IT specialist tricks Ausländerbehörde booking system to sell appointments online

IT specialist tricks Ausländerbehörde booking system to sell appointments online

With the shortage of available services at many of Germany’s Immigration Offices (Ausländerbehörden) so desperate, an IT specialist decided to sell black market appointments online, a new report has uncovered.

German Ausländerbehörde appointments sold widely via online black market

A report by Tagesspiegel has revealed that, after turning to forums on the internet or Facebook groups for advice, a number of people in Germany desperately seeking an appointment at their local Ausländerbehörde were privately messaged and propositioned to buy an appointment for between 40 and 100 euros.

Though an appointment at one of Germany’s migration offices is free, extreme employee shortages, a near absolute lack of digital services and a growing number of people coming to the country mean that appointments, even for urgent matters, are in short supply. In some cases, people queue through the night for a visa appointment only to be turned away because their document expiration date is still more than one week away and thus not considered an urgent case.

According to the newspaper, the mysterious forum user turned out to be an opportunistic IT specialist, who was writing code which allowed them to book Ausländerbehörde appointments before they became available online to everyone else. And this is no isolated case, the business of selling appointments is flourishing online, Tagesspiegel explained, with other coders offering similar services via WhatsApp or Telegram groups and even two websites doing so publicly in exchange for a 50-euro fee.

IT specialist made up to 1.000 euros selling German visa appointments

Speaking to the newspaper, the former computer sciences student, named only as "T", explained that they had come up with the idea to sell the service online after personally failing to get an Ausländerbehörde appointment.

Having graduated from university in Berlin, T was looking to get a job, but couldn't get an appointment at the local office for the required visa. This was what sparked the idea to write a code which would send T an email notification saying that a new appointment was available before it was visible to everyone else. Once the code had been developed, T began offering the service in January 2023.

According to the paper, T earned between 800 and 1.000 euros selling appointments to people from Afghanistan, Israel, Lebanon, Nigeria and the USA. T told the newspaper that they decided to call quits on the service for fear of discovery and reprisal, but added that they felt no moral qualms about having exchanged the appointments for money, since many individuals or companies offer the same services, meaning that it is nigh impossible for people to get an appointment in the traditional way. 

Thumb image credit: AnnaStills /

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...

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MirandaVinay2 09:43 | 29 October 2023

This article is misleading. It's not "ONE GUY writes AWESOME CODE to cheat Ausländerbehörde".. there's an entire ecosystem of appointment sellers such as as noted in the original article. Really bad and overly sensationalized translation of a good and fair German language article in Tagesspiegel

OliviaLogan4 12:19 | 30 October 2023

Hi Miranda, Thanks for your feedback. We have updated the article to include more details mentioned in the original Tagesspiegel report.

KorhanErel2 11:17 | 2 November 2023

Oh boy... good for him that he made some money out of it. It's better that money went to a student than some of the fancy immigration service companies - I wonder how those companies "get" their appointments........