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Germany is in need of a large workforce to balance its economy and generate revenue to sustain its working system. Europe in general is experiencing a decline in population, with low birth rates and a higher aging population. To this effect, Germany has made new rules to accommodate these lapses as it will greatly affect its economy. The new rules for non EU-nationals working in Germany took effect on the 1st of March 2020 to implement measures and attract skilled labor from non-EU regions.

Moving to Germany can be an exciting and rewarding experience, especially given the country’s need for skilled workers and its welcoming stance toward non-EU nationals. However, before making the move, there are several important factors to consider to ensure a smooth transition and successful integration into German society. Here are five key things to note:

Health Insurance (Krankenversicherung):
Germany boasts a robust healthcare system, but it’s essential for all residents, including expatriates, to have health insurance coverage. Whether you’re employed, self-employed, or studying, you’ll need to obtain health insurance to comply with German law. This insurance provides financial protection in case of illness or accidents. Additionally, if you’re traveling to Germany for work, school, or tourism, you’ll need travel insurance that covers the duration of your stay. Upon arrival in Germany, it’s crucial to extend or obtain suitable health insurance to ensure continued coverage.

Tax (Steuer):
Germany has a complex tax system, and understanding your tax obligations is vital for anyone planning to live and work in the country. Depending on your income, employment status, and other factors, you may be subject to income tax, solidarity surcharge, and church tax. It’s advisable to seek guidance from a tax advisor or accountant to ensure compliance with German tax laws and optimize your financial situation.

Picture credit: boundlesshq

House Rent/Accommodation (Miete):
Finding suitable housing in Germany, especially in major cities like Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg, can be competitive and expensive. Rent prices vary depending on the location, size, and condition of the property. It’s essential to research the housing market thoroughly, set a realistic budget, and start your search well in advance of your move. Consider factors such as proximity to public transportation, amenities, and neighborhood safety when choosing accommodation.

Visa Expiry:
Non-EU nationals moving to Germany for work or study must obtain the appropriate visa or residence permit before entering the country. It’s crucial to understand the validity period of your visa and any renewal requirements to avoid overstaying your welcome. Keep track of your visa expiry date and start the renewal process well in advance to prevent any disruptions to your stay in Germany.

Work Contract (Arbeitsvertrag):

I will advise that you get a work contract from your employer before moving to Germany. This is a safer option than selling your lands or using your hard-earned money to put in a block account for six (6) months without any assurance of getting a job in Germany. Remember that a day past the validity of your visa without the necessary renewal requirement is a punishable offense, making you a criminal by law.
Therefore, before relocating to Germany for employment, ensure that you have a clear understanding of your work contract. Your employment contract should outline your job responsibilities, salary, working hours, and other essential terms and conditions. Be aware of your rights as an employee under German labor law and seek clarification from your employer if you have any concerns or questions about your contract. Also, know that the amount written on your contract is not what is reflected in your account, you get only what is due after tax (45% is taken out most times, take a look at the tax table above).

In conclusion, moving to Germany offers exciting opportunities for personal and professional growth, but it’s essential to be well-prepared and informed about the key considerations mentioned above. By addressing these factors proactively, you can navigate the relocation process smoothly and embark on a successful journey in your new home country.

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