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Anyone move from US to Germany?

KrakenIPA

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Dec 19, 2020
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Wuuuut. Researching now. Gimme a minute.

Edit: you are right, but there are forests in the north and when I saw them they were black and holy shit I have been wrong for 20 years lol
 
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Cyberpunkd

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COming from the US I do not need a tourist visa, I can go and be there for up to 90 days without a visa. I will have some kind of job lined up before I travel, my gf is already working on that. The documentation that i have read says that first thing is to declare yourself and your residence and then open a bank account. Since I will have an address, a bank account I was under the impression that I can then apply for a residence permit so that I can work. You have to pass basic language skills of course. The appointment for that is the tight part since they tight now but this will hopefully be after lockdown is over.
Then I would have to keep that residence permit for 5 years before I can apply for permanent residence.
Again, that is the information I have been reading.
I am trying to set up a call to the closest embassy to get some tighter information.
I was basing most of my information off of THIS as well as the information on the embassy site.
Oh boy, where do I start?

1. ‘I will have some kind of a job lined up’ - I do not think you realise how hard it would be for you to get a job inside the EU. For the record, this is not ‘illegal immigrant in the US paying taxes’ situation, you cannot skim the formalities unless you want to end up in serious trouble. Once again, as an American you will need a working visa and a sponsorship from the company in question, which will not be given if you do not have a skill or degree that is in demand in Germany. What’s your degree and job experience?

2. ‘Apply for a residence permit so that I can work’ - these are two things with completely different degrees of complexity. Resident permit is automatic in most cases, you can even sleep on the sofa at your friend’s and he can write you a letter. One of the requirements as a non-EU is having a valid visa - check the link on residence permit notseqi notseqi posted, you need to provide your visa when applying for the residence permit. Which you will not have.

I am sorry to be this brutal but I think you assume all of that to be pretty automatic, which will not be the case. Your best bet is to secure a job offer from a company in Germany before leaving US, that company will then presumably help you in obtaining a work visa.
 
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lrt75914

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Mar 8, 2014
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Whatever you do, do not come to Stuttgart!

From what I hear, Switzerland does everything that Germany does well at, but better. That said, German food is pretty underrated.

A friend of mine lives in Zürich and he hates it there.
 

KrakenIPA

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Dec 19, 2020
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Oh boy, where do I start?

1. ‘I will have some kind of a job lined up’ - I do not think you realise how hard it would be for you to get a job inside the EU. For the record, this is not ‘illegal immigrant in the US paying taxes’ situation, you cannot skim the formalities unless you want to end up in serious trouble. Once again, as an American you will need a working visa and a sponsorship from the company in question, which will not be given if you do not have a skill or degree that is in demand in Germany. What’s your degree and job experience?

2. ‘Apply for a residence permit so that I can work’ - these are two things with completely different degrees of complexity. Resident permit is automatic, you can even sleep on the sofa at your friend’s and he can write you a letter. One of the requirements as a non-EU is having a valid visa - check the link on residence permit notseqi notseqi
Yeah, it seems like Ol'Scratch is playin by a different rulebook, but as far as number 1, he could hunt or chop wood for old folks and accept meat and liquor for payment, and for number 2 I have to thank you for the link because that is extremely helpful for some folks that may need to leave a country for some reason, to visit a wonderful land in Europe.
 

Rbk_3

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Nov 20, 2013
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I could legally go, my grandfather was German, but I never really had the urge to... I sometimes think I could see myself living in the US (I'm Brazilian), but I don't know as well... I think we start to appreciate what's familiar to us after some time...

Is that how it works? My grandpa was also German.
 

KrakenIPA

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Dec 19, 2020
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I could legally go, my grandfather was German, but I never really had the urge to... I sometimes think I could see myself living in the US (I'm Brazilian), but I don't know as well... I think we start to appreciate what's familiar to us after some time...
Pack some warm clothes if you do decide to go there. Winter's breath is cold and wet in Germania. And tall boots, those would be helpful, too.
 

GAMETA

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Jun 3, 2014
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Is that how it works? My grandpa was also German.
I'm not sure if it's the same for every nationality, but works for Brazilians up to the 2nd generation (grandchildren) born after 1975.

I'm not exactly sure if you get "full citizenship" in terms of citizen rights, social stuff, etc, but you do get a German passport.


But you know, maybe culture speaks louder for both sides... a cousin of mine lives in Germany (he looks the part: blonde hair, blue eyes, etc) and he's seriously thinking of coming back to Brazil... says there's too much uncertainty going on...

To be honest, I'm not sure Germans are too keen of immigrants right now, even if you're legally allowed to be there and even if you look the part (which I don't)... so I don't know, man...
 

Boss Mog

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Dec 12, 2013
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If you don't speak Austrian...er German why even move?
 

Frito_Pendejo

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Sep 17, 2019
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After reading through this thread and seeing some of the replies and seeing just how difficult this would be for you, I just have to ask bro, did you meet her online and have you actually met her in person?
 

stn

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Jun 15, 2012
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Lived in Stuttgart (Black Forest) as a kid. Beautiful country.
 
Jan 10, 2021
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heaps of us army staff in germany, i dunno, do they still staff Gatow? i haven't been there for a while but when i last visited there was still a risidual presence from the time of the wall~ anyway, lots of opportunities for Us culture to be had there - JFK is one of the biggest highschools in the city
 

lrt75914

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Mar 8, 2014
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I don't know which question you are referring to. If you want to know why you shouldn't move to Stuttgart: The rents are ludicrously high for a city that is as ugly as it is, traffic is horrible, the locals are unfriendly and cantankerous and the weather sucks for most of the year.

The reason why my friend hates Zürich is because of the Swiss. They're like the people who live in the Stuttgart area only on steroids. It doesn't help that he is a german expat. Apparently the majority of the Swiss seem to absolutely hate Germans who live and work in Switzerland.
 
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RJMacready73

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Jun 25, 2020
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You can't just simply waltz into an EU country and just stay for a bit, get a wee job and live happily ever after... That's the thinking of an immature idiot m8, there's one guy on here offering actual advice, I'd listen to him and stop your fantasizing
 

notseqi

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Jun 15, 2020
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You can't just simply waltz into an EU country and just stay for a bit, get a wee job and live happily ever after... That's the thinking of an immature idiot m8, there's one guy on here offering actual advice, I'd listen to him and stop your fantasizing
If he is committed enough it's very doable. Even living in a different country or culture within the EU is hard at times, the right amount of dedication is what keeps you in and shows the authorities that you are able and willing.
 
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RJMacready73

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If he is committed enough it's very doable. Even living in a different country or culture within the EU is hard at times, the right amount of dedication is what keeps you in and shows the authorities that you are able and willing.

It's got nothing to do with "dedication" it's got to do with the complex rules around immigration and naturalization for non EU citizens, sure he could move over and simply fly under the radar but once you need to avail of the actual services of your chosen country then that's when the problems arise. It sounds to me like the op either isn't aware of the complexities around moving legally to another country or is simply naive
 

notseqi

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It's got nothing to do with "dedication" it's got to do with the complex rules around immigration and naturalization for non EU citizens, sure he could move over and simply fly under the radar but once you need to avail of the actual services of your chosen country then that's when the problems arise. It sounds to me like the op either isn't aware of the complexities around moving legally to another country or is simply naive
Colleagues partner from america has a job and an address, they get an extension on his visa every six months iirc, for three years now.
They didn't work towards permanent residency for him because they wanted to start a life in America.

Indians and Arabs/Persians I'm friends with don't have the problems mexicans face in America, it's fine.

Get a job, get somewhere to live, EU is rather easy.
 

Azurro

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Jun 11, 2018
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COming from the US I do not need a tourist visa, I can go and be there for up to 90 days without a visa. I will have some kind of job lined up before I travel, my gf is already working on that. The documentation that i have read says that first thing is to declare yourself and your residence and then open a bank account. Since I will have an address, a bank account I was under the impression that I can then apply for a residence permit so that I can work. You have to pass basic language skills of course. The appointment for that is the tight part since they tight now but this will hopefully be after lockdown is over.
Then I would have to keep that residence permit for 5 years before I can apply for permanent residence.
Again, that is the information I have been reading.
I am trying to set up a call to the closest embassy to get some tighter information.
I was basing most of my information off of THIS as well as the information on the embassy site.

Honestly you sound extremely naive if your gf "is working on getting you a job". You will only be given a long term visa if you can find a company that is willing to sponsor you and only if you work in one of the professions in demand. You do sound like you have never had to deal with work visas before.

Do you work in some tech industry? Or some other high skilled position? Because otherwise, your best bet would be to get married, you don't just hop on a plane and move to the EU.
 
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Azurro

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The job part is what’s OP is missing. It will not be as simple as you and the OP thinks it will be to get a job.

Yes, this is what I find a bit annoying when people talk about moving to the EU or Canada, It's not an easy process, in the least. And he wants to move to Germany, there is a lot of competition so companies get really picky even if you have the right skills, which also includes speaking German to a C1 level, depending on the company.

He sounds like he expects to work in Starbucks and have the company spend thousands in consultancy services to process his immigration.
 

wolfmat

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Yes, this is what I find a bit annoying when people talk about moving to the EU or Canada, It's not an easy process, in the least. And he wants to move to Germany, there is a lot of competition so companies get really picky even if you have the right skills, which also includes speaking German to a C1 level, depending on the company.

He sounds like he expects to work in Starbucks and have the company spend thousands in consultancy services to process his immigration.
Hamburg, Germany here. I've had a couple of colleagues in my tech career from outside of the EU, in different companies as well, and what I can say for sure is
- minimum requirement is English in the tech industry across the board; fluent German is usually not a requirement
- biggest pain points for immigrants: Fluent German, and the high cost of living (no surprises there, Hamburg is rather expensive to live in)
- I've had not a single colleague that didn't start with remote work before migrating over physically -- this is basically vetting
- companies I've worked in that had colleagues immigrating readily supported the immigration process, but only if the working relationship had been relatively stable for at least months
- competition is fierce, especially among tech immigrants (not like there's bad vibes or anything, don't get me wrong there)
- I've seen about 60% of co-workers emigrating eventually, see pain points above
 

notseqi

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- I've seen about 60% of co-workers emigrating eventually, see pain points above
Only for that reason? I wouldn't want to stay less than two and more than five years in a different country and job, just as part of career moves. Salary increase is way higher when switching jobs. No news to you I'm sure.
 

wolfmat

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Only for that reason? I wouldn't want to stay less than two and more than five years in a different country and job, just as part of career moves. Salary increase is way higher when switching jobs. No news to you I'm sure.
Well, there are a couple of things to say there. Slowly veering off topic, but fuck it.

Migrating from country to country is mostly good for the portfolio, less so for making money. It'll definitely pay off in the long run, I think.

Switching jobs is good for increasing the salary (in tech, there's really no other viable way in most companies), but it's not necessarily good for your career; it really depends on the stage you're at in your career.

If you're regarded as a junior, then switch every 2 years, by all means. You need the experience. This is also what you're going to tell your future employer: "I switched jobs every 2 years to boost XP"

Once you're out of the 100%-junior status (whatever the fuck that is supposed to be), the expectation is that you can carry a project, or a dynasty of projects, or a team of dedicated personnel, for arbitrary amounts of time. This is where it gets complicated. It's seen as the maturing phase of a career.
In Germany, 5 years is the unofficial minimum amount of time you've got to have stayed with some tech thing somewhere in your career as a de-facto proof that you're able to work in such mature contexts.
And if you're switching jobs every 2 years as a perceived senior, then this'll be seen as a negative in conservative companies, for obvious reasons. Not so much with the progressive folks.

It's a matter of alignment, and what stage you're in in your career.
 
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notseqi

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And if you're switching jobs every 2 years as a perceived senior, then this'll be seen as a negative in conservative companies, for obvious reasons. Not so much with the progressive folks.
Had to laugh at that, signed a contract for a project that I diligently calculated needed hours, material, whathaveya. Tons of cash for interesting work, the best. Project runs into late 2023.
Wait, 2023? I guess I leveled up, projects were usually <12mo.
Was well aware of the timeframe but didn't realize that it would take me at least 3 years to complete this thing and in a way bind me to this company. Not that I have a problem with that.
 
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Azurro

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Hamburg, Germany here. I've had a couple of colleagues in my tech career from outside of the EU, in different companies as well, and what I can say for sure is
- minimum requirement is English in the tech industry across the board; fluent German is usually not a requirement
- biggest pain points for immigrants: Fluent German, and the high cost of living (no surprises there, Hamburg is rather expensive to live in)
- I've had not a single colleague that didn't start with remote work before migrating over physically -- this is basically vetting
- companies I've worked in that had colleagues immigrating readily supported the immigration process, but only if the working relationship had been relatively stable for at least months
- competition is fierce, especially among tech immigrants (not like there's bad vibes or anything, don't get me wrong there)
- I've seen about 60% of co-workers emigrating eventually, see pain points above

That's interesting, I moved to a country from the former eastern block, and the relocation was included in the offer, no remote work was necessary. Still, places like Prague that have a lot of job offers find it very difficult to fill the positions because the interviews are very tough, you have to have a good CV and know your stuff in order to be considered for anything.

I was also interested in moving to Germany and had a few interviews. My impression was that a lot of companies wanted C1 level as a prerequisite, as a few insisted on conducting the interview in German even if I only had a B1 level ať the time.

Of course the big companies like SAP and Adidas are ok with working in English, but then you have to live in Fuckingnowherebrückheim with a population of 40,000 people, or spend more than an hour in the train every morning if you want to live somewhere more exciting.
 

wolfmat

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That's interesting, I moved to a country from the former eastern block, and the relocation was included in the offer, no remote work was necessary. Still, places like Prague that have a lot of job offers find it very difficult to fill the positions because the interviews are very tough, you have to have a good CV and know your stuff in order to be considered for anything.
The part with remote work up front is what I observed -- might be because of my point of view that I didn't ever encounter an immigrating tech worker that didn't have a working relationship with the company before.
I've always wondered about this, to be honest. I've read lots of times that companies hire like you're describing, but never encountered anyone who made that kind of career move.
I was also interested in moving to Germany and had a few interviews. My impression was that a lot of companies wanted C1 level as a prerequisite, as a few insisted on conducting the interview in German even if I only had a B1 level ať the time.

Of course the big companies like SAP and Adidas are ok with working in English, but then you have to live in Fuckingnowherebrückheim with a population of 40,000 people, or spend more than an hour in the train every morning if you want to live somewhere more exciting.
This might vary from region to region. Here in Hamburg, it's normal to have a daily standup meeting in English, for example. Or to have every single meeting be in English. Berlin is similar.
Because of this, there's no point in requiring fluent German on a professional level. It just reduces options with few (if any) benefits.
Might be that a lot of companies like to use German language proficiency as a filter.

C1 German is pretty hardcore as a requirement, tbh.
 

Cyberpunkd

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I think a lot of confusion and assumptions in this thread comes from EU citizens - we literally never had to think about things like working visa, sponsorship, visits to the police station (hello France!), etc., so we kinda skip over them. But the OP is not a EU citizen, the difficulty of emigrating to an EU country goes from Normal to Dark Souls.

OP - if you are serious about it start looking for job now. During the recruitment process mention you do not have the right to work in the EU as of yet (you don't want to go through the process just to hit that wall, right?), if a company is interested, your skills are in demand and (most important) the company had experience dealing with work visas they will then help arrange everything for you.
 

Bitch Pudding

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This might vary from region to region. Here in Hamburg, it's normal to have a daily standup meeting in English, for example. Or to have every single meeting be in English. Berlin is similar.
Because of this, there's no point in requiring fluent German on a professional level. It just reduces options with few (if any) benefits.
Might be that a lot of companies like to use German language proficiency as a filter.

C1 German is pretty hardcore as a requirement, tbh.

Can confirm. Worked as a consultant for various big German companies which do business around the globe. Most meetings are in German but you switch immediatelly to English if a single foreigner joins (unless that guys' excellent in German). Presentations and so on are also in English by default most of the time.

A friend who works for a major automotive company once told me "English is not a foreign language in Germany" which is how I see it, too, at least in a working environment. That said, learning German won't exactly hurt if you intend to connect with people outside your working environment.
 
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notseqi

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That said, learning German won't exactly hurt if you intend to connect with people outside your working environment.
Just the standard phrases, spelled correctly, already give you sympathy points.
Stuff like 'Ich möchte diesen Teppich nicht kaufen.' and 'Weil es die Wachstumsphasen der Haare verlängert' are important in everyday life.