What is the change? The Foreign Office in Munich is experiencing significant delays due to personnel issues.

What does the change mean? At the moment, applicants cannot get an appointment at the office until October 2014 at the earliest.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas and permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals who are seeking services at the Foreign Office in the city of Munich (not outer districts).Those who enter Germany via consular processing and have a work permit in hand for the first three months with the issued visa will be in a better position than those entering Germany as a positive national seeking to convert status within Germany and are required to go to the Foreign Office before starting work.
  • Impact on processing times: Positive nationals—the list of nationals who can legally convert status in Germany—will experience delays in processing, or must wait at the Foreign Office without an appointment.
  • Business impact: The unavailability of appointments will have a significant impact on wait times for assignees.
  • Next steps: Employersand foreign assignees can try to plan around these service disruptions. Foreign employees are advised to book hotels in an outer district of Munich so that another Foreign Office will have jurisdiction and may provide normal processing. Those in Munich can use pre-approval procedures, where applicable, and go to the Foreign Office during its open hours, but should expect to wait without guarantee of receiving service.

Background: The Munich city Foreign Office is one of the busiest immigration centers in Germany, so personnel disruptions there impact a large number of applicants for work permits and other immigration services. Similar problems in the past led to the creation of the Service Center for Foreign Professionals (SCIF) Department last year, staffed by 10 officers.

BAL Analysis: Employers should plan for delays and possible backlogs and make use of the alternatives, such as going to another jurisdiction or obtaining preapproval to increase the chances of getting service without an appointment in Munich.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Germany. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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