Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States. The crazy extreme right wing wave is hitting almost everywhere. This means that you if you are thinking or considering to move, we prepared a post about how to move to Germany. The time to act is now. 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, or the UK or even Australia before even they consider a move to Germany. But Germany can be a fantastic place to live if you think about it. Germany is the land of beer, fantastic football, fast cars and a lot of wursts. 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, after Brexit, it seems it will become even better.
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. Mostly because Germany only wants you if you fit into a particular category of people and this means that you might need a university degree and some skills that are needed by the German economy. Also, you can be a German student or a university student as well.
Another issue is that you need some savings. It takes a while to get a proper visa or permit, 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 want to get a job in Germany as well. So, do you want to work for a company or do you want to be
For professions like doctors or nurses, you will need fluent German and go through some licensing exams before you can even start to consider about working.
The biggest problem when it comes to
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 that 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 start your research. To move to Germany is complicated but 100% worth it.
Do you want to study? Even better! Germany is friendly with people that want to study, and you will get cheaper health insurance, easy 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 of the programs are in German only. Maybe, try the intensive language course before.
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 I could understand some of the 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 to a bubble that is not the reality of Berlin, and we don’t recommend that, but it is doable. It might be a little hard at first, but you can do it with a mix of Google Translator and somebody to help you out with all the letters you’ll receive. You’ll be living 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. We have an article about how you can learn German for free, and you will love it.
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 to have is a question that is hard to answer since it depends a lot of your lifestyle, the city you chose to live and what do you want to do in Germany.
If you plan to work, it can take a while to get a job. And you will need some savings to live off for a while. It took me a few months to get proper work here in Berlin, but it’s not that 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 on it as a proof that you can afford to live in Germany for a year.
Plan when to leave your country
You’ll need at a few months to plan this drastic change. But some need way more. It took us a little less than a year to plan our move to Berlin. It all depends on how much money you can save or already have saved, how is your job hunting, 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, your documents and get everything ready 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 to check if you’re coming from another country that is 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 have to use those 90 days to find a job or a school and apply for your permit. It might be complicated so your 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 will you be doing in Germany, you know some German, you have a date to fly here and the only thing missing at this point is where are you going to stay when you arrive.
When we moved to Berlin, we rented a short-term place for three weeks, and this was the time we had to get an apartment. We have a post explaining a bit all the areas of Berlin and if you need a helping hand on your first temporary flat, grab a 25€ discount here. We saw apartments every day and manage to get one on time, but a lot of people have problems with this. And, depending on your permit, you won’t be able to rent a flat easily.
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 that you can ask questions, get advice and share experiences is crucial to a move like the one you’re going through.
Since you’re already in Germany, you should stay longer
The first year living in a different country is the hardest one. It was for us and it is 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 even apply 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 a lot of beers. There are a lot of people here that 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 that has been living in Germany since 2012. I know that my experience has some points in common with a lot of people but there are a few points that might not make that much sense. Either way, I would consider my trip to Berlin an example of how can this be done. I moved to Germany without learning German, 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.