How to Move to Berlin – What You Need to Know

If moving to Berlin Germany is something you’re interested in, this guide provides a detailed list of everything you need to know before moving to Berlin and what you need to do once you get there.

Berlin is truly a wonderful place to live, and many people move here each year from all around the world.

While moving to Berlin isn’t a simple process, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you follow our detailed guide, you’ll be living in your new city before you know it.

What Do I Need to Do Before Moving to Berlin?

Before moving to Berlin, you must complete a few critical tasks.

Save Enough Money

Before making a major move, it’s important to save enough money to buy the essentials (like a plane ticket) and have enough savings to live off of until you start making money in Germany.

Additionally, you may quit your job in your home country a week or more before the move. Having enough money is important, so the temporary lack of income doesn’t impact your plans. There are several other expenses you’ll need to consider as well.

●     Apartment Deposit and Rent: You will have to have enough money to pay your first month’s rent and some portion of the deposit. Deposits in Berlin can be quite expensive as well.

●     Living Expenses: When calculating how much money you should save before moving, you must have enough to pay for the necessities before and after your move—for example, food and furniture.

Find a Job

Before relocating to Berlin, you will ideally want to find a job there. However, it can be difficult to find work in Berlin, especially if you’re an expat. The best way to find work in Berlin is to have a work visa. This visa allows you to work at any company in Germany, and it’s relatively easy to obtain if you have a job offer from a German company. However, if you don’t have a work visa, you can still find work in Berlin as a freelancer. There are numerous freelancer platforms where you can find work, such as Upwork and Fiverr. You’ll need to apply for a freelance visa, which can be more difficult to obtain than a work visa. However, it’s still possible to find work in Berlin as an expat if you’re willing to put in the effort.

You’ll need a job offer to apply for a residence permit in the aim of becoming a resident of Berlin. With a job, it’s also much easier to have the resources to find an apartment. Most landlords won’t rent to someone who doesn’t have a set income that exceeds the rent.Find Housing

Finding an apartment or house is another task you’ll want to complete before moving to Berlin. With enough money saved, you’ll be able to estimate what kind of rent or mortgage payments you can afford per month or per week and search within a certain price bracket.

Finding an apartment in Berlin can be quite difficult, especially if you aren’t physically living there yet. Don’t be afraid to turn to a temporary option, like a shared furnished apartment, in order to make the transition easier. This will also give you more time to figure out exactly where you want to live and how much you want to pay. It will also mean you can look at the apartment or house before you commit to it. 

Get Health Insurance

Before moving to Germany, you’ll need to get health insurance. Health insurance is compulsory for everyone living in Germany, including expats. You’ll have different options depending on your age and what you want. If you’re an EU citizen, you can remain covered by your EHIC Card until you get a job and German health insurance.

There are two main types of health insurance in Germany: public and private. If you are employed, you will automatically be enrolled in a public health insurance plan. If you are self-employed or not working, you will need to take out a private health insurance policy. Health insurance in Germany is not expensive, and most plans will cover the costs of medical treatment, prescriptions, hospital stays, and more. To get started, simply contact a local health insurance provider and provide them with your personal information. Once you have been approved for coverage, you will be able to start using your health insurance immediately.

Get a Residence Permit

Getting a residence permit is something critical to consider before moving to Germany. You can’t work before you get your residence permit. You also need an address in Germany and health insurance before you qualify. There are several other considerations when it comes to residence permits, and there’s a chance you don’t qualify for one.

There are work visas, blue cards, working holiday visas, youth mobility visas, student visas, freelance visas, student visas, internship visas, job seeker visas, au pair visas, and family reunion visas. Only some of these allow you to work in Germany.

What to Do After Moving to Berlin?

After arriving in Berlin, there are still a few tasks you’ll need to complete to start your new life. Making sure these are done promptly will make your transition as smooth as possible.

Open a Bank Account

Opening a bank account in Germany is another important step. It is the easiest way to pay your rent. (If you have a back account anywhere in the European Union, it should also work). Most banks won’t let you open an account unless you have a registered address. Some of the many banks you’ll have to choose from in Berlin if you’re an ex-pat include:

●     Bunq

●     Commerzbank

●     Deutsche Bank

●     Monese

●     N26

●     Revolut

These banks are known to work well with new Berlin residents.

Get a Cellphone Contract

Finding a cellphone contract that works for you is also something you’ll want to do soon after moving to Germany. If you have moved from another EU country, this step will be much easier as you can keep your original phone and plan and continue making calls with fees. There are numerous companies to choose from, like Aldi Talk and Vodafone CallYa. They all offer different types of plans that range in cost.

Move In and Register Your Address

After you move to Germany, you’re going to want to move in a register your address right away. This step will include setting up the internet and electricity.

When you register your address, you’ll report your address at the Bürgeramt. You’ll get a registration certificate, tax ID, and registered address when you register your address. It’s at this address you’ll get official documents from the German government.

Permanent Residency and Citizenship in Germany

After you’ve lived in Germany for a few years, you might choose to apply for German citizenship rather than continue renewing your visa. With permanent residency, you can stay in the country even if you lose your job or your status changes (for example, if you were a student).

Final Thoughts on Moving to and Living in Berlin

While moving to Germany isn’t easy, it’s made far simpler by keeping track of a few critical steps. Before you move to Germany, you’ll need to:

●     Find a job

●     Get health insurance

●     Get a residence permit

●     Save enough money to pay for rent, etc.

Once in Germany, you’ll need to remember to get a cellphone plan, register your address, and set up your home with all its essentials, like electricity and furnishings. If all of these steps feel overwhelming, you can make your transition somewhat easier by choosing to stay in temporary housing after your initial move or find somewhere to live where you have a roommate and therefore have the home essentials as soon as you get there.

Also, remember that all of this may be easier if you’re able to make friends, especially with locals who are English speaking and who also speak German.