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Applying for an extension of the residence permit to participate in the Federal Voluntary Service

You can apply for an extension of your residence permit if you want to continue to participate in the Federal Voluntary Service.

In principle, the same requirements must be met for the extension of the residence permit as when it was first issued.

The residence permit is extended for the duration of participation in the Federal Voluntary Service, but for a maximum of 18 months in total. Exceptionally, an extension of up to 24 months is possible if this can be justified within the framework of a special pedagogical concept.

Process flow

  • The residence permit must be applied for before your current residence permit expires.
  • Find out whether your Foreigners' Registration Office allows you to apply online or whether you have a special application form.
  • If it is only possible to apply in person, please make an appointment with the Foreigners' Registration Office in your place of residence. In the case of an online application, please follow the instructions of the Foreigners' Registration Office to make an appointment.
  • During the appointment, your identity and documents will be checked (please bring your original documents with you to the appointment). In addition, your fingerprints and signature for the electronic residence permit (eAT card) will be recorded.
  • You will receive a message by post that your application has been approved and that Bundesdruckerei has been commissioned to produce the eaT card, or that your application has been rejected.
  • You will be informed when you can pick up the eAT card at the Foreigners' Registration Office. Since the eAT card is connected to an online ID function, you will need to pick it up in person.

Who should I contact?

The competent authority for processing the application is the Foreigners' Registration Office responsible for the applicant's place of residence.

Which one this is can be determined online here:


In order to renew the residence permit, the same conditions must be met as when the residence permit was issued for the first time, i.e.:

  • You are a citizen of a non-EU or non-EEA country.
  • They are already doing a federal voluntary service, the originally agreed duration of which was limited to less than 24 months.
  • You have agreed with the receiving institution to extend your service and can justify the need if the total duration of your service exceeds 18 months.
  • You can secure your livelihood (including health insurance coverage) for the entire duration of your voluntary service without recourse to public benefits. The subsidization of the Federal Voluntary Service by the Federal Government is not an obstacle to the issuance of the residence permit.  
  • Your stay in Germany is not precluded by reasons of public security and order. There is no interest in expulsion against you.
  • In the case of minors: the consent of the persons entitled to custody of the child to the continuation of the residence is obtained.

Which documents are required?

In principle, the submission of the same documents as for the initial issuance of your residence permit is required for the extension of your residence permit:

  • Recognised and valid identity document (e.g. passport or passport substitute)
  • Recent biometric photo in passport format (45 x 35 mm)
  • Proof of intended further participation in the Federal Voluntary Service (e.g. extended agreement with the sponsor of the Federal Voluntary Service). In the case of an intended total duration of more than 18 months, the extension must be specifically justified.
  • Proof of securing your livelihood (e.g. equity, proof of income, blocked account, pension notice, proof of receipt of benefits such as parental or child benefit, maintenance payments, declaration of commitment)
  • In the case of minors: Declaration of consent from the parent or guardian to continue participation in the Federal Voluntary Service

The documents and information must always be submitted in German. In individual cases, the Foreigners' Registration Office may require less or more proof.

What are the fees?

Fee amount (fixed):

  • 96,00 Euro for a further stay of up to three months
  • 93,00 Euro for a further stay of more than three months


Additional fees may apply for the issuance of the residence permit in the form of the electronic residence permit (eAT card), which can also be used as an electronic proof of identity.

The timing and form of fee collection and payment vary depending on the authority.

In certain cases, fee reductions or exemptions may be considered (e.g. for persons entitled to asylum or recognised refugees). Lower fees may apply for Turkish nationals.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Application deadline: The residence permit should be applied for no later than 6 to 8 weeks before the expiry of your residence permit, which is still valid.

Period of validity: In the case of an extension, the residence permit is again limited for the planned duration of the Federal Voluntary Service, usually for a maximum of 18 months. Exceptionally, the residence permit can be extended up to a period of 24 months if this can be justified within the framework of a special pedagogical concept.

Processing duration

About 6 to 8 weeks

The processing time may vary depending on the workload of the Foreigners' Registration Office. It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the Federal Printing Office to produce the electronic residence permit.

Applications / forms

Forms available: No
Written form required: No
Informal application possible: Yes
Personal appearance required: Yes


  • Appeal against the decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office within one month of notification
  • Bringing an action before the court specified in the notice of objection if the objection is not complied with
  • An appeal against a negative decision of the Foreigners' Registration Office can be brought before the competent administrative court.
  • A preliminary procedure (opposition) does not take place in Lower Saxony.
  • Detailed information can be found in the rejection notice.

What else should I know?

  • There is no entitlement to an extension of the residence permit for participation in the Federal Voluntary Service. It is always a case-by-case decision.
  • The residence permit is only valid for participation in the Federal Voluntary Service. If the purpose of the stay changes, this must be reported immediately to the responsible Foreigners' Registration Office.
  • The procedure is usually conducted in German. If you do not have sufficient knowledge of German, it is advisable to speak to a person who can act as a translator.
  • All information provided to the Foreigners' Registration Office should be correct and complete to the best of our knowledge and belief, so that the request can be processed without major delays.
  • Incorrect or incomplete information can slow down the process and be detrimental to those affected. In the event of an emergency, incorrect or incomplete information that is not completed or corrected in time to the Foreigners' Registration Office may result in the revocation of residence rights already granted, a fine, imprisonment for up to three years or expulsion from the federal territory.
  • Due to the complexity of the right of residence, this description is for information purposes only and is not legally binding.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sports

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Data protection information

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)