Expats explain reason ‘everything is difficult’ in Germany

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According to the German Federal Statistics Office, there are around 168,000 British citizens living in Germany. The HSBC Expat Explorer survey asked expats around the world for their opinion on life in Germany.

An expat said: “Check out everything thoroughly in advance. Everything here is difficult for an expat, especially health insurance and the ability to get a job without a German university degree.”

In some countries, expats might face a struggle to register for healthcare and other essential services.

It’s a good idea to research in advance or even use a lawyer to help with the essentials for the move.

Expats may need to have a firm job offer or residence permit to qualify for some services when they move.

Another expat said: “Learn the language! Germans speak English, but you will never feel truly at home unless you make the effort to learn German.”

Before relocating to Germany, it’s a good idea for expats to get to grips with the language as this will help them settle in.

In Germany’s major cities such as Berlin and Frankfurt, English is widely spoken, but this is not always the case in villages.

Expats may also struggle to find work if they don’t have a grasp on German as some industries will require people to speak the language.

One expat said: “You need to know that the German tax system is complicated. Taxation is on global income.”

The tax system can be tricky to navigate in Germany so it’s a good idea to ask an accountant or solicitor for help.

If expats are moving to Germany for work, their company should deal with the tax system for them.

Digital nomads will need to check they are complying with the rules before moving to Germany.

However, despite the difficulties, there were still lots of positives to expat life in Germany.

One expat said: “Visit the major cities like Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg. Go wandering in the Bavarian Alps, travel along the rivers Rhine and Mosel and visit the Black Forest.”

Germany has some stunning tourist destinations which expats will be in prime position to visit.

They could take a river cruise to visit some of the country’s most beautiful cities, such as Heidlberg.

Many expats choose to live in the German capital, Berlin, which is known for its lively nightlife scene.

Frankfurt is Germany’s financial centre and a popular choice for expats working in that industry.

Munich is home to Oktoberfest and has a pretty Old Town, perfect for expats who are fans of a classic beer hall.

Although Hamburg doesn’t have the best weather, the city has many top attractions including its canal system.

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