Topics

What's up?        1

Relocation Guides        2

Apartment search        2

Visa service        3

Pricing for non-hires:        3

Information about VISA without a degree:        3

Salary & Livings costs        3

Address Registration        4

Bank account        4

Health insurance        5

Public health insurance        5

Getting your social security number        6

Getting your Tax Id number        6

Tips        7

What's up?

Hey buddy :)

So you kicked ass in your interviews and you have received an offer or still kicking it? Congratulations or good luck - we believe in you!

devBuddies got you in the door but the rest was yours, so well done :)

This document (always work-in-progress :)) is here to help you with the relocation process as a reference. We use it as a guideline for our personal relocation call with you. We know it’s a big step, but don’t worry about the details - We’ve got you covered! At devBuddies we want to make sure to guide you personally thru the whole process, thru each and every step and not end our journey with accepting your offer!

For us, it’s just getting started :) We do everything possible to make this a smooth transition for you. Once you are here we welcome you to our monthly community events to meet with like-minded people - our growing family of more than 50 people! - Beers are on us always!

Relocation Guides

Apartment search

Finding accommodation in Berlin can be a real pain in the a** :) But don’t worry we got you covered with great service!

A little bit of background: Berlin is a very competitive market due to several reasons. 1st everybody wants to live in Berlin. 2nd tenants benefit from very protective laws, which makes landlord extra careful of who they rent to. 3rd If you are new to Germany you don’t have any credit rating, proof of payslips and are most likely still in probation. That’s why you have to go for short/mid-term renting for the first 2-6 months. In that period you have enough time to find a long-term flat. Besides the challenge of finding a flat, it also has many benefits - Being new to the city will make it very hard for you to make the right and long-term choice of where you want to live. Berlin’s districts are so diverse and can differ from block to block. So going short/mid-term and maybe even changing flats 1-2 times helps you to experience the city much more before making the big decision - Iterative home search? Like a good product development process ey? ;)

We created a partnership with the platform wunderflats.com and are proud to offer you a personalized search according to your needs. Please follow this link, fill out the form, lean back and wait for recommended flats. The best part of using wunderflats over e.g. AirBnB is that you will have a real rent contract in order to register your residence with the authorities to receive your tax id, the setup of your bank account and finally receive your 1st salary.

Neighborhood guides:

Visa service

Thinking about the visa process can be scary - don’t worry buddy we got you covered!

We offer an excellent visa service where we guide you thru every little step of the process. All devBuddies who found a job thru one of our partner companies will be provided with a free visa service for you and your family members.

Pricing for non-hires:

Information about VISA without a degree:

What qualifies a candidate to apply without a university degree:

Salary & Livings costs

Address Registration

Either we as devBuddies or our Relocation Consultant will go with you to the registration office.

The address registration (aka Anmeldung) is one of the most important - and urgent - things that you must do after you arrive in Germany. Any person who moves into mid/long-term accommodation in Berlin (i.e. renting a room or a flat) is required by law to register with the Resident's Registration Office (Bürgeramt) within 2 weeks of the arrival date in Germany. Despite of that, Berlin's registration offices are extremely busy, so it's normally not a problem if you register a little late.

The document received immediately after your registration is really important, and without it, you won't be able to receive your salary, open a bank account, sign contracts or even apply for a Blue card/residence permit.

More information

Bank account

If you plan to work or live in Berlin, having a German bank account becomes mandatory. Without one you will not be able to receive your salary, rent an apartment or get a postpaid mobile phone. Fortunately, opening a bank account is usually simple and fast.

Below you will find the steps required to open a bank account in many different banks. Keep in mind that there are many other banks not included in the list below and that choosing a bank is a very personal matter, so that decision is at your discretion.

More information

We recommend N26: N26 is often recommended because you can open an account even before your Anmeldung. Opening a bank account here is usually fast and easy. You can sign up for an account here and then follow the website instructions to create your bank account. You will also need a smartphone, a passport, and a German address to activate your bank account. It offers 100% of its banking experience in English.

Health insurance

Germany has a reputation for having one of the best health care systems in the world. As an employee, it is mandatory to have German health insurance, being it public health insurance or private health insurance. Around 90% of the German population are members of the public health scheme. Applying for private health insurance is more complicated and the process is not yet covered by this guide.

This guide provides a brief summary of how to apply for public health insurance, but I also strongly recommend that you read the following websites for more information:

How to Germany - Health Insurance Toytown Germany - Health Insurance

Public health insurance

The costs for the public health insurance are ~15.5% of your salary, but approximately half of this value (7.3%) is paid by your employer.

Applying for public health insurance is relatively stress-free, as it can generally be done online and in English. Before you apply, you must first choose your health insurance provider (Krankenkassen), which are non-profit associations that administer the government health scheme. Some options are:

After you choose your health insurance provider, you can contact them to get more information on how to apply.

I ended up choosing TK, as they are one of the most famous Krankenkassen and offer good English support. If you want to apply for TK simply send an email to "service@tk.de" saying that you would like to apply. Spouses/civil partners and children can also be insured at no extra costs if they do not have an income of their own - so make sure you mention them on your email.

Shortly after you send your email you will receive a form that you will have to fill out and send back to them. If you are married or have kids and plan to apply for them as well, it might be required that you send your marriage certificate (or birth certificate for your children). If you have any questions while filling out the form, feel free to ask in the comments section or email them directly, as they usually reply within minutes. You will also be required to send a biometric photo to them (you can scan it and send by email when they ask for it), which will be printed on your health card.

You don't need to know all of this by heart. Your new Krankenkassen will always let you know if they need you to send a missing document.

Some days after your subscription you will receive a certificate (by email) and some weeks after your health insurance card.

Getting your social security number

Some weeks (2-4) after you apply for health insurance you should receive your social security number by mail. This number is called the Sozialversicherungsnummer, Versicherungsnummer, Rentenversicherungsnummer or RNVR.

If you need to have your social security number sooner than that (e.g your employer is requesting it), you can send an email (or call) your health insurance provider (e.g: TK) and ask for this number.

Getting your Tax Id number

The Tax Id (also known as Steueridentifikationsnummer, Identifikationsnummer or Steuer-ID) is an 11 digit number issued by the German Federal Tax Office that identifies you. This number is unique and will never change. If you want to work in Germany, you need to provide this number to your employer, otherwise, tax will be deducted from your income at the maximum rate (source).

There are two ways of obtaining your Tax Id:

Simply wait until you receive it by email. This number will be automatically generated and sent to you between 2 to 4 weeks after you've done your address registration.
If you can't wait for 2 to 4 weeks to get your Tax Id, you can go directly to the Finanzamt of your district (tip: use google to find the address) and ask for it. Take your passport with you. Differently from the Bürgeramt, usually there are no lines in the Finanzamt and you do not need to go early. Please note that you should wait at least one week after your address registration before you go to the Finanzamt, as this number takes some days to be generated.

If you have already completed the above steps before, but then lost the number, you can request it online: https://www.bzst.de/DE/Steuern_National/Steuerliche_Identifikationsnummer/ID_Eingabeformular/ID_Node.html.

Tips

Do not confuse the Steueridentifikationsnummer (Tax Id) with the Steuernummer. The latter is something totally different used by freelancers. This guide explains the difference.
If you decide to go to the Finanzamt, take this opportunity to find out your tax category. If you are married (and your spouse/civil partner) does not have an income, it might be a good idea to change the tax category for both of you, as this might increase your net income per month. Please refer to the website http://www.parmentier.de/steuer/steuer.htm?wagetax.htm to understand how your tax category affects your monthly income. You can click here to find out how to change your tax class.