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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

German Integration Course - Language and Orientation Course

What is a German Integration Course?
How long will the Language Course take?
How long will the Orientation Course take?

The German Integration Course is composed of two parts:
- The Basic German Language Course
- The Orientation Course

This course helps immigrants/foreigners who wish to live permanently here in Germany but don't have enough command of the German Language. Like Me ^_^

The Basic German Language Course will help you with your day to day life in Germany such as:
- German Language (Grammar!)
- Job Application
- Ordering food in the restaurant
- Shopping
- Going to the Doctor
- Using the trains, buses and trams
- Making phone calls
- Searching for an Apartment
- Writing letters etc.

The Orientation Course will give you input about the:
- Government System
- Law
- History
- Culture
- Society or People
- Rights and Duties
- Politics

The whole Integration Course last for about 6 months. In my experience, I attend the course everyday from Mondays to Fridays for 4 hours and 15 minutes. The Language Course (Grammatik! Grammatik!) lasted for 5 months and 2 weeks and the Orientation Course (Orientierungskurs) lasted for 2 weeks.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

After Arrival - Registration as a Resident at your local Town Hall/City Hall in Germany

Now that you are in Germany, what will you do next?
What things should you do next?
What papers should you immediately process?

After the day I have arrived in Germany, I immediately went to our local Town Hall or City Hall. In German this is called the "Rathaus". My spouse and the office employee talked in German so I really don't understand what they are talking about. All I know was that I was going to register myself as a RESIDENT IN THE TOWN where I am living.

I was given a "Certificate of Residency Form" to fill-up my personal details (Name, Birth date, Address etc). After I submitted the form, I was given a photocopy of it and then my Philippine Passport was stamped with a Town Seal. They have also given me another form which I should submit to the Alien's Office or Immigrant's Office together with my passport, passport picture and the Certificate of Residence. This step was for 1 year extension of my VISA.

We went to the Alien's Office or Immigrant's Office and submitted the documents. This is called Ausländeramt in German. The Alien's office told that I needed to join or enroll in a Basic German Integration Course (Language Course) and that all the papers that I have submitted to them will be forwarded to the Rathaus together with my passport with the VISA extension in it.

After a week, the Rathaus mailed me that I could already pick-up my documents.

My VISA was extended for 1 year. And before my VISA expires I have to go to the Ausländeramt again to extend my visa.

How did you extend your VISA and for how many years? Have you encountered problems upon registering yourself as a Resident in your town?

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