Arjun was moving to Germany from outside the EU and required full immigration support from our Global Mobility team. This service, as well as the extended support we were able to offer him upon arrival in Germany, were part of a benefits package paid for him by his company.
First Steps: Getting a Visa
After Arjun received his offer of employment from a German company, Expath helped him fill out the visa application and prepare for his appointment in his home country. While an initial appointment at home is not required for every client, it was part of the requirements for Arjun’s country, and Expath ensured it went smoothly — even from afar.
Once clients arrive in Germany, they will have to convert their visa into a work/residence permit within three to six months. What is the difference between a visa and a work permit? Margarete, an Expath Relocation Coach, nicely explains it in this video:
A Smooth Arrival to Germany
Fast forward seven months later, Arjun arrived in Germany with a temporary work visa. He now had to start all the procedures for registering with the authorities so he can later change his visa into a longer-term work permit and finally settle in Berlin. Luckily, Arjun had one of Expath’s coaches helping him out throughout the entire process:
Arrival in Germany can sometimes feel overwhelming. There are many little steps to take care of as soon as possible.
One of the most important steps is finding a flat to do the Anmeldung. Depending on the city they are moving to and how competitive the market is, many expats are forced to find temporary accommodation first, and then look for something long-term. However, what's most important is that they look for a place suitable for the Anmeldung. This is the paperwork everyone must do to register their address in Germany. With this paperwork, they can then open a bank account, apply for health insurance, and more.
Margarete explains what the Anmeldung is and why it is so important in Germany:
If you were offered a relocation package from your company when moving to Germany, our coaches will guide you through the entire process so you won’t be bogged down with German forms upon arrival. We’ll make sure the process starts early so there is plenty of time to sort out these first steps.
Relocating to Germany Without Company Support?
What Kind of Residence Permits Are Available?
Once Arjun arrived in Germany and all his documents were in order, he could apply for a longer term residence permit. There are many different kinds of work permits offered, but it is up to the city’s immigration authority to decide what type of permit each applicant will be given. There is nothing the applicant can do to influence that decision — however, if they meet all the requirements, they will certainly be offered a permit.
One type of permit is called a “Blue Card”, which is what Arjun received during this process. Margarete shares what the Blue Card is below:
Finalizing Your Residence Permit
The final steps to secure your permit can take a little time, but you're in the home stretch. Arjun shares about the last few forms that led to finalizing his residence permit in Germany:
Thankfully, most of our clients say that this step is the easiest because all the tedious work is finished. With our coaches' help, getting a visa, finding a flat, doing all the registration work, and setting up essentials such as health insurance, bank account and phone number, doesn’t seem as difficult compared to doing all this by yourself. (Particularly if you don’t speak the language, as is usually the case when you first move abroad.)
Don’t Speak German Yet? Join One of Our Beginners Courses.
As an international hire, Arjun was lucky to be offered a benefits package by the company that hired him. But even for internationals relocating to Germany on their own, this process doesn’t have to be painful. We offer specialist relocation help with coaches that can guide you through all you need to do in your first weeks in Germany.