Moving to Germany with your family-Thorough explanation of school procedures!August 21, 2022
This time, I will talk about the administrative procedures of families who are stationed and immigrated to Germany with their children. There are few Japanese companies in Berlin, but there are many universities and research institutes, so there are quite a few families who have been stationed in Berlin for several years as visiting researchers. It seems that there are many families stationed in Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, etc.
Families who come to Germany with their children have more procedures at the government office than those who come alone. There are many documents to prepare, including schools and nursery schools, so I will summarize them here.
Resident registration in Germany
To apply for a residence permit, which is essential for staying in Germany, you must first register as a resident. In Berlin, you can make a reservation for resident registration online, but it may be too full to get it just before. In that case, don’t panic because you can make a reservation by phone or online reservation that will be announced just before. Also, it doesn’t matter if you’re not in the area where you live, so if you can’t make a reservation at a city office near you, make a reservation at a city office somewhere in Berlin.
There are some places where you can do it without a reservation, but there are many changes such as not being able to do it without a reservation from this year, so it is safe to go after making a reservation. (Note: As of June 2020, many city halls do not accept face-to-face reception due to corona. Please apply as instructed by each city hall.)
The caveat for Berlin is that there is one reservation per person. For a family of three, make at least two reservations, preferably three at about the same time on the same day.
Those who bring their children to Germany need a German birth certificate and marriage certificate. You can get a copy of the family register in Japan and apply it for official translation, but the official translation is quite expensive. Cheap is still a public service.
If you submit a copy of your family register within 3 months of issuance to the Consular Section of the Embassy of Japan in Germany, you will be issued a German certificate for a whopping 9 euros for both birth and marriage certificates.
The official translation needs to be the original, and German officials are unfamiliar with it and may look a little confused, so I recommend this.
This marriage certificate and birth certificate are required for resident registration, issuance of residence permit, and school application, so please keep them in a safe place.
Apply to a local school
If you have successfully registered as a resident, you can apply for a residence permit, but you can also apply for your child’s elementary school at the same time. Children who have an address in Germany have the right to attend a local school even before the residence permit is given.
I don’t think many children can speak German, so apply for a welcome class first. Welcome class is for immigrant children who do not speak German. It is usually a public school in your neighborhood.
In the case of the welcome class in Berlin, you cannot choose to go to this school by yourself, but you will be enrolled in an elementary school in the school district where there is a vacancy in the welcome class. How to apply for a welcome class varies considerably from city to city, so you will need to contact the department in charge of each city. You may be asked to come to an interview with your child after applying by e-mail, or you may be able to complete the procedure simply by sending documents, so it seems that it is up to each area in charge.
Get a preschool checkup
Once you find a welcome class that you can enroll in, the next place to go is the health center. Children enrolling in the first grade undergo preschool screening at a place called Schularzt.
Please bring something that shows the vaccinations you received in Japan. The type of vaccination may be written in English in the Mother and Child Handbook, but this person does not know when the vaccination was received in Heisei or Reiwa. You may want to ask if you can get an English version in pediatrics.
After undergoing a basic hearing and visual acuity examination at the preschool examination and receiving a certificate, you are finally admitted!