Time when you are pregnant should be filled with as much happy and relaxing time as possible - decorating the nursery, buying these cute little outfits and sharing joyful moments with just you and the little one making jumps and twirls in your belly.
However being pregnant in a foreign country requires you to spend some time also on paperworks that you and your baby will need to have done - especially if you are not married to your partner.
It took quite a lot of time for me - so try to take care of it as soon as possible so you can avoid any stressful situations shortly before your due date.
In my opinion it is better to take care of all these things before the birth (which can happen quite randomly in the last month), so after the Big Day you can think only about your precious little human next to you.
Tips & Tricks for handling German bureaucracy
- Start preparing the documents as soon as possible (if you're not having all-day-sickness in your first trimester).
- Second trimester is usually be the best - between 13 and 28 week of pregnancy - you can use some of this energy-filled time.
- Never hand out originals! (except of sworn translations if needed and special copies of German Birth Certificate for Elterngeld, Kindergeld and Mutterschaftsgeld).
- Always leave one copy of filled in forms or letters for your archives - in case of any problems you will remember what did you put in the form.
- Always ask for a proof of submitting the documents - you can request a signature with a stamp and a date on the copy of the form that you give - you can say: "Ich möchte einen Nachweis von Antragstellung."
Sending documents by post:
- Always send the letters as registered ones - you say at the post office's counter: "Ich möchte diesen Brief Einschreiben, bitte."
- Don't throw away 'the receipt' from the post - you will find there reference number (Sendungsnummer) which is your letter's tracking number.
- Check the status of your letter here (in English): Deutsche Post Briefstatus
- Print out a proof of receiving the letter - after two or three days it should arrive to the recipient - you search the letter's shipping status on Deutsche Post Briefstatus and you can download PDF with visible signature of receival.
- If you ever hesitate if the document is really needed - add it to the application!
Here is a list of paperworks you have to take care of before the birth:
- Elternzeit (parental leave) - also if you are unemployed (Arbeitslos) or self-employed (Selbständig)
- Mutterschaftsgeld (maternity pay) - if you have an employment contract (Arbeitvertrag)
- Vaterschaftsanerkennung (acknowledgment of paternity) - if you are not a married couple
- Sorgerecht (joint custody declaration) - if you are not a married couple documents for the German birth certificate
Here is a list of paperworks you can (and I recommend) take care before the birth (to be submitted after the birth):
- prepare form and attachments for Kindergeld (money you get just because you have a baby)
- prepare form and attachments for Elterngeld (parental pay)
- prepare documents for your country's birth certificate
Here is a list of paperworks that can be done only after the birth and receival of German birth certificate:
- Kindergeld application
- Elterngeld application
- requesting your national birth certificate
- Kita Gutschein application
- Betreuungsgeld application (after 14 months of life of your baby)