U.S. to Germany Relocation Guide – Factors To Consider

Updated on
April 13, 2023

Relocating from one place to another is a challenge to most people, even those moving within their own country. The moving process is stressful; one has to adjust to a new environment, new cultures, different meals, and new regulations. The packing, scheduling, and expenses are other factors that make it more stressing; however, it can also be an exciting experience if one manages the stress. Some people are lucky enough to use the services of relocating agents.

Still, the following Germany relocation guide indicates factors that you should consider when moving to Germany from the U.S.

Understand the Cultural Differences Between America and Germany

Get a good understanding of the people in Germany, their culture, language, and the new environs. The Germans are more direct and conservative; they prefer more comprehensive talks while the people in the U.S. are louder, more friendly, and open. As a work culture, punctuality is the thing in Germany, whether it is a social or business event. Adherence to punctuality depicts the German's attitude to rules.

Do some research on the place you intend to live in, find out whether the area has suitable learning facilities for your children. Learn some basic polite words in German; though some inhabitants there use English, you need to learn the language to enjoy communication with everyone.

Gain Legal Entry to the Country

You have to acquire passports, visas, and work permits, but first obtain a standard resident license, which is more accessible, especially if you have already secured a job in Germany. You are allowed to stay in the country for a minimum of 90 days, which is plenty of time to enable you to visit the immigration office for visa application. You need to provide a filled-in application form, a valid passport, and official confirmation that you have registered your address with the authorities, bank statement, and job confirmation notes, among other documents. Once you get your Visa, you should renew it every year until the fifth year, where you can apply for a permanent residence visa.

To get a work visa, you need to schedule an appointment at your respective consulate online and allow adequate time for the application processing, which takes up to three months. Note that a residence permit does not grant you the right to work in Germany automatically.

Understand the Various Housing Options Available

When looking for accommodation in Germany, consider whether you would like to buy or rent a house. You also need to decide whether you need to sell or rent out your previous home in the U.S. before relocating. In Germany, renting is familiar to most people, both locals and new immigrants; however, the rent varies from place to place, with cities like Berlin and Munich having higher prices. You can look online for favorite houses and apartments, or you can acquire a home through the real estate agents, who are a bit expensive.

The rental contracts don't include utility costs, but the suppliers are readily available. The house is not always sold with the land, you can buy a home but still lease the earth, and you need to pay a property acquisition tax within the year of purchase. If you are keen on moving to areas with a high population of Americans, Bavaria is your ideal destination. There is also a large number of Americans living in North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, and Rhineland-Palatine areas. In these places, the American culture is primarily adopted; most restaurants' menus are both in English and German, and employees in the shops are bilingual.

Decide Whether you Need to ship your Household Goods and car

There is a wide range of transport options and international relocating companies that can help in moving your belongings to Germany. You need to do considerable research and planning to get experienced and professional oversea shippers who will ensure that your goods arrive safely in your new locality.

Find out about Germany's regulations on importing household goods and meet the required criteria. Show documents indicating that you have given up your previous residential home, and also a work statement indicating that you have been transferred to Germany, to prevent paying heavy duty. You can bring your vehicle to Germany without paying the tax, but you must have owned it and personally used it for a minimum of six months, and you must have resided out of Germany for the last one year. If you receive the exception, then you should not sell your car within the first three years in the country.

Get a Germany bank Account, and Forward your mails, Utilities, and Subscriptions

The two types of banking systems in Germany are saving banks and cooperatives. The Germany relocation guide advice you to choose your favorite bank depending on personal preferences interest rates, fees, and special offers. While opening a bank account, you only need a valid I.D. and proof of your address registration. There are numerous ATM services around the country, and you can only use some if you have an account with that particular bank. Also, register your new address at the local citizen's office, within two weeks of moving, you can do it in person, online or through the phone.

Select new utility companies for your new home and provide at least a three-month notice to avoid inconveniences. Forward your mails to your new address, and the redirection service from the Deutsche Post will automatically redirect your letters to the new address.


Following the Germany relocation guide, the country is an ideal moving destination for most people, especially after the ban of discrimination of all kinds. It is also known for a stable political and economic situation, with a rich culture. One can benefit from universal health care, get higher wages as you work for fewer hours, and explore various landscapes in the country.

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