Ausländerbehörde director calls Berlin immigration office nigh dysfunctional

Ausländerbehörde director calls Berlin immigration office nigh dysfunctional

Director of the Berlin Immigration Office, Engelhard Mazanke, has admitted that Germany’s largest Landesamt for Einwanderung is so overwhelmed with paperwork that it is almost dysfunctional.

German immigration office admits it is near dysfunctional

In an interview with Tagesspiegel last week, the director of the Berlin Landesamt for Einwanderung (Immigration Office), also known as the Ausländerbehörde, admitted what migrants to Germany have suspected for a long time, that the office is “on the edge of dysfunctionality”.

Speaking to the newspaper, Mazanke explained that given the current state of affairs at the Ausländerbehörde in Berlin, if the office shut its doors just to focus on the pile-up of paperwork, it would take administrators three months before their desks were cleared. 

Mazanke said that while Berlin’s immigration office is “heavily burdened”, the overload is not unique to his department. “We are talking about a nationwide phenomenon of overburdening. And that’s not just in immigration offices but in all administrative authorities.”

Berlin Ausländerbehörde issued 50 percent more visas in 2022

According to the director, the department of the Ausländerbehörde which is designated to processing students and skilled workers alone has a backlog of 10.000 unanswered emails. At the moment, waiting times for a standard appointment at the Berlin Ausländerbehörde are somewhere between three and six months.

Masanke’s statement came in the same week that Chancellor Olaf Scholz made a plea to German immigration offices to dedicate more time to digitising their services. Mazanke is looking in the same direction, but says that the office is still in desperate need of more employees.

Last year, the office in Berlin is said to have issued 50 percent more visas than in 2021, but these approved applications also led to backlogs in other departments. The director added that the situation was unjustifiable in a country that is becoming increasingly dependent on migration to fill vacant jobs

The director said that his agency is also too scrupulous when looking at applications and that in order to keep the ball rolling, the Berlin authority needs to become more “charitable”.

Thumb image credit: Mo Photography Berlin /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

Read more



Leave a comment