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Living in Germany guide

Find out all you need to know to relocate and live in Germany with the expat guide

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Generalities

General information
  • Located in Central Europe, Germany is a major destination for expatriates worldwide because of its prosperous and stable economic and political situation.

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Formalities

Visas, passports and entry requirements
  • Foreigners wishing to get married in Germany have to obtain a certificate of non-objection beforehand, regardless of their nationality.

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  • European Union nationals do not need a visa to travel to Germany. But visitors coming from other countries may need it, for long stays particularly.

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Visas

Work visas, work permits, working holiday visas and residence permits
  • European Union nationals do not require a work visa or permit to work in Germany. Non EU nationals, for their part, will need a residence permit.

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  • German Student Visa for Americans. Information on the requirements in terms of visas en fees to be paid. A personal experience.

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Work

Labour market, how to find a job
  • V.I.E, the International Internship Program in Germany: the most promising fields, conditions and procedures.

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  • Find your first job in Germany: what about the economic situation? What are the most promising wages and fields of activity?

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  • Summer jobs, seasonal jobs, part-time jobs and how to proceed are the main themes you are going to find in this article.

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  • Foreign nationals, except European Union citizens, have to obtain a specific visa or permit to be authorized to set up a business in Germany.

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Accommodation

How to rent a house or an apartment, leases and rental agreements
  • Hamburg, which is found in Northern Germany, has many pleasant neighborhoods offering a range of accommodations for expatriates.

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  • Hanover, Lower Saxony's third biggest city, is very conducive to expatriation. You are likely to find a range of affordable housing options there.

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  • Being one of the major German cities, Munich offers a wide range of accommodation to expatriates wishing to settle there.

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  • You shall not have much difficulty in finding affordable accommodation if you are planning to settle in Dresden, which is found in Saxony.

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  • Dusseldorf is one of the most popular German cities in terms of expatriation. It also provides a wide range of accommodation options.

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Study

Student visa, University registration
  • Student life in Germany: learn more about cultural and urban life, student housing, transports, leisure time and health care.

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  • Different types of visas apply to foreigners wishing to study in Germany. However, formalities differ for European Union and non-European Union nationals.

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Health care

Public and private health systems
  • Germany offers quality health care services at all levels, whether private or public. But foreigners have to subscribe to a health insurance beforehand.

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Bank

Open and manage a bank account
  • To open a bank account in Germany, you will need a valid passport and a residency certificate. Procedures are rather simple and should not take long.

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Tax

Tax system, income tax
  • All German residents are required to pay income tax. The tax rates vary range between 15% and 42% of your income whie VAT is levied at a rate of 19%.

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Transports

Train, bus, plane, car rental
  • Germany has an extensive public transport network which will allow you to travel comfortably from one city to another, or to neighboring countries.

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  • Berlin, the German capital city, has an extensive public transport network which consists of trains, subways, trams, buses. Rates are affordable.

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Driver's licence

Driving requirements
  • European Union and non-European Union nationals may drive in Germany with their national driver's license for up to six months. They may also exchange it.

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Removal

moving, formalities and useful tips
  • It is best to hire relocation experts if you intend to move to Germany. These shall generally handle all related procedures on your behalf.

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Communications

Phone line, internet provider, post office
  • To access the Internet in Germany, you can choose from different types of connections: PSTN, ISDN, ADSL and cable.

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  • Germany hosts several phone service providers although the land line phone market remains monopolized by a state operator.

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Leisure

Sports, leisure and cultural activities
  • Germany offers a wide range of leisure activities. During your stay there, you can discover its numerous museums, monuments, forests and nature parks, etc.

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  • You can indulge in various leisure activities in Berlin. Enjoy your afternoons and week-ends by discovering its historical, cultural and natural wonders.

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  • Football is undoubtedly the main sports in Germany. But many other sports such as handball, basket-ball, etc., are also very popular.

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  • Germany offers a range of child care services to expatriates, namely kindergartens, nurseries, child care centers, etc. You can also find nannies.

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  • Pets, whether cats or dogs, are generally welcome in Germany provided you complete all the required formalities beforehand.

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Expatriate health insurance in Germany

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Germany

Moving to Germany

Find tips from professionals about moving to Germany

Travel insurance in Germany

Enjoy a stress-free travel across Germany

Flights to Germany

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Germany