In an earlier post, I mentioned that I was applying for permanent residency here in Germany. Permanent residency is beneficial for many reasons, including the fact that you do not have to go through further steps to become and remain employed.
I handed in my filled out application 2 weeks ago, with all appropriate documentation. Last week, we received a letter stating that I had to come to the "Foreigners Department," within a week, and that I could not discuss this matter over the telephone.
Ha! Imagine my confusion. I know plenty of people with permanent residency, who did not have to have this special meeting. Thoughts raced through our minds all weekend as to what on earth this could concern.
This morning, I nervously entered the district office, and made my way to the department of foreigners. The girl took out all my information, and said, "Ah, now I need to test your German!"
ARGH! This is not what I expected at 8:00 am on a Monday morning when I should have been at work. Oh my gosh, what on earth was I going to need to prove? My German skills are okay, I can get my point across, but I certainly make mistakes with every sentence. In this country, in order to gain residency, you must show proficiency with the language. Even more frightening, the entire citizenship test is only administered in German, with a German language section. They are serious here that you really should speak the language if you want to live here!
So, the girl at the desk asked me a bunch of questions about when I moved here, if I left for any extended periods, my job, and Jörn's job. The funny part of course, Jörn's job- salt sales representative :)
Then she gave me a picture with a city scene, and asked me to describe the picture.
After three minutes of terror, and complete nervousness, and tons of mistakes, she informed me that I passed. I will be receiving my passport next week with a lovely new residency permit.
It didn't really hit me until we got out of the car, and Jörn congratulated me, and said that he was so proud of me for doing such a good job with German. It has slowly been hitting me all day-I handled a super scary situation, and did it completely in a foreign language. HA! I am so excited! I believe that we should go on a weekend trip to celebrate :)