration of his life and work takes place in Saxony’s Leipzig. This year’s Bachfest – which has been running in various forms for over 100 years – will mark the 300-year anniversary of the world-famous composer taking on the role of director of music at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig in 1723.


To celebrate, there'll be over 150 events where renowned international musicians and groups will honour the musical legacy of the forward-thinking composer. And Bach wasn’t the only musical talent in his family. His relatives were active in northern Germany, particularly around the Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt regions. They were said to meet once a year for family musical celebrations. If you’re interested in heading to the festival, which takes place from June 8th to 18th, check out a few playlists like this one.



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