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The Call of Germany - Moving to Germany from the US

Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Street photography: German flag on the Reichstag building

“Das Land der Dichter und Denker”, as in “The country of poets and thinkers,” more commonly referred to as Germany. With a nickname like that, it is easy to see that Germany can be an inviting place for not only poets, and thinkers, but everyone in between. And moving to Germany does not have to be a daunting task. Certainly, when you plan and get the moving process going. With that, here are some of the ways that will make moving to Germany from the US easier.

Americans Moving to Germany

A couple that moved to Germany taking a selfie together with german pretzel

Moving to Germany will require you to get all your official documents in order. This is the standard when it comes to moving to any new continent or country. Therefore, you would want to make sure you have your:

  • Children’s birth certificates (if you have them)
  • Marriage certificate (if you have one)
  • Adoption papers (if you have)
  • Insurance policies (if you are planning on applying for health insurance)
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Proof of education
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Medical records
  • Veterinary records (including vaccinations)
  • American Consulate and Embassy contact information
  • Pay slips from your employer from the past three months or an employment contract of your current job in the US

Documents that are not required are bank statements and your Social Security cards. The required documents will help you to register in Germany. This means that you are on your way to applying for either a work permit or a residence one. However, you would want to find a permanent residence in Germany to start the registration process just to be on the safe side.

Things to Know Before Moving to Germany

Three tourists in Berlin standing close together, smiling and posing with sunglasses on

As you figured you would need to have a residence permit to live in Germany. However, as an American citizen, you do not need a visa to visit the country for up to 90 days. This means that you have the chance to explore the place, find a permit resident (which is necessary for the move) and even start the registration of the resident permit process before officially moving to Germany. Without further ado let's get into it…

Elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel (eAT)

An Elecktronisher Aufenthalitstitel is the German phrase for an Electronic Residence Title. This is a requirement when your 90 days are up. Plus, it is also the pathway to getting a residence permit. To get the Elecktronisher Aufenthalitstitel you would obviously need a valid passport as well as an additional four months from “your planned return from Germany''.

Settlement Residence Permit

The American Green Card equivalent in German is the Settlement Permit since it does not have a validity period. To be eligible for this you would need: 

  • Standard residence permits for five years.
  • Have a B1 proficiency in the German language. This can happen through taking classes before you move to Germany, and while living there. This is the highest level to get in any language and it is necessary if you want the German Green Card.
  • Prove that you have financial security as well as can meet every expense that Germany has to offer. Well, cost of living, taxes, etc.
  • Enroll and successfully pass the integration course exam.

How to Apply for a German Visa?

 A photo of buildings and a canal in Hamburg

You can apply from the United States of America as soon as possible by going to the German Embassy in Washington DC. Likewise, you can also go to German Consulates that are in Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and Houston. It will take about three months for your request to be approved if you start it in the US. 

However, you can also get all your paperwork ready and use your 90 days in Germany to start the process. Therefore, you would have to make your working, travel, and living arrangement before the 90 days start so that you can use that time to get the Settlement Permit process going. When you arrive in Germany the first thing you have to do is to go in person to the Ausländerbehörde (German Aliens Authority) in the city you plan to live in.

You would have to make an appointment beforehand, another part of your paperwork. Likewise, you can reach out to professionals before your move to make sure that you have everything in order and applied for everything you need to. In the correct way. As well as give you advice on what to do when you are in Germany. These professionals are your best bet, and we strongly advise you to reach out to a verified one.  

This will make the process run a lot smoother when you arrive in Germany and everything will be better. You would not want to make a trip and see that you have missed something important that will hinder your application process. 90 days are only a long time when everything goes well, but it is short when things go wrong so aim for the former. 

Important Things about Relocating to Germany

A woman standing while holding her laptop up to check long distance quotes

Before planning on relocating to Germany and after moving there, there are a few things you need to do regarding the process of moving. You would have to report your German address to the state authorities in Germany. This is the Anmeldung process (see, we are even helping you with the German language proficiency lessons) where you have to submit a property deed as proof of your address. You can ask your landlord or the professional how to achieve this. When you present it to the authorities in Germany then you will get a certificate of confirmation letter.  

When you move from one home to another in Germany regardless of how close you are, then you have to do the Abmeldung process which is the same as the one above. You are just notifying the authorities of your move and getting a new certificate.  

All German visitors and citizens have to do this.

Health Insurance Coverage, and a Bank Account in Germany

A healthy meal of traditional german protein-based food

Health insurance is a requirement when living in Germany. You would need German health insurance since doctors and hospitals do not accept any other type of insurance. And, it is also a requirement if you want to apply for German permanent residence. You would have to research before you move to Germany, what German companies offer insurance. Or, you can check out what other countries' health insurance is acceptable in Germany. America is not. 

And you would want/ need a German bank account. Not only will this make getting payment from your German-based job so much easier, but it also allows you to prove your financial eligibility for permanent residence. Furthermore, you would want to open up a bank account in German, and transfer your funds from your American bank account to the German one to show that you have the funds to support yourself while living in Germany.

The authorities in Germany will need to check your German bank account since they will not allow you to stay in the country if you do not have enough funds to support your living conditions. You would have to research the cost of living in the different German cities as well as to know how much funds you need in your German bank account to qualify. You can ask the German Embassy for the information.  

Preparing before your move to Germany (including research) can be able to answer the question: “Is moving to Germany easy?” with a “yes”.

Is It Worth Moving to Germany

A german cafe in industry style with a lot of people in it enjoying the sunny day

The pros and cons of moving to Germany have to be weighed before you should even start the whole process that is mentioned above. Every country has its cons and pros and it would be best to ask around, do research, or even just have a brief holiday in the place if you can afford it. But, it would seem that the benefits of moving to Germany would be the country's high quality of life, good business opportunities, green spaces around the country, and a high-quality education system. The potential downside is the weather and lack of beaches for some people.

Looking to Move? Let Us Help

Berlin by night with lights and busy traffic on the streets

Let’s cut to the chase, a lot of people do not enjoy organizing their own moving experience. Regardless of, if it is an international, cross-country, or even down-the-road move. Moving is time-consuming, stressful, and not too much fun. Well, you can avoid all the unfun parts of your moving experience by getting in touch with Shyft

Say “hello” to the world’s first tech-driven moving platform, Shyft. The purpose of what we do is to make sure that your moving experience is as enjoyable, stressful, and a lot less time-consuming as possible. We achieve this by organizing your whole move for you. From the money you get in touch with us, we get to work. We do the unfun stuff and leave you with the fun. 

How we work is when you contact us through our secure site, your Move Coach will reach out to you through our free-to-download, easy-to-use mobile app called Shyft Next. It is available for both Android and iOS devices. Your Move Coach will video call you through this safe app only at the time that you want. This is already saving you time since you know exactly when the call is to be made. Not before, and definitely not after.

It is during this call that you get to see and meet your real-life Move Coach. They are there to guide you through the entire Shyft moving process and enrich your moving experience. Furthermore, they will also create your inventory list, right there and then without stepping foot into your house. This list will be created virtually and all you have to do is give a virtual tour of your current home. Within half an hour from the end of this initial call, this particular inventory list will be sent your way.

The list is 95% accurate, and you have the chance to make it 100% on-point. You can remove items, add new ones, or leave notes and certain ones. When you are happy with your improved inventory list, you send it to your Move Coach.

 A mother and her kid hiking over green mountains and fields in Germany

What happens next is that Shyft will present your improved inventory list along with only your moving details, zero personal information, to our secure moving board. This is where experienced, Shyft-approved moving companies gather to bid on moving projects. Yours can join the list. Furthermore, there is a range of movers from local, international, and interstate. It is here that we collect three or more moving quotes as well as information about the moving companies. Each quote comes from a different company.  

All that we collect will be sent to you and you make the choice of which one to work with. Furthermore, all the quotes are fixed, and there are no hidden costs. So much so, that if you decide to change something in your inventory list, it will not affect the cost of the move. What you see is what you pay. Plus, some companies do international moves, and they can help you with customs clearance, etc.  

When you decide which company to move with, you let us know, and we will lock them down right there and there. They will be booked to work with you.

We Offer More Than Long Distance Relocation

 A group of people gathering around an open laptop to work on long distance move plan

Shyft not only offers to aid personal moves but also corporate ones too. Therefore, if you are in the market of relocating your employees, then check out what we have to offer to aid you in making this process a lot smoother.  

While we are on the subject of “market” you can also take a glance at our secure online marketplace, Home & Lifestyle. It is here that you can see not only a range of products but services as well. All the items on the marketplace come with a discount with physical things being directly delivered to your new home. Therefore, you will be saving money since you will not have to move the new item to your new place.  

One more thing is that when you work with Shyft, then we are on call with you seven days a week. Therefore, when you have a concern or want to hear about the progress, or just want moving advice you can reach out to us. We are here to help you from the first time you fill out our form to unlocking the front door of your new home. And beyond.

Move to Germany with Shyft