Moving home can a stressful time and when you move abroad to Germany, for example, it becomes even more so. Not only do you have to find a new home but you will be starting a new life in a country that may not be that familiar to you.
There will be language barriers, cultural differences, setting up new bank accounts and contacting utility companies, and of course, there is the actual move itself. Trying to get all your possessions from A to B takes some planning and logistics and when you factor in crossing borders and seas then it becomes that bit more difficult. If you are planning a move abroad to Germany then here are some things for you to consider and ways to make that move stress-free.
Applying for the right visa for you
If you are moving to Germany then you will need the right visa. For short stays, there will be different requirements depending on where you are relocating from. Assuming you are looking to stay long-term in Germany you have a few options depending on your circumstances.
- Employment visa
- Educational visa
- Residence permits
- Business visa
- Family reunion visa
These are mostly self-explanatory; a business visa is for someone who wants to invest in the country, an employment visa is for someone who has a job in Germany and an educational visa is for a prospective student.
Finding employment in Germany
If your company is relocating to Germany then they will help with your visa applications and relocation. If you are moving on your own or with your family then the steps to follow are this:
- Find employment in Germany
- Apply for and receive a work visa
- Move to Germany
- Apply for a residency permit
Foreigners are not allowed to apply for all positions as some are reserved for German nationals. Some areas such as IT are short of skilled workers so it is these areas that are easier to find work in as a foreigner.
Hire a specialist company in moving to Germany
You may be part of a business relocation plan or it may just be your family moving to Germany but using a professional company can help with many of the more stressful areas. By using one of these companies you can gain experienced help in the following areas:
- Temporary housing
- Finding a new school
- Orientation tours
- Finding a new home
- Utilities (bank account, electricity, phone connection)
It can be a very disorientating landing in a new country so one of the things these companies organize is an orientation tour.
Familiarise yourself with your new country
Before you move abroad it is wise to take a trip to the area you are moving to and get used to your new surroundings. By using Packimpex Germany for instance you would receive a tailored orientation tour of your new surroundings before you make the big move. This gives you and your family the chance to visit the city center, see how daily life is and also the chance to look for accommodation.
Finding temporary housing
One thing you want to do is to avoid a home-buying nightmare in a foreign land so your relocation company will help you to find temporary housing to get you started. This is particularly ideal if you are on a short contract and planning to move back home in a year or so.
Relocation companies can also help you find a more permanent or long-term home and navigate through the housing market with their knowledge of local landlords and areas across the country.
Canceling your accounts back home
You may be surprised at just how many things there are to cancel when it is time for your move. Be aware of cancellation periods for utilities so that you can time them with your move. You will need to cancel, where necessary, electricity, gas, water, telephone, bank accounts, gym membership, council tax, direct debits for any subscriptions you are not taking with you such as lottery, streaming services, and TV licensing. You will also need to notify the tax office that you are moving overseas. Also, remember to check if your mobile phone will work abroad and to photocopy all essential documents as a backup.
Hiring removals company
If you or your employer hires a relocation service company then they will have their own movers. However, if you are moving independently you will want to hire a removals company to relocate your possessions safely. To help choose a removal company try searching online for reviews first. Facebook has lots of groups and there is likely to be one for expats in Germany. These groups are often invaluable for asking for advice and someone will be able to recommend a company to hire.
Look for accreditation and licensing on the company website. This will differ depending on where you are moving from, for instance in the UK you would look to see if they were registered with BAR. Also, ask about their international mover’s insurance.
This is a basic run-through for getting to Germany stress-free but the easiest way to do so and with no stress is to hire a reliable, professional, relocation solutions company. There are many considerations to make before your family moves abroad and these include schooling and child care, visas, finding a home, and moving your belongings. A relocation solutions company can take care of all these problems leaving you to do the smaller jobs like canceling your Hulu subscription – it won’t be any use in Germany, sorry.