MOVING TO BERLIN – NECESSARY DOCUMENTS – INSURANCES – HOUSING

– a brief note over the basics

A. NECESSARY DOCUMENTS
As a european citizen, one needs to be a holder of either an identity card or passport.
A copy of a penal record is not required, since the penal record refers to the jurisdiction of the country of origin.

In some cases of diploma´s recognition or for specific work positions, it could be asked to show a copy of the penal record from the country of origin. Like all public documents brought from the country of origin, it requires the apostille seal, so as be valid. Note that there is a short expiration date to all documents issued by the authorities (3-6 months). Whatever public document one might need, it can be issued by the local consulate.

 
B. INSURANCES
In Germany one applies alone his/her membership in one of the health insurance institutions that are recognized by Law. Then, the institution applies for the person for a social insurance number (number of the pension account of the person).
The health insurance institutes are private law entities recognized by the law to provide health services. Depending on the status of the person and the income the amount one has to pay per month, may vary. Of course, in case of employees the money are paid from their salary and a part is paid by the employer and in case of people that are entitled to the benefits, the social service pays the health insurance.

If one keeps his/her insurance in the country of origin, then one can apply the european card.
The european card is issued by the correspondent national insurance institute is covering one up to six (6) months. In general 6months is the time to define the permanent residency of a E.U citizen. The european card is meant for travelling eg. visiting reasons only, therefore no regular treatments can be provided with this card. The doctor and hospital treatment in case of emergency are covered.

In case one moves from one place to the other and would like to try to extend his/her work abroad and does not wish or can interrupt the health insurance of the country of origin, one can apply at the country of origin at the responsible health institute the issue of E101 a document one has to submit to the health insurance in Germany. The german institute informs the institute of the country of origin and herewith the obligation to pay to the country of origin is suspended for the period one pays the health and social insurance in Germany.

 
C. HOUSING IN BERLIN
Normally in Germany each block of flats is administered by an administration, to whom one has to apply in order to lease an apartment. In rare cases, an apartment is administered by the landlord him/herself.
In order to lease a house/apartment in Berlin one needs to bring the following documents
-payroll from the employer over the earnings of the last 3months
SCHUFA, a paper that one has to apply at the corresponding service and proves that the person in question has no debts registered in Germany.
-a letter from the last landlord concerning the free of debts of the person in question. This only applies in cases, that a person leased an apartment and does not refer to the cases of sublease.

Berlin offers a lot of rooms in apartments with other roommates. Usually, one of more persons of the apartment have a contract with the central administration and sublet the rooms in the house. Many other cases are of the persons that live only for a limited time per year in Berlin and wish to keep their apartments. In that case, it is common that they sublet it for the time they are not there. Ideal case for the beginning. Standard websites for searching a room in a flat with flatmates:
wg-gesucht.de, studenten-wg.de, immoscout plus many others in the internet and facebook sites featuring housing in berlin.

Berlin offers cheaper houses for those entitled to the WBS, that is a certificate of the need of housing for the poorer. This certificate can be applied at the Mayor´s Office, Administration for Housing and gives access to specific block of flats all around berlin. The ads are normally marked then with WBS is needed, if that is the case of the apartment. There is a certain amount of houses estimated every year that need to be offered under those conditions, so as to cover the housing needs of all the social ranks and they are defined by the state.

Another good case of housing in Germany is a Wohnungsgemeinschaft, a Union of People, whose aim is to build houses meant to house the members of the Union. In this case, one has to become a member of the Union, in order to get an apartment at the block of flats of the Union. One becomes a member by buying shares at the Union. The Union has a Council with a President and Members, voted for a period by the members of the union who decide over the matters of the house. One gets to have a steady low budget rent in these cases, plus one does not normally have to pay for a guarantee for the apartment, whereas, depending on the statute and the economical status of the Union, one gets the money of the membership back when he/she leaves the union. Normally unions have many apartments in different areas and one can choose to move from one apartment to another of the union, even in much later time, without having to pay extra shares. By becoming a member, one guarantees his/hers housing in Berlin.

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