This morning, form, lease, and passports in hand, Paul and I went to our local Bürgeramt (municipal office — probably most akin to the city clerk’s office, or a city district office) to register with the locality. In Germany, whenever one moves to a new address, one is required to register with the local authorities. As new residents, we had to do this within 7 business days of our arrival. The paperwork we receive there basically certifies our address and residence. We then take this certification to the Ausländerbehörde (foreigners’ office), along with other documentation of our income, insurance, and legal status, to apply for a residence permit.
Though it is anxiety-producing to negotiate a foreign bureaucracy in a language in which one is not adept, we were pleased that our visit this morning went smoothly, without a hitch. The process — showing our form to the receptionist, getting some tips from her, receiving a number, sitting down and waiting for our number to be called — was very straightforward, and the clerks were quite tolerant of our minimal German. As a result, we didn’t have too much trouble communicating, and, thanks to Paul’s assiduity yesterday, we had filled out our form correctly (no small task), so it was basically a matter of getting our information into the system, and printing off and stamping our certification.
With that taken care of, we’re feeling better about the whole thing. Hopefully we will have all our ducks in a row for our visit to the Ausländerbehörde (probably next week), and that will go smoothly as well.
For now, it’s back to work!