Moving to Germany

There are a number of reasons why relocation to Germany from the United Kingdom may become a reality for some. Whether for work reasons or simply to start afresh in a different country, Germany is a popular choice for many relocations.

Germany has the third highest international immigrant rate in the world and is known for its cosmopolitan and diverse society. Immigrants in Germany originate from a variety of different countries, the most common being Turkey, Greece, Italy and Eastern Europe. However, there are members of the German population who have arrived from countries all around the world, providing a rich mix within German society.

British citizens moving to Germany do not require a visa to enter the country but must hold a valid passport when entering and leaving the country. If intending to stay in the country for longer than three months it is also compulsory to register with the local registration office or Einwohnermeldeamt within 7 days.

Many expats decide to rent in Germany initially before deciding to buy a property. Like many countries, properties within major cities are considerably more expensive than other areas and as a result a lot of German nationals and immigrants opt to live in the suburbs. The first thing to do when looking for a rental property in Germany is to approach an estate agent (Makler) who will have a number of options for you to consider. In Germany, every property is only available via one estate agent so the estate agent may ask you to sign an agreement confirming that all matters relating to the property will be handled with them and not directly with the landlord or owner.

A fee will also be payable to the estate agent once you have decided to rent a property in addition to a security deposit. The estate agents fee is usually two to three months-worth of rent plus VAT, which can sometimes add to a considerable amount of money.

The healthcare system in Germany is also different to the UK’s NHS, and is usually arranged through a person’s employer. However, if you are self-employed or your employer does not do this for you, you will need to register with a health insurance company (Krankenkasse) yourself. There are two main types of health cover available in Germany-state or private, with state health care being the most common. There is a fee for health care and both you and your employer must make a contribution, for state health care this is usually around 15% of your monthly salary.

If you wish to drive in Germany once you have relocated, it is not necessary to swap your British licence for a German one but you must be at least 18 years old. In Germany it is also required by law to have appropriate tyres on your vehicle to match the weather you are driving in. So, for example in the winter you will need winter tyres (Winterreifen) or all-season tyres. It is also compulsory to have anti-freeze in your windscreen-wiper system at all times.

For more information about moving to Germany, simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
E: T: 0845 4680 160

Don’t forget to take a look at our handy checklist as a guide to help with organising your move. There’s additional space for you to add your own notes, as every move is different.

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