Moving your entire family to a new nation is one that will definitely cause everyone to have mixed emotions. Nevertheless, it’s a great experience for everyone and soon enough, all negative emotions will likely subside once everything and everyone in your family is all settled in. However, the process of preparing for residency and the act of applying for visas may get overwhelming and it is highly suggested that you and your family hire a migration agent for their guidance and help.
Applying for Your Family’s Visas and Permits
When you’re preparing to apply for visas to move to Germany, there are forms of proof and documentation that you’ll need to present to Customs. Try to collect these items months before you plan to move so that you can get the process of obtaining visas completed before your scheduled move.
What You’ll Need
- A valid passport. Make sure that...
- Your passport has been issued within the past 10 years,
- Your passport has 2 full blank pages- one page for the visa stamp and an additional spare page
- Your passport will be valid for at least 3 months after the date you leave the Schengen Area (26 European States).
- Original of valid US residence permit or valid US residence visa (e.g. type A, E, F plus endorsed I-20 by competent authority, G: H; I; J; plus J1 documents, L, O, R) must be presented.
- One application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant
- One passport format photo that has a light background, colored and shows full facial features. The photo must be less than 3 months old and be glued on the application form. Applications with stapled photographs will be rejected.
- A cover letter that explains the purpose of the visit to Germany
- Proof of travel arrangements- round trip flight/travel reservations or other proof of intended transport and complete itinerary of your visit to Germany
- Travel health insurance stating that you are covered in case of a medical emergency and repatriation not just in Germany, but in the whole Schengen zone (minimum coverage of € 30.000).
- Proof of accommodation in Germany-
- Evidence of a hotel booking or rental agreement
- Invitation from your German host (family member, friend) along with a copy of their passport or ID (Proof of sponsorship if dependent)
- Proof of financial means-
- A recent statement of US bank account for the last 3 months that shows funds of at least $50 that are equivalent to 45€ per person per day spent in Germany, or...
- Traveler’s checks
Information Regarding Underage Children
All underage children (under the age of 18 years old), must be accompanied by an adult when visiting the German Embassy Consulate General for the visa application process. Even with a German visa, underage children must have adults responsible for them during their entire stay in the nation. Here is the documentation required for children to obtain visas…
- Original birth certificate
- Signed travel consent from both parents
- If one parent is not located in the United States they should submit their signed consent to the German Embassy/Consulate of their residing country
Preparing for the International Move
Preparing your family and children for such a huge change of scenery and lifestyle is going to take some dedication and patience. Young children will especially find this transition difficult or confusing. Fortunately, there are some ways you can make the relocation process more exciting and less stressful for everyone. Perhaps the best way is to include everyone during the preparation process.
As you begin sorting through your things, let everyone in your family pack away their own rooms. Everyone should sort through their stuff deciding what to take and what to leave behind. The more you have internationally shipped over, the more your overseas moving services will cost. If you have time, try to hold a garage sale so your family can earn some extra cash before you take off for relocation in Germany. Also let your children pack their own personal bags for the plane ride over. They should pack things to keep them entertained and things that bring them comfort as well as any personal items such as toothbrushes, hair brushes, etc.
Aside from letting everyone pack their own belongings, try to acclimate them to their soon to be surroundings by showing them information and images over the Internet or perhaps even visiting Germany before the move. The more you show them of their future community, the more comfortable they’ll feel once they arrive. If your children are to attend school in Germany, make sure you explain how the school systems work and show them pictures of the institution. Stay as empathetic with your children and their feelings as you can. Moving, especially such a far off distance is never easy for them and they may not understand what a great experience it will be for them.