Moving to Berlin and my situation or question is unique

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The Embassy in Malaysia requires visa applicants to have a minimum of 7020 Euro for every year (585 Euro/month) that they intend to live in Germany. And since arriving here not long ago, I think that is really the MINIMUM monthly expense you can expect.

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Hi there,

I would like to move to Berlin this summer...I can speak German but

I'm not fluent yet...Is it possible to have

an unofficial job (babysitting...etc.) until I get an official one and

then I can have the work permit done? Thanks!

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this question is actually pretty simple. If you do not have a work permit you cannot work in Germany legally.

If you want to work illegally (i.e. without a permit) as a babysitter or house cleaner or whatever - you are advised to keep it quiet and be careful about who you work for (that they don't report you)

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i understand that they could report you but wouldn't they be in trouble too for providing illegal work?

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Probably they would report me before hiring me...I guess.

 

I mean, someone who reports you obviously won't give you work...

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Someone could employ you, not pay and then threaten to report you anonymously to the police.

Whatever the scenario is people, keep illegal work on the down-low!

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Hello

 

I am applying for a job in Berlin. If I get the job (it is an English speaking position) here are some questions i'd like the answers to if possible!

 

1. what would I need to do to ensure a smooth transition? - Paperwork, ID, Healthcare for my husband and I

 

2. What is it like to rent housing in Berlin? What are the procedures, what can I expect in terms of rental costs?

 

3. How far is a salary of £1500 likely to go? What is the tax system like?

 

4. What is the social life like in Berlin?

 

Lots of questions...sorry but thank you to those who answer.

 

All the best.

 

FiBi

 

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Hi Im a 23yr old guy from Australia (currently in London) looking to move to Berlin in summer.

 

I don't speak any German and was wondering if anyone has any info on what kind of work I can get and if its hard to find.

 

I was thinking bar work in a tourist pub since I don't speak german.

 

Also If anyone has any tips on finding a place to rent which is central(ish) and cheap? Or know any good areas near live music and a good nightlife?

 

Any other information that might help would be greatly appreciated!

 

Cheers

Thorpey

 

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www.immoscout24.de is good for finding a flat, it is all in German, but you should be able to work it out. There are lots of threads about nice parts of Berlin to live in

 

I live in mitte and think the nightlife is good and it's very close to Prenzlauer Berg which has great cafes and bars too (especially along Kastanienallee and Kollwitzplatz).

 

Some of the threads below might help, but generally just read up on the forum

 

Best districts for a student to live in Berlin

Life in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin

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Hello

 

I am thinking of teaching in berlin. Can anyone help me with some questions I have.

 

1. What should I be paying for renting a 2 bed apartment in a reasonable area in Berlin, close enough to coffee shops/bars etc.

2.Are there fully furnished apartments available?

3.Will 3000 euros GROSS be enough to live on? What could I expect to be able to do with this kind of income?

4.What is the transport system like?

 

Any other advice much appreciated. Would love to hear from anyone, living in berlin or not.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Fibiz

 

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Hi Fibi,

 

Hope all goes well moving to Berlin - it is a great city, and social life is fantastic - it's what you want to make of it, but everything is possible. As for answers to some of your questions, here's my input.

 

A 2 bedroom apartment would probably cost in the region of 600-800 euros, plus heating/electricity/phone. Of course it depends on the area you want to live in (look elsewhere on the site for threads that discuss the different areas).

 

Tax is high, and health insurance is compulsory. However, the service is good. If you are employed by a German company, they take care of all the tax related paperwork - it is pretty much the same as PAYE. If your husband is not working, then you can get his tax allowance, if he is working, then you can split it. If you are going to be self employed, then you need to register as such - you will need paperwork to show you are qualified in the profession that you register, and the paperwork will have to be officially translated into German. (In Germany, you can only work as a self employed professional if you can prove you have appropriate qualifications). If self employed, then you will need ot find a tax consultant (steuerberater) to look after your book-keeping and tax - there are plenty of them about.

 

I would think that if you are employed by a company, and earn 3000 euros per month, your take home should be about 1800 euros after tax and health insurance (just an educated guess - check an expert for details). If you are self employed, there are lots of things you can claim against tax (e.g. part of your rent for office costs), and you can register for VAT, meaning you can claim back VAT on computers etc. (this is one reason to get a good steuerberater - they can minimise your tax payments if you are self employed).

 

Public transport in Berlin is excellent. There is an extensive network of city trains (UBahn, SBahn and trams), as well as a huge bus network - there is no need for a car if you live in Berlin. If you are planning to stay for at least a year, the best value is to subscribe to a yearly ticket - costs currently 57 euros per month for the AB zones (covers all of the center of Berlin, and well beyond).

 

Apartments are usually let unfurnished - furnished apartments are usually only available for short term rent (usually when somebody goes away for a couple of months, and sub-lets their apartment). In general you will rent an apartment - there are houses with gardens in the outskirts, but they are usually family homes, or in very expensive areas. A two bedroom apartment would actually be advertised as a 3 room apartment (meaning a kitchen, bathroom and 3 other rooms). For two people, you will probably want at least 65sq. meters.

 

One final thing - if you have kids, or are planning them, Berlin is a great place to bring kids up.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Colin

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Hi Colin!

 

Thanks for all your advice! Much appreciated. No children and not planning any for a while, but thanks for the info. There are few places that are nice enough to bring up children.

 

Your advice about the apartments was great. So I assume I should be looking for UNFURNISHED if I am to be here a couple of years. The thing is that someone mentioned that they dont have kitchens! I'm really worried about moving to Berlin and not having a kitchen. Where do you get one from? How long would it take to be delivered. How much is one likely to cost? Is it right to assume that most Germans have free standing kitchen and taken the, with them when they move as they would any other furniture?

 

Would 1800 euros be enough to live on assuming after rent/bills I have about 1000 euros left?

 

Also would my husband have to have a tax card even if he wasnt planning to work?

 

How much would Health Insurance be for a Male, 28, normal health?

 

Again. Thanks for the advice.

Fibiz

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If your husband is not working, and assuming he has a EU passport, then he won't need a tax card, and your health insurance should cover him as far as I am aware. However, that is only if everything is done correctly and legal - also if you are working self-employed, it may be different. It may be better for your husband to register as a student, if he can find a course, as that helps his status. If he is not working, then as I said you can claim the best tax class, which effectively gives you his tax allowances.

 

As for the kitchens, it depends - some apartments do and som do not have kitchens. The kitchen should always have a cooker and sink minimum. Sometimes, people take the kitchen, and sometimes the apartment has just been renovated, and they may in that case offer you some money towards putting in a kitchen - it all depends. Also, if someone has put in a kitchen, and wants to leave, they will often try to sell it to the new tenant (look for "Abstand" in the ad). The cost of a kitchen depends on what you want, and how much you want to do yourself. You can get a new washing machine for 300 euros, and a reasonable new fridge/freezer for 300 euros also. You'll pick up reasonable worktop and kitchen units in IKEA (there are lots of alternatives to IKEA) at an OK price. Do the work yourself, and it should not be too costly. So don't panic, look at the apartment ads first, and see what the situation is.

 

Remember, when I said 1800 euros, that was an estimate - best to check with a professional - I seem to remember that I found German/English web site which has a German tax calculator on it - Google for that and see what you find.

 

All the best for now,

 

Colin

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Hi again Colin

 

Yep - I worked it out with the calculator and got about that - I mean say I got 50% tax that would leave me with 1500 Euros.

 

What im really asking is how much does it cost to do the following:

 

Stay in a relatively decent area in a flat with 2 bedrooms

Go out for a few drinks 2/3 times a week

Go out for a meal once a week

save a little

buy weekly food

pay for bills (heat light water council tax equiv.)

 

Thanks for all your help.

 

I mean - it's just brill that I get Hubby's tax allowance. How fab is that? Very generous of the tax authorities. AND you can claim back expenses relating to travelling to your work. Ab fab I say!

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Hi Fibi,

 

I think that you'll do better than 50% after tax - in particular if you have the full tax allowance, you'll do much better than that.

 

You should do OK with the flat at 700 euros per month.

Drinks depend on what you're into, and how much you drink - but a couple of beers or glasses of wine should be 10-20 euros per person per night.

Food, also depends on what you want, but no problem getting a decent meal for 15-25 euros per person in a basic Italian, Indian, or the myriad of cafes throughout the city

Weekly food, that's tough, but you should be able to get by with 50 euros and a bit per person per week for food and basic household stuff

 

remember that when you rent an apartment, you'll need to put down a deposit up front of 2 to 3 months rent - you get it back when you leave the apartment as you found it. Also note you should avoid paying estate agents (Makler) - they will look for 1 to 3 months rent in payment, and they are useless - in Berlin there are lots of appartments available direct form the owners, or the managers of the apartment block (Hausvervaltung) - look for 'provisionfrei' in the ad.

 

Eating and drinking is pretty good value relative to the UK. There is a great variety of places to eat in Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg, Fredrichshein and Schöneberg.

 

Another thing to keep in mind, is that the Euro is really strong relative to the UK Pound at the moment (currently 1 euro is 80p). This means that when you come over, your existing money may not be worth what you think - however if you are saving ,and returning to the UK in the future,that's good news.

 

Hope this helps, and if you get over here, we can get together for a drink.

 

Colin

 

P.S. of course if you husband was working also, you'll have more to spend!!!

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Forgot to mention my thoughts on bills. Our apartment is 120sq meters, and we currently pay per month 70 euros for electricity and 50 euros for gas (electric cooking, gas heating and hot water) - I think we can do better than that, and will soon shop around for cheaper deals.. Water is usually covered in the "Nebenkosten" - i.e. utility charges added to your rent, which also covers garbage collection, and house maintenance - in our case, the rent is about 880 euros per month, and the Nebenkosten about 130 euros per month.

 

We pay 49 euros per month to Deutche Telekom for telephone and very fast broadband. Again you can do a bit better, but typical bundled telephone and broadband packages start at around 20 euros per month. Mobile phone costs, like in the UK depend on what you want. I pay 30 euros per month on a contract with Debitel, which also covers calls to land lines within germany.

 

You'll be glad to hear that there is no equivalent of Council Tax in Berlin.

 

Colin

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Hi

 

Again, thanks for the info. It's not that my husband doesn't work - actually he does but will not be working 'in' Germany. He is a PhD student and receives a tax free grant, but the grant will be from the UK, rather than income earned from Germany. It's very complex and I am positive that this will complicate matters greatly with respect to tax cards etc...do you know? I was wondering about whether or not we could both live on my wage in case he does not qualify for the grant once we move from the UK so he can carry on his research.

 

Anyway, I'm getting very excited (even looking at the Thursday night Drinks in Berlin posts!!!) but I haven't even gone for my interview yet so might not get the job or even be coming to Berlin... but I do hope I get it. Germany sounds fab.

Your advice is much appreciated. Must meet for a drink if (no...WHEN!) we come over!

 

Thanks again

 

Fibiz

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