ESR 6 Blog September 2021: Bilge Hasdemir

Þetta reddast!

After a lot of paperwork, some back-and-forth conversations and a long wait, I managed to get the German visa and arrive at Friedrichshafen on September 27th. I am starting my secondment at the Zeppelin University a bit later than the specified date stated on the project calendar because assessing the possible risky outcomes of my moderately long-term stay abroad, which is up to six months only in Germany, required some time and detailed research. Once you have started to familiarise yourself with migration laws of different EU-EFTA countries and tighter measures targeting non-EU/EFTA (non-Western) citizens, you might just not want to leave your travel to chance.

There was an inquiry into which of the social security rights that I obtained after being domiciled in Iceland for six months will be either suspended or lost in addition to the residence permit, and a check with the public administrators if accessing the same rights is going to require another six months waiting period on my return. I must say the FEINART network of the University of Iceland was always of great help through the process of looking into entangled bureaucratic and administrative issues and possible solutions. Finding out about the situation might not be that painless otherwise.

Meanwhile, I also had to wait for the head of the consular section´s return to the office as the officer is the only person at the German Embassy in Iceland who can process the type of visa I applied for which is rather an exceptional case. I believe it was considered as exceptional because I was asked to apply for a visa despite the Researcher’s Mobility decision of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, which states that ´If you wish to conduct research in Germany for up to 180 days within a period of 360 days, you do not require a German residence title. The residence title issued by the other EU State makes you eligible for residence in Germany. (…) Equally, if you hold an equivalent residence title issued by another EU Member State, you can work for a limited period in a scientific or research capacity at a research facility in Germany.´[1] That said, my Icelandic residence permit should grant me research related mobility in Germany as well, as EU/EFTA states seem to be genuinely interested in supporting the mobility of researchers. Surprisingly, however, I learnt that I am not eligible to benefit from the decision on the grounds of my nationality, although no specific condition subject to the citizenship seems to apply on the official proclamation. Because of the uneven availability of published information on country-specific and nationality bound conditions, no clear guidance discussing the mobility issues in their full complexity is available either. Therefore, trying to find the right information is sometimes like navigating a complex bureaucratic labyrinth in poor lighting.

In the face of uncertainties, planning the trip unfortunately became less joyful than it used to be. Some years ago, surely before the pandemic, sometimes planning a trip was even more enjoyable than the trip itself. At this time, this was rather like having mixed feelings about making plans during a time of confusion, misinformation and uncertainty, without knowing if asking for more clarity on the bureaucratic issues should be helpful at this stage or even possible.

Despite all of that, I managed to arrive at Friedrichshafen on a very sunny day and caught the scent of the apple trees on my way home. I still have hope that the rest will work out all right in the end, as the Icelandic saying ‘þetta reddast’ also invites me to think so.

[1] The decision can be seen here:;jsessionid=D45600921BDB49BD6EF1B8B33679AA8C.internet532


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