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How to Plan Your Relocation to Germany in 2023: Tips and Advice from an Expat

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

You have been offered a job in a German company, and you would like to know how to relocate smoothly. You will find this article to be helpful in navigating the relocation process.

tips to relocate to Germany

If you already got a job offer and you are looking for the tips to relocate to germany, findout whether your salary offer is considered to be a good salary in Germany.

While already in your home country, after applying for your German visa and work permit, you can look around in Google maps and decide on the area you want to live in the city you are moving to. You should consider the distance from your workplace, supermarkets, doctors, and schools nearby, or anything else that matters to your life.

By the way, have you already been offered a job in Germany, congrats! Come to one of the most beautiful, liberal, and safe countries in the world! On the other hand, have you checked whether the salary offered to you is considered to be a good salary in Germany? If not, it is still not too late to speak to your HR department and make the necessary adjustments.

Finding a place to live

As you await the decision on your German visa application, you can already take advantage of the time you have left. Find an apartment that meets your requirements and desires by browsing the many online real estate portals.

Among other real estate portals, the most popular in Germany is immobilienscout24. Most German landlords use this portal to advertise their properties. They offer both free as well as paid programs. Alternatively, you can create your search profile in Immomio and get suggestions that suit your requirements.

It is recommended that you try out the free program for a while before jumping into the paid programs. The free plan is likely to provide you with what you're looking for. For those in a hurry and able to afford it, you can opt for the paid program.

As soon as you find a place that suits your requirements, shortlist it and contact the landlord. You shouldn't wait until you have your visa in hand since if your documentation is complete, you won't have to worry (generally) about the embassy rejecting your application.

When it comes to communication, most landlords prefer German. Therefore, make sure your message is in German and that you include personal information such as your smoking habits, if you own a pet, etc.

Documents required

  • Copy of your passport

  • Copy of your offer letter

  • SCHUFA-Auskunft or simply your credit score : One of the most requested documents by the landlords in Germany is your credit score. Since you are only just moving in, this is not necessary. It may be necessary for you to convince your landlord as you haven't opened a bank account yet.

  • Proof of income - Since you cannot present a salary slip or bank statement, your offer that shows salary details would suffice.

Bringing your possessions to Germany

Once you know that your work permit has been granted, you should begin organizing the moving of your possessions. Research logistics companies and ask them for an estimate of the price and arrival time. Ideally, the arrival should take place three months after your arrival in Germany, so you have time to settle in.

In addition, if you can simply get rid of things by selling, giving away, or storing them somewhere safe, you can buy good quality used furniture in Germany for cheap, or you can rent furniture as well.

If you are considering the costs of transportation and damage to your possessions while bringing them to Germany, you may want to think about shops like Ikea and Pocco that sell very fine quality furniture and utensils for less money.

Get your address registered

Hopefully, by now you've already received your visa and you’ve landed in Germany. In accordance with immigration regulations, you must register your place of residence at the local citizens office within 14 days of arrival.

As soon as you register in Germany for the first time, your official records will be created in the Tax department (Finanzamt), ARD - ZFD (German radio and TV broadcasting service), etc.

After you've secured a place to live, however, it's easy to obtain an Anmeldung. Understand more about How to Register in Germany or How to get meldebescheinigung in Germany more.

Apply for your German residence permit

Applying for your German residence permit should be considered only after your address is registered. Otherwise, you’ll have to reapply to update your new address in the residence permit which is usually sticking a piece of paper with your new address on the plastic card.

Make an appointment with the Ausländerbehörde, the office for foreigners. In spite of the fact that this is the foreigners department, they communicate only in German.

You will need a translator or a friend who understands the language to help you.

Usually, the first residence permit you get will be valid for three years. A permanent residency can be applied for later if you meet certain criteria.

Get your Steueridentifikationsnummer - Tax ID in Germany

For anything involving the Finanzamt, you need to get your Steueridentifikationsnummer. Your tax ID number usually arrives in your post after you register in Germany. But if you are wondering about the process, check it out here

Open a bank account in Germany

Expats living, studying or working in Germany must get familiar with the German banking system from anytime they move in - no matter whether they need to open a bank account to receive their salary or simply want to transfer money to and from abroad.

In Germany, there are many options for banking; you can choose from new generation online-only banks, traditional banks or hybrid banks. Get familiar with the German way of banking.

Shortly, we recommend Wise - formally TransferWise - or N26 if you desire a simple and easy account opening process.

Get necessary Insurances

There is insurance on everything in Germany, unlike many other countries. Whether it's your pet or an appliance in your kitchen, almost everything can be insured in Germany.

Generally your employer offers health insurance for you and your dependents. We cover almost every possible scenario in this article. So, make sure to check it out.

Get your German driving license

Though the public transportation is great in Germany compared to other countries in the world, it's always nice to get your driving license in Germany. Your license is still valid if it was issued in the EU. Otherwise, you are not allowed to drive after 6 months and you will need to convert it to a German driver's license.

If your non-EU license is not converted to a German one and you are driving in Germany, you won't have insurance coverage and may owe thousands of Euros if you get into an accident.

Driving without a valid license can get you into even more serious trouble. It is also necessary to translate all non-German licenses, and you should carry that translation around with you at all times.

If your driving is about to expire, you need to renew your license well in advance to avoid an unnecessary waiting period.

The German integration course

Despite the fact that many cities in Germany are considered international, if you wish to live in Germany, you should learn German. The language knowledge will be useful for you if you want to mingle with locals, fill out application forms, when receiving letters from authorities, or support your children at school. You should also know certain things about Germany, such as its history, culture, and legal system.

In the BAMF portal (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees), you can find the nearest integration centers.

Finally, the process of moving to a new country might seem long and complicated at first. In spite of their long and complicated nature, Germany's processes work in the end!

As you settle into this wonderful country, you'll enjoy its excellent quality of life!

how to find a job in Germany

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