I went to the city hall this morning to apply for the residence permit I will need if I wish to remain here longer than 90 days**. The formal answer: no, I cannot stay.
But… There is a way. By filling out some papers which will basically say that if I screw something up, get hurt, blah, blah, that “German citizen x” will bear the financial responsibility for me. It basically amounts to me being treated like I’m a minor. It is not ideal, and not the responsibility I wish to put on someone else, but unless I’m a millionaire like Nicholas Cage and buy myself a castle (He’s bought himself an old castle just down the road), it is the only way it seems.
First, I need to find some German health insurance (it is not free). Then it’s down to the the “capital” of the region to fill out some paperwork. Next, register with the city hall here. Then a few more things and with luck, I can stay. Being able to work, however, will be a different matter. First things first though.
For a country with a declining population, they sure make it difficult for a (fairly well) educated person to move here. At least I know New Zealand wants me back, maybe I should use this as some bargaining power with the Germans.
**Visa allowance for Schengen area is 90 days in, 90 days out. The Schengen area is basically every country from Spain to Finland, excluding Switzerland and Liechtenstein which will join later in the year. UK and Ireland are also not part of the area, nor the Balkan area. So for travelers, this means that pretty much the whole of Europe is treated as one visa area. When I was here last (06/07), most of the eastern countries had yet to join the Schengen area, so bumming around the eastern countries is how I was able to stay for so long. But now, I feel sorry for anybody wanting to backpack around Europe, as it will be a lot more difficult to manage a stay of more than 3 months. The UK is Generous with a 6 month ‘leave-to-enter’ visa, but 90-180 days in UK would severely damage ones bank account. I guess it’s no different than what the Europeans face with the USA, plus a fingerprint and mugshot.
Another random photo: