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Five steps to working in Germany

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The German labour market offers worthwhile career opportunities for qualified professionals. Here, we show you how to go about finding your new job.

Quick-Check

Check out your chances of being able to live and work in Germany here.



Jobseeker’s Visa

You might have the opportunity of looking for a job in Germany. Here, we can explain you which kind of visa you need and where to apply for it. more

Check out job opportunities

You can hunt for vacancies on the job exchange on this portal. Further job openings in Germany are listed on the job exchanges of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) and the EURES network, to cite two examples. And of course, you can look for suitable advertisements in daily and weekly newspapers – or simply apply to the company of your choice spontaneously.

Applying for a Job

Have you already found an interesting vacancy? In that case, you need to submit a written application. We can show you how to make a good impression. more

Getting your qualification recognised

Make sure you know the following things: what is your professional qualification actually called in Germany? Do you need any additional specific qualifications for the post that you have found, or do you need to get your foreign qualification recognised? Armed with this knowledge, you are sure to score points when you submit your application. more

The job interview

In case your application makes a good impression, the company will invite you for a job interview. Congratulations, you’ve successfully completed your very first step towards working in Germany. We can provide some helpful tips as you prepare for your interview. more

Signing your work contract

The company wants you! You want the job! All that’s left to do now is to sign your work contract. Read the whole text carefully – it tells you about the major terms and conditions of your new job. more



Visa

Okay, there are other exciting things about moving to Germany than doing the administrative rounds. But look at it this way: it won’t be long now before you are in Germany working on interesting projects, sitting in a park or rambling in the Black Forest with your friends and family. Your visa application is the first major step towards achieving this. You’ll be surprised at how attractive can be the immigration regulations are in Germany.

Visa?

If you’re a citizen of the EU, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, it’s simple: just move to Germany – and there you go. You do not need a work permit. more

Apply for a Visa

If you are a citizen of any other non-EU country, the next step is to apply for a visa. You can do this in your home country by applying to a mission abroad of Germany. If you are already in Germany on a visa that authorises you to take up or seek gainful employment, you can simply go to the foreign nationals’ registration authority which is responsible for the place where you live. more

Challenging conditions for academics

Germany offers especially challenging conditions for academics wishing to migrate here. For example, you can apply for a jobseeker’s visa. This allows you to come to Germany for up to six months and look for a job while in the country. more



Moving

Looking for accommodation and move in

Welcome to Germany! What you need now for yourself and your family to feel really at home is appropriate accommodation. We explain all you need to know about finding something to live and move in.

Your first accommodation

For the first few weeks, it is best to stay in youth hostels, hotels, short-term rented accommodation or take a flat share. That would give you time and leisure to shop around for the right kind of accommodation and take a close look at properties. more

Looking for housing

You would find offers for accommodation on property Web sites, or in the small ads of local daily newspapers. Perhaps your new colleague would be able to provide some tips about finding somewhere to live. Find out what the price of rental per square metre is in the place where you would live. To do this, ask the municipal authorities for the rent index, which gives this information. Here are some easy ways of finding the best offers. more

Signing a lease

Before moving into rented accommodation, you will need to sign a lease. Among other things, the lease states how much you should be paying for your accommodation every month. Before signing, make sure to check what ancillary costs are included in the monthly-rent and what costs might be charged on top. more

A Successful move into your new apartment

Now you’re ready to move in. Do not forget to contact the service providers so that by the time you move in you already have a telephone line, Internet connection, water supply and power and television. more



Settle in to life in Germany

You have done it all: you’ve found somewhere to live; you know the routine at the office by now and most of your colleagues not only know your name, but also something about your home country. Now you’re ready for everyday life in Germany. We can help you with a few tips.

Making friends

You would feel at home much more quickly if you’re surrounded by friends and acquaintances. You can make friends through (sports) clubs or some events. There are also plenty of opportunities to get to know people with similar interests over the Internet. Another way is through attending an integration courses. There you’ll get to know people who arrived in Germany quite fresh – just like you. Quite incidentally, the courses will help you improve your German and teach you more about your new home country. more

Discovering Germany

How about taking a couple of excursions to discover Germany? Take a trip to the Bavarian Alps, or to the North Sea or Baltic coast, for example. Go shopping in the capital city Berlin, or take a boat trip around Hamburg harbour. If you wish driving somewhere by car, check whether your driving licence is valid in Germany. If you prefer to travel by train, look into the numerous special offers. more

Opening a bank account

It is advisable to open a bank account very soon after you arrive. All you will need is your passport, residence certificate showing your current address and, in some cases, a pay slip from your employer. To send money home, you can either use the SWIFT transfer institution or money transfer companies, or send cheques by registered post. more

Staying healthy

We do not wish this on you, but it could happen that either you or a member of your family falls ill in Germany at some point. Thanks to the statutory law health insurance, you’re well insured should that be the case. You will find a doctor in the telephone archive, on the Web pages of the locality where you live or on interactive online maps, for example; or ask your colleagues for advice. In a emergency case, dial 112. After a short while, an emergency doctor will arrive. more

Seek advice!

Some things might seem unusual or strange to you when you first arrive in Germany. It may be helpful to seek support, professional and personal advice to assist you in dealing with some everyday challenges. The staff at the immigration advice service for adult immigrants would conduct an initial consultation with you to better understand your specific circumstances. If you would like, they can then discuss further steps with you that can help facilitate your integration. Find your closest immigration advice service here.



Discover Germany with your family

If you have direct family members, you have the possibility of bringing them with you straight away. For qualified foreign workers, that is quite simple. To do so, your family members require a visa. Then you need to find places for your children in a nursery or school. We explain how to do this here.

A visa for your family

As an EU citizen, you don’t need a residence permit when you move to Germany. If you come from another country, a few immigration rules should apply to your family. Take your time to read the conditions. You will see that they are not an obstacle to your coming as a foreigner. more

Opportunities for families

Perhaps your spouse will like to work in Germany too? You can find out the conditions required for doing so here.

Your children in good hands

You could register your youngest children with a day nursery or kindergarten. There is no obligation to do so, but for your youngest children it is a great chance to make friends and learn German. There are also plenty of international kindergartens. We explain you how to find a good day nursery or suitable kindergarten here.

Finding the right school

Is your child over six years old? In this case, you need to look for the right school, because in Germany, school is mandatory for children. One sign of a good school is if it offers extra-curricular activities such as music and sports clubs or theatre groups, for example. Moreover, most schools in Germany are state-run – and therefore free of charge. Most of them are twinned with schools abroad. There might even be a school which has links with a school in your home country. more



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