Second only to the word “Coronavirus” that gets thrown about in the media is the word “Entschädigung” (compensation). You might have heard that you’re entitled to a compensation if you are not permitted to do your job due to a quarantine or work ban. This information is brand new, it was only published last night. … Read More
Category Archive: Dealing with Problems
Everyone keeps talking about “Kurzarbeitergeld” in the media. What is it? Can I use it to pay my employees in these difficult times? Red Tape Translation has never been so busy playing detective as we are right now. We’re talking to officials, waiting for hours for information on hotlines and publishing everything we know in our blog. We’re now covering compensation for partial unemployment.
Lioba from Red Tape Translation is a freelance actor when she’s not working for us, and she has spent the day trying to make sense of the state aid available for self-employed people during the COVID-19 pandemic. She spoke with a case worker at a Job Center in depth this morning. We give her our warmest thanks for taking the time to share her knowledge.
We trawled the net looking for up-to-date information on English-speaking lawyers in Germany’s capital city. We found a few lists, but most of them were dreadfully out of date or not organised in a useful way. So we decided to make our own directory, sorted by field of law. We spoke to all the lawyers personally to make sure they were happy to be listed. You can therefore be assured that these lawyers are responsive to contact requests and open to working with English-speaking clients. As we continue to receive positive responses from Berlin’s English-speaking legal experts, we will update the list. Here it is! Special thanks to Fiona Gillespie for her stellar work in compiling this directory.
Here’s a collection of all the observations, tips, tricks, anecdotes and commentary written by myself and my British peers, all of whom are entangled in Brexit one way or another.
At the turn of 2019 we gave you Six Tips for Skittish Brits in the wake of the forthcoming Brexit deadline.
Interpreter and singer Suzy Fischer played her cards right for early German citizenship.
Eight months after submitting her citizenship application, Katie Kruse received a curious letter.
Spurred on by her generosity of spirit and emboldened by her dual citizenship, Katie regaled us on how to pass the citizenship test with flying colours.
Back in 2014, I visited a handful Kitas while 5 months pregnant. I signed up at a few. I emailed my desired Kita every 8 weeks for a year after the initial meeting. I applied for a childcare voucher (Kitagutschein) 9 months early, the earliest possible date you can apply. When it arrived, we emailed it directly to our Kita of choice. It was a full-time voucher (7-9 hours). It seemed we ticked the right boxes, for a day after doing this, my daughter got an offer for a full-time spot. In the weeks that followed, we were offered a place in three other Kitas for the upcoming summer. I patted myself on the back for my superior organisational skills and that was that. But that was then and this is now.
A minimum wage (Mindestlohn) has already existed in many European countries for quite a while. Despite this, its introduction in Germany only happened very recently. In 2015, negotiations between the CDU, CSU and SPD saw a minimum wage of €8.50 introduced to Germany in accordance with the Act Regulating a General Minimum Wage. Over the following years, it increased gradually. Right now, it is 9.19 EUR per hour. As of 1 January 2020, it will increase to €9.35 per hour. Some industries have been given a transition period before becoming compliant.
In April 2012, I became a bride. My honeymoon trip to my native Australia was going to be particularly special – not just because I got to spend two weeks of wedded bliss with my dashing new groom, but also because we were going to be two of the first customers to set foot in Berlin Brandenburg airport. We were scheduled to depart from Tegel and return to BER 20 days later. Well, kids, I’ve now been married for seven years, I have two children, though I am yet to set foot in Berlin Brandenburg airport. Here’s what happened.
Are you a Brit thinking of applying for German Citizenship before Brexit? Time to get your skates on! Katie from Red Tape Translation gives us a detailed account of what it’s like to be a Brit going for “Einbürgerung”.… Read More
Those pesky 90 days in the Schengen region, they disappear so quickly. Now time is running out and I really want to stay, just a bit longer – can I extend a Schengen Visa? Can I get my leftover Schengen tourist days once my resident permit expires? And what is this bilateral visa waiver thing I keep hearing about? WARNING: This post doesn’t have all the answers. But it’s a bloody interesting read all the same.
Life admin – it’s something everyone has to deal with. Correspondence, finance, tax, registration forms, paying bills, etc. It’s so necessary and so painful. And in a foreign language? Excruciating. Getting the answers you want feels like banging your head against a brick wall. It’s hard to talk to customer service without getting shut down for not speaking German. The credibility of replies on English-language social media forums is questionable at best. Lately, I’ve been getting all sorts of requests for help with expat life admin tasks, things like “can I pay you to sort out this billing issue?”, “I got a scary letter from the Finanzamt, can you help me understand it?” or “Can you find me a medical specialist who speaks English?” I can, I can and I can! Introducing Life Admin from Red Tape Translation.
The British Ambassador Sir Simon Wood met with concerned British citizens in Berlin at the British Embassy on 13th February 2018 to talk about the latest news on Brexit and freedom of movement, after the agreements of December 2017. Here’s what we found out:
- British citizens resident in Germany before Brexit will still have access to reciprocal health care (EHIC, reimbursement arrangements, etc), pension payments and other state-funded benefits (e.g. child benefits).
- British citizens who have been living in Germany for more than 5 years will be granted permanent residence. Brits registered as living in Germany before March 2019 will be able to stay and can then apply for permanent residence once they have reached the 5-year mark.
- Permanent residency is not freedom of movement. It only applies to the Federal Republic of Germany and can lapse if you leave Germany and deregister. Then, if you return, you might have to start from scratch with a regular residence permit and wait 5 or 8 years before achieving permanent residency.
- Frontier workers have protected rights as long as they continue to be frontier workers, if they were working across borders before Brexit.
- Family reunification (parents, partners, children) is possible up until Brexit, even if the children are born after Brexit. Partners are defined as being “in a durable relationship” and must have commenced their relationship before Brexit.
- Those wishing to apply for German citizenship will be able to do so after being in Germany for 8 years and holding permanent residency.
- British citizens who have already fulfilled this 8-year term and wish to have German citizenship are encouraged to apply for it ASAP. If the citizenship application is approved while Britain is still an EU member state, dual citizenship is not an issue. After this, it is not clear whether dual nationality will be tolerated or not.
- Reciprocal agreements in education (e.g. ERASMUS) should continue.
- The embassy expects further clarification before October 2018 – all decisions have to have been made by then so that the agreement can be ratified in time for Brexit in March 2019.
- The Berlin senate representative assured British citizens that they are “all Berliners” in the eyes of the Senate. Well, ain’t that nice!
If you want some help putting together your citizenship application, get in touch!