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9 min read
Emigrating - how to successfully take the step to your new life abroad
Fri Sep 22 2023
Many people dream of emigrating. They want to break out of their everyday lives and get to know a new culture. Mostly, the destination is a country they already know from travelling and which seems particularly interesting and worth living in. A pleasant climate, a city with a rich cultural offer or the southern attitude to life can be reasons for this. Although many people dream of living in another country, only very few actually take this step. There are very real reasons for this - for example, it is not always easy to find a new job abroad. However, many people also fear the bureaucratic effort involved. However, this is usually not as big a problem as it seems at first glance. Here we present what you need to consider in various countries.
Deregistering with the authorities at your previous place of residence
The first step begins at home. Here you have to deregister at the Residents' Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt). You can already do this before you settle in your new destination. You do not have to give a specific address as your new place of residence, but only the country where you want to settle. Keep the deregistration confirmation in a safe place! If you later want to apply for a passport at the consulate in your new place of residence, you usually have to present it.
Apply for a residence and work permit in the country of destination
When you settle in a new country, you will probably want to live and work there permanently. You will need a permit to do so. At least within the EU, this should not be a big problem. But even here, you usually have to go through some formalities. Here we show you how to proceed in the most popular emigration countries.
This article is not only aimed at people who want to emigrate from Germany, but also at foreigners who want to settle in Germany. For EU citizens, this is extremely easy. In this case, you don't need a special residence permit or a work permit. You simply have to register with your passport or identity card at the relevant registration office - just as German citizens have to do after moving house. When taking up employment, it is also sufficient to present the relevant documents to the employer. If, on the other hand, you do not come from an EU country, you must apply for a residence and work permit at the aliens' registration office. You have to give an important reason for this - for example, taking up a job. However, there are many other possibilities. In order to find out the relevant details, it is advisable to visit a German consulate in your home country. In any case, it is necessary to apply for a work visa at the consulate before entering Germany.
Great Britain
Great Britain represents one of the most popular destinations for emigration. Until you left the EU, it was easy to settle there. If you already live in the UK and have a work permit there, this will usually remain in place. However, if this is not the case, you must apply for a residence and work permit. The government has introduced a points system to favour more highly qualified applicants. For example, you receive points for your educational qualifications and for your English skills. The salary level of your job offer also plays an important role.
Settling in France is particularly easy. As an EU citizen, you only need your identity card or passport. There is no obligation to register. However, you can voluntarily apply for a residence permit, which is usually issued without any problems. This is useful for opening a bank account, for example, but is not compulsory. If you emigrate to France, however, you must bear in mind that you will have to provide proof of income. It is possible to look for a job for up to six months without this. If this time has elapsed and you cannot provide proof of income by then, it is possible that you will have to leave the country again.
Emigrating to Spain is also not a big problem for EU citizens. The first step is always to apply for an identification number for foreigners at the Foreigners Department of the National Police. This is known by the abbreviation NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) and will play an important role in your future life in Spain. You will need it, for example, to take up a job, to open a bank account or to build a house. It also serves as a tax number. To get this identification number, you must either present a valid employment contract in Spain or prove that you are self-employed to support yourself. Once you've received it, you'll need to register at the local town hall.
As an EU citizen, you can also settle in Italy without any problems. However, you are obliged to register. You must register here no later than 20 days after you move. You will need an identity card or passport and a tax number. An employment contract is also required. Some municipalities also require a tenancy agreement.
Emigration to the Netherlands is very straightforward. For stays of up to four months, no registration is required. If you want to stay longer, you have to apply for a citizens' service number at the town hall. You can then use this number for all further dealings with the authorities and also for your tax declaration.
Switzerland is the most popular emigration country for Germans. Although it is not a member of the EU, as an EU citizen you have unrestricted freedom of movement. This means that you can stay here for up to six months without any problems. After this period is over, you must submit an employment contract. You will then receive a residence and work permit for a period of five years. This can be converted into an unlimited permit after this period if you continue to work in Switzerland until then.
Austria is the second most popular destination for German emigrants. You can stay here for up to three months without restrictions. After that, you are subject to compulsory registration. In order to register, you need not only the necessary documents such as an identity card and birth certificate, but also proof that you can support yourself. This can be done, for example, by means of a valid employment contract or an appropriate capital reserve.
Other countries
There are many other countries that are popular with emigrants. If your destination is a country in the European Union, leaving the country is usually not a big problem. You only need to be able to prove that you can support yourself. Outside the EU, however, this is often more difficult. In most cases, you have to fulfil a few more conditions. In any case, you should find out about the requirements early on. It is best to make an appointment at the consulate of the respective country. Here you will receive precise and reliable information.
Emigration: Good planning is important
Good planning is very important to make your emigration a success. Inform yourself not only about the legal requirements. A longer trip to the destination country is also highly recommended before you make your decision. This way you can see whether you can cope with the culture and language. You can also find out about opportunities in the local labour market. Before you emigrate, it is not only important that you have all the permits. It is also advisable to look for accommodation for a longer stay on the internet before you leave.
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