Frequently asked questions about office hours, residence, documents and visa due to the Corona-Virus-Pandemic.

1 – Is the Immigration Office open? 2 – I have a question how can I reach and contact the Immigration Office? 3 – I have send an email to the Immigration Office, but have not received a response yet. 4 – Can I schedule an appointment? 5 – I asked for an appointment for me and my family members, but only I received a letter of invitation. 6 – I am currently in a designated risk area (Virusvarianten-Gebiet) and would like to enter Germany. Can I enter? 7 – My residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel) will expire soon or has already expired. 8 – My residence permit expires and I would like to go on vacation. What can I do? 9 – My Fiktionsbescheinigung, my Duldung or my Gestattung will expire soon or has already expired. 10 – I have a new national passport and I want to transfer my residence permit. 11 – I lost my electronic residence permit (eAT), my Fiktionsbescheinigung, my Duldung or my Gestattung. 12 – I have received a letter from the Bundesdruckerei, which state that I can come and pick up my electronic residence permit (eAT). Can I come by? 13 – I want to hand in a declaration of commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung). 14 – I changed employers, switched jobs. What do I have to do? 15 – My company has me on reduced working hours. What does that mean for my residence status? 16 – Do I have to inform the Immigration Office that my company has me on reduced working hours? 17 – Recently my child was born in Cologne. Now I need a residence permit for my child. What can I do? 18 – I recently moved to Cologne and I have to register at the Immigration Office. What do I have to do? 19 – I would like a consultation for naturalisation and have questions regarding citizenship. 20 – I would like to file an application for naturalisation. What can I do?

1 – Is the Immigration Office open?

Yes, the decreasing number of new Corona cases reduces restrictions at the Immigration Offices. Customer contact can be resumed increasingly in compliance with the applicable Corona protection regulations.

Personal visits are only possible by prior appointment. 

We ask for your understanding that we cannot offer all customers an appointment at short notice. 

In the event that you do not get an appointment, however, the Immigration Office will send you a document or a certificate by mail.

You can then continue to prove your current residence status with this.

If you are not receiving mail with a new document prior to the expiration of your current document, please contact the Immigration Office Dillenburger Str. or your responsible District Immigration Office.  

Please notice the guidelines below when contacting the Immigration Office.

Please do not come by spontaneously.

Information given by the City of Cologne on the coronavirus pandemic

2 – I have a question, how can I reach and contact the Immigration Office?

The Immigration Office and the nine District Immigration Offices can be reached via email, fax or mail. You will find the relevant contact information below.

Please take note of the directions listed there. This is the only way we can guarantee a quick response.

Consequences due to the Corona-Virus-Pandemic: on notice of the Immigration Office

3 – I have send an email to the Immigration Office, but have not received a response yet.

Please be patient. A delayed response will not result in any disadvantages in terms of right of residence. We will reply as soon as possible.

Please do not send a new request to the Immigration Office or to a different Office of the City Administration. Thank you.

4 – Can I schedule an appointment?

Yes, you can schedule an appointment.

Personal visits are only possible by prior appointment. The decreasing number of new Corona cases reduces restrictions at the Immigration Offices. Customer contact can be resumed increasingly in compliance with the applicable Corona protection regulations.

We ask for your understanding that we cannot offer all customers an appointment at short notice. 

  • Your appointment is only possible at the given date and time stated in the invitation letter.  Please understand, that you can only enter the Immigration Office on that day at that time. 
  • The access to the building of the Immigration Office is limited to yourself and one additional accompanying person.  If you miss your appointment or come by later than the time on your invitation, you will not be able to enter the building. You will then have to contact the Immigration Office for a new appoinment. 
  • Please only take your under aged children with you, if they have an appoinment around the same time. 
  • In the buildings of the City of Cologne you have to wear a medical mask. Medial masks are so called operation masks, FFP2-masks or comparable masks like KN95 or N95. 
  • Furthermore you can only enter for your appoinment, when you show your invitation letter (digital or printed).

Please stay at home if you are feeling sick. Please stay at home if you are under quarantine restrictions. In these cases, please contact the Immigration Office for a new appointment. 

Please state the following 

  • your first and last name
  • your date of birth 

The Immigration Office or District Immigration Office will then contact you. 

5 – I asked for an appointment for me and my family members, but only I received a letter of invitation.

Due to the current pandemic situation, the Immigration Office will further decrease personal visits and appointments

The Immigration office will send you and your family members documents or certificates via mail. These documents or certificates will be verifying your current residence status.  

6 – I am currently in a designated risk area (Virusvarianten-Gebiet) and would like to enter Germany. Can I enter?

Currently entry restrictions from designated risk areas are valid. Therefore, you are not able to enter Germany coming from a designated risk area.

The Robert Koch Institute lists all the designated risk areas on their website. Please check if you are not sure your country is declared as such risk area.

International designated risk areas - Website of the Robert Koch Institute

There are exceptions from the general entry restriction:

  1. You are currently holding a valid German residence permit and are already registered your residence in Germany
  2. You are in an urgent humanitarian situation, which can be:
  • a death in the family: a spouse, a registered partner, your own child or your parents
  • the birth of your own child
  • your are a close relative to a minor, and you have to care for the child, since everyone entitled to custody cannot do this
  • you have to urgently be treated for a medical condition, which otherweise would lead to a severe health effect

If you are in a situation of exception listed above, please check the information on the website of the Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) for the next steps.   

Information of the Federal Foreign Office on entry restrictions

7 – My residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel) will expire soon or has already expired.

If your current residence permit is already expired, please contact the Immigration Office or the responsible District Immigration Office. The Immigration Office will then contact you.

If your current residence permit will expire shortly, you can use the online form to extent your residence permit. You will find it here: 

Aufenthaltserlaubnis - Antrag auf Verlängerung der Aufenthaltserlaubnis

8 – My residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel) expires and I would like to go on vacation. What can I do?

The Immigration Office can issue a Fiktionsbescheinigung according to § 81 Absatz 4 Aufenthaltsgesetz, which in general allows entry and departure to and from Germany.

Please contact the Immigration Office or the responsible District Immigration Office by email, fax or mail before your residence permit expires and at least four weeks before your vacation.

Please be advised, we cannot extend your residence permit short-term in your national passport, because a vacation is not a legally a case of hardship.

Contact Information for the Immigration Office Dillenburger Strasse and the nine District Immigration Offices

9 – My Fiktionsbescheinigung, my Duldung or my Gestattung will expire or has already expired.

If your residence document expires shortly or is already expired please contact the Immigration Office or the responsible District Immigration Office. 

The Immigration Office will then contact you.

10 – I have a new national passport and I want to transfer my residence permit.

Please contact the Immigration Office for an appointment.

If you normally visit the Immigration Office Dillenburger Strasse, then please contact this Office.

Please state the following:

  • your first and last name
  • your date of birth
  • the matter at hand and
  • your contact details (email, telephone number)
  • a copy or photograph of your new passport

The Immigration Office Dillenburger Strasse will then contact you.

A trip abroad can take place up to the transfer appointment if the new national passport and the old national passport are carried with the current residence permit. Entry to Germany is thus possible! 

Before going abroad, however, you should find out about the entry and exit conditions of the respective holiday country (e.g. travel agency or diplomatic mission.)

Please be advised, we cannot extend your residence permit short-term in your national passport, because a vacation is not a legally a case of hardship.

If you normally visit the District Immigration Office, then please contact the Office you know and which is responsible for you.

Please state the following:

  • your first and last name
  • your date of birth
  • the matter at hand and
  • your contact details (email, telephone number)
  • a copy or photograph of your new passport.

The District Immigration Office will then contact you.

A trip abroad can take place up to the transfer appointment if the new national passport and the old national passport are carried with the current residence permit. Entry to Germany is thus possible! 

Before going abroad, however, you should find out about the entry and exit conditions of the respective holiday country (e.g. travel agency or diplomatic mission.)

Please be advised, we cannot extend your residence permit short-term in your national passport, because a vacation is not a legally a case of hardship.

Contact Information for the Immigration Office Dillenburger Strasse and the nine District Immigration Offices

11 – I lost my electronic residence permit (eAT), my Fiktionsbescheinigung, my Duldung or my Gestattung.

Please contact the Immigration Office via the secure contact form, if you send personal data, or via email.

If you already reported the loss to the police, please send the notice of loss as well.

The Immigration Office will then contact you.

Secure online form for personal information E-Mail to the Immigration Office

12 – I have received a letter from the Bundesdruckerei, which state that I can come and pick up my electronic residence permit (eAT). Can I come by?

Please stay at home!

Together with your application appointment you have received an appointment directly to pick up your electronic residence permit.

If you not received such an appointment directly with your application, the Immigration Office will send you a letter of invitation to pick up your residence permit or send it to you via mail. 

13 – I want to hand in a declaration of commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung).

Please contact the Immigration Office

by mail: Ausländeramt – Bonität, Dillenburger Strasse 56-66, 51105 Köln

by email or via the secure contact form.  

Please state the following:

  • your first and last name
  • your date of birth
  • the matter at hand and
  • your contact details (email, telephone number).

The Immigration Office will then contact you.

Please do not come by spontaneously.

Secure online form for personal information Email to the Bonität

14 – I changed employers, switched jobs. What do I have to do?

Please send 

  • a copy of the new employment contract or
  • a copy of the job description and
  • a confirmation of the termination of the old employment relationship

If additional documents are required, the Immigration Office will contact you.

Secure onlineform for personal information

15 – My company has me on reduced working hours, what does that mean for my residence status?

As long as your employment relationship persists, this will not impact your residence status if you are currently receiving short-time work benefits due to the corona pandemic.

This also applies if you normally have to comply with salary limits, for example for a Blue Card (Blaue Karte).

16 – Do I have to inform the Immigration Office that my company has me on reduced working hours?

No, you do not have to report this to the Immigration Office.

17 – Recently my child was born in Cologne. Now I need a residence permit for my child. What can I do?

If the residence permit was issued by the one of the local District Immigration Offices, please contact the Office responsible for you via email, or via the secure contact form (when sending personal information)

Addresses of the district immigration offices

If the residence permit was issued by the Immigration Office Dillenburger Straße or you have a Duldung, please contact the Immigration Office via the secure contact form (when sending personal information) or via email.

Please send a scan of the following documents with your request:

  • birth certificate of the child
  • national passport of the child (if available)
  • a copy of your residence permit
  • declaration of parental custody (if available)

The Immigration Office Dillenburger Strasse will then contact you.

Secure online form to send personal information
E-Mail to the Immigration Office

18 – I recently moved to Cologne and I have to register at the Immigration Office. What do I have to do?

First please contact the Citizens Registration Office of Cologne to register.

Onlineservices - Registration, Living in Cologne

After you register with the Citizens Registration Office please contact the District Immigration Office via email, fax or mail which is responsible for your registered address.

There are a total of nine district immigration offices in the City of Cologne.

You can find districts and postal codes under:

Addresses of the district immigration offices

Please send a scan of the following documents:

  • your national passport
  • your current residence Permit
  • the certificate of registration

The District Immigration Office will then contact you.

19 – I would like a consultation about naturalisation and have questions regarding citizenship.

Due to the current pandemic situation, personal meetings are not taken place.

Consultations are nevertheless offered

  • via telephone 0221 / 221-23521 and 0221 / 221-28735 and
  • via email.
Email to the naturalisation service

20 – I would like to file an application for naturalisation. What can I do?

In general to file an application for naturalisation an appointment is required.  The responsible ministry provides a binding naturalization application as a preliminary print.

Due to the current Corona Virus Pandemic personal appointments are not taken place, so the Immigration Office provides a simplified application form for naturalisation.

With this simplified application form necessary preliminary steps can be made.

Please note:

For families living together at the same address and whose members all want to apply for naturalisation, each family member over 18 must file an appplication. 

Children up to the age of 18 can hand in their application together with one parent.

The primary function of this simplified application is for period keeping. Once you have completed and signed the form, please send it via mail to: 

Stadt Köln
Ausländeramt
Einbürgerung
Dillenburger Straße 56-66
51105 Köln 

You do not need to hand in this application personally.

After your application has arrived, the Immigration Office will contact you in due time for a personal appointment.

Simplified application for naturalisation