Come September, I would have been living here in Germany for 7 years. That means that it would match the length of time I have lived in Buffalo. And since my stay in Buffalo happens to be the longest stretch of time I have lived in one place so far, this would mean that my stay here in Berlin would be the longest. And from the looks of it, it will just keep on getting longer and longer. Who knows, maybe it would even reach the point when it would overtake the total cumulative amount of time I have spent in the Philippines, which is 14 years. In any case, the clock is ticking. So I figured it's time to plant deeper roots. I have decided to apply for permanent residence.
As is typically the case, there are plenty of ways one can get permanent residence. So I started by figuring out which ways are actually applicable to me, given my circumstances. There is permanent residence that is granted by means of German law, and there is also permanent residence that is granted by means of EU law. There are different requirements: some require you to demonstrate German proficiency, while others require you to simply have lived for a specific amount of time holding a temporary residence permit.
So what I have done already was go to an immigration consultant. I had some questions, and I received answers. Now I'm collecting the relevant requirements, and once I have everything, I will submit an application. If I understand this correctly, it could take some time (months, I have heard), but sooner or later I would receive an invitation to an interview.
We'll see how this goes. I have time and patience. But it's nice to be able to go one step further to citizenship. I've been living as a guest for a major part of my life and it would be great to be a citizen of the country I am living in for once.