Seven tips to help you survive the MA35

If you want to become a Vienna resident all roads lead to the Municipal Department 35 – Immigration and Citizenship, a.k.a. the MA 35.  They are the go-to place for residency and citizenship questions and registration. The trip can not only be taxing, but also seem futile at times. For more information on legal residency see How to be legally Viennese, check out the current laws, or contact the Vienna Business Agency.

When you do make your way to the Municipal Department 35 keep these tips in mind, to make the ordeal as painless as possible.

  1. Arrive early, at least half an hour before the MA35 opens. Getting your waiting number ticket is based on making a queue first, so you must stand in line before the doors open. Depending on the season, every five minutes you get there before opening will save you fifteen minutes of waiting after.
  2. Stand your ground. If anyone tries to cut in line before you are given your number at the front desk, (Anmeldung) assert your position. Usually others will support you.
  3. Bring something to pass the time, but not so enthralling that it makes you lose track of your number being called. That means a trip to the back of the line.
  4. Be polite. You get to leave once you have submitted your paperwork. The case officers have to stay put – day in and day out.
  5. Try to speak German, or bring a German-speaking buddy with you.
  6. Bring every single official document from the last year regarding your flat, marriage, studies, banking, insurance and work as a back up. Even if it isn’t on the list of required documents, save it in a second folder and have it ready, just in case. You will thank me later.
  7. Be zen.  Although the situation has improved in the past years, embrace that the MA35 is disorganized; this will help keep you from becoming too frustrated.

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