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Wanting to Move... but scared.

Hi all,

Im currently in a situation and hope someone can lend me their ear and hear my story... I am a Non-EU citizen and my fiancee is German and we are looking to move to Malta from Germany.  We have an ok life here in Germany and i really can't complain about anything - it's safe, it's secure.

Problem is that I absolutely hate Germany for already 6 years now and really want to move out of here, and for the last 6 months i have been doing research on moving to Malta, but it would seem that both of us would have to go to Malta and look for a job there as its impossible to find it online.  (yes we tried)

I can save enough money to have housing via airbnb for 3 months, but i'm just so scared of leaving everything behind with a good job and house and making this step.  I think my only worry is whether or not we could find jobs in Malta once there and if we fail miserably after 3 months, how to go back or survive?

I'm not really looking forward to handing out flyers, or working in construction or being a cleaner/maid there unless its a dire emergency to survive but... is there any hope for us?  This would be so much easier for me if I wasn't so worried about my fiancee, and had to do this alone...

Some encouraging and comforting words are wanted if possible :) :)

Thank you all in advance!

Hi MrCowboyEast

Well what can I say - change is always scary. But it can also be exciting! :) 
How does your fiancee feel about the move? About leaving Germany - home country?
What fields do you have experience in? What languages do you speak? Do you both wish to work?
If you have your own place in Germany, would you consider renting it out? Perhaps that would give you some stable income to give you a better sense of security financially to start with?
Maybe a better understanding of your backround from this perspective and also your expectations would make it a bit easier to give you more advice.

Hi Tinna9,

Thank you for your response!  My fiancee will follow me to the end of the world, but naturally she also has doubts as we have no real security in Malta.  We dont know anyone, and we cant ask for help.  But she really would love to move with me.

I have about 5 years of customer care/ technical support experience within the IT/Banking/Medical Device industry, and I have been a Global Project Manager for Clinical Trials for 6 years now working for CRO company.  My first language is English, my second language is Serbo-Croatian and could communicate in German, but the German is not on a business level...

We would like to both work yes.  She is currently working in a Hotel here in Germany as a receptionist and before that she worked as a Meeting Planner/Organizer and can speak English, German and Spanish.  So i think she can find a job probably there easier than me...

We rent a flat in Germany, but are very fond of it and renting out to someone we cannot do due to our contract agreement with the landlord.

I'm not expecting to get the salary or the QOL that we have in Germany, and I understand the salaries are really low, but my main concern is just finding a job and at least having a combined salary of 20k would be nice i guess.   

Its like we are standing at the ledge, and both want to jump but are hesitant to do so...

Hi

My husband and I are moving to Malta in just over 2 weeks. We went through months of debating whether to go or not so I have some understanding of what you are going through!

We were a little different in that I had a job offer, so it was slightly less risky. However, my husband doesn't have a job lined up, nor will he continue in the same industry as he does in the UK. Also, we are leaving a great house, quiet area, family, and obviously salaries are lower in Malta. So there was a lot to consider!

Ultimately what we had to consider was what we would gain from taking that leap.

Have you visited Malta before? What do you like about the island? What do you think living there would add to your life? Would you be fussy about what work you do?

These are the things we thought about, and we ultimately decided that it was worth the risk because of the potential lifestyle we could have in Malta.

We really like the island, we worked out our finances based on a worst case scenario (researching salaries online), we looked into properties and areas to see how we could live. We got a good picture of what our life would realistically be like in Malta and we liked what we saw!

Time will tell, and I am still hugely nervous, but ultimately life is an adventure!

Worst case, if you don't like it or it doesn't work out, move on to the next adventure!

Do you think you'd regret it if you didn't try it?

Hi Felinefine81,

It seems you have gone through everything we are going through now... Its just a bit better when at least one of you has a job!  I'm afraid to take our savings and just eat through it in a few months and have to leave because we cant pay rent or something...

I'm sure i wont find a job in the industry that i'm working and i'm not afraid to get my hands dirty, its just easier when you have something already lined up.

In the end, maybe i'll just sit somewhere with your husband and enjoy a cold beer until we find jobs :)

Thanks for your reply!  It really means alot!

How well do you know Malta?

MrCowboyEast :

Hi Tinna9,

Thank you for your response!  My fiancee will follow me to the end of the world, but naturally she also has doubts as we have no real security in Malta.  We dont know anyone, and we cant ask for help.  But she really would love to move with me.

I have about 5 years of customer care/ technical support experience within the IT/Banking/Medical Device industry, and I have been a Global Project Manager for Clinical Trials for 6 years now working for CRO company.  My first language is English, my second language is Serbo-Croatian and could communicate in German, but the German is not on a business level...

We would like to both work yes.  She is currently working in a Hotel here in Germany as a receptionist and before that she worked as a Meeting Planner/Organizer and can speak English, German and Spanish.  So i think she can find a job probably there easier than me...

We rent a flat in Germany, but are very fond of it and renting out to someone we cannot do due to our contract agreement with the landlord.

I'm not expecting to get the salary or the QOL that we have in Germany, and I understand the salaries are really low, but my main concern is just finding a job and at least having a combined salary of 20k would be nice i guess.   

Its like we are standing at the ledge, and both want to jump but are hesitant to do so...

I left everything behind and just moved to Malta, BUT, I found a job online before I took the jump, and in all honesty, even with securing a job, it still can be scary, almost three weeks in, it's going pretty well with the usual ups and downs of moving.  I am sending you a link, give it a shot, it could help.

Cheers and good luck!

From what I've seen and researched after visiting, I like it a lot! Why?

MrCowboyEast :

From what I've seen and researched after visiting, I like it a lot! Why?

Quite often people say they would like to move here but have not visited Malta so we normally advise that they holiday here first, but obviously this does not apply to you.

MrCowboyEast :

From what I've seen and researched after visiting, I like it a lot! Why?

Have you looked in to whether you would be able to actually come and live here anyway without a job to go to? You have to have a job to get a work permit, the work permit goes with the job, as far as I know.
As a TCN you would have to apply for a permit to reside and work in Malta. (See 'Sticky' at top of page)

As far as I know, the fact that your fiancee is an EU citizen would not allow you to come here with her.
If you were married then of course you could come here with her, but not on your own.

Ray

Hi F0xgl0ve,

Yes we will be married by November this year, and would move around Feb 2017, so this was considered as well :)
I am additionally looking for jobs that would sponsor my visa as well, i've read online that these countrymen of mine all go there to clean hotels and become waiters and get sponsored by the companies for a work permit... but i cant seem to get an office job with an employer that would do the same?

Both things are being considered currently, but will rely on the marriage to help me stay :D

It would be a struggle for 2 people to live decently on 20k. What do you dislike so much about Germany??

I can't imagine 2 young people who ties in various countries (ie. they might want to travel) surviving here on 20k, no way.

Maybe had you been retired in Gozo it would be realistic, but young people tend to want to do things and go places.

Im modest... and honestly i mentioned 20k as something as opposed to absolutely nothing :D

I'm not planning on moving to Malta with the hopes of huge career advancements and opportunities as i'm sure there aren't any.  I'm in hopes to psychologically rest my head and survive on the bare minimum.

I would not start the conversation of who can live on 20k and who cant, as it all depends on your lifestyle and needs.  Money isn't happiness.  Family and the sea is. :D

volcane :

I can't imagine 2 young people who ties in various countries (ie. they might want to travel) surviving here on 20k, no way.

Maybe had you been retired in Gozo it would be realistic, but young people tend to want to do things and go places.

We are retired and live in Gozo quite nicely on that sort of figure, but it doesn't mean you have to sit and stare at the wall or starve!
In an average year we go to Bavaria twice and one trip to the UK. We don't go short on food or eating out here and live in a 3 bedroom farmhouse with a roof terrace.

It can be done quite easily although it will be less easy in the future with the 15% drop in income due to the Brexit shambles.

Ray

F0xgl0ve :

We are retired and live in Gozo quite nicely on that sort of figure, but it doesn't mean you have to sit and stare at the wall or starve!
In an average year we go to Bavaria twice and one trip to the UK. We don't go short on food or eating out here and live in a 3 bedroom farmhouse with a roof terrace.

It can be done quite easily although it will be less easy in the future with the 15% drop in income due to the Brexit shambles.

Ray

20k is only about 1250-1300/month after tax though. Most decent rentals in Malta cost 600-800/month alone. So not really doable for a young, working couple who need to commute and stuff.

As a absolute minimum you need:

800 rent+bills.
50 transport.
300 food if you save/shop around/cook at home.
200 random extras like clothes, internet, phones, travel, maybe eating out once a month. It adds up even if you try to spend as little as possible.

So all in about 1350-1400/month after tax but that's a very low figure. Honestly you need somewhere closer to 1600-1800/month to live normally.

Easily doable if you both work.

F0xgl0ve :

We are retired and live in Gozo quite nicely on that sort of figure, but it doesn't mean you have to sit and stare at the wall or starve!
In an average year we go to Bavaria twice and one trip to the UK. We don't go short on food or eating out here and live in a 3 bedroom farmhouse with a roof terrace.

It can be done quite easily although it will be less easy in the future with the 15% drop in income due to the Brexit shambles.

Nice, a friend is just moving to Gharb too, very nice there.  Don't get me wrong was not suggesting you sit and stare at the wall in retirement, younger people do have more expensive tastes in entertainment usually.

Restuarants, Drinks, etc, peer pressure as thats what they all do etc.  I am just about past that point in life now (40 and antisocial so no peer pressure) and can see cost of living dropping significantly as a result - well now I spend it on other stuff - but indeed you can have an amazing life without all that of course, it just takes a few decades to learn that lesson hehe.

mantasmo :
F0xgl0ve :

We are retired and live in Gozo quite nicely on that sort of figure, but it doesn't mean you have to sit and stare at the wall or starve!
In an average year we go to Bavaria twice and one trip to the UK. We don't go short on food or eating out here and live in a 3 bedroom farmhouse with a roof terrace.

It can be done quite easily although it will be less easy in the future with the 15% drop in income due to the Brexit shambles.

Ray

20k is only about 1250-1300/month after tax though. Most decent rentals in Malta cost 600-800/month alone. So not really doable for a young, working couple who need to commute and stuff.

As a absolute minimum you need:

800 rent+bills.
50 transport.
300 food if you save/shop around/cook at home.
200 random extras like clothes, internet, phones, travel, maybe eating out once a month. It adds up even if you try to spend as little as possible.

So all in about 1350-1400/month after tax but that's a very low figure. Honestly you need somewhere closer to 1600-1800/month to live normally.

Easily doable if you both work.

€20,000 a year is €1629 a month after tax.
A couple who elect to tax themselves individually have a personal allowance of €8500 each, total €17,000 per annum and the balance would be taxed at 15% (€450 ).
This leaves €19,550 after tax so where do you get €1,350 - 1,400 a month from?

Ray

The reason i did not want to start the discussion on how much people need to live as it all depends on your actual needs.   I would be happier knowing that i can even manage to get 20k a year when i come there rather then now, neither of us having jobs...

F0xgl0ve :

€20,000 a year is €1629 a month after tax.
A couple who elect to tax themselves individually have a personal allowance of €8500 each, total €17,000 per annum and the balance would be taxed at 15% (€450 ).
This leaves €19,550 after tax so where do you get €1,350 - 1,400 a month from?

Ray

Social security payments. If they declare 20k as a couple SSC adds up to about 3000/year.

https://ird.gov.mt/services/ssccalculator.aspx

Edit: this is if you're self employed or declaring dividend income or w/e... for employed persons the % paid is somewhere around 10% so a bit less. The rest is paid by employer and the state.

MrCowboyEast :

The reason i did not want to start the discussion on how much people need to live as it all depends on your actual needs.   I would be happier knowing that i can even manage to get 20k a year when i come there rather then now, neither of us having jobs...

That's true and you should definitely go for it. Especially if your situation in Germany isn't great. But the truth is that living in Malta is expensive. Gozo is much cheaper due to low rents. If you want to work in hospitality I'd argue that Gozo is a better choice. Same pay, lower cost of living.

Everyone I know who works in hospitality is significantly better off in Gozo than in Malta. Hotel staff, chefs, etc.

mantasmo :

That's true and you should definitely go for it. Especially if your situation in Germany isn't great.

Hi Mantasmo,

I have no financial problems in Germany, me and fiancee both rake in a very comfortable life.  And that is what is scaring me, to get out of the comfort zone and try something new only later to realize I failed, and cant go back to the comfort zone :)

MrCowboyEast :

I have no financial problems in Germany, me and fiancee both rake in a very comfortable life.  And that is what is scaring me, to get out of the comfort zone and try something new only later to realize I failed, and cant go back to the comfort zone :)

You can always go back to the comfort zone. I mean... why not? :)

Give it a shot for a couple months to see how it goes.

Because it would be near impossible for me to get back the apartment we had and the job I had...

It's unlikely that specific apartment and job are the only great ones anywhere, you're not the only happy people in the world.

Take the plunge, I've moved many times, often started with just the clothes on my back, been homeless etc now earn several 100K a year, you never know if you don't try.

volcane :

It's unlikely that specific apartment and job are the only great ones anywhere, you're not the only happy people in the world.

Take the plunge, I've moved many times, often started with just the clothes on my back, been homeless etc now earn EUR400k a year, you never know if you don't try.

Volcane that is very encouraging as well as inspiring!  I do believe in myself, and I know I can succeed as I have done before.  Its just I wish I could put my foot in the door somewhere first :D

My skillsets arent really needed in Malta as i'm not really in IT and Finance at the moment... But like you said, i guess we can take the plunge its just that we would like to start a family as well and I dont want to delay that by being homeless in Malta.

What dont you like about Germany ?

'Social security payments. If they declare 20k as a couple SSC adds up to about 3000/year.'

not correct!

https://ird.gov.mt/services/sscrates.aspx

Social security is 10% = €2000 a year for 2 not €3000.

Ray

Indeed moving somewhere with no job prospects is not the best of ideas to be honest, it appears you need to be willing to do anything to stay afloat here if you're not in the in-demand market brackets.  But doing support in iGaming - especially if you have a in-demand language - seems viable.

As for homeslessness, you're lucky Malta being ultra progressive, inclusive and forward thinking do not even define what that word means officially and so forget about any form of sane support.  Bit tongue in cheek of course, but its a bit backward here in all things.

Have you tried recruitment agents? There are quite a few listed in this discussion:

http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=589139

Also someone last year made a list of companies they were monitoring for vacancies, contained in this discussion:


http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=547008

Maybe emphasise your language skills? Again you might not get a great level of engagement until you are in the country, but maybe at the moment you could ask for their thoughts on potential of getting a job easily/quickly?

When I asked the HR company at my new job about chances of my husband getting work they were pretty optimistic. They indicated that someone in the country would get work in hospitality, call centres, estate agency, taxi driving, automotive (mechanics and sales), delivery and retail very easily. Note that some of these areas are very low paid though. It just depends on what you are willing to do! Personally I wouldn't like to be working on the roads for example! 😃

They also said that someone with a TEFL qualification would get work, albeit perhaps seasonal. Not sure if that is something you're interested in getting if you don't already have it (again, not sure about the income).

If all else fails, you and my hubby could form a band and start gigging haha 😃

I got a few callbacks, but either they wont do a work visa, or they need someone within 4-6 weeks.  So my best chance is to go as a tourist and see what I can do there...

F0xgl0ve :

'Social security payments. If they declare 20k as a couple SSC adds up to about 3000/year.'

not correct!

https://ird.gov.mt/services/sscrates.aspx

Social security is 10% = €2000 a year for 2 not €3000.

Ray

It's my in post... wow.

The link you posted is for salaried SSC rates. The one I posted is a calculator for all other types of income.

Self employed, dividends and other kinds of income pay more. Salaried employees pay 10%. Still ends up being much less than 1629/month after tax (~1460).

felinefine81 :

They also said that someone with a TEFL qualification would get work, albeit perhaps seasonal. Not sure if that is something you're interested in getting if you don't already have it (again, not sure about the income).

If anyone is interested, as I am working as an EFL teacher:

If you "only" have a TEFL it's about EUR 6-9 / hour, with a CELTA you can expect EUR 11 / hour   (they count 60min hours, not lessons, and breaks are unpaid, as is preparation time, of course...). In high season you might get lots of hours (I'll be teaching from 9am to 6pm every day next week, plus Saturday morning), but off season it's not even that easy to get 15 or 20 hours / week.

Anyone interested in working as an EFL teacher, I'd recommend you check the EFL monitoring board for requirements and addresses of schools... 


As for the discussion of whether you can or can't live on 20k - I'd say it depends on your personal attitude and not your age - my wife and I are in our early 30s, so far from retired, but we hardly ever go out or spend a lot of money on "what young people like doing" (granted, we've got 2 children, so most of the money is spent on them anyway...).
In my experience, you can find a decent flat for about EUR 600 in Malta. As for commuting - I've been lucky enough (or rather, I tried and succeeded) to find a job in walking distance to our flat - we live in Mellieha and I walk about 20 min to the school I teach at every morning. I love the views on the way :)

Other jobs: Loads of shops, bars etc. are currently hiring staff - the pay is rather low, though.
And i-gaming (or other customer support) is definitely one of the best-paid options (but you need to be prepared to work shifts)...

Best of luck with your plans of moving!

bernie_iris_fabian_david you got your CELTA qualification in Malta right? Where did you go for that?

My husband is interested in this work so may have to pick your brains at some point. He has teaching experience so I think he'd be great at it :)

We stayed in Mellieha earlier this year, loved it. If the commute to B'kara wasn't so bad we'd have liked to stay there too. You're very lucky :)

2 weeks today until we arrive!

felinefine81 :

bernie_iris_fabian_david you got your CELTA qualification in Malta right? Where did you go for that?

My husband is interested in this work so may have to pick your brains at some point. He has teaching experience so I think he'd be great at it :)

We stayed in Mellieha earlier this year, loved it. If the commute to B'kara wasn't so bad we'd have liked to stay there too. You're very lucky :)

2 weeks today until we arrive!

Hi felinefine81,

I did my CELTA course at NSTS in Gzira. I booked the course through a website called studycelta.com - but I think you can also book directly at the school, and as far as I know there are currently 2 schools offering the CELTA in Malta. More schools offer "basic" TEFL courses.

If you want, you (or your husband) can contact me by PM, maybe we can also meet for a coffee once you're in Malta. We've got our car here, so theoretically we're flexible - but as I said before, at the moment I spend a lot of time at the school I teach at :)

All the best for your move!

Thanks Bernie! I'll give you a shout once we arrive.

Would be great to hear about your experience of moving Austria - Malta. We love Austria (in fact got married there last year) but haven't lived there.

Appreciate your help as always :)

Hi MrCowboyEast

first, there is no Serbo-Croatian language.

You are saying that your first language is English, but I will take a wild guess based on your posts and conclude that you are a Serbian nationality.

To work here you need working visa. From what I know from my Serbian friends here, lately government is very reluctant on giving working visa to Serbians.
Even if you find work, legally you shouldn't start until you get visa, and that takes from 4-6 weeks, and your employer needs to prove that he can't find no one from domestic work force for your position.

Sure, you could always work off the books, in construction or like a waiter/bouncer but is that something you would like?

Hi Duxx,

Yes you are correct in everything you stated.  The reason i mention Serbo-Croatian as the language is that it was called that when I left and moved to the US.  Additionally I say that language as so I'm not discriminated when I state i'm from Serbia as some people are still biased on my nationality.  I also tell people I'm from Yugoslavia because I wait for the reaction of the said person, and if that upsets them I know how to filter them out of my life. :D

I grew up in the US and was schooled there as well, i've spent a total of 2-3 years in Serbia when i was older due to still having family there.  My primary language is English, and I'm not capable of writing in Serbian but can communicate. 

Additionally, just as you said and from what I have researched, Serbians are known for being on the island in large numbers as well as the type of jobs they are doing.  They remind me of Mexicans in the US.  I would like to avoid that at all costs especially with my work experience and knowledge.  And no i would not like to work in construction or a waiter/bouncer, but as i mentioned before, if i cant find a job then i may have to start with that and move my way up as my nationality might give me a bit of a an uphill battle.  That is that Mexican/Serbian blood in me since we can do any job to survive if the time comes to it :D

As far as the papers are concerned, I will be married to a German in a few months, and according to the immigration law of Malta will have the same rights as an EU national coming to work there. (quote from Malta immigration lawyer)  Additionally i have a permanent EC residency card which also allows me to work and live anywhere in EU as long as i can get a job within 3 months of moving to the EU country.

But thank you for the information based on visa issuance on your nationality, as well as the current status in the country.  I will take that into mind when planning my move there!

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