For several months, prior to giving up on their dream to move to Germany, Abdul and Melissa, had candidly considered fighting the inhumane treatment of their family under the currently questionable visa restrictions employed in Germany, i.e. they had thought of taking the whole case of visa discrimination to their household through to the Supreme Court in Germany. However, in the end, in order for their family to be spared the probability of facing even more certainty in 2010 while their visa case chugged through the German courts, the Riad family finally took what little they have left of their savings back to Canada, in order to start over.
Molly, too, is throwing in the towel this year on ever getting a decent work visa in Europe. That is a kind of visa that would obtain her legal protections if she lost her job or at least a visa that would lead to her employers helping her pay for the expensive German healthcare system. (Molly will be returning to the USA by the end of November this year.)
HESSEN AND BEYOND
Wiesbaden is not the only city in Germany that seems to strive to get North Americans kicked out or that seems to try to keep North Americans unemployed in Europe.
Let me tell you about Donald.
Donald's father works for a major U.S. government agency, so Donald's mother and father moved over to work out of Frankfurt over five years ago. With this job situation, both Donald's mother and father have received diplomatic visas to live and work in Germany. Alas, some years ago, Donald had been told upon his arrival by authorities in Germany that he was too old to be covered by his parent' s visa. So, when Donald was in his early 20s he went through the process of applying for a German work visa on his own.
Over the past 4 years, Donald has seen more flipflops and loopholes and criminal irresponsibility at Integrationamts in Frankfurt than even Molly, John & Melia, Abdul and Melissa observed in other locations in Germany.
For example, one year Donald was told point-blank that he couldn't work in Germany no matter what. Another year he got a work visa with a great fight. Still, another year he was told the visa would not be renewed. He and his parents fought the Integration Office in Frankfurt until the visa was, in fact, renewed last year.
Late this year, 2009, however, Donald was told by Frankfurt Integrationsamt employees that Donald had never needed a visa at-all because his parents' diplomatic passports stated very clearly that Donald could live and work in Germany under their visa--after all--until the age of 27 as long as he wasn't married and was in the same house living as a dependent. (Was this was a European-wide law that had suddenly been rediscovered? Or was this something more than incompetence? Was it an anti-North American policy in Frankfurt?)
Since Donald had never really needed a visa, his parents then asked for the money back on the previous visas. The Frankfurt Visa office answered, "No refunds."
CHANGING THE RULES AND ARGUING TWO SIDES OF A COIN
In short, the credibility of the various Integrations Offices with civil servants and visa authorities who deal with non-German and visas in each township in Germany is extremely low very as 2009 comes to an end. (Wiesbaden has just received recognition as a model city of integration in Hessen. I have offered to work with or for the Integrationsamt if Wiesbaden is ever to maintain such a title in the coming decade.)