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September 21, 2022

All You Need to Know Before Moving to Germany

1,200 kinds of sausages, 300 kinds of bread, and 7,000+ kinds of beer are at the bottom of what this country has to offer. Free-tuition education, one of the best healthcare systems and a diverse population awaits you in Germany. The 3rd best country in overall ranking measured by U.S News.

Hercules has gathered some important tips to help you choose your dream destination and make packing for a move easier.

Icebreaker: Get to know Deutschland - the land of people.

Germany is one of 27 countries along with Italy, Switzerland, Norway, and Poland that are included in the European Union. The main language is German with a variety of dialects spread from the east to the west. The population of Germany is over 84 million with 80% Germans. The next largest group is Turks (3.7%), followed by Poles (1.9%), Russians (1.5%) and Italians (1%).

Communism impacted religious belief in Germany, resulting in 35% of the population becoming atheists or agnostics, especially in eastern Germany. The 3 largest religions are Roman Catholicism approximately 29%, Evangelical Christianity - 27%, and Islam - 5%.

The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal state and is organized as a parliamentary democracy. The official currency in Germany is Euro (€).

How to Immigrate to Germany

There are a couple of ways you can legally immigrate to Germany. Before choosing any of the options, you need to remember these requirements:

Education
Employment
Family Reunion
Investment
Blue Card

Education

Studying in Germany is a great opportunity not only to get a quality education but also to get a residence permit for the period of study. Very few foreigners using this type of immigration are aware of the fact that it offers free tuition. Universities in Germany have very low or no fees at all.

Employment

Authorities report a shortage of engineers, IT specialists, medical workers, and other skilled workers. To encourage these people to immigrate to Germany for permanent residence, the government has relaxed the strict requirements for worker exit.

Employment-based residence permits and permanent residency in Germany have become popular ways to settle in and become a citizen of this country. In this method of immigration, you get a work visa and then a work permit.

Family Reunion

In cases where your immigration to Germany has taken place and your family has remained in another country, spouses and children under the age of 16 are entitled to apply for a residence permit, a permanent residence permit and German citizenship. That is, both children can emigrate to their parents and the spouse to their wife/husband.

Investment

This is an immigration program for foreigners wishing to invest in the German economy in order to obtain permanent residency and citizenship. Businessmen from other countries who create economic opportunities in Germany are entitled to emigrate here under a simplified procedure.

Blue Card

The Blue Card program for highly qualified specialists makes it much easier to move to Germany. The key benefits of immigration with the Blue Card include:

  1. No requirement to know German or pass a test
  2. No language text for highly qualified family members
  3. Granting a residence permit in a short period of time
  4. Medical insurance for the applicant and family members
  5. Possibility to apply for permanent residence permit 33 months after obtaining residence permit with B1 level German language skills

General Requirements

  1. Proof of Finances
    As we have mentioned before, any newcomer must prove that they have enough funds to sponsor them inside Germany. This amount may vary depending on the reason for your stay.
  2. Basic Language Knowledge
    Although it is not mandatory, you are expected to have a basic understanding of German or a B1 level. To be able to apply for a residence permit, you must have a higher proficiency.
  3. Health Insurance
    It is mandatory for each resident to have valid health insurance in Germany issued by a licensed medical insurance provider.
  4. Visa

    The most common types of visas are student visas, work visas and family reunion visas. Expect your German visa application to take about 6 - 12 months. Information on German Visas types and reuirements couild be found here.

    Tip: Want to bring your pets to Germany? Make sure they are vaccinated and have all the Required Documents ready.

First Steps upon arrival in Germany

If you want to live in Germany and wonder what to do next, you would want to save this list.

  1. Address registration (Anmeldung).

    Those who stay in Germany for more than 3 months, must register their address at the closest Town Hall. Be mindful that not all the housing in Germany allows Anmeldung. To make an Anmeldung appointment follow this link.

    Bring with you:

    1. An original permission form. Completed and signed by the landlord. Example Here.
    2. An Address registration (Anmeldung) form for the city of residence. Example Here.
    3. An ID Document, which is valid in Germany.
    4. Marriage and birth certificate (if applicable).
  2. Open a Bank Account.

    Opening a bank account in Germany after the move is crucial for your future residence. You will get the debit card and will receive money from the employer on that account. Use the banking statement to prove financial security when applying for a Residence permit.

  3. Buy a Sim Card.

    If you're planning to stay in Europe for a while, consider buying a contract SIM card. These are normally purchased for 24 months and cost anywhere from €1.99 (150 MB) to €100 for unlimited data. Note that to purchase this german sim card you must provide proof of address in Germany (Anmeldung).

  4. Social Security Number.

    To work in Germany, you must have a Social Security/Insurance Number, representing a unique 11-digit number (12 123456 A 123). It is used by the German public pension fund to identify you. You either get it automatically with public health insurance or you must get it yourself with private health insurance.

  5. Driving License & Auto Insurance.

    When moving to a big city in Germany you might consider owning a car, although public transport is highly developed.

    The non - European driving license will only be valid for 6 months starting from the first address registration date. It must be translated by reliable authorities and present at all times. You will be able to convert your license to german after an additional procedure.

Healthcare in Germany

One of the biggest advantages of moving to Germany is its healthcare system. Medical bills are covered for those who own healthcare insurance, thus, everyone.

Moving to Germany - Private Health Care
Public

Everyone will receive the medical care they need regardless of the amount they pay. Each contributes from 14.6% to 15.6% of his salary per month and half of the insurance is covered by the employer. In this way, the rich support the poor, and the healthy support the sick.

Moving to Germany - Private Health Care
Private

The cost of private health insurance depends on your age and pre-existing health conditions. The coverage can be chosen by the need, more coverage costs more money. Available for individuals earning more than €62,350 per year (employed), self-employed, freelancers, students and civil servants.

Earning and Spending in Germany

What would your financials look like once you have successfully moved to Germany? Our goal is to provide the basics that can come in handy.

Income in Germany
Taxation System
Cost of Living

The minimum wage in Germany is €9.82 per hour, in July 2022 this number will increase to €10.45. It is approximately €1,620 per month (full-time) - gross income (Bruttogehalt).

The good average income in Germany is considered to be from €60,000 to €75,000 per year. The salary would depend on your education, years of experience, and the size of the company in particular.

Expect to pay about 35% of your gross income for income tax and social security contributions. What is included in the social security contribution? 9.3% will be taken for Pension, 1.25% - Unemployment, 7.3% - Healthcare and 1.525% - Long term care (social security rates 2019/2020).

It will solely depend on your lifestyle. Expect to spend a minimum of €800 to €1,000 per month on basic living expenses.

Renting vs. Housing in Germany

The final and the most important question for today is where to stay in Germany after the move. In Germany, the housing situation differs from other European countries.

Renting

Renting in Germany is quite tricky, the facts that we will mention might surprise even experienced relocators. Not all the apartments in Germany come with a built-in kitchen, other appliances, and furniture. It is cheaper to hire a moving company to pack and ship your possessions, rather than buying everything again.

Average rent in Germany for a studio or 1 bedroom apartment can vary from €500 to €800 per month. As we have mentioned earlier, ensure that the apartment allows Address registration (Anmeldung). Otherwise, you might get in trouble with 3 months’ leave notice after signing the contract. Be mindful of utilities, as they might be not included in the rent.

Housing

The majority of the population does not own any real estate but rather decade rent. The housing market in Germany is very competitive. The up-front costs include real estate agent fees, notary fees, and taxes on the purchase.

Owning a property in Germany almost guarantees you a net worth increase in the future. The prices for real estate are only growing. The average price for a square meter can vary from €2,500 to €9,000.

Getting a mortgage in Germany is another challenge you would have to face. Banks are more likely to approve if you own a permanent residency rather than a temporary residency or a Blue Card.

Life in Germany is ahead of many countries. Innovative technologies and all kinds of startups are only welcome here. The education system, high healthcare system, and constant economical growth make Germany a perfect immigration destination. We recommend the following German cities for emigration: Rammstein, Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Dortmund, and Dusseldorf.

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We had never used movers before and did a lot of research before deciding on Hercules Moving Company. The Calgary movers showed up early and were ready to go on time. They worked quickly and diligently and moved our entire house in 6 hours. I was very grateful for not having to do the heavy lifting ourselves and that everything was moved without damage and in good time. I would definitely use them again!
The Hercules moving team conducted themselves in a very professional manner. Upon their arrival they were quick to introduce themselves. My piano was carefully wrapped before moving it. Once at its destination the moving team decided on the best way to move my piano into its new home. They laid mats along their route to protect my flooring. They had to move some furniture out of their way. Throughout the entire process of moving the piano they were very careful with the piano and my home. They recommended putting some coasters (which they had on hand) under the wheels of the piano to protect my flooring before taking it off of their mats. After unwrapping and disposing of all of the wrap they made sure I was happy with the placement of the piano before considering their job complete. Even took the time to move back all of the items they moved out of their way, no matter how small. Overall I was very happy with my experience with Hercules Moving Company. I highly recommend them.
Hercules rescued my move when another Toronto movers cancelled on me days before the big day. They were professional and knew exactly how to protect all of my belongings during the move in terrible rain.
Really patient and dedicated guys! They treated all of our furniture and belongings with the utmost care while still being incredibly efficient. I would recommend them to anyone and everyone!
I was very satisfied with these Calgary movers. They made it easy and stress free for us. Movers arrived on time and packed and professionally covered our furniture to go into storage, since we are in between houses. I was amazed by how these Calgary movers were able to efficiently pack and store a 5 bedroom, 2 living room, office and a gym into a storage unit where they organized everything to fit perfectly. I was 100% satisfied with their service and would recommend them to anyone looking for good quality movers. Thanks Hercules Moving company for helping us move!
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I had to move my entire food operation in a day. With Edmonton movers quoted me quickly and showed up on site 2 days later ready to move. I was worried about all my expensive and sensitive machinery but they pulled it off safely and without issue. Very reasonably priced and highly recommended. Great company.
This company has some of the best customer service I have ever experienced. From the moment I received my initial quote provided by Igor, the company ensured that my needs were fully accommodated. Having previously dealt with other moving companies in the past (I've had to move a few times due to the nature of my job), I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of care Hercules takes in handling my furniture. The movers were very friendly, professional, and did not waste any time (in my previous experience, movers would take their time, which resulted in a large bill for me). The moment the staff arrived at my door, they immediately began working. In summary, this is my go to mover in GTA from now on. I would highly recommend this company to anyone who is looking for a professional service, hassle free.
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