Visiting German public offices can make
the bravest expat feel anxious.

Do you feel stressed just thinking about going to the Ausländerbehörde?
Does the thought of talking in German make you break out in a cold sweat?
Do you hate German bureaucracy and don't have time to deal with it?
Are you worried that your German - or lack thereof - is just going to complicate things?

Our interpreters are experienced, competent and calm.
We’ll get your message across clearly and give you the information you need.

Book Now

The whole service is a wonderful antidote to all the bureaucracy. Absolutely recommended for any daunting appointment!

Sally Brockbank, Berlin

Planning a visit soon?

Landesamt für Einwanderung (immigration office)

  • Residence permit application
  • Residence permit renewal
  • Permanent residency
  • Visa conversion to residence permit
  • Electronic card (eAT) collection
  • Permit title change (freelancers or employees)

Standesamt (births, deaths and marriages)

  • Registration of intent to marriage
  • Wedding ceremony
  • Paternity declaration
  • Birth certificate, death certificate
  • Name change
  •  Marriage certificate

Employment agency

  • Agentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency)
  • Job Center (Social welfare office)
  • Gründungszuschuss (government grant for self-employed)
  • Bildungsgutschein (voucher for further education)

Apartment rental and purchase

  • Notary’s office (to sign a purchase contract)
  • Real estate agency (apartment rental, handover)
  • Apartment viewing, flat-share casting
  • Construction site (apartment acceptance, custom fittings)
  • Homeowners’ association meeting

Starting a business

  • Notary’s office (articles of association, commercial register)
  • Industrie- und Handelskammer (chamber of commerce)
  • Ordnungsamt (regulatory office for permits)
  • Gesundheitsamt (health department e.g. for a red card)
  • Business meeting

Bürgeramt (citizens’ services)

  • Address registration
  • Address de-registration
  • Driver’s license conversion
  • Führungszeugnis (certificate of good conduct)
  • Passport application
  • Transfer a residence permit to a new passport

Jugendamt (youth welfare office)

  • Paternity declaration
  • Custody declaration
  • Kita Gutschein (childcare voucher)
  • Elterngeld (parental allowance)
  • Child protection
  • Adoption

Finanzamt, district court, pension office

  • Leaving the church
  • Tax identification number
  • Deutsche Rentenversicherung (German statutory pension)
  • Divorce application

Medical, education

  • Doctor’s appointment
  • Hospital admission
  • Health insurance branch office
  • School (enrolment or parent teacher interview)
  • Kita (inspection, enrolment, development meeting)


  • Lost and found office
  • Police report
  • Tours
  • Media interviews

A professional interpreter will accompany you to your appointment.

You can trust us to show up on-time, be well-prepared and stick with you from start to finish.

You won’t have to speak an ounce of German (if you don’t want to).

Quality interpreting

Red Tape Translation has been around in Berlin since 2012. We’re known among the expat community here for being friendly, local and reliable. We are a women-led business and our small, close-knit team represents nine different countries.


We've been navigating German bureaucracy for 10 years.


Our interpreters are professionally trained and enjoy their work.


You can almost always find an interpreter, even at the last minute.


All of us have been in your shoes. We know it's stressful, and we'll do our best to make it easy.


We are quick to respond and excellent at solving problems.


You'll leave feeling heard and extremely relieved. Cross it off your list and get on with the fun stuff!

Fantastic service! The translator was punctual, professional and friendly but most importantly set us at ease by being calm and in control.

Shani Moffat, Berlin

Why choose Red Tape Translation?

  • Real interpreters

    You get an experienced interpreter who knows how to handle a variety of situations. We’ll send the right interpreter with the right background and skill set for your circumstances. Some of our interpreters specialise, e.g. in legal or medical translation. You don’t have to place your hopes on well-meaning locals winging it with intermediate German.

  • Great customer service

    You receive excellent customer service every step of the way. We are well-known for it – just look at the reviews.

  • Up-to-date knowledge

    You get support from professional interpreters who have gone through extensive training and stay up-to-date on all things related to German bureaucracy. It’s nerdy, but we have internal WhatsApp and Slack channels just for exchanging public office gossip between colleagues.

  • Reliable

    You can trust us to show up well-prepared and on-time. If there is specialist vocabulary we need to revise, we’ll have done the research before we get there.

  • Bureaucrat whisperers

    When things get frosty, watch us skilfully get the case worker back on your side. If we spot a cat calendar on the wall or a stick man drawn by a three-year old, we’ll use it to build rapport if appropriate. Sometimes it’s about striking the right tone to get the most favourable result for you.

  • Problem solvers

    You can ask us what to do next when Germany throws you a curveball. If you want us to, we can make suggestions that save you headaches later down the track. If we don’t know, we’ll know someone you can talk to who does. And in the rare case that things go very wrong on the day, you can trust us to handle it smoothly and professionally.

  • Relief

    You will feel at ease with a Red Tape translator beside you. We genuinely enjoy chatting to you in the waiting room, sharing our knowledge, doing our job and helping you. The most rewarding bit for us is the relief and euphoria you’ll feel once it’s all over.

So friendly, open, and knowledgeable. My interpreter made me feel comfortable in a situation I had SO much anxiety over, and it felt like a breeze.

Louisa Olson, Berlin

Our customers think we’re great