It hardly matters what the reason is for your decision to move to Germany. Whether it is your long-held dream, a positive experience of your friend or family circumstances, the decision has been made and you begin to move towards your goal. It is not an easy path, nor a quick one, and it requires emotional and material expenditures. And in this situation, it is good to know what say those who have not just received the precious visa, but even have been living and working in Germany for some period of time.
Here is a look at moving and living in Germany after a year. It is based on real-life feedbacks and experiences of our clients. Those people who have been asking the anxious question – ‘What awaits me there?’
Vladimir Lagutinsky, the client of the Blue Card Agency, shared his successful experience and answered our questions.
How long does it take to prepare for a move?
On average, this period takes about a year and depends on many factors:
- Do you have a clear plan or are you moving at random?
- Whether you do everything on your own or use the professional services?
- Whether you know the language and the law to communicate with the German authorities (or see previous point)
How will the move affect my career?
Whatever your new job and employer, you need to be prepared for the fact that the move may put the brakes on your career development. You’ll have to get used to new rules, different language, approach to communication, and the alternation of working conditions and recreation.
Additional hobbies will be a plus. So you will find something to do in your free time and integrate more organically with your colleagues.
How comfortable the everyday life will be for the family?
In order to be allowed to work in a regulated specialty you must have your professional qualifications recognized. Such professions in Germany are, for example, nurses, doctors or teachers.
Unregulated professions (German: Nicht reglementierte Berufe)
You don’t have to worry about the quality of life in Germany. Food, environment, travel opportunities (beyond the quarantine situation) are of a very high standard.
There is no sharp social stratification here. The difference in living standards between high-income and low-income sections of the population is less noticeable than, for example, in Russia or Ukraine. This has a direct influence on general emotional background and the lack of domestic aggression.
It depends on the salary offered by your employer, the land and the city you are going to work in, the cost of rented accommodation, etc. It is unlikely that you will be able to increase your income by several times at once. The highest paid professions in Germany are doctors, engineers and programmers.
The reassessment of values and difference in mentality
It is not easy to get used to life in a different society and linguistic environment. You have to be prepared to leave your comfort zone completely. You will have to communicate with your boss and colleagues and deal with everyday issues in a language that is not your native one.
You will also have to learn to see logic in seemingly illogical things. In the eyes of a landlord, for example, you, with a job and a long working contract, may be less reliable than someone living on welfare. This is only because the state pays for unemployed persons and their actions are more predictable than yours.
The state is for people
It is unusual for many people that the state can be trusted and even support here. Not only does it collect taxes, but it also helps in crisis situations.
When during the quarantine some companies stopped providing jobs and consequently salaries to their employees, the state allocated money for salaries. Businesses were given the opportunity and time to recover, so that they could get people back to work later.
There is a similar situation in matters of welfare. You can teach your child in a public school even if you don’t get a huge salary. The cost of education is calculated on the basis of the total family income: the higher it is, the more you pay for education. And the lower the income, the more the state can pay.
Where should you start to prepare for your move?
Ideally, you should start with a list of tasks and a list of documents. In this way, you can see what you can handle yourself and assess which of these points it is particularly important to be careful about. For example, when applying for the Blue Card or when you are expected to actively communicate with the German authorities and your knowledge of German language and the law is not good enough. In these and other cases where the risk of making a mistake is too high, it is best to seek help from professionals.
How can the Blue Card Agency help?
There are many stressful situations that arise during the preparation for a move: due to lack of knowledge, long waiting times for an answer from the visa application center or from the authorities in Germany, lack of experience and other reasons. And even after the move, the stress level does not decrease. You have to get used to new living conditions, different mentality, language, rules, so you have to use all opportunities to reduce it. And it is worth contacting our agency according to this principle.
When people who have already come through the Blue Card Agency give us feedback, they only regret that they did not ask for our help earlier. They conclude that they could have saved a considerable amount of money and time. In addition, having Blue Card Agency as a ‘good German friend’ is a sensible idea. Especially when dealing with complex tasks, which can be very difficult to handle on your own.