In Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich we travel anywhere within the defined metro areas (e.g. Berlin AB, Frankfurt City Zone, Munich Inner District). If your appointment is outside these areas, contact us for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which languages do you offer?
All interpreters speak fluent German and English. It might also be possible to find an interpreter who offers another language pair – just ask.
Do all appointments cost the same amount?
No, it depends on a few things.
If it’s a fairly standard type of appointment (e.g. foreigner’s office, Bürgeramt, etc) and you don’t need someone with any specific qualification or specialisation area, then the cost won’t change.
Sometimes I might be dealing with complex information, legal content, or a topic area for which I need to do a bit of advance preparation. Or, the office you’re visiting needs you to bring a court-sworn interpreter. If that’s the case, the fee might be a little bit or a lot higher.
Who will come with me to my appointment?
It’ll either be me (Kathleen Parker) or one of my colleagues. We are all fluent in German and English and have accompanied many many people to their appointments at the Ausländerbehörde, Standesamt, Bürgeramt, Finanzamt, Jugendamt, Mieterverein, rental agency, Kita, business meeting, IKEA (yes, we can come shopping with you too!), etc. Some of us are court-sworn.
I’ll always choose the interpreter that I feel is best qualified to handle your appointment.
I need a court-sworn interpreter. Are you qualified?
I don’t have that qualification but I work with interpreters who do. Send me the details and I’ll get you a quote.
Should I have a confirmed appointment with the office I want to visit before I book with Red Tape Translation?
It’s not a must, but if you can, you will save yourself time and money. Booking an appointment ensures that the office will be open, that you will be in the right place and that we won’t have to stand in line.
If you’re not sure where to go or how to get an appointment in the first place, get Red Tape Translation to help you. I’ll find out which office is responsible for your case and book you the next available appointment for 10 EUR.
How will I meet you before my scheduled appointment?
Once you have booked and paid for Red Tape Translation, I will send you an email with everything you need to know. Interpreters wear Red Tape Translation badges, and you’ll always have each other’s mobile number in case something goes wrong.
Do I always need to show up in person, or can you take care of things for me?
In some instances, I can take care of things for you from start to finish. This is useful for registering your address or getting a parking permit. Call or write for more information.
My Schengen Visa expires before the next available appointment. What should I do?
Show up at least two hours before the doors to the building open and wait in line. Take coffee. An interpreter will meet you shortly before the doors open. Talk to Red Tape Translation about the most cost-efficient way to do this.
My residency expires before the next available appointment. What should I do?
Read this blog article.
I can’t wait for an appointment time because my issue is urgent.
That’s fine. Just keep in mind that there is no guarantee on how long it will take waiting in line. Here’s some good news: Red Tape Translation is currently capping costs after the fifth hour for walk-ins at the Ausländerbehörde.
How long is it likely to take on the day?
It’s hard to say… if you have an appointment, it takes somewhere between 50-90 minutes on average for most public office appointments. Without an appointment, it’s anyone’s guess. But I do cap Ausländerbehörde appointments at five hours – if it takes longer than five hours in one day, you stop paying.