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How to Move to Germany

Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States. The crazy extreme right-wing wave is hitting almost everywhere. This means that if you are thinking or considering moving, we prepared a post about how to move to Germany. The time to act is now. We’re here to share our experience from Brazil and help you set up a game plan for your move.

Most people would consider moving to Canada, the UK, or even Australia before moving to Germany. But Germany can be a fantastic place to live if you think about it. Germany is the land of beer, great football, fast cars, and many other things. But Germany also has universal health care, paid parental leave, almost free universities, and a lot of culture.

Also, Germany is Europe’s leading economic power, and it seems it will improve after Brexit.

How to Move to Germany

If you have nightmares about using the name Donald Trump after the title of President, you might need to move away from the United States. The same is valid for Brazilians after Jair Bolsonaro. Or even for Filipinos with Duterte. This is how you can move to Germany.

Is this really what you want to do?

The first thing you have to ask yourself before even considering moving abroad is if you want to do this. I know a right-wing president sounds like a nightmare, but moving away can be complicated. Because Germany only likes you if you fit into a particular category of people, you might need a university degree and some skills that the German economy requires. Also, you can be a German student or a university student.

Another issue is that you need some savings. Getting a proper visa or permit takes a while, and you will need some money to survive in Germany.

But with some optimism and patience, you can do this.

Time to start your research and set up a plan

Since you decided to move to Germany, I believe you also want to get a job in Germany. So, do you want to work for a company or do you want to be self-employed? Is the job you do something in demand in Germany?

I’m asking because maybe you can qualify for a blue card work permit like some friends. If you’re not, what else can you do?

For professions like doctors or nurses, you will need fluent German and go through some licensing exams before you can even start to consider working.

The biggest problem regarding work permits in Germany is that you have to show there’s a company willing to hire you before you get the permit. That and something with a minimum salary you need to get to qualify for the visa, but every country has its own diplomatic rules, and it is better to inform yourself about the process for people coming from where you have your nationality. Another thing to consider here is that many companies won’t even talk to you because you don’t have the permit yet. It’s complicated, but you can do it. We did it, and we’ve been living here since 2012. If we can do it, you also can.

The advice that I always have is to come to Germany and look for a job. Research jobs before, send e-mails to people, talk to them about your situation, and schedule something for when you get here. I imagine it’s next to impossible to find a job in Germany while you’re still in your own country, but you can already start talking to companies. Adjust and adapt your resume to how things are in Germany and create your research. To move to Germany is complicated but 100% worth it.

Do you want to study? Even better! Germany is friendly with people who want to learn, and you will get cheaper health insurance, accessible bank accounts, and reduced fares for public transport. Yes, this is real.

If you enroll in an intensive German language course, you might even get a visa for up to one year. But you can’t work in Germany as a student with this permit. University students are something different. You might need to work out a bit to get into a German university since most programs are only in German. Maybe you can try the intensive language course before.

Donald Trump will take office as the 45th President of the United States in January, 2017. This means that you have a few months to move to Germany after Trump's victory. We’re here to share our experience coming from Brazil and help you out set up a game plan for your move. Most people would consider moving to Canada before even thinking about moving to Germany. But Germany can be an amazing place to live if you think about it. Germany is the land of beer, amazing football, fast cars and a lot of wurst. But Germany also has universal health care, paid parental leave, almost free universities and a lot of culture. Also, Germany is Europe’s main economic power and, after #Brexit, it seems it will become even better.

Start learning German

Before I moved to Berlin, I had a few months of German classes in Brazil. I came here with some German and could understand some things around me. I wish I studied more when I moved here, but I was, I still am, lazy when it comes to that.

But you can live in Berlin without any German. You’ll be secluded in a bubble that is not the reality of Berlin, and we don’t recommend that, but it is doable. It might be a little tricky at first, but you can do it with a mix of Google Translator and somebody to help you with all the letters you’ll receive. You’ll live in an English-speaking bubble, but you can do it. In other cities, German will be more crucial to your life.

Since it takes years and years to speak a language properly, you should start doing this as soon as possible.

And if you don’t really feel like learning the language  at this moment or if you have no time/money for this now, at least a helping hand on your first step in your quest to move to Germany we can give you, here we tell you all about it on how to do your Anmeldung in English (which is the very first step ever!)

Save some money for your move!

Money is a big issue if you want to move anywhere. How much money you need is a tricky question since it depends greatly on your lifestyle, the city you choose to live in, and what you want to do in Germany.

If you plan to work, getting a job can take a while. And you will need some savings to live off for a while. Getting proper work here in Berlin took me a few months, but it’s not complicated. It’s not simple, but you can do it too.

If you want to study in Germany, you will need something between 8,000 and 10,000 Euros in a bank account with your name as proof that you can afford to live in Germany for a year.

Plan when to leave your country.

You’ll need a few months to plan this drastic change. But some need way more. It took us less than a year to plan our move to Berlin. It all depends on how much money you can or already have saved, how your job hunting is, the level of German, and, of course, how long you need to get rid of all your stuff.

Maybe you need at least six months of planning to define your goals and documents and prepare everything to move to Germany.

After you do all this, as an American or Brazilian, you have 90 days to stay in Germany as a visa-free tourist. This is valid for most countries from where we’re from. It is worth checking if you’re from another country, not the US or Brazil. And these 90 days are valid in the whole Schengen Zone. So pay attention to this also.

You can’t leave Germany and go to another country in the Schengen zone to revalidate your visa. You must use those 90 days to find a job or a school and apply for your permit. It might be complicated, so you use these 90 days wisely. It might be the only time you will have.

Where will you stay when you get to Germany?

You have your plan almost ready. You know what you will be doing in Germany, you know some German, you have a date to fly here, and the only thing missing is where you will stay when you arrive.

When we moved to Berlin, we rented a short-term place for three weeks when we had to get an apartment. We saw apartments daily and managed to get one on time, but many people have problems with this. And, depending on your permit, you won’t be able to rent a flat easily. We have a post explaining all the areas of Berlin, and if you need a helping hand on your first temporary flat, grab a 25€ % discount here.

I would try one of the many furnished flat rentals out there as we did. Maybe you can even consider a hostel for a while, but I think it would suck to be in one for such a long time.

Meet People and Make Friends in Germany

Since Germany is now your home, you need to start making it feel like it. What can be better than having friends and meeting new people? Having friends and people with whom you can ask questions, get advice, and share experiences is crucial to a move you’re going through.

Try subreddits, Facebook groups, meetups, or just go to a bar and start talking to people. Your move to Germany will be smoother with people around.

Since you’re already in Germany, you should stay longer

The first year of living in a different country is the hardest one. It was for us, and it was for all our friends. Don’t give up! Go through that experience and see how much better you will be after it. Try to stick to your plan.

Usually, after five years of living in Germany with a work permit, you can apply for a permanent residency. After eight years, you can use to become a German citizen if this is what you want to do with your life.

This is it. You can move to Germany. Here is a beautiful country with amazing people, great culture, and many beers. There are a lot of people here who would love to have you, and you should take the risk. Besides, what do you have to lose now?

All this was written by a Brazilian guy living in Germany since 2012. I know that my experience has some points in common with many people, but a few points might not make that much sense.

Either way, I would consider my trip to Berlin an example of how this can be done. I moved to Germany without learning German, had some lousy English skills, no job, and no place to live, but a lot of will to be here. If I can do it, you can do it as well.

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani is a passionate designer with a penchant for crafting unique experiences and a mixed taste in music. As the curator behind this blog's explorations, he takes pride in discovering fascinating destinations. Whether unearthing hidden gems or sharing captivating historical narratives, Felipe is the creative force driving the stories you find here. Join him on a journey of design, discovery, and the delightful rhythm of unconventional tunes.View Author posts