Relocating to Germany as an expat professional

Posted on 28 Nov at 6 PM in Europe News
Story link: Relocating to Germany as an expat professional
Relocating to Germany as an expat professional

Relocating to Germany as an expat professional

Relocating to Germany can be far easier if it’s carefully planned.

One obvious issue for all expat reassignments is that it’s impossible to settle in your new country until you’ve settled into a new home and dealt with the bureaucratic necessities. In this respect, Germany is no different than any other expat destination, excepting the fact that it’s a first world country. A little foresight can make the transition far less stressful and also far less expensive.

Unless you’ve been reassigned by your present employer and have already been provided with accommodation, your first challenge after arrival will be finding a suitable apartment. Germany’s housing market is, to put it mildly, competitive, requiring newcomers to act fast or lose out. It’s also pricey, especially if you’ve your heart set on city centre life. Ruling out suburban apartments isn’t sensible, as the public transportation system is state of the art and gives fast journeys between the city centre and its surrounding districts.

Budgeting carefully as regards accommodation is also the smartest idea, as landlords’ rental prices don’t include much beyond walls, a floor, doors, windows and a ceiling, Floor coverings, kitchen equipment, furniture and suchlike aren’t included in what’s referred to as ‘cold rent’. Once you’ve added in the utility bills, setting up home in Germany is a financial strain. Experienced expats advise newcomers to get an apartment before the actual move takes place. Demand for good places is high, with attractive prospects let within a week of being advertised.

The German passion for procedures and strict orders is well-known, making the paperwork necessary for incoming expats a major hassle at best. The first hurdle is getting your accommodation registered with the local authority and receiving the clearance without which you can’t do anything at all. The wait is about a month, after which you’ll be allowed to open a bank account and get your residency permit. Once you’re in a job, you’ll be given your social security number via your employer.

Learning some German before you arrive will make life easier, and around half of the population can communicate effectively in English. Cultural issues aren’t as difficult as they’re rumoured to be, but newcomers should realise structure, order, professionalism and perfectionism are important as they all contribute to a good working environment.

Related Stories:

Latest News: