Your list of questions might not fit into the box. Maybe you’re hunting down a birth certificate for a long-lost German relative. Perhaps you just want to chat to someone friendly and knowledgeable about life in Berlin. Whatever your special request, it’s worth getting in touch to see if I can help.
Applying to Join the Künstlersozialkasse
If you work in an artistic field in Germany as a freelancer, you might be eligible to join the Künstlersozialkasse (KSK) – this is an artists’ health insurance scheme that allows you to be insured under the public system. The KSK is not a health insurer itself, it’s a fund that subsidises your contributions to health insurance, long-term care insurance and the pension. For many artists, this is absolutely invaluable.
In this coaching, I’ll give you information about
- How the Künstlersozialkasse system works
- Eligibility criteria
- The application form (in great detail!)
- Supporting documents
- What usually happens while you’re waiting for an answer
I’m a member of the Künstlersozialkasse myself and have helped many people apply. This coaching gives you general information about the application process but does not constitute health insurance or pension advice. For that, we’ll hook you up with a qualified professional English-speaking broker.
Filling Out Paperwork for ALGI or ALGII (Hartz IV)
When you arrive at the Agentur für Arbeit or Job Center for the first time, you leave with a thick pile of papers and a deadline for their return. Don’t muck around with Google Translate. Book a coaching with me instead – it’ll save you hours. I’ll take you through the forms quickly and efficiently and anticipate missing information that could delay your approval.
You’re dealing with unemployment and that’s not much fun, so I would like to offer this coaching to you at a reduced rate.
Applying for the Gründungszuschuss: Starting Steps
If you are facing unemployment or already receiving Arbeitslosengeld I and you want to start a business, this government grant is the perfect way to get things rolling while money is tight at the start. Just because you’re eligible doesn’t mean you’re entitled to it, though – it’s a tough application that really needs to tick all the bureaucratic boxes.
In this coaching, I will:
- Go through the eligibility criteria
- Help you with the application form
- Give you detailed information about the supporting documents
- Organise translation of your business plan (on request, separate cost)
- Put you in touch with English-speaking professionals to create a strong application
I received a Gründungszuschuss in 2012 and used it to get Red Tape Translation off the ground. I’d be delighted to share my knowledge and offer anecdotal pearls of wisdom.
What Kind of Residence Permit Can I Get to Stay in Germany?
It’s easy to fall in love with Germany. If your Schengen Visa is about to expire and you’re desperately looking for a way to stay, I’ll lay your options out on the table and help you figure out how you might stick around past the summer.
This coaching is suitable for citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America. I love to give out general information and pearls of wisdom, but I can’t give case-specific legal advice. I’m always happy to refer you to an English-speaking immigration lawyer.
The thrill of pregnancy and the uncertainty of knowing you’ll be giving birth in a foreign country. Oh, how I know it well! My daughters were born in 2014 and 2018 in Berlin, and since becoming a mum myself I’ve helped many other Mamas find their way through the pile of papers. In this coaching, I’ll go through the things that need to be done when you’re going to have a baby in Germany, in the right order. I can cover (as required):
- Paternity declaration (if you’re not married)
- Custody declaration (if you’re not married)
- Kindergeld (child allowance)
- Elterngeld (parental allowance)
- Baby’s birth certificate
- Kitas (childcare places): how it all works
This coaching is more about paperwork and procedures and less about things like finding a midwife, choosing a hospital, writing a birth plan or working with a doula. I’ll put you in touch with fabulous English-speaking colleagues in Germany that can help you with all of that.
Getting a Freelance Tax Number
Once you’ve got the work permit to start running your business in Germany, the next step is applying for a freelance tax number to write on your invoices. You probably already received a “Steuer-Identifikationsnummer” in the mail. Just file it away – it’s not suitable for your invoices. In this coaching, I take you through the application form step by step. It usually takes about 45-60 minutes to get through. You give the Finanzamt important information about how you wish to set up your business and what you expect to turn over on this form. They use this information to manage your tax affairs in the future.
This coaching is suitable for sole trader freelancers only. I give out lots of useful general information but not tax advice. If you need help making decisions on how to set up your business in Germany for tax purposes, I recommend getting advice from a tax advisor.
How to Get Married in Berlin
Eloping in Berlin is a truly spectacular experience but it’s not always easy to plan your wedding when you don’t speak the language. As a foreigner, you’d normally need to make three appointments at the Standesamt. However, if you’re well-prepared and have all your documents ready on your first visit, you can usually sweet talk them into skipping a step. In this coaching, I can:
- Let you know which documents you’re likely to need
- Anticipate any extra requirements based on your personal situation
- Organise certified translations for you
- Send an interpreter to the appointment/s and ceremony
- Communicate with your civil servant on your behalf
Getting Settled in Germany
You’re either brand new in the city or you’re still in your home country, gearing up to make the move. There’s a lot at stake, particularly if you’re bringing the whole family with you. I’ll let you know what you need to do, in what order, and I’ll tell you which documents to bring with you. Typically, this coaching might cover:
- Finding an apartment
- Registering your address
- Residence permits
- Getting set up as a freelancer
- Finding schools and kindergartens
It’s easy to customise the hour. Feel free to include a list of specific questions you want answered so I can prepare. If there’s something I don’t know, I will refer you to someone who can help.
Preparing for your visa appointment at the Ausländerbehörde
You’ve landed a great new job, you’re bringing your freelance business to Germany or you’d like to stick around and learn the language. I will help you prepare for your appointment as thoroughly as humanly possible. Typically, I will:
- Give you detailed information on the documents you need to bring
- Help you with application forms
- Tell you exactly what to expect on the day
- Refer you to English speaking health insurance specialists
- Foresee any problems you might run into and suggest solutions
- Organise an interpreter to go with you on the day if you wish
It’s easy to customise this coaching. Feel free to write a list of specific questions you want answered so that I can prepare. If there’s something I don’t know, I will refer you to someone who can help.