Do people at the "Ausländerbehörde" speak English?

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Hi everyone,

 

I have a couple of questions, hopefully someone can help. I have an appointment at 8am at the Ausländerbehörde where I am supposed to show them a job contract in order to get a work visa. However, after many valiant efforts, I was unable to find a job in the time I had. So I did the only other thing I could think of (to stay in Berlin), I enrolled in school. Now, I need to somehow explain to them that the job fell through or didn't materialize in the time that I had, and so I enrolled in school instead.

 

Do you think I need to bring with me a translator? Do you think there are people at the office who speak English? It is a "foreigner's" office, after all... I figured there would be someone there who could understand me... but I wouldn't be surprised if no one spoke good enough English to really understand.

 

Another question is this: since I was supposed to show up with a job contract and instead will show up with school enrollment, will they think I am being underhandled or disrespectful and not grant me a student visa? I am at the end of my rope here... I don't know what else to do, and I really want to stay in Berlin.

 

Any opinions would be helpful.

 

Thank you!

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When I went 11 years ago to the one in Munich, the guy refused to speak English with me (and was nasty to me because I was American!). My German wife had to be there to help.

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Do you think there are people at the office who speak English? It is a "foreigner's" office, after all...

I guess they are more likely to be able to speak Turkish than English :(

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Well the best answer is to bring someone along who can translate. I went through my Visa process last month to teach English and everyone I dealt with there spoke some English until I got to the last lady who made the decision on whether or not I got the Visa. She spoke only German(although I am pretty sure she understood my English). You may get someone who does speak English, but chances are they will not speak enough if you have to explain why you don't have a work contract. Also, as far as I understand, there are different rooms for the different types of Visas. So if your appointment was for a work visa and now you want to switch to a student you may have to make another appointment with a different room.

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Unless you've had assertiveness training, it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring a German with you even if they do speak English at the Ausländerbehörde.

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It's very hit or miss if they speak english there or not. We asked at the initial information desk if they spoke english and got an earful (in german) about how this is germany and of course they don't speak english.

 

If you aren't able to get a friend to come along with you, I suggest you try and get someone to write out a quick note on what you are trying to get done. I wasn't able to bring anyone with me when I had my appointment, and although the person I spoke to there knew a little english having it written down in a way they can fully understand made things a little easier for me.

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For the most part, I think most people at the Ausländerbehörde CAN actually speak English, although I'm not exactly sure about their willingness. My American friend (who couldn't speak German to save his life) had absolutely no problem at the office with my Verpflichtungserklärung. However, they refused to help me (actual Aufenthaltserlaubnis applicant) out if I didn't understand one of the words they were using. Then again, we ARE in Germany, and should therefore at least make an attempt with German, I suppose.

So, to sum up the rambling, a translator probably would be a good idea.

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English ability is a requirement for a job in Aulandsbehörde but these are bureaucrats -- seriously petty fuckers -- and they'll refuse to speak it to you. Bring a German with you. Not only will this guarantee you understand the words spoken, the bastards will be prevented from playing most of their games, some of which are outright illegal.

 

woof

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English ability is a requirement for a job in Aulandsbehörde

Are you referring to an official requirement, BD? There may be one, but I don't know of it. If you mean a "moral" requirement, I don't quite understand why, quite frankly. The majority of foreignors coming to Germany is not English-speaking..as someone else mentioned, if there is a requirement for a foreign language, it should more rightly be Turkish.

 

Is it a requirement for all officials in the US to speak Spanish BD?

 

Bear in mind that the people who get jobs at the Ausländerbehörde are not normally the highest achievers in school.. the pay, and the nature of the job don't attract those with the greatest skills in subjects like English. If in every job where there may be some English-speaking foreignors needing assistance we demand employees with a good command of English, we up the rates of pay for all these professions, inevitably making services in Germany even more expensive.

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take my advice and take a German with and make sure its one that will be prepared to stand up for you if they get flighty

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When i was only here for a short time, i had to go to KVR and fill some things in and they said it would have to be done in German, and at the time my German was very limited, and i found a translator, he was a student so he only charged me 40€, which is good considering all the bother it saved me, but you should try advertising on TT for someone, because i think you're right in your assumption that the level of English they speak ´might not be the greatest, and this will do nothing but make it more stressful for you.

 

If you lived in Munich, i would send my fiance with you.

 

Good Luck :)

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Thank you all very much. I really appreciate it. I had a feeling I would need to bring a German; of course I don't want to make assumptions that "everyone speaks English," as that is completely ignorant and chauvinistic and follows in line with some certain unfavorable ideologies that we Americans sometimes tend to think.

 

That being said, I have one German friend who may be able to help me... But if not, I will be in need of a translator, someone who feels like they could fight for me at the Ausländerbehörde. I don't have much money but I think I can afford 10 Euros an hour or maybe a flat rate that we can negotiate... Perhaps a little more if someone thinks 10/hr is too low. The appointment is at 8am Monday. Any takers in case I can't convince my friend to do it? :)

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Any takers in case I can't convince my friend to do it?

Take care of your friend - there was a recent thread where the OP was not getting any takers for a similar mission...

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They are usually bastards. I found that when I was there that if you tell them how much you love it here they become very nice, especially if you are an American! If you need help that badly, I know of numerous people that can/could help you, since you offered a bit of cash, because the Ausländerbehörde takes forever and it is out right a terrible place to be. Just make sure to convey the fact that you have enough money, 2,000 euro, for a two year visa and that you have no want/need/plan to live from HartzIV or any other form of social help.

 

Just wondering what kind of school are you enrolled in? Language or University? Because if you are in either you can receive at least a six month student visa rather easily(by German bureaucratic standards).

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they wont speak English with you, take a translator. and even if you get there at opening time, expect to queue for ages, take a book to read, good luck

steve

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Are you referring to an official requirement, BD? There may be one, but I don't know of it. If you mean a "moral" requirement, I don't quite understand why, quite frankly. The majority of foreignors coming to Germany is not English-speaking..as someone else mentioned, if there is a requirement for a foreign language, it should more rightly be Turkish.

 

Is it a requirement for all officials in the US to speak Spanish BD?

It's a requirement because English is kind of the unofficial 'official' common language of the world, and the official language of the UN. If someone learns a second language, more often than not it's English. When 2 people from different countries are communicating, it's often in English. DUH.

 

Anyway Cali, to answer your question yes they do speak English, but they wont. I'd bring someone with you :)

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Friedrich-Krause-Ufer 24? I had a really great time there actually. I'd brought a german with me as backup, but when they called my name the first thing the woman said to me (in english, while smiling) was "shall we speak german? Or would you prefer english? I am happy with either." This was my experience, maybe you'll get lucky too. The entire experience wasn't all apple pie and unicorns, but the lady I finally met with was exceedingly kind.

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... the official language of the UN ...

The Organization uses six official languages in its intergovernmental meetings and documents, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish

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