On June 17th my husband and I went to the Immigration Office so I could officially and legally let Germany know who I am, where I am, and why I’m here. After entering my information in the computer, the very nice man looked at my husband, spouted off some German, and my husband said to me, “You can work now!” I replied, “Really? that was so easy!” and the immigration worker who understood English nodded his head as if to say, “Yep. We know how to get things done in Germany!”
Fast forward to mid-August when I received a letter in the mail from the immigration office. They wanted me to go in for an appointment on Friday, September 22nd at 11:00 AM. My husband had to work that day so he called them to get the scoop before I went. We had never taken the time to go up there with my new passport so they could have legal documentation of my married name. They wanted me to take it in, but also told my husband that I had until September 3rd to pass the German A1 language test. She said once I passed the test, I could legally work…
Apparently, the new German law that all immigrants must complete language classes and pass a few tests to prove their German language skills is so new that even the immigration office is a bit uninformed. My husband explained to the lady that we’d already been told I could work and I’ve been feverishly looking for jobs ever since. Because of the misinformation, my deadline was extended from September 3rd to November 3rd to give me time to take the 100-hour class.
This past Wednesday I went to the language school to take my placement test. They of course expect all foreigners to begin at the lowest level; Class A1.1, but they give you a test just to be sure you get into the right class. In January my sister downloaded an app on my phone called DuoLingo. I’ve used it off and on since then to try and learn, but to be honest… I’ve used it much less than I’d like to admit. But I do work hard to pay close attention to all written German and regularly ask my husband to explain things to me. With his help and the help of my DuoLingo app, I not only tested out of the first class, but the second and the third! I couldn’t believe it! I don’t have to take A1.1, A1.2, or A2.1. My classes can begin with A2.2! I saved myself about 150 hours of classes and 360€ in classroom fees!
I practically skipped back to my car and sat on pins and needles until my husband got home that evening so I could tell him the good news! His pride in my accomplishment was the icing on the cake!