RM Team of relocation experts is sharing some secrets of the great journey towards your aspirations in Germany. Through a combination of sharp expertise and knowledge, we offer you an extensive insight into German life. Germany like a phoenix has risen from the ashes of history to revive its powerful spirit. Dynamic and cosmopolitan, pragmatic and prudent, caring and beautiful Land of Poets and Thinkers. Let’s see how it can become the home of your dreams and aspirations.
Germany is one of the most popular destinations for talents all over the world. Germany is included in Top 5 world’s best destinations and 4 cities are in Top 15 world’s best destinations for expats according to Quality of life 2016 research. What does make Germany a perfect destination for talents all over the world?
- Germany is 5th largest world economy, with the high quality of life and affordability.
- 1 in 5 expats in Germany works in the IT industry.
- 3rd highest number of international migrants in the world.
- High standards of living, excellent educational and healthcare systems.
- Favorable salary level +progressive taxation
- 3rd for high job security and a work-life balance, safety and medical care in the world.
- Central location and excellent transport infrastructure make Europe at your fingertips.
What are employers are generally looking for in candidates?
- Higher education
- Fluent English
Work in Germany
German work ethics is defined by direct communication, concentration, and diligence. The working environment is regulated heavily. The work-life balance culture is quite strong (20 paid leave day offs minimum).
- EU and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland citizens don’t need a visa/residence permit to enter or work in Germany. All you need is a valid passport or ID.
Citizens of Australia and Israel, Japan and Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand or the USA may enter Germany without a visa. But they will have to apply for a residence permit giving entitlement to work before taking up employment.
- Citizens of countries outside the EU need a visa. Depending on the purpose of your stay, the visa is changed into work and residence permit locally
If you are planning to live in Germany you need a residency permit, regardless of where you come from. Applications are done in person at a German embassy or consulate, or through the immigration authorities in Germany. In most cases, it’s essential that non-EU expats have their residency permits approved before they arrive.
- EU nationals have the right to live and work in Germany, getting a residency permit is a formality.
- There are three types of residency permits for non-EU citizens who intend to work in Germany:
– for general employment (Arbeit);
– for professionals with specialist skills;
– for self-employed foreigners.;
Estimate your visa chances here.
EU Blue Card is an opportunity for non-EU citizens, who have a university degree to take up the residence in the EU. Necessary documents include:
- a proof of the university degree;
- a job offer (gross earnings 38K € minimum for IT)
- a marriage certificate/proof of the intention, if you are relocating with your family/partner.
This procedure might take a few months to process and offers such privileges as:
- settlement permit after 33 months of residence, with B1 German after 21 months;
- freedom to stay in non-EU countries for 12 months without EU Blue card expiring;
- family members can come to Germany and work immediately with no restrictions or need to prove German language skills.
You will find detailed and accurate information about the EU Blue Card Germany here.
Non-EU citizens will need a German work permit (Arbeitserlaubnis). Most EU citizens (except for Bulgaria and Romania) won’t need it.
The salary level is determined by your skills and knowledge, as well by the region and city. Consider that Senior positions foresee 20+ years of experience in the field. Use this resource to estimate your salary expectations.
Germany uses a progressive income tax system (15%-42% depending on your marital, family and job status). Just calculate it.
What does include your income tax?
- Church tax. If you are a church member, your income tax will be 9% on you.
- Social contributions (50/50 by your and your employee), including long-term care, retirement and unemployment insurance, solidarity surcharge.
World’s top health care system is compulsory for everybody. You will pay 10% of your salary. There are two kinds of medical insurance in Germany:
- You and your family are eligible for statutory health insurance if your salary is less than 53K € per year.
- You may opt out for private insurance if you earn more than 53K € gross per year. You will have to cover premiums for family members, covered by statutory health insurance.
Knowledge of German is not critical, especially in such international cities like Berlin, but it will speed up your integration and adaptation. There are some educational opportunities:
- state-provided programs, like the Culture of Welcome project;
Children before 1 year old can be taken care of in nurseries with day-care services and private nannies (Tagesmütter).
It accepts children from 3-6 years and there are toddler groups available for children under the age of 3. The cost of childcare depends on the parents` income ( 80 – 120€/month ), the number of children and hours required per day. There are several types of care, you can find out more here.
- Schools and Higher education
Germany has a quite different and somewhat complicated educational system to other countries, but it unquestionably nourishes very high-performing students (you can find out more about the schooling and higher education systems, international schools, and just a general overview here).
Germans work hard and play hard. They are refreshingly honest and direct, keep their word. They can seem like hard shells, but they are soft inside. Making friendship with Germans will take time but it`s a great time investment because you will get a friend for life.
We hope that whatever journey you take, it will turn your life into the most thrilling Adventures of a Lifetime.
Remember — we are always ready to support you and take your relocation headaches away.