Table of Contents
A Comprehensive Guide to Immigration to Germany. From visas to residency requirements, explore how to successfully make the move to Germany for work, study, or other purposes.
Germany has been considered as the fifth most favourable country to move to. This favorability is because of its well-performing economy, education system, and employment opportunities. Germany is one of the biggest economies in the world. But, for most, moving to Germany isn’t as easy as packing up and leaving.
Requirements For Moving To Germany
There are several reasons for moving to Germany. To be eligible to move to Germany, you must fulfil the following criteria:
Prove Financial Stability
Each immigration purpose has a financial threshold which applicants need to fulfil, but regardless of intent, applicants must prove that they can finance themselves in Germany. Even if you will be working in Germany, you must have the initial funds to cover your expenses until you get your salary.
Have Health Insurance
You will not be able to immigrate to Germany without proper health insurance coverage. The recommended way is to get German health insurance since you cannot be sure whether German authorities will accept foreign health insurance. Find more information about health insurance for Freelancers, Employees and Expatriates in Germany.
Have at Least Basic Proficiency in German
To be able to live in Germany, you will need to know German. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages has three levels of language proficiency, A, B and C. Each one has two parts. Language proficiency is divided into A1/A2 or basic, B1/B2 or proficient in the language, and C1/C2 or advanced language skills. To immigrate to Germany, you will need to enter the exams and pass them up to either A1 or B1. If you want to get a permanent residence, you will need a higher proficiency of C1 or C2 level.
Get A German Visa
Citizens of these countries are required to apply and get a visa before entering Germany. All other nationals do not need a visa to enter Germany. They may apply for a residence permit after entering Germany without a visa.
As one of the biggest economies in the world, Germany is a top destination for expats. But, the high tax rate, the bureaucracy, and the polite but reserved behavior of Germans may put some off.
|1. Germany is Covered in Greenery||1. Very Cold Winters|
|2. Among the Safest Countries in the World||2. No Air Conditioning|
|3. Exemplary Public Transport System||3. Germans are Not Very Friendly|
|4. Excellent Healthcare System||4. Language Barrier|
|5. Affordable Higher Education||5. Cycling Is Not Easy|
|6. Relatively Low Cost of Living||6. Unrealistic Government Taxes|
|7. Forced Quiet Times||7. Fatty Foods|
|8. Rules are Strictly Followed||8. Long Contracts|
Things To Know Before Moving To Germany
- You will have access to German public health insurance. 90% of the German population are enrolled under public (statutory) healthcare, which provides free medical treatment in public hospitals in Germany. The public health scheme is funded by monthly contributions, deducted from your income.
- You should decide which items to bring with you. Relocating to a whole new country is a chore on its own without the hassle relocating your personal things. Some expats prefer to sell most of their belongings, while others choose to keep them in storage and bring them over after settling in Germany. But, if you want to bring important things with you then use Sirelo’s three-step tool to find the most convenient companies who can get you settled safely, quickly, and have affordable prices.
- You should learn a little German. Even though you may find a job which you can do in English, you should learn German if you want to integrate better. Knowing the language will make everything easier for you, starting from documents for your residence permit application, to health insurance, to interacting with coworkers, neighbors, to stopping by a local market.
- There are “quiet times”, which are regulated by law. This means, after 10 PM and until 6 AM, you cannot disturb your neighbors by loud noises, be it music, a washing machine, vacuuming, or house repairs. On Sundays and public holidays, the quiet times last all day. Some apartment building may even have their own additional quiet hours, from 1 PM to 3 PM.
- Germans have insurance for everything. Health insurance is a given, but you’ll find a large portion of Germans also have liability insurance (for damages you may cause to someone else), legal insurance (if you are ever in a legal dispute), and even pet liability insurance – to just name a few.
- You have to learn to follow all the rules. Germans are known for being very fair and rule-abiding. So, respect the lines at stores, recycling rules, traffic rules, quiet times, and any and all signs – otherwise, you will get a stink eye and maybe be called out.
|German Language Courses|
|German Language A1 Course Online Coaching||German Language A2 Course|
|German Language B1 Course online Coaching||German Language B2 Course Online Coaching|
How To Move To Germany?
The most easiest way to move to Germany is as a skilled worker. You must be qualified in one of the in-demand professions, have a job offer from a German employer, and apply for a work visa. If you are a freelancer, you have to prove that there is a demand in Germany for your services before being granted a visa. Professions that are considered in demand in Germany, according to the German Federal Government are:
|Experts (with at least three years of university studies or equivalent qualification)||Qualified professionals (with at least two years of vocational training or another equivalent qualification)||Specialists (with a university degree or equivalent or a Meister or technician)|
|Software development||Cable installation and maintenance||Catering services|
|Technical computer science||Elderly care||Civil engineering|
|IT application consulting||Sanitary, air conditioning, and heating technology||Supervising drywall construction, insulation, carpentry, glazing, etc|
|Lawyers||Canal and tunnel construction||Driving instructors|
|Internal medicine||Well construction||–|
|Neurologists, psychiatrists, and physiotherapists||–||–|
Cost of Living in Germany
If you’re planning to study and live as an international student in Germany, it’s good to know and have accurate expectations about the cost of living in Germany. The cost of living in Germany is quite reasonable compared to other European countries. You will need around 934 euros a month to cover your living expenses in Germany. In general, the south of Germany is the most expensive area to live in Germany. Two of the largest cities in this part of the country, Munich and Stuttgart, are some of the most expensive cities to live in.
For Indian students, the cost of living in Germany is approximately 10,200-12,000 EUR per year. The cost of living is also determined by the university’s location. Cities like Berlin and Munich, for example, are slightly more expensive if we compare them with the rest of Germany. In addition to low living costs, most universities do not charge tuition fees as they are state-run. Students will, however, be required to pay enrollment and administration fees each semester.
Average Rent In Germany
Accommodation is the most expensive part of living in Germany for international students. As a student, your costs vary depending on the type of housing and region you choose to live in. Munich and Stuttgart are the most costly cities in Germany to live in. Living in Dortmund, on the other hand, can be quite affordable.
In Germany, the average monthly cost of rented accommodation is:
|German City||Average Rent In Germany|
|Frankfurt||€860 – €870|
|Hamburg||€800 – €868|
Besides housing rent, there will be a need to cover monthly bills for heating, electricity, water, and garbage. In Germany, a person will have to pay 29.42 cents for a kilowatt-hour (CT/kWh). If living with roommates, of course, there will be sharing of these expenses. In some cases, these bills are included in the rent, so there is no need to pay any extras for these utilities.
Study Cost and University Tuition Fee In Germany
Germany strongly believes that education should not be commercialized, which is why studying at public universities in Germany is free. The German government aspires to provide equitable educational opportunities for all citizens while also ensuring the country’s commercial and economic progress by providing free basic and higher education. Even for overseas students, academic programs are tuition-free, which has contributed significantly to the country’s attractiveness as a study destination. Apart from that, the immigration procedures for international students are relatively straightforward. The average cost of public university programs ranges from ₹12,000 (€147) to ₹130,000 (€1,597) a year.
The average tuition fees for public universities in Germany:
|University||Average Tuition Fee|
|Ludwig Maximilian University||€244/year|
|Technical University of Munich||€144/year|
|University of Heidelberg||€364/year|
|Humboldt University Berlin||€620/year|
|Karlsruhe Institute of Technology||€1500/year|
|Technical University of Berlin||€308/year|
|Free University of Berlin||€354/year|
|RWTH Aachen University||No Tuition Fees for International Students|
Private universities levy tuition fees on both domestic and international students. The average cost of private university programs ranges from ₹1,21,000 (€1,486.99) to ₹28,30,000 (€34,778).
The average tuition fees for Private universities in Germany:
|University||Average Tuition Fee|
|Bard College Berlin||€28,700|
|CODE University of Applied Sciences||€9800|
|Munich Business School||€24,000|
|GISMA Business School||€20,000|
|Friedensau Adventist University||€3,500|
|Hertie School of Governance||€32,500|
|SRH Hochschule Berlin||€10,000|
|University of Applied Sciences Europe||€1,400|
|WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management||€15,000|
Traveling across Germany and within Germany’s cities is relatively convenient because the country’s public transportation systems are well-planned and well-connected with trains and buses. As a result, transportation costs have little impact on the cost of living in Germany.
|Mode of Transportation||Cost|
Affordable Cities To Live In Germany
The below table shows the 10 most affordable cities along with their estimated living costs in Germany for Indian students:
|City||Estimated Cost of Living (Monthly in Euros)|
Cost of Living In Germany vs India
Reports suggest that living in Germany is over 200% costlier than living in India, on average. The cost is influenced by various factors like food, transport, rent, cost of amenities, etc. The following table of comparison of some of the basic aspects will shed some light on the cost of living in Germany for Indian students:
|Cost of living (One person)||861 EUR||365 EUR|
|Rent (One bedroom apartment)||650 EUR||140 EUR|
|Food Expenses||350 EUR||145 EUR|
|Transport Expenses||107 EUR||40 EUR|
|Internet connection||34 EUR||9.5 EUR|
|Basic utilities (garbage, water, electricity)||123 EUR||24 EUR|
Cost And Types Of Health Insurance In Germany For International Students
students aged under 30 years and who are admitted to a degree course in a recognized German institution can go for special student discounts for public health insurance. Students aged under 23 years can pay 105.05 EUR and those aged over 23 years can pay 106.93 as a part of their monthly living expenses in Germany. It covers both public healthcare and nursing care.
International students aged over 30 years can go for either public or private health insurance. It is possible to find private plans costing below the public healthcare premiums. It can cost as low as 40 EUR monthly along with a few variable costs.
Monthly public health insurance premiums for students aged below 30 years:
- KKH – Kaufmännische Krankenkasse 111.75 EUR
- Barmer 108.77 EUR
- AOK Baden Württemberg 107.29 EUR
- DAK Gesundheit 111.75 EUR
- TK – Techniker Krankenkasse 105.80 (103.94 for students aged 22 or below)
Students aged over 30 years, studying in postgraduate or non-graduate programs, and are without a job can opt for private health insurance like EDUCARE24. The premiums start at around 33 EUR and go up to 130 EUR monthly.
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FAQ’s About How To Move To Germany
Q: What is the cost of living in Germany for a family?
Ans: The cost of living in Germany for a family will hover between EUR 2497-2747 every month.
Q: Is Germany cheap for Students?
Ans: Germany is undoubtedly one of the most affordable countries for students. The cost of Studying in Germany is much lower as compared to the cost of studying in the United States or the United Kingdom
Q: Is education free in Germany?
Ans: The cost of education in Germany is significantly lower than most other study abroad destinations. Almost all public universities/colleges offer free education. However, private universities are quite costly.
Q: What are average food costs in Germany?
Ans: Average food costs may be EUR 40-50 per week for staples and EUR 30-40 for a meal at a standard German restaurant.
Q: How much does it cost to study in Germany?
Ans: There are no tuition fees for public universities in Germany apart from some minor administrative charges, etc. However, fees for private institutions can go upwards of 30,000 EUR /year depending on courses.
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