Just read an interesting article in the Berliner Morgenpost about the current state of Berlin’s Bürgerämter. There are over 40 of them in Berlin, and you can visit any of them to do things like register your address in Berlin, get your driver’s license swapped over for a German one, or request a certificate of good standing (Führungszeugnis). Unfortunately, they are suffering from severe understaffing. This means you won’t get an appointment for the rest of 2015.
That’s not entirely true, you might, if you just happen to be online at the perfect time. However, software designed to snap up the cancelled appointments for paying users now makes your chances even less likely!
The article also states that there is no sign of relief in 2016. Berlin is experiencing a massive amount of expansion – since 2010, Berlin has welcomed around 140,000 new residents, and more recently, plenty of refugees to be processed too.
I’ve had some client feedback about the Bürgerämter in Neukölln – they are now no longer accepting walk-in address registrations for anyone living outside of the Neukölln district. This used to be my hot tip – not anymore.
I wrote a blog post about the situation back in May 2015, and I mentioned that I might be able to book appointments at the Bürgeramt for Red Tape Translation clients. I had a lot of people respond. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible anymore – internet booking issues made it impossible for me to offer this service.
Here’s a tip sent in from Stephen: Bürgeramt Helle Mitte in Hellersdorf had less than a half hour of waiting time. I think the trek would probably be worth it. Please send me your hot tips if you’ve managed to complete the process! And let me know if you’d like to take a Red Tape Translation interpreter with you.
PS don’t forget the new requirement for landlords to fill out an extra form! This took effect in November. Information in my last blog post.
Kathleen Parker is the founder of Red Tape Translation. She can be found going to the Ausländerbehörde, the Standesamt, the Bürgeramt, or other miscellaneous appointments with Americans, Canadians, New Zealanders, Australians, and Brits who are new to Berlin. Red Tape also offers telephone help and English-German translations (both directions).