Relocating to Germany: What International Assignees Need to Know
Germany is a popular and frequent destination for international assignees. Last year the country ranked number six in Cartus clients’ top 10 destinations. Germany is now the focus of the latest video in our ongoing series providing practical hints and tips for companies and families relocating around the world.
Tips for Relocating to Germany
Topics covered in our Germany video include housing, schooling, transport, immigration, and language. Our key tips include:
- The proportion of people renting in Germany is among the highest in the world, with a heavily regulated rental market in favour of the tenant. Home finding is made harder by low vacancy rates in a highly competitive rental market.
- As the rental market is highly competitive, we recommend that assignees are flexible in their property search criteria, and once they do source accommodation that they like, they should act quickly to secure it.
- For assignees relocating with children, metropolitan cities offer a wide range of school options, but kindergarten places are not easy to find and parents are well-advised to explore child-minding options. Assignees should also bear in mind that after school care facilities are less common than in some countries and extra-curricular activities tend to be run by local community clubs rather than schools.
- Cities in Germany have well-connected public transport networks, and clearly signposted cycle paths.
- Foreign nationals are permitted to drive so long as they have a driver’s license from their home country, or a valid international driver’s license valid for at least 6 months. Depending on nationality they either just need to exchange their license to a German one or they may need to do theoretical, and sometimes practical, exams. Assignees need to bear that in mind. Standards of road safety are high, although unfamiliar drivers should check up on the meaning of the road signs, especially those that are only in German.
- Although English is commonly spoken across Germany, assignees will find that a certain degree of Survival German is necessary for the little things in everyday life. Learning the basics will definitely help to get the most from an international assignment.