Applying for permanent residency + I need to speak German!


Even though we’re leaving Germany soon, I’m still about to apply for my Niederlassungserlaubnis, aka unbefristete Aufenthaltserlaubnis, aka German permanent residency. :mrgreen:


Because it’ll make things easier for us as a couple with different nationalities.

Sometimes there are special visas that you can only apply for at your home/resident country. If we don’t share national residencies, we’ll have to each fly back to our home countries to apply.

Not the worst thing, but not the most convenient either. Martin will apply for Canadian PR when we’re in Canada next, but just in case he doesn’t get it, we want to have at least one shared resident country.

I’m very close to obtaining my Niederlassungserlaubnis, I just have to pass a B1 German test and show the certificate to the Ausländerbehörde. B1 is intermediate level German, which happens to be my level!

A few years ago, I took a mock B1 test at the end of my Integrationskurs, and scored something like a 98% for lesen, schreiben und hören, but failed my sprachen test. 🙁

The sprachen (spoken) test consists of breaking into pairs to talk about a picture that the tester provides. Our picture was the Bundesagentur für Arbeit ([un]employment office). I had no idea what was, so I just spoke about how I saw a building! When the tester asked me what the function of the office was, I made up some shit about the economy and threw in English words that I tried to pass off as German.

Yep, it was a train wreck of a test!

I should have taken the real B1 test afterward, but didn’t feel ready. And as a broke grad student, the 80 EUR test fee was a lot of money. The funny thing is, I was the most ready then having just taken an intensive course.

Now the test costs 125 EUR, and I may hire a German tutor too. But my main problem is still with speaking German. The reading, writing, and listening is something I can study for again, but the speaking I need to feel a lot more comfortable with.

Having a job is such a blessing, but I’ve always prioritized earning money over learning German. Sometimes I’m not sure that was a good use of my time, as all my friends who focussed on learning German first are much happier in Germany.

Oh well, I can’t go back in time and change it.

I am looking forward to brushing up my German skills though. Germany may not be the country for me to live, but I certainly like the language!


  1. // Reply

    Wow, I’m intrigued by this B1 test – I wonder how I would go? I’d probably fail dismally!

    I actually think that it’s quite fair to ask people to speak the native tongue if they want to permanently live in a country – it makes it far more likely that they will successfully integrate into that society. And perhaps your comparison to your friends says a bit as well – interesting that those who speak the language at a higher level end up happier!

    I found that London was such a multicultural city when I lived there, and there were so many people from non-anglo-saxon backgrounds that spoke the language flawlessly (even with British accents!). It really did strengthen my view of multiculturalism – so many of the cultural clashes seemed to fade away when people were fluently speaking the same language!

    1. // Reply

      You would probably pass the test if you studied for it! There are specific things you need to know for the test, like how to properly open and close a formal and informal letter, etc…

      Is it not multicultural where you live in Australia?

  2. // Reply

    Have a look at – Benny is an absolute star and there’s loads of tips and tricks for optimising your language learning strategies. Some stuff is language-specific, but a lot can be applied to any language. Also, Benny is a digital nomad so you have a lot in common with him. Good luck with the test!

    1. // Reply

      Cool thanks! You polyglots amaze me. I’ve signed up for Benny’s course and am excited to start!

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