The most important public institutions in Berlin

In order to save you a lot of hassle and possible problems with German institutions we put together this list of the most important public institutions in Berlin.
Be aware that rules and laws constantly change and some things might not be updated real-time, but you will definitely have some business with following public institutions if you want to build a life in Berlin.
One important tip in advance, always try to have things written down in an email or a letter rather than calling them. In case something goes wrong you need to have proof that you had taken care of this.

Bürgeramt Berlin

After you moved to Berlin you need to register your new address within 14 days after arriving, at least in theory. Right now all appointments in the Bürgerämter in Berlin are booked out for at least the next 2 months.
But that does not mean that you can claim that you wanted to register but didn’t get an appointment. There are still ways to get an appointment, if you are interested continue reading about the Bürgeramt in Berlin.

Gesetzliche Krankenkasse

If you are a resident in Berlin you generally also need to be a member of a German Krankenkasse. Usually after starting to work in Germany your employer will tell you all about this and you can decide which gesetzliche Krankenkasse you will sign up for.
But as always in Germany there are some exceptions to this rule, e.g. if you are freelance or you earn more than around 55.000€ a year you can also sign up to be privately insured. Keep reading about German Krankenkassen if you are interested in more detailed information.

Deutsche Rentenversicherung

If you are employed in Berlin your employer will also pay your monthly fee for the German Rentenversicherung. That means that after working until you are around 65 years you will get your state pension from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung.
But if you are freelance the whole thing is a complete different case. From the experience from our freelance friends here we can assure you that dealing with the Deutsche Rentenversicherung is no fun at all.
Make sure to have at least 2-3 different clients from the beginning otherwise the Deutsche Rentenversicherung will try to claim that you are only fake-freelance and they force you to pay money towards the state pension. If you are interested in more information about Deutsche Rentenversicherung continue reading.

Arbeitsamt – Jobcenter

In case you are unemployed after working for at least a full year you are entitled to receive financial aid from the Arbeitsamt. But of course nothing is easy when it comes to German bureaucracy so there are many things that you need to do after you receive your termination letter of, even more complicated, if you decided to hand in your notice. Continue reading about how to handle the Arbeitsamt in Berlin here.
Similar to the Arbeitsamt there is an institution called Jobcenter, where you need to go if you are not entitled to receive any unemployment benefits.
But the same here, if you want to sign up for Arbeitslosengeld 2, better known as Hartz 4, there are a lot of different things to take into consideration. Continue reading about the Jobcenter in Berlin for more information.