My permanent resident visa in Germany has just been revoked because I had been out of the country for longer than a year!?! Two and half years to be exact! Has anyone ever been in this situation or am I a scape goat?
More importantly are there any remedies in order to remain here legally? In the meantime I have been given four weeks to leave!
A scape goat? Seriously? Do you think there's any country that would allow a resident visa to exist permanently even though the visa holder isn't even residing in the country? That makes no sense.
In any case the answer to your question isn't on anonymous travel forums, head down to the Immigration Office and deal with it directly.
Decent enough a reply, thanks.
However, before I invest in an immigration lawyer, I thought it wise to ask if anyone else has been in a similar position and whether at all they were successful in trying to get the decision reversed.
So to re-phrase my question, anyone ever been here before?
I used to work at the Ausländerbehörde (immigration office) and yes, the rule is that your permanent residency visa for Germany becomes invalid automatically if you have been away from Germany for longer than 6 months.
The only way around this rule is to notify the Ausländerbehörde in advance before you leave that you will be away for longer and request that they pretty please make an exception to the rule. You must apply for a special permission to stay abroad for longer than 6 months. Permission is usuallly granted if it is in the interest of the German government to do so.
Example for a case where such a permission would be granted: you are a foreigner but have spent most of your life in Germany from an early childhood on, including all your school and university years. Now you plan to go abroad for 2 years to get your Masters degree, but after that you intend to return to Germany.
If you did not have permission to stay abroad for longer than 6 months they were right to seize your permanent residency permit for Germany.