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.
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.