Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Part 3, Visiting the Civil Registry Office (Standesamt)

Welcome to the last round!

This must be one of the thrilling part of the document battle for your partner, registering your marriage. They can change their tax classification, which simply means, lower tax pay for them. Let's face it, the taxes here are expensive!

As usual, this is a first-come-first-serve basis system unless you have an appointment.

Please take note while I was applying for my Family Reunion Visa in the Philippines, I was not subjected to document checking. I wanted to quote myself from my previous topic that it is best to assume that everyone who is applying for Family Reunion Visa or Fiancee Visa is subjected to document checkings. Read on to find out why I needed to quote myself now.

These are the things asked from us:
1. My Passport
2. My One (1) Passport size ID picture
3. My Resident Registration paper or the Anmeldebestätigung (given by the Ortsamt authorities)
-- Read Part 1 on how to obtain this.
4. NSO Birth Certificate*
5. NSO Marriage License*
* I attached a translation of these although it was not asked from me.
6. NSO Certificate of Marriage (CEMAR)
7. My husband's ID card passport or the Ausweis
-- Make sure that the home address are uptodate
8. Certified copy of my husband's Birth Certificate
-- This is taken from the registry where he was sign up after birth.
9. Profile Copy of my husband
-- taken from the Ortsamt. See Part 1.
-- must be uptodate.
10. Certification to allow & pay them processing fee of document checking
-- Fees: 190€ for processing fee + 10€ for postal fee
-- This is the same document checking where most was subjected to when they are applying for their Family Reunion Visa or Fiancee Visa.
-- Please note that I do know someone who were not ask for the document checking ever. It is safe to assume that this differ from Standesamt to Standesamt.

We are done... for now! It's back to the waiting game where they will just send a letter when all the necessary process are done. Until next time!!!


Part 2, Visiting the Alien Office (Ausländerbehörde)

Welcome to the part 2 out of 3

It's time to head to the Foriegner Registration Office or the Ausländerbehörde. Again, this is a first-come-first-serve, so, the first thing you should do is get a priority number. Incase there is none, try to locate for a registration sheet and sign in your name. This is for the Receptionist who will ask you what kind of assistance do you need -- he or she will give you the list of things that you will need to present. The same person will confirm that you will be listed to their appointment list if you have all the necessary documents with you. You will wait at the waiting area until an Officer calls your name.

Please note that this is a long wait depending on the cases the said Officers are assisting. If not urgent, do not leave the waiting room. During my stay there, there was this couple who went out of the room to smoke.While they were gone, an Officer repeatedly call for their attention, until such a time the Officer called for the next person in line. The time they were back, their appointment is gone and since its already cut-off time -- they were ask to come back in another time for their concerns. Consider yourself warned!


Almost every person in that room are there for their Residence Status which they called ''Aufenthaltsstatus''. By the German law, every Alien must hold a Residence Approval or the Aufenthaltsgenehmigung. This is subdivided into different parts:

1. Residence Permission (Aufenthaltserlaubnis)
-- Initially issued with an expiration date and can be extended or after number of years and complying to certain requirements, this can be exchange for an unrestricted resident permit.
-- This is issued for foreigners who are a close family relative of a German national.

2. Residence Allocation (Aufenthaltsbewilligung)
-- This is granted for people who are only temporarily staying in Germany for a particular purposes such as studying a course.

3.Authorisation of Residence (Aufenthaltsbefugnis)
-- This is granted for people who are allowed to enter and reside within the federal territory for reasons of international rights or urgent humanitarian reasons or for maintaining the political interests of Germany.

4. Right of Residence (Aufenthaltsberechtigung)
-- The no time limit resident permit.


With this, I am applying for the Residence Permission (Aufenthaltserlaubnis). Please be reminded that the requirements being sought are case-to-case basis. Do bring all the documents you felt important.On our case, we are both of legal age, married in the Philippines, and applied for a Family Reunion Visa. We both are never married before and have no children outside the relationship.

The things ask from us are the following:
1. A fully accomplished form
2. My Passport
3. My Two (2) Passport size ID pictures
4. My Resident Registration paper or the Anmeldebestätigung (given by the Ortsamt authorities)
-- Read Part 1 on how to obtain this.
5. My husband's ID card passport or the Ausweis
6. Proof of Health Insurance
-- can be the Health Insurance card or the letter of confirmation from the Insurance company.
7. Proof of Income
-- Can be Job Contract of your German's Partner or Payroll Slip

110€ for the visa extention

After all documents checked, papers stamped and signed for, I was given the following:
1. a list of  schools with their addresses and contact numbers for my German Language course
-- they included 3 forms to which you will submit to your new school.
2. a booklet about the newly feautured ID system for my Residence Permission (Aufenthaltserlaubnis)
-- the system is fairly new and I was subjected to their electronic finger printing and electronic signature
-- I was told that the process is more or less, one month, and they will send us a letter when it arrives.

We are almost done with the paper battle. See you the next round!

Part 1, Visiting the Local Civil Office (Ortsamt)

This is the first office that you need to visit: The Local Civil Office or the Ortsamt.

In Germany, you need to register where you are living. If you move to a new apartment or place, irregardless if its on the same street, you need to go to this office to inform them thru registration. If you guys are not going to move, please read on to the next paragraph. For those who will move or is planning to do so, remember that the very least they require is that your new home already have your name tags on the mailbox. They do not do any advance processings and will only ask you to come back again incase the name tags are not yet changed to yours.

They have a first-come-first-serve system. You can get your number at the information counter.

Moving on, here are the things they ask from us:
1. Fully accomplished form
-- the forms are located at the waiting area.
-- incase you guys move to a new address, and your partner needs to register too, he needs to fill up a seperate form.
2. My passport
3. Rental Agreement
4. My husband's ID card passport or the Ausweis
-- this is needed if your German partner is going to register to a new address

10 € for the registration fee per couple or person
10 € for a profile copy  of your German partner**
** This was a requirement for his Capacity to Contact Marriage. My husband needs to take a new one because he need to present an uptodate copy to the Standesamt (Part 3).

After everything is done, you will be given a stamped and signed Resident Registration Paper or the Anmeldebestätigung. This is your official proof of address of living in Germany.You will need to present this whenever you need to confirm your address, so bring it with you wherever you go along with your passport and other legal ID.

We're done... for now! Hope this helps!


Registering in Germany -- My Experience

Willkommen in Deutschland!  (Welcome to Germany!)

It's time to continue the paper battles!

My situation: I am born in the Philippines, had a destination wedding with my German national partner held in the Philippines, applied a Family reunion visa and is now in Germany. At the moment, I did not change my surname yet to my husband's. Now, I need to extend my visa stay.

There are 3 offices that I need to visit:

(1)  the Local Civil Office or the ''Ortsamt''
(2)  the Foreigner Registration Office or the ''Ausländerbehörde''
(3) Civil Registry Office or the Standesamt.

The good news is that all the said offices are compact in one building, at least from where I am staying. The bad news is that they all have a different opening and closing times. My husband and I were able to do all this in half of a day. You can call it luck or good timing, however, I still believe it is best that you should get the business hours of the said offices to save you time.

If you are anything like me who only got an A1 certificate and cannot speak the German language well -- I believe it is best that you have your partner or the very least, a German speaking friend to accompany you on this trip. This will save you the worries regarding language barriers.

For the other details such as what documents to bring or what are my personal experiences on each of the said offices, just click on their name/link.

Good luck!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

My First Glance of Germany

Lucky. This is what everyone told me when I arrive in Germany. The day I arrive was the same day they have their first sun signaling the start of Spring. Awesome timing! I was attentive with the things around me as soon, this will be my new home.

Pushcart with a 50 cents Euro
The first thing that greeted me after leaving the Immigration officer who stamped and signed my passport was a series of doors -- all opening automatic for me. Talk about high tech! What greeted me next was nothing I expected: The pushcart are locked with a certain device. To have it unlock, you need to slide a coin in the slot before you can unhook it. You can now push it around like a normal cart. When you are done, you can simply go to a cart area, park your cart in the pile, took the chain and snap it to the cart infront of you. You can now get your coin back. Cool, huh?

I find the Germans in general are warm and sincere people contrary to the other comments I had heard before. I had my first taste of celebrity status upon reaching the arrival area. Almost the whole family of my husband (uncles and aunts included) was there to give us a welcome home. I was given flowers, some welcome gifts with lots of hugs and smiles while several cameras snapping away. I was naturally embarrassed with all the attentions given. I was most relief when I noticed that the people around us seems not to mind... infact, they were smiling at me too. Awwww! :)

The following are my observations on my first day in Germany:
1. The streets are very clean. As expected!
2. The people are nature lovers. Almost every window or balcony I saw has flowers.
3. There are no security guards in malls, grocery store or in restaurants.

I did get to see my first ''Mercedes'' taxi car. Unfortunately, I did not get to take any picture of it. I heard of it, read about it and so on. But seeing it for real still manage to give me a shock. Hilarious!

This is all for now.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

My airline-of-choice to Germany

There are several airlines with different stop-over destination from Philippines going to Germany. It is best that you take the time to research on what is best for you. For this topic, I will be discussing about the airline I rode going to Germany. Please be reminded that I am not representing the airline company  or any company in that matter. I am  not getting  any payment to write this blog. This is all based on my personal experiences. Kindly read my  Blog disclaimers. For those who are still interested, please read on.

Gate 5
Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Manila, Philipppines
And so without further ado, our airline-of-choice is **drumrolls** Emirates. The stop over is at Dubai airport. This is 9 hours non-stop flight from Manila, Philippines. If you are arriving in Dubai and your first available connection flight is more than 8 hours and less than 24 hours, the airline Emirates will give you a voucher for a free complimentary airport hotel stay. For further informations regarding this, you can check the Emirates official websites. Or check your airline-of-choice's official website for similar offers.

Please take note that the free hotel varies and is dependent on what kind of tickets you are holding: first class, business class or economy. The better seats you have, the better hotel they will provide you. You must be wondering how the free hotel works upon arrival... so read on.

Emirates Economy screen
Upon reaching Dubai airport, proceed to the Emirates help desk that you can go to. Present them with your passport and the voucher. They will give you instructions what to do next.

Since I am holding a Philippine passport (needs visa to enter Dubai ... the hotel is outside the airport), I was ask to do 2 things before heading for the Immigration counter area:

1. Go to the bank located at the airport arrival ground
-- Give them your passport and hotel voucher. They will stamp and will redirect you to another counter to have your eyes scanned.

2. Have my eye scanned.
-- This is not frieky as it sound. There is a long counter which have 2 lines seperated by gender. They will scan your passport information then will ask you to sit down and look into their eye scanner. After this they will stamp and signed your voucher. Now you can move to the Immigration area.

The immigration officer will get the original copy of your voucher and will stamp & signed your passport. It's time to head to the Emirates lounge to ride the free shuttle to the hotel. For economy class, the hotel is Millenium Airport Hotel. This is just a few minutes ride to and from the airport.
hotel room

What about our luggages? We do not need to worry about our bags & they are tagged to be picked up at Germany. Anyway, going back to the topic: The hotel room is clean and comfortable. It have a flat screen TV and a bathtub. Not bad for a free hotel. Free breakfast are also provided ... though, we did not get to try it anymore.

I am now signing off with 2 pictures taken from the Dubai airport: (1)the jaw dropping beautiful oasis ; and (2) the beautiful  enormous waterfall which drops water 3 storey high (yes, both inside the airport). Nice, right?

This is all for now. Wishing for those who are flying for a safe trip!

Bon voyage!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Flying from Manila Airport to Germany

Here we go ... here we go ... here we go!!! Take a deep breath and here we go!

With international flight, it is ideal that you show up 3 hours before your flight or earlier. Hey, your tickets does not come in cheap... so be on time! The worst that can ever happen is that the check-in counter closes on you and that you need to buy new tickets on your expense. Ouch! 

My flight was through NAIA terminal 1 in Manila. I showed up 5 hours ahead of my schedule flight. It was an afternoon flight and the airport is packed with many passengers. After subjecting to security check up, I realized that my airline-of-choice has not open a check-in counter yet. That's alright and I rather be stuck waiting inside the airport lobby than stuck in a traffic jam. Along with other passengers of the same airline, I waited patiently.

I wore jogging pants with a 3/4 long sleeves shirt with a comfortable rubbershoes. I have a thick hoody in my check-in trolley bag. (Please check your airline-of-choice's measurement of the check-in bags and allowable weight as they are very strict regarding this). Remember that COMFORT is more important than fashion.

There are 2 things I needed to pay:

1. Travel Tax
This you can pay at the MIAA (Manila International Airport Authority) counter located at the airport lobby with the following rates:
a. 1,620php for Filipinos who are not permanent residents abroad. This is what I payed.
b.  810php for Filipinos aged 2 - 12 years old who are not permanent residents abroad.
c.  200php for Infants below 2 years old & for Filipinos permanent residents abroad.

You can also check the MIAA official website for more information.

2. Terminal Fee of 550php
This new fee started only this February 1, 2012 but may increase again soon according to the local media. The previous fee is 750php. Better bring more money, just in case.

Another long line awaits you at the Immigration Counter. They will check on your passport for the valid visa & CFO stickers. They will also take a look at your plane ticket & maybe interview you a little. When you are cleared, the officer will stamp & sign your passport. You can go ahead now to your assigned gate number (also printed on your boarding pass). You can go shopping too if you like at the duty free area, though I felt they are only limited selections.

You should be fine from here. Have a good journey ahead of you!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Clothing to Bring

My sincere apology for the delay. As you may guess, I am now in Germany & have been busy. What's my experiences during the trip is a story I will post in another time. Stay tuned! At the moment, I would like to discuss ''clothing''. What you should bring with you.

1. Jacket
-- at least bring one (1) that you felt is thick enough for the cold weather. Even on a sunny day, the wind is still somewhat cold.
-- light jackets can be useful for spring and autumn seasons. Bring two (2) or more as you wish.

2. Top
-- forget about the shirt or blouse made of thin materials. Chances of being able to use them is slim.
-- do bring several long sleeves, turtle necks, knitted wears, hoodies or T shirts that suits your taste.

3. Bottom
-- do bring several jeans, jogging pants, and the likes with you.
-- skirts of thick material is optional.
-- if you are used to wear shorts at home, you can bring some with you.

4. Shoes
-- do bring sport shoes or sneakers with you. You can wear them on the day you fly to Germany. Make sure that your toes can move inside your shoes.
-- if you are a flipflop lover like myself: at most, bring only one (1) flipflop for the summer seasons. Let's be practical.
-- other close shoes you can't simply leave behind. Hey, I'm a girl too and can understand you! But don't over do it and you can still buy some pairs in Germany too.

5. Others
-- undergarments or underwears. Bring several.
-- socks. Bring at least six (6) pairs of sport socks (the very thick ones) and 6 (six) pairs of normal socks. Bring more esp. if you are not used to cool climates. Knee-high socks are optional.
-- gloves and earmuffs are optional esp. if you are arriving on autumn or spring seasons.
-- caps, hats and beanies. Bring some if you have. This is also optional.

Please take note that you just need to make sure that all your clothing can last upto a week. Either way, you will go shopping for your other necessities when you come here in Germany.

Enjoy packing!