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  1. Smoking Cigarrettes in Berlin

    Hi,   I wanna ask about the smoking laws in Berlin. Am I allowed to smoke cigarettes on the street in Berlin? Can you smoke cigs in restaurants, pubs, and clubs? Which hotels in Berlin city centre allows you to smoke or has a designated smoking area in the hotel?   Thank you!
  2. Hello everyone,  I have doubts about my Visa application and I wondered if there was someone in the same situation as me that can clarify some points. I approached the concerned authorities but didn't have any clear answer sadly. I am planning to enroll for a BFD this coming year in a youth center in Berlin. In my contract it is stated that I will receive 400€ as pocket money as well as health insurance. However the Organisation cannot provide an accommodation for me. A friend of mine offered to host me for the duration of my stay in Berlin and the Organization told me that he could make kind of a "hosting declaration" and that would be enough to get a Visa. Now my previous experience in the Volunteering field was similar, I had my pocket money, health insurance, and the organization provided tge accommodation and it was all good. But I have heard that a hosting declaration was not enough and that my friend should make a Verpflichtungserklärung instead, which is impossible right now because the amount of money demanded is too high. Does anyone have an idea about this and did anyone do a BFD before ? What did you need to get the Visa? And do you think that a Verpflichtungserklärung is necessary, or does the hosting declaration represent enough security for me to get the Visa?  Thanks in advance. 
  3. Hello   Im in my 30s, single mum to a teenage boy. I currently work as a front end website developer so I am capable of supporting myself financially. I have been to Berlin this year, and really liked the atmosphere and culture.     I have started to learn some basic German, but am in no way fluent at the moment, but I am willing to learn as much as I can.   I really want to leave the UK with my son, to give him a better education and an improved way of life. I also need a fresh start in my life, and for some reason after visiting Berlin I was drawn to the area.   I needed some advice if someone would be kind enough to help me out please.    1. Where is a reasonably priced area to live that is outside of Berlin? I need to be a close distance for commuting. 2. Is it possible to find a decent paying job for front end website development work as an English speaker, learning German? 3. Are there any agencies that I can sign up to? 4. Are there bilingual schools for teenagers around Berlin?   Thanks in advance   Sarah 
  4. Background : Myself and my boyfriend were living in a WG and we have been looking for an apartment together in Berlin for 9+ months and have finally secured one and signed the contract two weeks ago with a view to move on the 1st. November. But he has now got cold feet and needs time to consider whether he wants to continue with our relationship (we've been together 4 years, in our early 30s). Obviously I'm heartbroken but he's my best friend and respect his need to have some time to think. He is planning to stay in our WG (his friend's place) until he decides what to do.    I would like to still move into the apartment and best case scenario he decides that he'd like to join me. But if he decides not too, I would like to stay in the apartment, financially it's not an issue for me to cover the full rent, and I guess we would ask the landlord to release him from the lease.    The Catch : The landlady is incredibly risk averse and wouldn't initially rent to us because my partner is English (brexit) despite having residency and a permanent contract. And then we had to submit insane amounts of paperwork and jump through a ton of hoops. She allowed the previous tenant to sublet for a year to a couple (as he wanted to move in with his partner) with a view that they could then take the lease but she decided against them last minute due to the woman moving to part-time work, hence we secured the apartment.   I work freelance, and even though I earn 5x the warm rent, healthy savings and have letters from long term clients and whole forests of paperwork from my account and tax returns, I suspect that without a dual income she won't want me to stay.   In the ideal (not ideal) situation we wouldn't say anything to the landlady until my partner has time to decide what to he wants to do and if he sadly chooses not to move in, we could then ask her to remove him from the lease and hope that since we've paid rent on time for a few months she may be more lenient. BUT there is a section in the contract that states that we have to register within one week and send her a copy of our Anmeldung, so the cat will be out of the bag from week one.   Sorry about the long post, fairly stressed about the prospect of being homeless on top of everything - I've seen friends in Berlin search for 6-12 months even just to find a room in a WG.   My questions :  Should I get a lawyer and is there any hope that there is a case to let me stay in light that I can afford it? If she does try to evict us/me, will the the 3 month notice period apply so I have some time to try and find a new place?   TIA for any help + guidance!              
  5. ALG1 Rent Assistance

    Hi all,   I am shortly to be made redundant, and will be claiming ALG 1, I have worked in Germany for the past 13 months, I understand that I will payed 60% of my wage, which will mean I only receive €600.    My rent is €520 here in Berlin, and obviously I don’t think I will be able to survive on €80. My question is whether there is extra assistance I should be claiming in order to help me financially while I search for a new role?   thanks
  6. Hello Everyone, I have a question about B1 Certificate for Citizenship in Germany. i am planning to do the b1 TELC exam soon,,,can i use the certificate after 4 years? or at the time of using it,  it should be no longer than two years? because if it needs to be no longer than two years i would not take the exam now,,,i do it in a couple of years.   Thanks in advance!
  7. Has anyone recently applied for einburgerung at Burgeramt Pankow ? How long did it take to get Termin there, and how long did the process take. Currently it shows appointments only until 21. November, (all booked). Can anybody share their experience?
  8. How can I get an A1 form?

    Hey all,   I am a freelancer in Berlin (for years now) have been paying taxes, have my tax number. I will need to do some work in France and they have asked for my A1 form. To be honest I have no idea what this form is or how to get one. I cannot find much info about this and was hoping someone could let me know what this is and how to get one?   Thanks!
  9. If you're looking for an English-speaking dentist, I can highly recommed our family dentist, Dr Aviva Grinfeld. My daughter Elise was scared to get her first filling - to the point that she was going to run out of the office, poor thing, but Dr Grinfeld was so kind and patient - explaining each step and letting her hold the dental instruments - that Elise was able to relax - even during the drilling - and now no longer fears a visit to the dentist. Dr Grinfeld also did great work on a crown for me. I liked working with her so much I helped her redesign her website. Check it out!
  10. From August all kids studying in Berlin (primary and secondary school) will have access to public transportation for free in the AB area:   You can apply here (starting tomorrow):       Thank you Red-Red-Green Coalition.
  11. Hi. So I have been looking into getting a German passport, and have hit a wall with arranging an appointmente for the einbürgerung. The authorities refuse to engage with you unless you have an appointment, which you are supposed to arrange on the website. Except that all the slots are constantly marked as filled, I have been trying for weeks. Some people said I need to try at 7 ot 7:30 in the morning and be quick, but it doesn't make any difference. This is the page I am using   Has anyone been successful in arranging an appointment, and do you have any tips? Thanks in advance    
  12. Looking for a tennis coach

    Hi!   I'm looking for an English speaking tennis coach for private lessons in Berlin? I am a total beginner but would love to start playing!     Thanks
  13. 1. FC Union Berlin

    Cult club Union Berlin promoted to Bundesliga for 1st time  
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  15. prejudice in the workplace

    Hello all,   I've been at this company for almost a year now. The first 6 months as a freelancer, then they hired me and I got a blue card. I was put on a team with a manager that has much less experience and drive than me... but I accepted because simply put, I was desperate to keep this job and stepping down (stepping below bachelor level capacity, I'm MSc with years of work experience) was the only way I could get a job in my field in the first place (not afraid of working my way up the ladder once more).   But this manager is killing me. She is a bully and has no self-awareness. She is condescending and micromanages me on my personal life (it's not even about the work!) - for example, overhearing my conversations with colleagues and using the info later to try and manipulate her way, or even, taking note of how much water I drink, when I drink, and how much I on average fill my cup.. etc. Withholding information that I need for work... creating problems with suppliers, where there were none, and giving them over to me to solve. Lots of double work and overtime covering up her mess. Her bad management is also noted by my co-workers.. but for some reason, I feel like I've become a primary target.   You could say this is simply a matter of bad management and that it happens all the time to people. I would agree. But here's where I need advice: I have tried a few things to passively and actively change/improve my situation. After trying to solve it out with her, to no avail, I tried switching positions within the company, seeking advice from discrete colleagues, even speaking to HR. The result from this last attempt left me dumbfounded... in this company, every time I ask for help it comes back to bite me. HR did not hear me, did not consider my concrete examples describing main issues, did not understand the high school bullying going on - but took my manager's generic 'how to be a good manager' answers given with characteristic imperial poise and accepted them as truth.   So, I'm apparently the problem: my C1 language skills are the reason for the communication gap. HR also said, this is how Germans do it.. this is how professionals in Germany do it... (do not show weakness by talking about team problems)?! One should not talk about difficulties... one should respect the faux-flat hierarchy even if the work is being affected... WTF   Please tell me this is just a bad job experience!