SympatMe helps foreigners in Germany with their first bureaucratic steps. We provide up-to-date information and hands-on solutions. On our website, newcomers can fill out paperwork, make appointments, and simply get things done.
How did SympatMe come about?
The idea for this project came in 2014. Many of my international friends were moving to Germany then. They knew that I lived in Berlin at the time, so they came to me for help. They kept asking the same questions. They kept having the same problems. In short, they all struggled mainly because official forms and documents are all in German. There are no English translations. When they tried to ask a German official for help, they would rarely find someone that spoke decent English.
"The idea was to give foreigners in Germany the tools with which they could deal with German bureaucracy in their own language."
I understand and support the idea that people moving to Germany should try to learn German. But in the first few days of arriving, it seems a bit much to ask. Even though German is my native tongue, even I struggle to understand some bureaucratic documents. So how can I expect foreigners to understand them?
In my opinion, we can't. That's why my brother Oliver and I embarked on this project. The idea was to give foreigners in Germany the tools with which they could deal with German bureaucracy in their own language. That's why we translated the most important official documents and application forms into 12 languages.
How does SympatMe work?
On our website you can fill out German bureaucratic documents and application forms in your own language. For example, you can fill out the registration form in Arabic. Or you can complete the application form for public health insurance in Polish. Once completed, all your data is automatically transferred onto the original German form. Then you can print this German document with your data on it. Take it to the registration office to register your address. Or, in case of the medical insurance application, send it to your insurance provider.
Other things we do
We have written detailed blog articles about life in Germany. Our wiki articles range from explaining German holidays to illustrating 8 steps to become a freelancer.
"The deals section gives foreigners in Germany the same discounts that locals benefit from."
The deals section gives foreigners in Germany the same discounts that locals benefit from. Everyone in Germany knows that you should get a Bahncard, if you travel by train often. Someone who is new to Germany probably wouldn't know that - until they look at our website...
Our project supports refugees and asylum seekers in Germany. Please read our Refugee Guide for more information. Get in touch, if you have any thoughts or ideas. All our services are free of charge to refugees and asylum seekers.
We have some strong partners like Deutsche Bank and AOK (public health insurance). Their partnership and trust in our project has been a great motivation to our team. You can now make an appointment with an AOK employee directly on our website. The AOK representative will meet you and explain German health care to you. In English, of course.
"We also have some strong partners like Deutsche Bank and the public health insurance AOK."
Further, our project has motivated Deutsche Bank in Germany to translate their application forms into English. You can now fill out their bank account application forms on our website. We have various other great partners working with us. It's great seeing more and more companies becoming more welcoming towards expats in Germany.
If you have any ideas, would like to share our project or become involved in it, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We are happy to see our project grow. We hope that SympatMe will contribute to making Germany a more accommodating place to foreigners, and help them quickly find their way around.
If you have any ideas, would like to share our project or get involved, please contact us.