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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
  • EU and EEA members will not need a visa, nor will those who are nationals of a 100 or so other countries that are visa exempt.

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

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Visas

Work visas, work permits, working holiday visas and residence permits
  • EU citizens do not require a visa to work in Germany, but will need to apply for a residency permit upon arrival. Non-EU nationals will need a work 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
  • Skilled foreigners wishing to settle in Stuttgart, one of Germany's major cities, will likely find a wealth of opportunity when it comes to employment.

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  • Munich, one of Germany's largest cities, offers many jobs prospects for foreigners in various fields due to its developed economy.

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  • To find a job in Germany from abroad, you can start by visiting general and specialised job websites and register with online recruitment agencies.

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  • Düsseldorf is an important financial and business hub in Germany. It provides various career prospects to qualified foreigners.

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  • With a low unemployment rate and a variety of industries operating in the country, Germany is a promising country in which to start your career.

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Accommodation

How to rent a house or an apartment, leases and rental agreements
  • The German capital city of Berlin offers a wide range of housing at affordable prices for expatriates in most neighbourhoods.

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  • Stuttgart, which is found in the Baden-Wuerttemberg region, offers expats scenic surroundings and a range of accommodation options at affordable prices.

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  • Cologne, which is one of Germany's major cities, has many lively and modern neighborhoods which are ideal for expatriates.

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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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  • Frankfurt is one of the more expensive German cities thanks to its rich culture and high population density. Finding accommodation may be time-consuming.

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Study

Student visa, University registration
  • What are the advantages of starting your higher studies in Germany ? How to proceed ? What are the granted scholarships ?

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  • Student living in Germany can be very fulfilling. The country has good higher education institutions as well as strong cultural appeal.

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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 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
  • German income tax is deducted on a pay-as-you-earn basis. If your original country has a double taxation agreement with Germany, you must pay income tax.

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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 neighbouring 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
  • EU/ EEA nationals may drive in Germany with their national driver's licence, while non-EU/EEA citizens may do so for up to six months only.

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Removal

moving, formalities and useful tips
  • It is best to hire relocation experts if you intend to move to Germany and need to transport your belongings

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Communications

Phone line, internet provider, post office
  • Germany has a well-developed communications network with numerous types of connection on offer at affordable prices. Free wi-fi can be hard to come by.

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  • Although the landline market remains monopolised by a state operator, Germany has several mobile service providers. Coverage varies between providers.

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Leisure

Sports, leisure and cultural activities
  • 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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  • 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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  • Football is undoubtedly the main sport in Germany, but many other sports such as handball, basket-ball, etc., are also very popular.

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  • Pets are generally welcome in Germany, provided you complete all the required formalities. It is important to check EU requirements before you travel

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  • Germany offers a range of childcare services (such as kindergartens), as well as state support and unpaid leave if your child is under the age of three.

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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 stress-free travel to Germany

Flights to Germany

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Germany