Immigration Office Frankfurt: Commerzbank Complaint

Many immigration authorities are faced with a huge workload. The Frankfurt office is a particularly glaring case. After months of inaction, Commerzbank has now had to lay off staff – which is why it is taking action against the authorities.

Left alone in Frankfurt: Commerzbank employee tries to extend his residence permit for eight months (symbolic image).

Ralph Orlowski / Reuters

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

Desperate attempts to contact you

In a letter dated November 11 to the immigration authorities, a unit of the regulatory authority, the supervisor of the employee in question explains that for more than eight months he has been trying to extend or they have a blue card issued. The Blue Card is similar in form and function to the German ID card. NZZ received a complaint from a Commerzbank executive; However, the institute refused to issue an official statement on the matter. The city of Frankfurt did not respond to an inquiry about the process.

According to the bank’s statement, the employee has made more than half a dozen attempts to contact authorities since the beginning of March. This happened, for example, through a request for a visa extension, an urgent request and various inquiries. According to the supervisory complaint, the employee usually did not receive an answer. He even made various attempts to arrange a meeting on the spot, but was refused by the security service at the entrance check. The names of the employees and their supervisors are known to the NZZ.

Due to the inaction of the authorities and the lack of almost any information on the next course, Commerzbank had to release the employee without pay after the visa expired – without knowing when he could resume his work. His absence leaves a big gap as he has an important role in portfolio management. “This situation is unsustainable for us,” continues the bank director in his complaint.

Immigration authorities have faced complaints of inaction

The Immigration Office, which is completely overloaded, is currently delaying around 15,000 e-mail inquiries. Most of them are apps. The traffic jam is getting worse as the authorities are processing fewer applications than new ones are coming in. Both result from the response of the municipality to the request of the FDP parliamentary club at the Römer town hall in Frankfurt. NZZ reported extensively on Friday. Around 6,700 of the 15,000 applications are for academics, but all immigration applicants are affected, including students and refugees from Ukraine, Syria or other areas.

Kerry Reddington from the Municipal Representation of Foreigners (KAV) has known about the problem for a long time. Almost every day someone reports to him who has not been able to get to the immigration authorities for weeks and is therefore at risk of losing or has already lost his residence permit in Germany. The city management is also aware of the problem, but so far too little has been done to ensure proper official operations. Reddington feels the city doesn’t want to fix the problem, or it would have already.

Like many other immigration authorities in Germany, the office is struggling with additional work due to frequent changes in laws, with too few staff considering the significant influx of refugees, as well as poorly structured websites and problems with internal processes. Although Frankfurt is a particularly glaring example of overburdened immigration authorities, it is not an isolated case. In a large-scale survey by Südwestrundfunk (SWR) in the summer, almost one in two senior immigration officials said they faced complaints about inaction.

WITHYou can talk to Frankfurt business editor Michael Rasch on the platforms Twitter, Linkedin and Xing merge.

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