Extension / Overstay   

How long can I stay on my visa?

The last day on which you may enter or be in Germany is the expiry date on the visa. Your stay may not exceed the duration of stay shown on the visa!

Aw, come on! There has to be an exception for extension!

Legally, yes but practically hardly at all. Art. 33 Visa Codex allows an extension exclusively for acts of God and humanitarian reasons. An extension will granted very restrictively! In other words, addressing the authorities with “I fell in love with this country!” will never work!! Never! You must come up with very good reasons.

Can you give me an example for an act of God?

When you have arrived on time for your trip back to an airport and all flights are cancelled because of a snow blizzard. The storm is expected to cease in two days. This will be an act of God (natural disaster).

What humanitarian reasons that let me overstay my visa?

These reasons are very personal and you will have to tell a very persuasive story.

I believe to have such humanitarian case. When should I apply for such while visiting or when I leave?

You must apply before the visa expires! If you apply after expiration your stay is illegal with all consequences of fines or imprisonment

If my travel plans are delayed, can the validity of my visa be changed?

No, you are asked to apply for a new visa.

I am already in Germany. Who should I contact for advice about immigration matters?

If you, or the person you are inquiring about, is already in Germany, you should contact an attorney you trust and not directly the local immigration office (Ausländerbehörde). Though many authorities will say differently, only a lawyer is honestly competent to advise you on all rights and possibilities. The persons in the office are not incompetent but are not trained to think outside a box but rather to decide on applications. This is why they are called “case deciders”. The “consultation” you get from an authority will be best about what you should apply for. You want a residence permit? They will see if you meet the general requirements. They will, however, not tell you that you can get a settlement permit when you have extraordinary credentials.

Where do I apply for an extension?

You have to apply at the immigration office competent for the place where you are staying or at the border police at an airport. You will find the immigration office by asking the receptionist in the town hall. They will show you how to get there. When the office is closed, then you have to visit border police at the nearest airport.

Additional information