'Bewildering': My 21-hour ordeal at the Stuttgart immigration office

Rakesh Prem
Rakesh Prem
'Bewildering': My 21-hour ordeal at the Stuttgart immigration office
Rakesh waits outside Stuttgart immigration office in the early hours of the morning. Photo: Rakesh Prem

Engineer Rakesh Prem describes how he waited overnight outside Stuttgart's immigration offices this month - only to be issued a temporary certificate instead of a visa.


I want to share my recent experience at the Ausländerbehörde in Stuttgart, and I must admit, it's left me deeply disappointed.

As planned, I queued up outside the office from 11am on Sunday, alongside 40 others, enduring the 21-hour long wait with the hope of sorting out my residence permit matters. Tokens were distributed at 6:30 am on Monday, and we finally gained entry when the doors opened at 8:30am.

My anticipation quickly turned into bewilderment when, instead of the expected residence permit, I was handed a Fiktionsbescheinigung (a temporary certificate that states you are waiting for a visa) valid for just one year.

READ ALSO: 'They treat us like trash': Stuttgart immigration office queues are gone but problems persist

The explanation given was capacity issues, but this left me feeling frustrated and let down.

What's disheartening is that this temporary permit situation has persisted for months, and there's no sign of improvement. I am now facing the prospect of returning on October 24th with my family to repeat this arduous process all over again - perhaps 30 hours in the queue next year.

Stuttgart immigration office

A long queue forms outside Stuttgart immigration office at 4:30am. Photo: Rakesh Prem

The city of Stuttgart appears to be deferring a solution rather than addressing the root cause, leading to an ever-increasing backlog of cases.

READ ALSO: IN DEPTH: Are Germany’s immigration offices making international residents feel unwelcome?

What's worse, individuals with jobseeker visa conversions to work visas were issued extensions as job seekers, endangering their job contracts as they cannot re-enter the office until one week before the extended visa expires. In other words, Stuttgart city forces "job seekers" to remain "job seekers" even after finding a job and not letting them start their job.


This entire ordeal has taken a significant emotional toll on me, and I find myself questioning the value of the effort I've put into integration.

Learning the German language is crucial, but it's disheartening when the system is so flawed.

Are you struggling to get an appointment or renew your visa at an Ausländerbehörde in Germany? Get in touch and let us know.


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RB 2023/10/19 12:12
Come to Sachsen.. the services work here much better! The east of Germany is underrated and not good at self-promotion, but it offers a lot if one is not fixated by living in big name cities like Stuttgart, Munich, D'dorf etc. - lots of jobs to be had - ofcourse you must have made your efforts towards integration like learning the language.
rcr1994 2023/10/17 10:39
Thank you for raising these issues, its amusing how the whole country has turned a blind eye on the situation of foreigners trying to integrate and work hard. Only this missing there is Poster of Robert Habeck saying Welcome to Germany.

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