Every now and then, you fall in love with Germany. Or maybe it’s person who just happens to live in Germany. Whichever it is, time is running out and you want a way to stay as long as you can. You don’t even really care how, as long as it’s legal. Or perhaps you just need to buy some time between your Schengen Visa running out and you figuring out what happens next. I know the feeling very well, so this post is for you.
Category Archive: Dealing with Problems
There’s an old law from 1913 that will interest you if you’re a freelance teacher in Germany. It’s from §2 of Book 6 of the German Social Code, it covers the Statutory Pension System in Germany, and it goes a little something like this:
“I’ve got this great full-time job offer in Germany, but they want to hire me as a freelancer.”
This isn’t always ill-intentioned, but when your company offers to hire you in Germany as a full-timer but wants you to write them invoices as a freelancer instead of employing you, they might not have your best interests at heart. Or they might just have no clue about how employment law in Germany works. In any case, it might cause some serious problems for them and for you later down the track.
The Ausländerbehörde in Berlin is a special place. Among other special nicknames, it has been described as “the most miserable place in Berlin”, “the place of shattered dreams” and “inefficient government bureaucracy at its finest”. Above all, though, getting acquainted with its tightly-closed-up windows, flashing neon boards and slightly-off key announcement bells is inevitable. So embrace it and do it right. Here’s how to save time, avoid stress and leave with a shiny new visa or permit.
You moved to Berlin, landed a job and just received your first pay cheque. You notice a deduction called “Kirchensteuer” in the small print and wonder what it could possibly be…
What is Kirchensteuer?
Kirchensteuer (church tax) is a tax imposed on members of some religious congregations in Germany.
Great news from the Bürgeramt! 2017 has brought with it a wave of days marked in blue on the online calendar – that means you can even get same-day appointments at registration offices across Berlin! Get clicking!
This story made my morning. Insane! A Chinese tourist travelling alone had his wallet stolen in the south of Germany and tried to file a police report. He got led to a help desk in Heidelberg but he didn’t speak any German or English. The help desk consultant gave him an asylum request form to fill out, which he obediently did. One thing led to another and he boarded a bus with a whole bunch of refugees that arrived at Dortmund some time later …
Not long after you move to Germany, you’ll probably start craving the comforts of home. Internet, a mobile phone, maybe even a gym membership. Signing up for the latest shiny deal is usually easy enough: salespeople will fall at your feet, even with limited German. Here’s what you need to know about getting out of German contracts.
Disaster strikes – you moved all the way to Germany to take on a fabulous job, it blows up in your face, your boss hands you your notice. Losing your job in a foreign country can be daunting, but like everything in Germany, there is a process to follow. Keep calm, follow the process, and it’ll all work out OK.
Unexpected Rental Increases, Early Termination, and Other Problems
Finding an apartment in Berlin is hard work, so when you’ve found a place, you’re probably feeling grateful to even be able to sign the lease. Sometimes it can be hard to resolve problems or disputes with your landlord or housing administration in Berlin, especially if you’re not familiar with German tenancy law and your German language skills are limited!
Red Tape Translation just helped British and Australian tourists in Berlin at the police station in Prenzlauerberg, after they lost track of a very important carry-on suitcase containing passports, a laptop, and internet banking passwords. This discovery was accompanied by several heart palpitations, as the tourists had flights booked to London the following evening, and weren’t having any luck communicating with anyone, let alone solving their suitcase mystery. They had less than 24 hours to recover the missing suitcase, or there would be emergency trips to more than one embassy very early the next morning. Here’s what happened.
Coming to Germany for medical reasons can be scary. If you don’t speak German and you’re nervous about communicating with the hospital staff, have a chat to Red Tape Translation about having a German speaker around to help.
Red Tape Translation just finished a rather large and unique medical interpreting assignment. I was hired for almost three full time weeks by a patient traveling to Berlin for surgery at a private clinic in north-east Berlin. As well as interpreting German and English in every possible situation for the patient and the family, I assisted with organizing accommodation, transport, shopping, cleaning, and errand-running.