This past week I had to renew my visa again. Although this is not an extremely complicated process it can be time consuming. As a foreigner living in Germany I am required to register with the government and then to have their permission to live here. Again, this is not such a big thing but it is not something you think much about unless you are living in a country you were not born in.
The picture shown here is the government building I went to that has the offices for dealing with foreigners who need visas. This place is called the "Kreisverwaltung" but I am not exactly sure what the translation of the word would be into English. This building has offices for people like me looking for a visa as well as the German equivalent of the Department of Transportation where you can get your drivers license and license plates for your car. This is the same place that I got my German drivers license at a few years ago.
As an American getting the visa I need to live here is not too hard. What I am required to do is to show some purpose for being here and basically that I have enough money to not be a burden on the government. There is some paper work to take care of and some documents I need to provide them with (along with a fee of about $50.00) but it has all gone pretty smoothly for me. It is a bit strange thinking about the fact that you need to get permission to live somewhere and that there is even the possibility that they could actually throw you out of the country! The way I look at it is that this is just another one of the unique things that I need to do to live here and just another part of the life of a missionary.