The LIFE Initiative provides support with bureaucratic problems regarding the residence permit and in dealing with the immigration authorities. We help free of charge with the following topics among others:
- Help with communicating with the immigration authorities and filling out forms
- Application for or extension of a residence permit or Duldung (temporary suspension of deportation)
- Questions about the type of residence permit, permission to work or fictitious certificates
- Assistance in finding a lawyer
Our volunteers support you with individual online counselling. You can contact us through the following channels. We will reply within 48 hours.
What can I do if my residence permit expires and I can't get an appointment at the immigration office?
If your residence permit expires but you have already made a new appointment, you are usually still legally in Germany. Sometimes the immigration office sends you a fictitious certificate stating that your expired residence permit is still valid. You can present this letter to your employer, for example. We will be happy to advise you on this.
The immigration office does not respond to my inquiry?
It is often difficult to reach the immigration authority by phone or e-mail. Sometimes it is better to send a request as a letter or fax and to give the authority a deadline for the answer. We may be able to help you with the wording of your request.
I have lost my job or my apprenticeship. What will happen to my residence permit now?
If the reason for which you were granted a residence permit ceases to exist, for example if you lose your job or end your studies, you are obliged to inform the immigration authorities. In many cases, you will then be given a period of six months to find a new job or apprenticeship.
What can I do if my application is rejected?
If the immigration office has rejected your application for a residence permit, you can file a lawsuit against it. To do this, you should look for a lawyer. We can help you to find a lawyer.
What is the LIFE Initiative?
The LIFE Initiative helps with bureaucratic problems. If you need help with a letter from a government agency, can't fill out forms or your residence permit is expiring, you can contact us. We will try to find a solution together. If we can't help directly, we try to find other support. Our free help is aimed at refugees, migrants or Germans with little money. Our employees work as volunteers. They are not paid for their work but give advice in their free time.
How will I be helped?
We always help online. You can decide if you want to talk to us via WhatsApp, email, or phone. We treat each request individually. In a personal conversation, we discuss the specific problem and look for a solution in a timely manner.
In which language will the advice be provided?
We can speak with you in German or English at any time. After consultation, we may also be able to advise you in Arabic, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish. If you do not speak any of these languages well, you will need to find someone to translate for you.
Does the LIFE Initiative share any of my information?
No. The LIFE Initiative is a non-profit association that works 100% independently and does not pass on any data to government agencies. All information is kept strictly confidential.
With which questions can the LIFE Initiative not help?
The LIFE Initiative can only help people who are in Germany. We do not provide advice on entering Germany. Our help is aimed at people in need who have little or no income and assets. We help with problems with offices and authorities. We cannot help with questions about finding a place to live or a job, or with health problems.
When do we get back to you?
After you send us a message, we will contact you within 48 hours. In a first phone call, we try to better understand your problem.