I received some excellent news on Friday, Sept. 28—a mere two days before my last written departure deadline, word came through from the Ausländerbehörde that my application for a visa as a freelance journalist had been approved by the Senatsverwaltung für Wirtschaft.
On Monday I journeyed over to the Ausländerbehörde once again, to finally get the precious visa in my hands and into my passport. This giant monolithic beast of a building, perched up north on Friedrich-Krause-Ufer, has been a terrifying presence in my life for the past months, and I’m sure the staff there are equally tired of dealing with me. Nonetheless, the Mitarbeiterin was quite friendly as she handed me my passport, newly bedecked with a two-year freelancer Aufenthaltstitel. Her sympathetic smile testified to the fact that neither of us had forgotten our unfortunate appointment a month before, in which unexpected bureaucratic obstacles and the cold, aggressive attitude of an older colleague almost gave me a nervous breakdown. Thankfully, in the end, persistence paid off.
Now I can dive into a vast array of new adventures and trials—obtaining a tax number, investigating journalistic accreditation, and the never-ending reality of pitching and selling my journalistic services to various media outlets. Challenges await, but compared to the terror of deportation, nothing else seems quite so formidable. :)