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My US-citizen partner has been working in Germany for the last 3 years. She has been working in an intragovernmental organization and as such did not receive a 'proper' German visa but instead was issued a Sonderausweis. Since a few weeks ago, she no longer works at this organization (and she had to turn in her Sonderausweis as a result) but instead is expected to start working at a regular German employer (she's a scientist and will work at a scientific institute). Her contract is in the process of being set up and she will sign it within a few days. Once she has the contract she will apply for a Blue Card, which she is expected to get, but it will take 4-8 weeks. Right now she has no visa for Germany or the Schengen area.

We planned a trip to the US at the beginning of October and we are starting to get worried about re-entry into Germany. Most probably the Blue Card application will not have gone through by then. Will this be an issue? Can she simply re-enter Germany without a visa under the rule that Americans are allowed to stay in the Schengen area for 3 months? Is there something we need/can do to make re-entry possible? Does bringing proof of residency/work contract make any sense?

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Once she has the contract she will apply for a Blue Card, which she is expected to get but it will take 4-8 weeks.
We planned a trip to the US at the beginning of October...

While making the residence permit application, inform them of this intended trip.

For this, a Fiktionsbescheinigung will be issued which will prove that an application for a residence permit has been made.

Since she does not require a visa for the entry into the Schengen Area, the Fiktionsbescheinigung will show that she is returning to take up residence in Germany.


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  • Thank you for the answer - perhaps I wasn't clear but she is currently a resident in Germany already (she has been for the last 3 years). Does having a valid residency solve our issue?
    – PejoPhylo
    Commented Sep 12, 2023 at 16:20
  • This will probably be treated as a renewal due to the previous Sonderausweis. A Fiktionsbescheinigung can also be issued for a renewal if the application is done before the previous one has expired. In this case it doesn't matter since she is eligable to apply for an initial residence permit from inside Germany. Commented Sep 12, 2023 at 16:27
  • "If the male or female applicant is lawfully resident without a visa in the Federal Republic, because he or she is entitled to be by virtue of his/her nationality, the fictional certificate will be issued in accordance with § 81 Section 3 of the Residence Act. This permits residence in the area of the Federal Republic until a decision has been made regarding the application. This fictional certification, however, does not permit re-entry into the territory of the Federal Republic." Is this not cause for concern?
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 13, 2023 at 0:34
  • @phoog No, since the General Administrative Provisions for the Residence Act 81.3.6 states Regulations according to which entry without a residence permit is permitted for other reasons ... remain untouched. See answer to Traveling with Erlaubnisfiktion where the full text can be read. Commented Sep 13, 2023 at 3:54
  • It’s worth noting that many German Ausländerbehörde are so backed up that the timely issue of a Fiktionsbescheinigung may not be realistic possibility. Commented Sep 13, 2023 at 8:39
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According to the German Mission in the United States, "Citizens of the United States of America may also apply for their residence permit after entering Germany without a Visa." So, you and your partner can return to Germany and apply on arrival at the Ausländerbehörde.

I cannot comment from experience if this will be faster, but it might make more sense rather than applying outside of Germany if you are already residents. However it's important to mention that until you have received confirmation from the Ausländerbehörde, (e.g., your partner receives their Aufenhaltstitel) your partner cannot begin working.

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  • It should be noted that for German national visas, where the goal is to take up residence, the decision about the visa is made by the responsible authority inside Germany. So if you apply in New York or locally, the same team will be processing the application. Commented Sep 13, 2023 at 4:30

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