Linden Education is a provider of educational services and therapeutic support for international students. Based in Berlin, Linden serves students around the world and counts private schools, associations, and diplomatic or military families among its clients.
Linden needed to urgently relocate a new hire from the US to Germany, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic when borders were technically closed for American travelers.
We provided end-to-end relocation assistance and visa support including help with finding temporary accommodation in Berlin, registering with the authorities, spouse support and settling in.
An Impossible Hire
When Dr. Christina Limbird from Linden Education first contacted us to ask how to handle an international hire during the COVID-19 pandemic, we said “Forget about it. With the ongoing pandemic and the embassies being closed, it would be very difficult to bring someone here from the United States.”
But they wouldn’t take no for an answer — they had found the perfect candidate and were determined to bring her to Berlin on time to replace their colleague going on maternity leave: “We needed Claire to be here at a very specific time: Our colleague was having a baby, so there was no stretching of the start date.”
It was clear that this was a special case and it required all our attention, dedication and professional know-how. Trying to hire a foreigner in Germany is no simple feat. But we were going to do anything in our power to bring Claire, her husband and the two cats safely and timely to Berlin.
And so we did.
We cannot sing the praises of Tia and her team enough. The process has been fantastic.
All the Right Information
Despite the nearly impossible conditions for this relocation, our team got to work. First by advising Linden on the salary range required for the work permit. Then with hands-on support throughout the entire application process: “Expath put all their power behind it and were able to get it done. They made the right appointments, got the right paperwork, and told us exactly what to write in the documentation to support them. That was a great relief already because we knew that Claire was going with the right documents. She didn’t have to come back several times because something was missing.” says Christina.
Claire and her husband were offered one of our relocation packages consisting of twelve hours of coaching which they divided up, using some hours before departure and some after their arrival. To start out, one of our relocation coaches helped the couple find an apartment in Berlin for the first five months, so they didn’t have to stay in a hotel upon arrival.
Along the entire process we made sure there was as little work as possible to sort out the administrative aspects of the move. "Doing all this research would have taken us hours,” says Christina “Not to mention that there were some questions that we wouldn’t have been able to answer ourselves: How do you travel with cats? How do you find an appartment in Berlin?”
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Settling into a New Life
A relocation doesn’t end with the flight, of course. After their arrival in Berlin, our coach helped the couple register with the authorities, open up a bank account, sort out health insurance and all the little details of settling into a new life in Berlin. “They even had their SIM cards ready when they arrived” exclaims Christina. “For a person who doesn’t know Germany, all of it would take ages, but we needed Claire to hit the ground running.”
We made sure Claire could start her job as soon as she had gotten over the jet-lag. “Claire now comes in every day ready to work.” She doesn’t need to worry about the administrative hurdles that usually come with starting a job abroad.
Further on, we have been supporting Claire with extending her visa and her husband with finding a job and applying for a work permit and a visa as well. We’ve also advised Linden Education on how to enroll into the Business Immigration Service to speed up the registration process for their future international hires.
Right after this successful move, Linden decided to do a second international hiring including again our relocation package into the offer. “It was an incredibly good investment”, says Christina. “Because Expath ensured that both our new staff member and ourselves had peace of mind throughout the entire process.”