If you’ve been living in Munich as an English speaker, odds are you’ve had to deal with the wild wonders of the Ausländerbehörde (AKA the Foreigner’s Office), housed in our favourite carnival of terrors – the KVR (Kreisverwaltungsreferat). Maybe you’ve even confronted the joy of getting an appointment at the Ausländerbehörde for a Blue Card or residence permit? If you haven’t yet, you will soon, and boy are you in for a TREAT!
*Hands you cookie* You’re gonna need this.
See, the thing is… getting an appointment for the Ausländerbehörde (or just the KVR in general) is a daunting task, especially since they unrolled a new appointment-only policy last year.
If you’ve checked the online appointment system, only to find there are no free slots for MONTHS, then you know this specific feeling of woe and agony.
Well – don’t worry! In this article, we’ll tell you (from horrific firsthand experience) how to actually get seen by the grumbly folks at Munich’s Ausländerbehörde. Through these methods I’ve managed to get same-week appointments for urgent visa matters, even when nobody would help me or show any kind of sympathy for my situation. My latest experience was in the Fall of 2019, so this should be pretty up-to-date and accurate.
NOTE: Many reports, forum posts, Facebook group posts, etc. are extremely outdated. Don’t rely on anything posted before 2019 because the rules and processes have changed substantially at the KVR since then.
First: The Difference Between the KVR Ausländerbehörde and the Bürgerbüro
To start, let’s get your umlaut-laden office names straight! There is a LOT of confusion among newcomers about where they need to go… and advice online often confuses the two, so let’s make this very clear….
- The Ausländerbehörde is the Foreigner’s Office. This is where you would go to handle anything related to Blue Cards, Residence Permits, etc. when you are from outside Germany. Included in this office is the Service Center for International Professionals, which has a shockingly friendly and promising website. This office is located inside the KVR on Rupertstrasse. When you enter, turn right, find the staircase and run up to the Service Center for International Professionals.
- The Bürgerbüro is the Citizen’s Office where you would go to register your address when you first arrive. There are multiple Bürgerbüros around the city, not just at Rupertstrasse, although that is is a popular one. At Rupertstrasse, this can be found on the ground floor.
What Doesn’t Work Appointment-Wise at the Munich’s Ausländerbehörde
So there is a LOT of misinformation out there about how to actually get an appointment for the Ausländerbehörde and again, a lot of outdated accounts. Based on our own experience (which is poetically contradictory to many of the official stated processes on the website), here are some things that no longer work as of 2019…
- Turning up early in the morning without an appointment: For the Ausländerbehörde, gone are the days that you can just turn up at 7am and shiver in the Hunger Gamesy mob outside the KVR, to race/claw your way to an appointment slot once doors open. They will turn anyone away without an appointment. Depending on the day you visit, you might not even have anybody at the Service Center desk to ask questions to! One time I went, there was just a security guard who knew nothing besides the fact that he needed to turn away anyone without an appointment. Some people will say this method still works, but they’re probably getting confused with the Bürgerbüro, which does indeed still let you make appointments day-of at special windows.
- Emailing or using a contact form for an appointment: If you’ve been down the rabbit hole of the official website, odds are you’ve seen a prompt to email the office to make an appointment or to use a contact form to do so. DON’T! They will NOT reply. Ever. I had a permit processing for 10 months and they never replied to a single email. This will not work and you’ll just be left waiting.
- Making an appointment early in the morning 30 min before doors open: This is the myth that they will perpetuate at the actual Ausländerbehörde when you ask how to make an appointment. They claim that they release new appointments every morning. I have not found this to be the case… and I tried for a few weeks straight! I don’t know why they keep saying this because every morning I’ve refreshed relentlessly, no slots open up. Some people will tell you that this is how to do it, but AGAIN, they are probably getting it confused with the Bürgerbüro which (happily) does release many appointments every morning consistently. Us looking for the Ausländerbehörde do not have the same luck.
How to Actually Get an Appointment for Munich’s Ausländerbehörde (Foreigner’s Office)
Okay, so none of those things work… How do we actually get an appointment for the Ausländerbehörde?
Patience. And a lot of refreshing on the official online appointment page here.
Long story short: appointments aren’t released in the morning like they claim… instead, random slots open up throughout the day (I assume when appointments are cancelled or moved around). That’s why in order to actually secure an appointment at the Ausländerbehörde, you need to just have the appointment area open all day and refresh every 1-2 minutes.
… No, I’m not kidding.
If you KEEP refreshing, at some point an appointment will open up. Usually it’s only a single appointment on a random day, which makes me think these are just cancellations opening up, but if you see one, HOP ON IT. Here’s an example of one I managed to get back in June:
I have to stress again that you must be VERY quick though because appointments get snapped up very quickly. Here’s an example of me clicking on an appointment that was already taken:
Lastly, this is VERY important – if you are lucky enough to snag an appointment, make sure you “activate” your appointment by confirming via an automated email they send you. Yes, head straight to your inbox and look for this email, then confirm your appointment. If you don’t, it goes back to the wolves in an hour. I once sat next to a poor girl who didn’t do this and was sat there for hours waiting for her number to come up…. it never did, and let me tell ya, the confrontation with staff was awkward.
This is what the activation email looks like:
SUMMARY: Munich Ausländerbehörde Appointment Process Step by Step
Alright, so here’s a step by step recap on how to actually get that appointment for the Ausländerbehörde.
- Go on the official portal here and select how many people you are applying for
- Check if there are any open spots. If there aren’t, just keep refreshing
- Keep refreshing the page until something opens up
- Enter your name and info
- [IMPORTANT] Confirm the appointment via email
May the odds be ever in your favour.