Moving to Germany



Have you just been offered a position in Germany? Our guides offer a complete overview of what to expect, the tips and preparation for your assignment. Many challenges, starting with the language barrier, can be overcome with the right preparation and a little bit of preliminary work. Let us guide you there. 

Germany’s lifestyle comes close to the American way of life, as both nations share the same passion for a high quality of living, education, architecture, shopping, nightlife and tip top cars. Life in Germany is safe and stable, just like in the US.

Government System

Not only do American expats have the same fondness for Germany as they do in France and Italy, but the US government also has strong ties with the Germans. Germany's government, a parliamentary federalist republic, has a socialist inclination. German government lends a hand to make businesses grow and operate within its borders, in the EU (European Union) and throughout the world. Also, many big players in the business world have offices in Germany due to its thriving economy, especially in the manufacturing, engineering and banking industries.

Tourists have an easy time staying inside Germany's borders and may eventually become long-term expats, happy to learn that Germans are not uptight and without a sense of humour, especially the younger generation. Forget the clichés that Germans are sticklers for punctuality and thoroughness, it's true to a certain extent, but it's a part of their excellent work ethics. Make it a rule never to be late for an appointment.

Administrative Matters

High tax rates in Germany can initially be a shock for those moving there, but the high taxes are in line with the premium salaries offered in Germany. The highest tax rate for individual income tax is 44.3 percent. The top corporate tax rate is much lower at 25 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT) and trade tax.

Register with the local authorities within three months of your arrival. It is highly recommended to make the registration a top priority, as the bureaucratic process is time-consuming. You need to present official documents such as your birth certificate and marriage certificate, among others, during registration; often these materials require German translation.

If your employer paid your relocation costs, make sure the rental contract is in the company's name to the deposit, and the end of contract formalities are then the responsibility of the company. If you sign the rental agreement, undertake an extensive inspection of the accommodation and note any issues in the contract.

To secure accommodation, a deposit of up to three months rent is usually required. The deposit goes into an individual bank account that requires signatures from the landlord and the tenant. Sometimes you may have to pay an agency (Makler) fee of up to two months' rent.

With their love for cars, it follows that the road network in Germany is excellent, but the public transportation (tube, tram and buses) is also superb. However, the country is plagued by severe parking problems, as space in Germany is scarce and expensive. German cities favour and encourage cycling with purpose built bicycle lanes.

Germany's climate is similar to many states in the US, and summer temperatures are between 20°C and 30°C.



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