Moving to Germany: T-25 Days – Lugging My Diploma up the Magnificent Mile

So yesterday I had my appointment with the German Consulate yesterday. It turned out to be rather fruitless since there was no guarantee that I would get my visa (or my passport) back in time for my flight. I have been through this before when I went to Spain back in 2008. I got the visa the very day before I left for Spain. It was very stressful.

Fortunately, the Germans have a loophole: go to Germany and apply there. My US passport already has a three month visa built in which is ample time to get everything sorted. I would still need to get crackin’ as soon as I get there but at least I am already there 😀

The consulate essentially gave me those two options: try my luck with them and mmmmmaybe get my passport in time (or wait 6-8 weeks) or just wait.

But there’s still the other matter of my Blue Card….

What’s that? Well, a Blue Card is essentially a work permit that is valid throughout the EU. The process goes by a lot quicker if you have a college degree (like me) and if it’s in a field that doesn’t have too many applicants so they have to import (like me).

I need my residence visa to help with the Blue Card (even though the company is doing the bulk of the work for that). But in order to apply for my residence visa, I had to show that I had something waiting for me on the other side: a job. I also am supposed to show my qualifications……my diploma.

I’m sure you’re aware of how common it is in the US to frame your diploma when you’ve graduated. You don’t really need it but it’s nice to show it off.

In Germany, your education follows you until the end of your days. While applying for this transfer, I had to send them my university transcripts as well as a picture of my diploma. The same goes for applying for this residence visa.

Except that my diploma is framed.

After a few e-mails back and forth between me and the vice consul, we both agreed that I could still bring the diploma in its frame. So I wrapped that sucker in a scarf, put it in a grocery bag, and lugged it onto the train and to the consulate’s office which is right off the Magnificent Mile.

Diploma in a Bag

Security was very confused when I arrived. They asked me what was in the bag and when I told them, they seemed a little confused (they weren’t German).

It was a very odd but helpful experience. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the visa, but the folks there were very helpful and upfront about what needed to be done. I was very appreciative of that.

What about you guys? Have you had troubles with getting visas to certain countries?

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One thought on “Moving to Germany: T-25 Days – Lugging My Diploma up the Magnificent Mile

  1. hm…. So what do German’s do with their diplomas, if they don’t frame them? Maybe this is another example I run into where I seem more European. I actually have no idea where my diploma is…. probably in a filing cabinet at my mother’s….. 0_o

    Maybe something I should track down if I ever want to work outside the country, huh? Glad they’ve got a reasonable alternative track for you to get the things you need.

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