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Move To Germany | British Expat Guide

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Contemplating a transfer to Germany from the UK?

Shifting to Germany could possibly be the most effective transfer you ever make.

With a thriving financial system, decrease prices of dwelling than the UK, and most significantly a incredible way of life in a rustic with buzzing cosmopolitan cities, divine pure landscapes, clever, pleasant locals, and — in fact — loads of beer, Germany is a vacation spot with a lot to please British expats.

Right here’s our indispensable information to every little thing you must know when you’re enthusiastic about shifting to Germany to stay, work, or retire…

Have to Ship or Obtain Cash Overseas?

Some banks cost you as much as 5% in hidden prices when sending cash to a checking account overseas. TransferWise is as much as 8x cheaper.

How? It’s easy. Banks set their very own trade fee to earn money off you. TransferWise provides you the actual trade fee, also called the “mid-market fee”.

Reduce out the financial institution fees, get began with TransferWise at the moment.

Germany Visa Necessities for Brits


With the uncertainty of Brexit looming within the horizon, it’s unclear precisely how visas for UK residents going to Germany can be affected.

As issues at present stand, Brits don’t require a visa when visiting Germany, however come the top of March 2019 which will change.

Within the occasion of a no deal Brexit, will probably be potential to enter Germany for as much as 90 days, after which era you’ll need to use for a vacationer visa.

Ought to Britain depart the EU and are available to a deal, visa laws gained’t change till no less than at the very least 31 December 2020, which suggests the it is going to nonetheless have the ability to keep, stay, and work and not using a visa of any sort up till that point.


For the second no work visa is important, however ought to Brexit go forward with no deal, Brits would require a piece visa in the event that they want to be employed in Germany after the top of March this yr.

In an effort to apply for a German work visa you will have a great CV in your subject of employment plus a agency supply of a job in Germany. Additionally, you will want to use for a short lived residency allow or EU Blue Card (the EU Blue Card is for residents of nations outdoors the EU who’re extremely expert in a career and who’ve attained a minimum of a bachelors diploma of their specified subject).

Short-term residence permits will probably be granted offered you’ve a selected cause for staying in Germany — on this case work — and might be tied into your cause for staying and can develop into invalid do you have to cease work or turn into a scholar, for instance.

Work visas are legitimate for one yr, and could be prolonged yearly offered your circumstances don’t change.

After 5 years of working in Germany, you possibly can apply for a settlement allow or EU proper of residence so as to keep within the nation indefinitely.

Everlasting Residency

Referred to as the Niederlassungserlaubnis, the German settlement allow or residence allow is often granted to those that have already been dwelling and dealing within the nation for the earlier 5 years on a short lived residence allow or with an EU Blue Card.

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Brits looking for everlasting residence in Germany will even want to have the ability to converse German to a complicated degree.

As soon as granted, everlasting residency entitles you to stay in work in Germany indefinitely, in addition to journey freely in and in another country.

Method of Life in Germany

Way of life

Lederhosen, beer, sausages and sauerkraut are simply a number of the stereotypes that us Brits have relating to the German way of life.

While it may be confirmed that lederhosen are principally a factor of the dim and distant previous, beer and good German delicacies definitely isn’t.

Germans like to drink beer and have enjoyable and there are wonderful bars and golf equipment the place individuals dance and celebration till the wee hours.

Conventional meals is hearty and wealthy with every area having speciality dishes, and cities similar to Berlin have an up and coming foodie scene full with Michelin star eating places and all kinds of delicacies from everywhere in the world.

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This can be a nation that runs like clockwork.

Every little thing is nicely organised, public transport is environment friendly, and the streets are clear as a whistle. Germans additionally extremely worth a wholesome work-life stability, with most individuals working a 35 hour week and having extra days paid vacation than within the UK.

This along with good charges of pay, wholesome outside actions, and an emphasis on associates, household and downtime offers expats dwelling in Germany with a top quality of life.

Getting Round

With a lot to discover in Germany it’s an excellent job that there are wonderful and environment friendly transport methods in place. Listed here are the perfect methods to get round…


All main cities have airports, with each common and price range airways providing providers between them. This isn’t the preferred means of getting round Germany nevertheless, as low cost flights may be skinny on the bottom, and until you’re actually pushed for time different modes of transport supply a extra pockets pleasant, scenic method to journey.


Germany’s practice community might be the most effective on the earth, and in addition to tremendous environment friendly common practice providers, there are excessive velocity trains (Intercity-Categorical providers) linking main cities which obtain speeds of as much as almost 200 mph.

Should you’re fascinated with travelling by practice in Germany, there are many cash saving rail passes to select from to chop down your prices.

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Cheaper than travelling by practice or aircraft, Germany’s lengthy distance bus networks cowl a lot of the nation, and buses are snug and clear with good on board providers.

Ticket costs are extremely low, however journey occasions could be lengthy relying on the space you need to cowl.

Native bus providers are a great way to discover rural areas the place different modes of transport are much less widespread.

Within the Metropolis

There are a large selection of transport choices for getting round Germany’s cities and cities.

Greater cities similar to Berlin profit from a quick U-Bahn or underground railway, and all cities have trams, overground trains, and bus providers — all of which run cost-effective and environment friendly.

Taxis are an alternative choice, however they’re considerably costlier and slower than different modes of public transport.

Cabs can’t often be hailed on the road and sometimes should be ordered prematurely.

Alternatively take a leaf out of the locals’ ebook and cycle — cities have good provisions for cyclists and when you want to journey additional afield there are actually hundreds of miles of scenic cycle lanes all through the nation.

Driving in Germany

Most Germans and expats would agree that driving a automotive within the cities in all probability isn’t value it as public transport is so good.

Nevertheless if you wish to journey across the nation beneath your personal steam, driving the German roads could be nice enjoyable.

The excessive velocity autobahns are impeccably maintained and toll free, with recurrently positioned luxurious service stations, however its value noting that some sections haven’t any official velocity restrict and could be a little hair elevating.

Nation roads are calmer however is usually a little trickier to navigate as street signage could be complicated, so it’s value taking a map or satnav.

Germans drive on the appropriate hand aspect of the street, however watch your velocity as cameras are widespread. There are many well-known worldwide automotive rent corporations based mostly in cities, city and airports do you have to want to rent a car, however you have to be 25 or older, and have a legitimate driving license and bank card.

cost of living in germany

Climate in Germany

Usually delicate, Germany has heat summers and delicate winters, however the climate is understood for sudden modifications.

The south west of the nation is warmest with good climate in spring, summer time and into autumn, plus a Mediterranean local weather.

Elsewhere although summer time temperatures are round 24 °C on common, and rainfall can occur at any occasions of the yr, and winter brings freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall in some areas.

Fog can also be widespread throughout autumn and winter.

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Value of Dwelling in Germany

Way of life

Way of life prices in Germany are largely just like that of the UK, with costs within the south of the nation being larger than these of the north.

The capital metropolis of Berlin is definitely inexpensive than another German cities and 24% cheaper than London, making it an reasonably priced vacation spot for expats.

Check out this video for some in-depth figures:

On common you must anticipate your outgoings to fall with the bracket of €800 and €1,000 a month, offered you’re dwelling comparatively modestly.

Commonplace groceries are low cost, though overseas meals command larger costs. A meal for 2 in a mid vary restaurant prices round €30 to €45. Beer and different alcohol could be very low cost.

Public transport prices are on a par with the remainder of Europe, however the worth for utilities similar to fuel, web and electrical energy are surprisingly comparatively excessive.


Rental lodging all through Germany is of a superb normal, and usually cheaper than the UK.

Germany’s costliest metropolis is Munich, the place a one bed room condo within the centre of the town prices round €1,100 per thirty days, whereas in Berlin you might anticipate to pay round €800 for the same house.

Suburban areas are a lot inexpensive, and there are some discount properties to be discovered in the event you don’t thoughts a commute.

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The standard of medical care and hospital amenities is extraordinarily excessive in Germany, however expats dwelling there are required by regulation to have medical insurance.

There are two varieties of medical insurance out there — state or personal. In case you are working for a German employer you’ll qualify for state medical insurance, which requires you to pay a month-to-month sum from you pay packet.

This sum depends on the sum of money you earn.

Nevertheless not the whole lot is roofed by this degree of medical insurance, and also you made have to pay individually for some remedies or providers or go for a prime up insurance coverage plan to cowl the extras.

In case you are not capable of profit from state medical insurance you will have to take out a personal healthcare plan, the prices for which will probably be dependent in your age, basic well being, and different elements.


In case you are dwelling in Germany together with your youngsters, it’s obligatory to enrol them in class, as house education is strictly unlawful.

The usual of schooling in German state faculties could be very excessive, however classes are taught in German which is usually a drawback for some expat households.

Instead there are various top quality personal worldwide faculties all through the nation which supply classes in English and comply with an identical curriculum to that again within the UK.

Charges range relying on every specific faculty, however anticipate to pay within the area of €12000 – 15000 per yr.

brits in berlin

Widespread Areas for Brits


As soon as torn aside by battle, Berlin has risen from the ashes to rework itself right into a brilliant, thrilling metropolis to rival a few of the greatest capitals on the earth.

Berlin’s gritty and poignant again story will attraction to historical past buffs, and the recent and energetic artwork and meals scenes plus unimaginable nightlife are sufficient to maintain anybody endlessly entertained, not matter what their tastes, age, or finances.

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Located proper on the core of the Bundesrepublik, Frankfurt is a compact metropolis with a wealthy tradition and full of allure.

A mix of medieval and trendy, wooden framed historic buildings rub shoulders with glittering skyscrapers and swanky eating places.

This can be a metropolis that adores the humanities, with theatres, galleries, museums, and extra, and whereas it might be rooted in historical past, it’s additionally vibrant, hip, and enjoyable.

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Rising up from the banks of the Rhine, Cologne was initially based approach again in Roman occasions, however has since advanced right into a spirited metropolis with a mixture of conventional ethos and modern delights.

The extraordinary Gothic cathedral on the coronary heart of the town is a should see, and there are many cafes, bars, and eating places the place expats can sit back and watch the world go by, and a budding arts scene to rival Berlin.


Should you love beer you’ll love Munich.

The Bavarian capital is residence to six world class breweries and the world well-known Oktoberfest. Savour these beers in an atmospheric conventional bierkeller or alternatively take pleasure in gourmand superb eating at one of many metropolis’s premier eating places.

Alternatively dive into the native arts scene bursting with spectacular museums and galleries or store until you drop on the glittering malls. That is an prosperous and endlessly fascinating metropolis which attracts the properly heeled however which holds attraction for all tastes.


Seedy and sensational in equal measure, this rich metropolis is the playground of millionaires, artists, and entrepreneurs alike.

Hamburg grew up round delivery and commerce routes, and as such is wealthy in structure, tradition, music, nightlife, eating places, and extra. It’s achingly cool, extremely multicultural, and a spot the place a very good time is assured.


A serious centre for the humanities, refined Dusseldorf boasts leading edge structure, artwork museums, road artwork, and a famend opera home.

This glitzy metropolis is Germany’s trend capital, the place individuals gown to impress and sip costly cocktails in stylish bars after a heavenly gastronomic expertise in excessive class eating places.

The Rhine winds majestically via its coronary heart, nourishing the various leafy parks and gardens inside which supply the right area to chill out.


Blessed with a few of Germany’s greatest climate and in an idyllic location, Heidelberg is unashamedly romantic.

Nestled in a river valley and surrounded by forests, mountains and vineyards, this charming and cultural metropolis has picturesque baroque structure, museums, cafés on quaint cobbled streets and a energetic scholar tradition. Heidelberg gives up an intriguing combine for all ages and tastes.

Jobs in Germany for British Expats

jobs in germany

When you’re on the lookout for menial work in Germany chances are you’ll be disenchanted, nevertheless as a talented skilled you might nicely be capable of discover profitable employment.

Competitors for jobs in Germany might be robust, and foreigners are solely eligible for a place if it can’t be crammed by a employee from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, so issues might get even more durable relying on the results of Brexit.

That stated, there’s a scarcity of expert staff in sure sectors together with the automotive business, electrical and mechanical engineers, commerce, healthcare, and IT.

The prospects for STEM graduates are additionally excellent. The power to talk German to an inexpensive degree is assured to spice up your probabilities of discovering employment in Germany, in addition to excessive degree of qualification and loads of expertise.

Nonetheless contemplating shifting to Germany? Tell us your experiences within the feedback!

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