Frankfurt Immigration Office: Complaint from Commerzbank

Many immigration offices are struggling with a huge burden. The authority in Frankfurt is a particularly flagrant case. Due to its months of inactivity, Commerzbank has now had to release an employee and is therefore taking action against the authorities.

Only in Frankfurt: a Commerzbank employee has been trying to extend his residence permit for eight months (symbolic image).

Only in Frankfurt: a Commerzbank employee has been trying to extend his residence permit for eight months (symbolic image).

Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

The saga of the Frankfurt immigration authorities, which is on the verge of collapse, has a new chapter: in mid-November, Commerzbank, the third largest private commercial bank in Germany, filed a supervisory complaint against all immigration authorities for inaction. The NZZ learned this from circles familiar with the process. The reason for this is that the institute had to release a key employee in the “Corporate Lending” department in mid-November “when the visa and therefore work permit expired” without pay.

Desperate attempts to contact him

In a letter dated November 11 to the immigration authorities, a unit of the regulatory office, the supervisor of the employee in question explains that he has been trying to get his visa, which was previously valid for four years, extended for more than eight months. or the issued Blue Card has. The blue card is similar in form and function to the German identity card. The NZZ has received the complaint from the Commerzbank executive; however, the Institute declined to issue an official statement in this regard. The city of Frankfurt did not respond to a query about the process.

According to a bank listing, the employee has attempted to contact authorities more than half a dozen times since early March. This happened, for example, through a visa extension application, an urgent application and various inquiries. As a general rule, the employee did not receive a response, according to the supervisor’s complaint. He even made several attempts to get an appointment at the venue, but was turned away by the security service at the entrance control. The NZZ knows the names of the employees and their superiors.

Due to the inactivity of the authorities and the lack of almost any information about the further course, Commerzbank had to release the employee without pay when the visa expired, not knowing when he could resume his work. His absence opens a big gap, because he has an important task in portfolio management. “This state of affairs is unsustainable for us,” continues the bank director in the complaint.

Immigration offices confronted with complaints of omission

The immigration authority, which is completely overwhelmed, is currently deferring around 15,000 inquiries by email. Most of these are apps. The traffic jam is even increasing because the authorities are processing fewer applications than the new ones coming in. Both arise from a response by the magistrate to a request from the FDP parliamentary group in the Römer, Frankfurt City Hall. The NZZ reported extensively on Friday. About 6,700 of the 15,000 applications concern academics, but all applicants at the immigration office are affected, including students and refugees from Ukraine, Syria or other areas.

Kerry Reddington of the Municipal Representation for Foreigners (KAV) has known about the problem for a long time. Almost every day someone informs her that she has not been able to contact the immigration authorities for weeks and that she therefore risks losing her residence permit in Germany or has already lost it. The city administration is also aware of the problem, but so far very little has been done to ensure orderly official operations. Reddington feels that the city does not want to solve the problem or it would have already done so.

Like many other immigration offices in Germany, the authority is struggling with extra work due to frequent changes in the law, understaffed in view of the considerable influx of refugees, as well as a poorly structured website and problems with internal processes. Although Frankfurt is a particularly flagrant example of overloading immigration offices, it is not an isolated case. In a large-scale survey conducted by Südwestrundfunk (SWR) in the summer, almost one in two senior employees at an immigration office said they faced complaints for failing to act.

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