How Do I Move to Germany?

🇩🇪 Germany, (DE)

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Germany has so much to offer to U.S. natives that come over to the nation for citizenship. Not only is it known for its beer and bratwurst, but it is the world’s third largest automobile producer, they offer universal healthcare, has tuition free universities, and one of the lowest unemployment rates which currently sits at a mere 5%. There are so many reasons to leave the United States to reside in Germany if you’re looking for a change of scenery and lifestyle.

Before you decide that Germany is where you’d like to go for a new beginning, make sure you fit the criteria that German’s hold for expats. The nation is only keen on letting non-natives reside in their borders if they meet the standards held for their people. For example, speaking German, having a degree and coming over with savings is the best way to enter the country if possible. You’ll find that you have much more accessible to you and that the things you need such as housing and a job, are much easier to obtain when you fit these expectations.

Begin Planning

The act of planning for an international move is something that will take time. The time you take to prepare will determine just how smooth and easy your transition will be from the U.S. to Germany. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be on you and any loved ones you may move to the nation with you.

Apply for Permits

Look into the requirements for moving over to Germany as an expat. If you’re planning to move there to work at a restaurant, retailer, coffee shop or any job that doesn’t require a degree or previous experience, you should know that EU workers are preferred for this type of work and you may not be eligible for a work visa. Although there are many visas to choose from, many of them have strict requirements to meet.

If you aren’t sure where you’ll work or reside but are determined to make a life in Germany, you can apply for the 6 month residency permit. This permit is eligible to qualified workers and university graduates but it gives you enough time in the country to search for a job and housing. To obtain this permit, you’ll need to reside in Berlin and go through an interview process. You’re also required to have a residence permit which enables you to engage in economic activities.

Decide What to Bring with You and Start Packing

Before you take off to Germany, decide what to bring with you. If you don’t yet have a housing and a job in the country, you’re obviously better off waiting to ship your things over. However, you could take advantage of the storage services offered by most international moving companies in the meantime until you’re settled. Otherwise, if you already have a place to reside and would like to ship some of your possessions over, it’s in your best interest to pick and choose wisely.

The less you ship to Germany, the less your moving services will cost. The weight of your things plays a large factor in how much moving services will cost. So as you’re preparing everything and getting it packed up for its journey, get rid of broken or useless items. Maybe even hold a garage sale to earn some extra cash or donate items if you don’t have a need for them in Germany. Make sure however, that you pack your things according to the standards of the movers so that you’re not charged extra in repacking fees.

Get Your Healthcare and Banking Situated

Aside from worrying about and applying for residency and work permits, you’ll need to make sure you will still have healthcare and that all your banking needs are situated. Luckily, the healthcare in Germany is universal. There are health insurance options for students, employees and all other expats entering the country. You just need to decide which one you should apply for and provide the proper documentation including the residence permit. You’ll be expected to provide proof of health insurance before you’re even able to enter the country.

As for banking, there are some banks in Germany that provide ATM services to anyone regardless of where they are from. Other German banks will offer expats online banking services that operate in English. Look for a banking institution that suits all your banking needs and get your account set up before you even leave the states. It’s crucial that you’re able to access your money as soon as you reach the nation. You never know what you may need money for as you enter foreign territory. All your currency must be converted from U.S. dollars to German marks.


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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

Email me - info@a1autotransport.com


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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
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Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

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Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!
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I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

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I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

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Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
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There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

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David Osallo
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We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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