Relocation anywhere is a challenge may it be local or international. However, as compared to a local move an international relocation like moving from the USA to a European country can be quite the task. Even if your agent has everything handled you should always be prepared and equipped with knowledge in case you face any difficulties when moving to Germany.
The amount of Americans who made the move to Germany has risen sharply in the last few years. However, if you’re planning to do the same and move 3,000 miles to the European powerhouse here are things basic you need to be prepared for
1. Visas and Passports
As a Canadian and US citizen, you can stay in Germany without a visa for 90 days. However, without a proper work visa, you won’t be allowed to work. You can obtain a work visa during your 90-day stay in Germany. If you score a good job, your employer can also help you with obtaining that visa. However, in the end, it is your responsibility.
To gain a resident visa in Germany you need a passport that will have 4 months’ validity beyond your 90 days. Along with that a health insurance (which is effective in Germany) and a German insurance policy.
2. Housing: Leasing or rental
Same like any other country, Germany has houses which are set in a different standard of neighborhoods like poor, middle class, upper-middle and rich. You need to choose from the options available near your office and an agent can help you with this. Also, a lavish household in a German city can be quiet expensive. Hence you should consider downsizing when moving to Germany.
Next, you need to know the process, for either renting on leasing property the legal aspects in Germany are quite different. Two things you need to know are that the broker fees are different for each locality which can be split between buy and seller and for the procedure you need a German Notary.
3. International household moving to Germany
Now, this international household move to Germany is not as easy as it seems. To ship your household goods, you have to abide by certain rules set by the German government. Few of these conditions are showing termination of your lease or your employer letter saying that you have to be transferred to Germany. You have to establish that you are gaining a residence in Germany and proof of residing outside Germany for more than twelve months.
After all, that you can hire a good moving company that offers you to make the move in the best possible rates and you’re good to go.
4. Set up a bank account and a mail forwarding address
Once you have done all the necessary things, you need to make a German bank account while you are still in the USA. It is a necessity and the online banking system has made it easier than before. However, don’t close down the US bank account, you can still do transactions online – you might need it. Germans use cards much more than Americans. The chip and pin are much more useable when you do grocery or shopping in Germany.
Once you have set up a home in Germany, you need to set a mail forwarding address so that if any of your friends or family send you any parcel it can be forwarded to you in Germany.
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The move isn’t going to be easy, the cultural change and the environmental differences might take some time to get adjusted to. However, the country offers you free healthcare, shorter working hours than any other developed nation and beautiful heritage sites. The best part is the ‘beer and sausage’ culture which makes you feel right at home.