So you want to move to Germany?

So you want to move to Germany?

Comments98 comments

A foreigner wanting to visit Germany faces some daunting rules and regulations. One American, Georg Behrendt, details his experiences in a new series.

I, too, wanted to live in Germany, return to the land of my ancestors and also contribute to the German society. The first thing I faced was a lack of readily available information - or conflicting information - on how to do so, what documents I needed, what forms to get from the German government.

At this point, many might be ready to give up. Don’t. There is hope.

My efforts started about three years ago with a call to the German Consulate in Miami. I tried more then a dozen times to contact the consulate and kept running into recordings that sent me to other recordings that sent me to phone numbers that were not in service. This made me even more determined to accomplish what was alleged a simple process. My assessment of that consulate, at this point, was that no one is really is there other then the telephone repairman.

Three months and many attempted calls later - over 30, in fact - I did reach a knowledgeable official. The answer to all my questions to my surprise and delight were very simple - yeah, right.

I was told that for one reason or another, Americans have, shall we say, special dispensation to enter, live and work in Germany. The process is simple and fairly quick, she said. Well, this was not exactly right.

Armed with my answers, I went to Germany and to the local immigration office. I showed them my passport, health insurance and told them of my desire to live in Germany and participate in the daily life.

I was told that I could not be in Germany more than three months. I told them what the Miami consulate told me. The young lady in the office responded that the consulate had misinformed me and that they really did not know anything about the process.

I thanked her and returned home in total wonderment that a consulate could be so incorrect.

Once home, I tried to call the German Embassy in Washington. Again I faced a wall of taped recordings. So I tried Miami again - to no avail.

I tried to contact a human for over two months with absolutely no success. As far as I know, the German Consulate and the German Embassy do not exist.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. Stay tuned.

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98 Comments To This Article

  • Josephine posted:

    on 31st October 2016, 20:17:50 - Reply

    I moved to Berlin and am having the best time. I moved with the help of a company called NomadenBerlin which provided me with accommodation, German Language school, visa support, job placement support, and assistance with setting up here. It made the move much easier so I could focus on finding a job and enjoying the city. Germany can be a minefield of bureaucracy without support.
  • Carlos posted:

    on 23rd May 2016, 15:06:19 - Reply


    I saw your letter at the website. I guess you should look for a person with the same matter as you have. I'm a brazillian, but with German nationality and in the consulates, (not only Germany consulates) but all of them, aren't focused in personal issues. Try blogs, or another media ways to find the right answer to your questions. I guess if you search for jobs in american companies in Germany, maybe it could be a better way to live in Germany.
  • Merritt posted:

    on 16th November 2015, 21:27:48 - Reply

    I want to thank everyone for their comments and different experiences with assimilating to German Culture. I am learning German as fast as I can too finally move to Germany and live. I can only attest to the nuances and different experiences that exist right here in the US make Germany look quite appealing.

  • Jonathan Schmidt posted:

    on 28th June 2014, 16:28:52 - Reply

    *plan on joining the us military
  • Jonathan Schmidt posted:

    on 28th June 2014, 16:27:44 - Reply

    As for me i am of German decent but was born in Texas to a dad who was half German and native american my mom was of full German decent i play on joining the us military get stationed in Germany and when my time is up to sign back up again i wont and will get a german citizenship stay in germany but since most of you have the experience and i'm seeing a lot of diff rent arguments, i have features of a German with dark brown/black hair/ with brown eyes but have a slight red tint do to my native american heritage how do you think other Germans would react. email me at

    on 18th June 2014, 11:22:43 - Reply

    I;ve read these postings going way back for several years. An early post ended with "stay tuned . . . light at end of tunnel" - well after reviewing all these postings, I am as frustrated as I was before reading anything. Never learned what EVENTUALLY happened (if anything) regarding the Miami Consulate problem.

    Ever since 3 October 1990, i've been in Germany frequently.Much of my activity was in hiking and biking throughout Europe. Mainly Germany. My son and family are now Swiss citizens. I keep a small apartment in Freiburg year around - but am seldom there. Didn't want to simply "move in" with him. Grandpa c omes and goes - but is NOT always there.

    My goal is to overcome the 90 day limit for each European trip.

    I am looking for SUCCESS Stories on getting a residence permit from one or more retired persons who can get needed health insurance, are financially OK, and have a proven place to live and are NOT seeking employment. (I am retired).
  • Pescha posted:

    on 11th June 2014, 19:21:38 - Reply

    What a load of US centric, monoglot, mono cultural neo cons on this. Germany is a country with a strong culture and a strong sense of community. It has customs, norms and mores that are working effectively for the population. If you require US culture perhaps the best place to find it is in the US. If you want to broaden your mind and experience try a foreign country, where things are different. If you want people to behave as you are used to, perhaps the best place to be is in your own place. It takes effort to integrate!

  • Azam M Khan posted:

    on 30th May 2014, 13:29:45 - Reply

    Good Morning Gentlemen,
    I need to move to Germany.
    To initiate a small 100% export-oriented outfit.
    Any help from any quarter of experts??
    Thnaks and Best Regards,
  • John posted:

    on 13th February 2014, 11:46:24 - Reply

    I live in America I love the country but hate my government all they do is feed us lies. The food is scary! I want to live in a place where I don't have to worry about my son gettin forced in to this nightmare called the American way. An how anybody can bring up nazi Germany is the same reason I wanna leave the STUPIDITY! The racism, greed, jealousy my son deserves better.
  • Globetrotter posted:

    on 13th December 2013, 21:31:38 - Reply

    I am an Indian and have lived in the US, UK, france and spent a lot of time visiting Germany, I plan to move to Berlin very soon. As an Indian I have faced little or no discrimination in continental Europe but in the US and UK - i faced severe racism at all levels from police harassment, airport officers and socially too while dating or even trying to make friends. Ive had so many British and Americans abuse and insult me on my face so much that I avoid them completely now....and ive met so many Germans and French and Dutch and even Swiss and none of them were racist to me at all. Fact is all these so called multi cultural societies allow immigrants to form and live in their own ghettos, but dont really have any integration between the whites and non whites....and whites in countries like USA and UK still feel they are something special simply because these countries have so many immigrants and whites feel a sense of superiority over the immigrants...yes one good thing is that in USA and UK the darker migrants can achieve success more easily but they all suffer extreme humiliation along the way...most of them chose to keep quiet though because the money is more important for them and the alternative of going back to a poor life in a 3rd world country is worse than the racist humiliation they suffer each day. In this respect Germans may ignore immigrants but they dont insult you either. It might not be easy for a foreigner to be successful in germany but its easier to live in peace and be left alone at least. I personally never met a German who wasnt sweet to me, but have met plenty of British and Americans who were nothing but A....holes. I dont visit the US or UK anymore at all...and the past 4 years ive travelled extensively all over Continental Europe...never had a problem anywhere. [Edited by moderator]
  • shanni posted:

    on 22nd October 2013, 01:39:03 - Reply
  • Fariba posted:

    on 15th October 2013, 22:41:16 - Reply

    I am iranian with american citizenship, I lived in USA six years and then I moved to Germany. As a foreigner I experienced more racial discrimination in USA beginning from airport.Every time I enter any airport in USA I feel very bad because I am expecting a rude reaction from the officer. I traveled many places in Asia and many countries in Europe, I never had a bad experienced even with my Iranian pass. The only place they treated me like a trash and a criminal is USA AIRPORTS!!!! I do not know why they gave me USA pass if I am a trash??? They do not even have a reason for that, in whole of my life I even did not get a driving ticket.Now because of my husband's job we have to go back to US but I do not want to go.
  • lizby posted:

    on 11th September 2013, 01:49:47 - Reply

    It sounds like all these comments have truth to them, so it's really a matter of weighing them up and deciding whether to take a chance and move to Germany or not. I know Germans and have dealt with many, including when I live in the Italian part of Switzerland, and in Portugal. They are generally considered to be efficient, cold and controlling. Of course, this does not mean that all Germans you encounter are going to be rude and arrogant, but, despite what many people say, sad as it sounds, it is common. Many do believe they are superior, especially to Southern European countries. It seems they have conveniently forgotten just how much they owe some of these nations, after the destruction of WWII. It's interesting how these things are conveniently forgotten or brushed aside in this day and age. If you move to Germany, be aware that you may just encounter experiences similar to the above comments, the good and the bad, hopefully more of the good, but don't be ignorant and expect that Germany is wonderful and perfect etc. [Edited by moderator]
  • Mitchell posted:

    on 9th September 2013, 23:22:13 - Reply

    Im Caribbean African, first went to Germany in 1993 to study. Back in 2001 and lastly in 2006 to vist. I spent a total of 2 years in Germany counting my studies and visits. In 2001 I was chased by skinheads, but managed to evade them. I've been called a Nigger on the streets of Frankfurt. Dusseldorf, Dortmund, Hagen, Frankfurt and places in between is where I spent the most of my time. Never in a million years will i regret being in Germany. My aim is to work another 2-4 years in America then settle in Munich. The part of the caribbean im from we tend to sound like the British or so ive been told, not sure if that feeds into the situations I encountered. Mostly the people were great, very welcoming and kind. The few bad incidents I had were far less than the numerous incidents that I have faced on the streets of America. 17 years in California, 4 years in Washington state, 2 years in Texas and coming up on two years in South Florida, on a whole America is far more difficult to live in. I feel America is the BEST WORST country in the world and for me Germany is the next BEST WORST I have my ROSETTA STONE..I'm fluent in English, Spanish and French, but i would never move to Spain or France..Germany or bust..
  • Hans posted:

    on 28th August 2013, 21:31:11 - Reply

    I have also a terrible experiance or very negative experiance with Germn embassy.
    I do not where to complain about such a tretment on german embassy.
    They were rude , disrspectfull, mistreat me. I need to contact some many times to get one simple infromation. And is so difficult to comunicate if somebody is disrespectfull with you. And I am german.
    I just owuld like to aks. If somebody know where can prerosn complain in Germany about bad treatment and not proper thretment from staff on their embassies?
    I mean we Germans have only one state, We can not just afoer to go to some other state embasy, because we do not have other state.
    And I believe that in German exist more good people than those which I have enqounter on embasy. Terrible. I just had to have to tell that somewhere , because I am realy hurt.
  • Bianca posted:

    on 19th July 2013, 07:08:29 - Reply

    -AND FURTHER MORE: I am not German, nor do I have any German blood in me...I'm not looking to "reclaim my land" or anything like that...I would just like to live and work in Germany for a while, as I have a lot of friends there and am quite fond of the place...Trying to find out how to move there is next to impossible, however...If anyone has any useful info to that effect, I'd love to hear it...
  • Bianca posted:

    on 19th July 2013, 07:02:32 - Reply

    ...I came here looking for information as to how to possibly relocate to Germany...I didn't really get so much of that from the un-finished post, and the comment section is even less helpful...Instead of posting comment after comment full of people's personal ideas about race, culture, politics, and so forth, could someone please post some *actual helpful advice* about how one can go about relocating to this country please??
  • Jim posted:

    on 4th July 2013, 09:08:47 - Reply

    I am an American who lived, completed a university degree and worked in Germany from 1967 to 1972. I spent most of that time in West Berlin but also three months in Munich in order to participate in an apprenticeship program with Siemens A.G. I acquired my German language proficiency at the Goethe Institut in Blaubeuren near Ulm in the summer of 1967. While living in Blaubeuren I was privileged to live with a wonderful German family and share a room with another student from Udine on the Yugoslav border. He spoke no English and I spoke no Italian. We were forced to work out our roommate differences using our meager (at the time) German. We became good friends. I was able to improve my German rapidly when I decided to immerse myself in the local culture and spend as much time as possible making new German friends that I value to this day. During my time in Blaubeuren I got to know students from many other countries including Sweden, England, Poland, Russia, and Vietnam.
    After about a year in Berlin my German language skill developed to the point that I was able to take on work as a translator for the British Military Mission and the Canadian government. I lived with a fine German family in the southwest Berlin district of Lichtenrade and enjoyed being included in their family celebrations. During my time at the university I became acquainted with other international students from Finland, Thailand, Norway, and Czechoslovakia. Later, I moved into student housing at Studentenheim Eichkamp where I became acquainted with students from Turkey, Greece, Iran, Singapore,Switzerland, Spain,France, and several other countries.
    Anyway, to sum this all up, I can only suggest to anyone interested in having an international living experience to make learning the language of your adopted country a top priority. Only then can you really get inside the culture and if you strive to show forth interest and appreciation of the local people, they will open up to you and will welcome you into their lives.
    Of course, you will encounter unpleasant individuals from time to time, just as you will if you stay right here in the U.S. But just tell yourself that they probably have problems with other people that most likely really have nothing to do with you.
    Go forth with a positive outlook and think about people like Anne Frank who wrote in her diary shortly before she was sent to a concentration camp, "I still believe that most people are basically good."
    I have found this to be true myself and I look back on my days in Germany as one of the greatest and most rewarding periods of my life.
  • Ruth Jackson posted:

    on 18th February 2013, 16:51:03 - Reply

    [Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]
  • Shalonda posted:

    on 18th November 2012, 06:51:21 - Reply

    [Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]
  • chef Stephen posted:

    on 12th November 2012, 13:35:20 - Reply

    [Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]
  • Haider Mufeed posted:

    on 12th October 2012, 16:13:47 - Reply

    I lived in Germany for about three months and I loved it alot. German people (in general) are very polite and most of the people can speak and understand English. you my find some rude old man from time to time but this is normal. In germany there are rules for everything, and German people do love to do things systematically and in order. I have alot of German friends and we are still communicating now, after I went back to Iraq. Deutschland ist ein wunderschönes Land :)
  • Rick posted:

    on 8th September 2012, 04:42:44 - Reply

    I am an American, retired military and lived in Germany for 13 years. I personally wish I had never left. I never ran into the racial issues that others talk about on this forum. In fact I never had a European of any race treat me badly in any way. To respond to the writer above about how Americans can be so hung up on WWII. I'm not of a WWII mentality and I never knew anyone that was. I will admit I am a "freak" about WWII from the historical side of things. I read any book or watch any video I can on the subject especially on the Nazi side of the issue but mine is a desire to learn and to understand the time, the people and the cause of what happened. I can honestly say that I fell in love with Germany, the German People, Holland and it's people, pretty much Europe on the whole. I would move back there tomorrow if I could find a way. I miss it greatly!!
  • Lara posted:

    on 23rd August 2012, 14:34:05 - Reply

    I find this article one-dimensional and the comments very rude. I am a German and have lived in Germany my whole life - though I want to emigrate to the States after my University studies.
    Everyone knows how bureaucratic Germany is. But at least you can obtain your permission to live and work here after some paperwork and then get good social security, no matter what country you originally came from - unlike the whole difficulties to move to the United States (Green card lottery, a game of chance).
    Everyone seems to think that Germans are Nazis, do not like foreigners, are narrow-minded and so forth. Maybe because of the harsh sounding language, I don't know. But if you take a look at your own country where there is a long history of a good part of people being totally intolerant and ignorant to strangers (Afro-Americans, "communists", "hippies" and all these stereotypes and prejudices...) - even if they are Americans, white, male, but do not fit in... or other European states and their politics moving further to the right (Italy), incidents about Neonazis in other states etc. States worldwide doing ethnical cleansings...

    And why Jews would want to live in Germany after all these atrocities? Because it's a nice country to live in (Israel not being pleasant to be in these days itself) and most of all: it's a different country, it's different people - only because the modern Germany happens to be on the same territory as the old one and we are decendants of the people living in the Third Reich doesn't make us Nazis! This stigma! Don't you see how discriminating you are against Germans, being yourselves what you accused the Germans of! I really don't understand you people....
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    on 29th July 2012, 13:56:22 - Reply

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  • Hillel Lowinsky posted:

    on 8th June 2012, 04:16:19 - Reply

    Dear Mike Kucherov,

    I understand that there is a fast track way of obtaining dual citizenship with Germany and wherever you're from. I'm trying to research more on this and could use some pointers. I'm looking for my grandparents' birth certificates and marriage certificate. My grandmother was born in Kassel, Germany whereas my grandfather was born in Stuttgard, Germany. I feel a little confused by the whole process but I'm trying to take it one step at a time. While in Israel, I fell in love with a German woman, and I want to be reunited with her.

    If anyone could help me, I'd appreciate it.
  • Tanja posted:

    on 22nd May 2012, 13:53:06 - Reply

    I'm German and I'm more than happy to be one.To those who complain about Germany: We are used to it.Many migrants expect that we take over their eintire culture but aren't willing to integrate themselves into our culture.

    When I decide to move to another country I need to learn the language and I need to be aware of the fact that there are differences from your home-country.What do you expect?Of course you'll find people who are rude and unfriendly,but you'll meet them in any other country as well. No country is perfect.You'll find things that will benefit you and are way better than in the country you're coming from and you'll also find things that were better in your country.

    And those who don't like it here: Leave.Plain and simple.

    And for the record: Our generation shouldn't be blamed for something an impotent,austrian dictator did years ago.We are different and we are aware of our history and what happened back then.

    I was in the U.S for one year (student exchange) and all the teachers did in the Highschool I attended was to tell the students how wonderful the U.S are, that it's important to love their country no matter what,but they never got confronted with the horrible things the U.S did.

    Some of you think it is healthy patriotism,I say it is pure ignorance.

    And then I come here and read comments from Americans, who are still fighting a war that ended AGES ago and probably think Hitler is still alive or something and include a whole nation into their judgement.
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  • Mr. Iler posted:

    on 23rd April 2012, 20:04:28 - Reply

    I would like nothing more than to move to the country my lineage left from. It sickens me that the fatherland has been corrupted by unsavory Muslims, who are destroying the fabric of German culture. I curse everyone on this blog for talking bad about my people. Germans are incredibly intelligent, they've basically gave us all of the technology we use today.... The American space program was really a German one. One day I will visit my fatherland and invoke a revolution that rids the Muslim rats that fester there, I will help bring Germany back to its greatness, something that could've been done if Hitler didn't take meth and opium daily, given by some insane doctor. I want to move there to insure the "real" German people they are strong and need no help from other countries, cut off these third world Muslims with no morality, and focus on our devotion to Christianity like we once were. Lastly, Germany needs to cut ties with the European union, because countries like Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Italy owe Germany at least one trillion dollars. Germany needs to forget about those countries and only deal with other Germanic countries like Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, etc. Germany is the foundation for human evolution. I can't wait to "visit" there.
  • Mr. Iler posted:

    on 22nd April 2012, 17:00:55 - Reply

    I would like nothing more than to move to the country my lineage left from. It sickens me that the fatherland has been corrupted by unsavory Muslims, who are destroying the fabric of German culture. I curse everyone on this blog for talking bad about my people. Germans are incredibly intelligent, they've basically gave us all of the technology we use today.... The American space program was really a German one. One day I will visit my fatherland and invoke a revolution that rids the Muslim rats that fester there, I will help bring Germany back to its greatness, something that could've been done if Hitler didn't take meth and opium daily, given by some insane doctor. I want to move there to insure the "real" German people they are strong and need no help from other countries, cut off these third world Muslims with no morality, and focus on our devotion to Christianity like we once were. Lastly, Germany needs to cut ties with the European union, because countries like Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Italy owe Germany at least one billion dollars. Germany needs to forget about those countries and only deal with other Germanic countries like Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, etc. Germany is the foundation for human evolution. I can't wait to "visit" there.
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  • Ange posted:

    on 12th December 2011, 00:13:56 - Reply

    I am so surprised to read some of the comments on here. to all americans planning to move to germany, i have one piece of advice: take your passport and run. germany is the worst country in the world, i have never met so many bitter, negative and aggressive people. and guess what, i AM german. i have been trying to get out all my life, havent lived there in 10 years. I am currently studying in the US and if i end up not getting a work visa after, which is likely, i am currently depating what would be a better option for me - shoot myself in the head of move back to germany?! i HATE that horrible, miserable country and i feel bad for every foreigner living in it. yeah the economy is good so what. i'd rather be a waitress in Spain than a lawyer in stupid Germany.
  • azdawnie posted:

    on 2nd December 2011, 15:47:53 - Reply

    Hello friends! I'm TOTALLY new at this
  • feskone posted:

    on 29th September 2011, 19:31:27 - Reply

    Americanisch 4ever,
    Post like yours make me to panic that I'll never get out of the US. When I read comment from Americans like you I know my plan is good. Can't wait to pack my bags and get out of this rotten capitalism and ignorance. Yes, BTW, it is 2011 already. Who is in deep shit now? lol Germany is bailing out half of the Europe and the US is nearly China's slave. Keep taking money away from education, home-grow dumbasses like you, buy talent from all around the world and offshore business. This is how capitalism works. I'm glad you think it goes just fine. Obviously, your place is here. lol
  • Alasdair posted:

    on 14th September 2011, 20:10:12 - Reply

    Germany is hands down the best country in the world. We actually care for the weak in our society.
    The poorest people in Germany do actually live on the same level as middle class people in many other so called industrialized countries, we have universal health care, free higher education, schools were kids are actually tought ethics and morals, respect of other cultures and how to think for themselves.

    I'm of mixed ethnicity, doesn't look anything like native Germans and moved to Germany at the age of two. I'm now 35. Not once in my life in my now adopted country did I encounter any racism. The people here are helpful, polite, wonderfully honest and so friendly if you get to know them.
    If you don't like it here, too bad, you're welcome to crawl back into the hole you came out of anytime. No one is forcing you to stay here. We don't owe foreigners anything and it's YOUR obligation to learn the local language when moving into another country. YOU have to adapt to the local culture. This is Germany, not NY City. We actually love our culture and our traditions and would like to keep them the way they are, thank you very much.
  • Zack posted:

    on 10th September 2011, 20:13:32 - Reply

    To all the people that say you have racial critism while in germany, it is because you are AMERICAN not because german people are all dicks. Sorry to break it to you but europeans dont like americans. i am canadian and have never met a person in germany that wasnt nice
  • ps posted:

    on 17th June 2011, 04:45:15 - Reply

    I lived and worked in India, Singapore, Germany and USA from last 2 decades.

    I lived and worked for a German company for couple of years, Germans are very polite and helpful. The only isue I had was with schooling for my kid and learning German Language. I lived in a place called Marktl am Inn. This is a beutiful and is boundary of Austria and Germany and the birth place of current pope. Amazing Bavarian culture! nice beer, they are very orthodox people and they respect other religions as well as I am a non-chrsitian.

    I decided to migrate to USA just because of language issue. Surprisingly USA has lot of German descendents along with other European community. Siunce then I like it here and setlled here from more than a decade.

    If Gernmany adapts English as second language, it is nothing like it.
  • Robert Mc Mullen posted:

    on 10th May 2011, 06:26:00 - Reply

    I do know of a way that you can stay in Germany for a bit longer and get your temporary residency Visa and hopefully permanent residency Visa, but it will take many trips to the Ausländische Behörde (The Foreigner's Office)...

    It is opening an office in Germany and making a profit to give to the German Government. It is leagal for Americans to open a business in Germany and make money to give to the government. Do this for three years and then you will get your temporary residency Visa. I am thinking you can get your permanent residency Visa if you keep the business going for a total of five years, but I am not sure. You might want to look into it.

    So, there is an idea. However, you would have to go to Germany with a LOT of money. Please let me know how it went, if you took my advice.
  • tommy posted:

    on 2nd February 2011, 21:10:33 - Reply

    i love germany
  • Amerikanisch 4ever posted:

    on 22nd September 2009, 05:01:17 - Reply

    Look bonehead, not everyone got a degree in German like you. Your statements are flawed. From a business perspective, the companies in Germany are in big trouble. You fail to add value by commenting on the current economic state of Germany. Do I need to explain? Okay, I will. There is a massive problem of scale. You will need to accrete or dilute to achieve in scale what is not necessary (1000 banks, 50,000 employees) in what is profitable (4000 banks 20,000 employees). Don’t tell me about living overseas and making the best of it. I lived in other places as well. I have been to Asia, S. America and Europe for work…You? I have been all over the world. Germany is a country in decline. Labor laws, not enough children (1.37), bad education, dumb taxes and people like you will set this country apart. you are the typical, I hate the person who moves away from the US and then talks to every German you meet and say how much they hate the US but then speak to an American and say how much you hate Germany. Carpetbagger…Culture? Again, you’re stuck in your language college again dork. Germany has NO freaking culture. Besides Bavaria, the country\'s culture has been wiped out. Germany is in deep shit. Export only does not work anymore. You gave no added value in your comment because you did not touch upon Germany’s problems. only mine with this shitty country. I see you have a case of Schadenfruende too. Love pointing the finger…. Social Order acceptance? You really are a German. Entitled to the very last moment... I don’t want to fix lands. I want to live. if I was seriously interested in fixing lands I would be on K Street or the UN, certainly not Germany where politics, business and life is clearly broken...I like how you also defend Germany’s racist past and present. You must be an empathizer. klinkt gut...Coming to America is sooo easy for foreigners, R U kidding me? Friendly, great schools, low taxes, great service! Hallo? You must be stuck in Germany. I feel for you because you will never advance there as an Amerikaner. You will be stuck and low on any company’s pecking order if you decide to stay. Like I said, you must be stuck there. I am sorry to hear that. “Meritocracies”, now that’s good shit…UK has it, US has it...Germany does NOT! You also sound like a teacher of some sorts with your college degree chat. I have an \"Advanced\" degree from a top US school son. You need to get one of those before pulling rank on me. I probably speak better German than you and you are some 25 yr old something punk who has 1.5 yrs of German who is stuck in his career track (but enjoying Germany) and thinks they know all there is to know. I am so glad you are the Judgment for all Americans in Germany. Thank G-d you are in charge of them. That’s why you are stuck in Germany. Toll, toll, toll. Times are only getting worse there. But according to you, life is better there??? Please turn in your US Passport. Enjoy socialism...You are soooo short sided….Just wait till 2010…Any rebuttals please?
  • Amerikanisch4everisamoron posted:

    on 22nd September 2009, 03:19:59 - Reply

    Amerikanisch 4ever, you are an idiot. I will not elaborate further because you're not worth of it. Mostly, you seem to have had a bad time in Germany, so I say leave. I am also from NY and have a completely different interpretation of the Germans. You are living in another country, get over yourself, life is going to be harder. You left for adventure and you have it now, so don't go comparing everything to America because it makes you sound like a moron and it is in no way a fair comparison. It is a different land with different ways and you are obviously not a minority or you would know America can be just as hard as foreigner and sometimes harder.

    You talk on one had about the massive immigration problems Germany has that stem from the war and then you also wonder why they battle such issues with racism. Duh! Why do you think? America the supposed melting pot is far from better with these issues and almost impossible to make it as a foreigner. Some do, but then again our immigration numbers are much higher and I would bet statistically less significant.

    To anyone else trying to live and make it in Germany, it is simply: first learn the language because you will need it to get ahead just like in America, England or most other advanced countries. This skill will prevent you having to take endless dead-end jobs at language schools paying you peanuts. If you are a native English speaker with little language experience, I will not lie to you. Learning German to the point where you can use it beyond daily activities (like the market or doctor office) will be difficult. You will need to practice daily and treat it like a love that needs to be nurtured. You must be like Arnold and be in the gym daily to get big, same thing here. Expect to work harder than you even thought possible but you will get the language, I can promise you that as I am not good with language and even I eventually got it.

    Second: accept your position in the greater social order. It sucks, I know I prefer to be a member of the majority but then again life is better here so if a few old racist Germans are the only down side then whatever, I can deal. I can also assure you that if you learn the language you will deal with a lot less of them and probably fit in quit well.

    Lastly, embrace the culture, if you want it to work then you need to give up your culture. Americans should understand this better but at some point members of your family had to do the same thing to get matriculated. Granted they fled for other reasons, and if you are an American living in Germany now then it is probably just because you wanted to have the experience or you simply took a job. What I am saying is, to make it hear, remember you are an immigrant and you have elected to come their land. You could have stayed and fixed your land but you didn't you left, so now it is time to deal.

    Life here is like any where else, it is what you make of it. I recommend making the best of the experience or just go home because you will never like it here otherwise.

    And if you approach Germany like Amerikanisch4ever then you will sound just like him in three years too. And I will have to go around listening to how retarded my own people are because simply put many Americans are so stupid and often their very existence is like an insult to the credibility of my American college degree.
  • Amerikanisch 4ever posted:

    on 5th September 2009, 06:45:00 - Reply

    Recently spent 3 years in Germany. Dont ever move to this horrible place. As a man from an International city of 9m, you would expect the Germans who are well travelled to be more open. THEY ARE NOT. I have never experienced so much racism and non integration in my life until I moved to Germany. More racism than in the US because of the lovely DDR. A great move with der mauer you fatheads. Overly controlled, overly taxed, non incentive based performance measures, and a non creative country who discourages you from the start if you are a foreigner. Forget trying to "work hard" in Germany. Performance is not a performance measure so you cant even fire these loosers. Education system is bad. Health care, not as good as the US but the cars are great. the German football team is horrible as well. I mean even the US can tie Italy and BEAT Spain. Beer is also good. 2 postives and so many negatives. The birth rates are falling. you need a 2.11 annum to suruve as a culture. Us has 2.11. Germany has 1.37 and its not rising. its only decreasing.. look, germany will be a full fledged Islamic state in 50 yrs, with no white man, and Arabic will be the spoken tounge. Thats a fact! Germany does not encourage foreigners to do well unless you do well on yoru test you take as a 9 yr old. How pathetic is that test? Very pathetic...Taxes only going higher, pensions lost, no kids, no comppetition, no incentives, no good looking women as well. The German people have nobody to blame but themselves. Their history, their present and their future are all integrated. they have never diversified their economy. "Export Only" doesnt work in the 2000's. The worst people to do business with who would never question "how fast or efficiently can we get something done" but would rather spend time bullshitting and asking why a paperclip is on the wrong side of the top of the paper. The german economy, welfare state, fertility rates and pensions are on the decline. I love my low taxes, my 2.11 rate and my German car whose parts are now made in China. I cant wait to see the collapse....
  • Moni D posted:

    on 26th August 2009, 19:43:17 - Reply

    What do you think it would be like for a 35 year old women of color to live in Gremany?
  • cartherine posted:

    on 4th July 2009, 12:20:14 - Reply

    as everyone else here, I have my own story and reasons for wanting to move to Germany. Briefly, my boyfriend lives there. I am American with a German born grandfather (possible birthright, but doubtful) who wishes to live in Germany with her partner in a progressive relationship that allows me to contribute financially. In other words, I want to be able to legally work. I'm sure I could move there and live off of him, but I have a BBA in Finance, and feel that I could be a productive member of society. Additionally, I do not want to have to marry him for his papers. It is not my objective. If he wasn't on a fast paced career track, the tables would be turned. On top of that, I don't want the reason of our marriage to be over some legality, even though marriage is our goal. For my own sanity, i need to be able to get a job. The consulate is not very helpful. I lived in Germany for a year, am conversational in the language and am currently working on improving my fluency. An useful information would be greatly appreciated. Think about it, Americans are constantly knocking immigrants for marrying into their citizenships. Please help. :)
  • thomas carr posted:

    on 24th March 2009, 17:26:32 - Reply

    I did not have any probs with staying in germany,and have been here since 78.
  • richard fiusilier posted:

    on 27th February 2009, 18:54:47 - Reply

    Have you been to one our government buildings lately. The facilities here are now insufficient. One needs an Appointment for any service as we are obviously overloaded by millions, many of which are imcompatible. Rudeness and arrogancy by govt, employees is the rule, but hardly any visible agents are traditional Americans. The country is already ruined, and I'm thinking of going to another country that is free.
  • Kris posted:

    on 17th January 2009, 04:41:25 - Reply

    A message to Sunshine from my Fiancee:

    Patty says (7:56 PM):
    ok,you can tell that girl you wrote with,the only way she can stay here is with a student visa or if she get's married or the family she visited will take her in as a nanny
    Patty says (7:57 PM):
    I had to laugh about the part were you wrote about my english,
    Kris says (7:57 PM):
    The family is some sort of relatives I think
    Patty says (7:57 PM):
    well even better
    Patty says (7:58 PM):
    unbelievable that americans wanna live over here
    Patty says (7:58 PM):
    ain't much better than the US
  • Kris posted:

    on 16th January 2009, 23:25:41 - Reply

    And the schools over there are very much aware of the difference between a standard TEFL as opposed to a CELTA (ESOL) from Cambridge which I am told and have read is preferred.
  • Kris posted:

    on 16th January 2009, 23:20:24 - Reply

    I should have been more clear and concise about something. It is not the German government that requires 4 years of college TEFL; It is the English school employers you would be applying to. Nothing stops you from opening your own school.
  • Kris posted:

    on 16th January 2009, 23:15:54 - Reply

    Here is a little Morsel I have been chewing on. I have read elsewhere on the net of expats offering private tutoring in english. What they would do is post flyers around town and local university campuses to draw business. Essentially transposing your home abroad into a english academic school. Ofcourse with this idea comes the chicken and the egg proverb. To get "resident alien" status over there I understand you must first prove financial ability to provide for yourself. This is normally done with a bank statement and a letter of intent from an employer...Since you would be employing yourself it would be interesting to know what sort of bank roll it would take to push the paperwork through. Then there is the issue of business filings. I have discussed this with my Finacee...She has told me that it's not stable, most Germans speak english well enough to get by. And I see a prime example in her abilities. Sometimes she speaks better english better than I do as a native speaker. This is scary in a way, she can argue with me in two languages; I only have the one! lol
  • Sunshine posted:

    on 16th January 2009, 15:47:36 - Reply

    So does anyone think it is possible for an American to find any kind of work in Germany? How can I feasibly move there for longer than 3 months?
  • Kris posted:

    on 16th January 2009, 08:38:06 - Reply

    I too have considered TEFL as a means of working in Germany since my Fiancee is there(Hochheim). Unfortunately from what I have read, Germany wants 4 years of college a TEFL cert. I only have a 2 year degree in Criminal Justice and the likleyhood of using that in Germany as a foreigner is laughable. At one time I was an in demand aircraft mechanic, but it has been years since I have done that work, and my trucking experience would be no good there either.
  • Sunshine posted:

    on 5th January 2009, 01:43:57 - Reply

    I am a 27 year old female. I have no college experience. I recently visited Germany to meet extended family. I fell in love with the country. Is it at all possible for me to move there? Even for a year? Should I take a TEFL course or something?How do I work?
  • CB posted:

    on 19th September 2008, 08:06:41 - Reply

    Vebowag is an apartment complex on the Rhein where the international people live. The apartments are bigger than most houses and most have built in closets and kitchens which is rare in Germany. It's directly across from the BIS. is the website...go to the "Kundenservie" (customer service) on the left. The on the right click "Amerikanische Siedlung" (American Settlement)and it will give you the contact people. They speak enough English to answer some questions. will help if you need some words translated.
  • Tony posted:

    on 18th September 2008, 23:05:09 - Reply

    CB .. thanks for the info. I will look at the BIS school but do not understand the Vebowad ... the site is only in German so I am unable to read. Is this a school similar to BIS? What is Vebowag? and where is the international area located (in the Bonn area?) thanks for your help
  • CB posted:

    on 17th September 2008, 18:05:28 - Reply

    Anthony...for some reason I can't read the rest of your post. But, I just moved to the Black Forest in Germany after living 7 years in Bonn. Bonn is a great city. I don't know about all the tax stuff, but I can answer the school issue. Don't put your kids in German school! We have three children. We tried 4 different schools...all ending with the same opinion. The schools are "survival of the fittest"... not only from the other students,but also from the teachers! I have first hand knowledge of this because I worked in the public school system for a period. If you have the funds, the Bonn International School is the best alternative. Plus, if you live in the International area, ( is a great environment. (although with Vebowag, get EVERY detail in writing)
  • Anthony posted:

    on 12th September 2008, 21:28:38 - Reply

    Not to interupt these discussions, but I will anyway. I have been offered a position in Bonn and am seriously conserding moving, from Canada. I am hoping that someone can answer a few questions: 1) what would one expect to lose on tax's if making about 100k Euros, 2) how about the schools, I have two kids, 14
  • Jamiecneal posted:

    on 9th September 2008, 21:38:24 - Reply

    I can't decide if I should be nervous about this process or not. I have just begun beauracratic hoop-jumping. But I feel like quite a bit of German. Does anyone know if it is possible to find employment that is not "professional." I'm a recent college grad who has had a hard enough time finding an entry level job in the U.S. I would like to go to Deutschland and get some income rolling doing just about anything. Is that possible?
  • SVJ posted:

    on 3rd September 2008, 14:33:05 - Reply

    Found this site after frustrating news that my residence visa application to join my husband in Hamburg is still not processed. We tried to get married in Germany but the Sri Lankan Embassy here 'screwed up' the whole process and we ended up no where closer to the truth about what happens in the 'black hole' of German bureaucracy. They always try to pass the buck to the Sri Lankan authorities, but I verified the process myself and found out that the Embassy staff do not have a clue or care to educate themselves about local procedures, and basically bungle up people's lives! So much for all the talk from the EU about 'human rights' and their sanctimonious dribble that violations are rife in 'developing countries' unlike theirs. No offense to normal people in the EU, who I know are equally frustrated by these jerks who work and get paid high salaries abroad, going about their business without really doing their jobs.
    Moral of this little tale: if they tell you it takes three months, chances are it takes 30! Don't believe anything and never give up. Fight for your rights to live on this planet if you are honest and not wanting to wage war on the entire civilized world. We are born free, and we can choose to live anywhere we want to!
  • Michael posted:

    on 31st August 2008, 19:22:52 - Reply

    This February 2008 article ends: "There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. Stay tuned."

    So where is the "light at the end of the tunnel" follow-up?
  • FJ posted:

    on 31st August 2008, 06:50:59 - Reply sound extremely bitter and very jaded. Glad you moved to Germany!
  • Ari posted:

    on 23rd August 2008, 10:05:39 - Reply

    Germany is a great place to live. Safe, clean and in many areas outside the cities, you still have old-fashioned values. You look out for each other and know each others kids. We don't throw our trash everywhere, and recycling is practically a religion. We have lots of parks, and fun things to do with the family. Restaurants actually cook decent food, and you won't find a Burger King at every rest stop on the autobahn, but real food at decent prices.

    Frankly, I like the homogeneous society here as well; both in color and religion. It's not the skin color that bothers me. I don't care if you are black, red, green or whatever. It's about the absence of whining and sense of entitlement here you get with blacks in the USA. No in your face black "culture", highlighted with poor language skills. As I told my German wife, you're white and therefore (in the USA) guilty. You won't meet any unpleasant airport workers, fresh from the ghetto, who hate whitey.

    Christianity is also the main religion here, as it is in the USA, but unlike the USA we can actually practice it. We have Christmas markets, outdoor manger scenes...and we even call it Christmas vacation. We have crosses in our schools too! There is no Christian hating organizations like the ACLU. Screw being "sensitive" to minorities and other cultures. If you come to Germany, expect to live like a German and speak the language. The USA can take a lesson from this.
  • MD posted:

    on 22nd August 2008, 09:04:46 - Reply

    Food for thought:
    I have lived and worked in Germany (Munich) for 8 years. During this time I have personally seen acts of racism, open discrimination, and utterly insensitive behavior many times. Did you know that there was (it may still be there) a neo Nazi shop in downtown Munich, near the city hall? To say that there isn’t a real problem with racism here is just false. But to say it doesn’t exist anywhere else is also untrue. The point of discussion is, racism in Germany. Then lets talk about the problems here objectively. You may not have witnessed these acts personally, however that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. I assure you, they do. There is a real problem (and it’s growing) in the former DDR. Even some of my German friends are fearful of this situation. I’ve been abroad for the past 3 years and have just returned to Germany. I haven’t seen this type of negativity towards visible minorities during that time. (and I was the visible minority in Asia) Much to the contrary. Germany has it’s many strengths. The German people cannot simple be categorized as racist or good Samaritans. The truth is, Germany is simple not the easiest place in the world to live. Just deal with any government office, (as stated above many times) and you’ll see what they mean. The people can be quite difficult and seem to want to initiate hostilities whenever possible and usually over nothing. (This isn’t racism it’s just abrasiveness) Is this a result of overcrowding? I cannot answer that question but I also cannot deny that it happens. Is this the worst place to live? I guess it depends on a lot of factors. Most of which are based on your personal situation and experiences. But given the positive attributes of German society , generally speaking I think you would have to say no, it’s not the worst place to live. On the other hand, I prefer others places much more. Just to live without the frowns is a positive step forward in my books. But that again is my own personal feelings on what makes a community a happy place to live. And, that’s not to say that there are not many, many, happy, fun loving Germans. I know a few as a matter of fact. I just don’t really enjoy having hostile confrontations when trying to get information or riding a bike or using public transportation…… especially when it’s uncalled for. I’m not an American so I’ll ask, does this happen in America? I can answer, yes definitely it does. But again, we’re talking about Germany. And it definitely happens here.
    Does Germany society need to take a step forward and become more sensitive to the feelings of others including visible minorities? I guess we all know the answer to that one. Is it going to happen anytime soon? Take a guess. In a country where you can openly and legally discriminate when dealing with others, change comes slow. The good news is, eventually it will change. Hopefully for the better and hopefully sooner than later. In the mean time, lets all accept the problems and acknowledge their existence to help aid in resolving them.
  • The Traveler posted:

    on 20th August 2008, 14:17:35 - Reply

    I really like the latest article about Berlin in Travel and Leisure magazine.
    Has anyone else in here seen it? What's your take on Berlin?
  • The Traveler posted:

    on 20th August 2008, 14:12:43 - Reply

    Thought provoking comments in here.
    I would like to know that as an American freelance photographer, who also happens to be African-American, how do you (those who currently live in Germany) believe I would be perceived if I decided to study photography for a year? (I'm 39, speak several languages (but not German) and have lived in two European countries for long periiods of time. I'm very excited about visiting, living in Germany as it is so vibrant in regards to the Arts.
  • bonnie posted:

    on 13th August 2008, 15:01:28 - Reply

    Wondering if anyone knows anything about German residency law. I have been in Germany for the last five years and have been issued residency permits for 1, 2 and 2 year intervals. The first three years I was allowed to work as self-empoloyed english teacher. Since then I have been angestellte. One year during this period, I went back to the US for about 5-1/2 months. I then came back to Germany for a week. I then went back to the US for about a montha and then came back to Germany. I was issued a new residency permit (my last one) after coming back to Germany. I heard someone say if you are out of Germany for 6 months your aufenthaltstitel expires. Well, they issued me a new one. Do I have anything to fear?
  • RB posted:

    on 6th August 2008, 17:19:37 - Reply

    Your story makes you seem like a total idiot.

    You've burned through 3 years of your life and the cost of a trip to Germany to learn something that most Americans are unaware of - that is that the rest of the world is not simply open to their roaming whims.

    With a few minutes in front of a browser I've found more information on the topic than you've learned in 3 wasted years:
  • Dominik posted:

    on 30th July 2008, 14:25:58 - Reply

    Something seems to be wrong either with this website or with my browser…
    My message was supposed to also contain my reaction to Zaliq:
    I find it very weird that they would refuse your visa considering the fact that you have lived here for so long and probably speak and write perfect German. Have you thought of directly calling the “Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF)” in Nürnberg? You’ll have to be persistent.
    That’s the phone number and Email I found on the Internet, yet I’m not sure if it’s still valid:
    0049/911/943–6390 /
    I’m sorry I can’t be of more help due to my lack of experience with those things.
  • Dominik posted:

    on 30th July 2008, 14:11:47 - Reply

    @ Chuck
    “the best thing since sliced bread” haha, that’s a good one!
    I’d also wish my fellow citizens would take some things with a little more humour. You might know the songwriter Reinhard Mey. As a child, I used to die of laughter when listening to his ironic song “Einen Antrag auf Erteilung eines Antragsformulars”; as a grown-up, I learned that it’s the bitter truth.
    The lyrics can be found here:
  • Zaliq Akbar posted:

    on 23rd July 2008, 18:17:43 - Reply

    well my name is Zaliq.
    I am a Sri lankan who was born and lived in germany for 16 years.
    I moved with my parents and brother back to sri lanka 5 years ago.
    I loved it in germany, as a matter of fact more than i love sri lanka.
    I never had any big racial problems , i mean it is normal that there is a chance that u will get critzised for ur skin colour or just your foreing heritage.But i guess you'll get that all over the world and not just germany. It's a bit judgemental to say that germany is a racist country or whatever , we have to look past all the history , hostory is history, things change.

    My brother got a german passport and my parents got a permant residence visa. Well i am stuck with my sri lankan passport with no visas at all , because i came to sri lanka befor i turned 16 , if i would have turned 16 in germany i would have gotton my german citizen ship or permant residence visa.
    After coming here , i applied for a visting visa to germany , just to visit ma friends and check if i can still get my PR. But my visa application was refused over here , without a statement and no reason.
    I never understood that part. I have given them all my details about my past where i used to live in germany , about the school i was attending to.
    I got ma uncle in germany to check on if i can get the PR , well the guys in the BEHOERDE said yes , bu i have to get an visa approval from sri lanka , wich is kinda difficult for young people over here , because they think as soon as you get the visa you wont come back to lanka and over stay in lanka.
    I tried applying twice for a tourist visa , and i got rejected twice.
    I have not given up hope on going back to germany but i have given up hope on the embassy in sri lanka.
    I would appriciate if anyone one could give some kinda help or advice.

  • chuck posted:

    on 23rd July 2008, 11:44:50 - Reply

    Hmmm... I'm not sure its that simple. I agree, the German government does a good job in the main with consumer protection, especially in the area of chemicals that you mentioned. In fact, the EU countries in general do a better job at oversight and protection than the US. However, other areas are basically at par.

    For example, the national highway safety administration (NHTSA) through its rulemaking ensures that auto manufacturers design and place autos on the market that comply with various safety standards. In this sense, the US protects consumers by setting standards and not assuming each potential car buyer has a Ph.D. in vehicle occupant kinematics or airbag technology. Germany has basically the same set up.

    The same goes with vehicle emission standards. And the "balkanized" state governments in the US are even ahead of the EU in this regard (see, e.g., California, who leads in emissions restrictions). Contrast this with Germany whose protectionist laws (VW-Gesetz) and lack of speed limits hardly present a "green" face...

    Another point, the seller in the US cannot simply make wild claims or sell anything. If so, then they get nailed by a hefty lawsuit or plaintiffs lawyers team up with state attorney generals to accomplish regulation viz litigation (see Tobacco lawsuits, Lead Paint, etc.).

    Where the EU, and Germany specifically, in my mind really over-regulates is in the area of agriculture by overly subsidizing and propping up an industry that cannot compete with developing lands.

    Also, while I am not in favor of unbridled gene technology, Germany is hysterically against any gene research or genetically manipulated plants, etc. Again, its just another instance of government overregulation.

    Anyway, all this aside, don't get me wrong, Germany is a nice place to live. It's just that as an American, you will go through an initial phase of thinking that Germany is the best thing since sliced bread, and then you will wake up to the reality of living in a hyper-regulated state. Then you will either make your peace with it and integrate or you will leave. I love it here but nevertheless have my beef with some things. That’s something that Germany and Germans miss a lot of the time: self-criticism. You hardly hear any self-deprecating humor here.
  • David Fulton posted:

    on 22nd July 2008, 17:32:29 - Reply

    Chuck I would disagree with your statement that Germany is closer to socialism then capitalism. In some ways the social market structure mentioned by Berlingirl is actually a better form of capitalism. Capitalism is based on the idea that you can fully evaluate the product before buying the product.

    This is not the case in the USA. You buy a ticket only to find there are additional legal specification printed on the back of the ticket you where not privy to before the purchase. You can then only use the ticket or louse your money, per a ruling by the USA supreme court. In Germany the central government assures that the products are safe or at least of more benefit then the harm they might cause. I know this is the case for new chemicals in Germany. In the USA the chemicals are released to the market with no testing.

    The consumer in a pure Capitalist economy must be able to fully evaluate the product. As we are no longer capable of fully evaluating all products for safety the German government provides strong support for a balanced capitalist exchange. The USA simply assumes the buyer is a PHD in all aspects of the product they are buying and that the seller can say and sell almost anything.

    As to translating words such as black music. I’m sure things are lost in the translation. Then again has a section called “Black in America” which is equally loaded.

    Personally, I’m glad I found this site as it is helping me look at the realities culture shock and loneliness that might be ahead if I pick up my family and move, should I find a job in Germany.
  • chuck posted:

    on 22nd July 2008, 11:05:32 - Reply

    Also, while I agree that Germany is certainly one of the most densely populated countries in the world, where people are literally living on top of each other, this does not always translate into multi-cultural harmony. For instance, just check one of many in-your-face commercials that air on TV here:

    Or consider the not so sensitive use of derogatory, loaded terms, such as "schwarz Afrika" or "black music." One wonders whether there a "white music" section as well... In fact, the idea of multiculturalism, or the diminutive "multikulti" is seen as something of a passing fad here or at worst a joke. Let us incorporate a few foreign things as accessories in our lives, like Bruce the quaint ex-GI turned model, or some elements of pop culture or some chic English words to spice up our vocabulary... but true acceptance is something that is not really working out.

  • chuck posted:

    on 21st July 2008, 12:32:04 - Reply

    Well, I don't mean this in a negative light, but Germany is "socialism-light" (sozialmarktwirtschaft). Some general points about life in the sozialstadt:

    Germans love the State, and all the protections, etc. that it gives them. Makes them feel warm and cozy at night, like a big, comfy security blanket.

    Germans, like most countries, struggled to find a "third way" between capitalism and socialism. In the process, the Germans ended up with something much closer to socialism than capitalism.

    Here: (a) the benefits provided to citizens for doing absolutely nothing are so great that many are discouraged from working - thus the high unemployment rate; (b) the idea of "social consensus," which originally gave Germany strength, is one of its biggest weaknesses now. In short, it means that innovation and efficiency are discouraged; and (c) The Germans overreacted to the fear of inflation and in the process created a central banking system that unnecessarily cripples the economy.

    The German social system sometimes leads to mediocrity and laziness. The result is many Germans fall into two categories: (a) greedy or (b) jealous/envious. The "haves" in Germany are the greedy ones. They think the government is out to take their wealth and re-distribute it (which is true) and consequently are not charitable, at least not to the extent of wealthy Americans.

    The "have nots" in Germans are the jealous ones. These are basically your average citizen, and they confirm the worst fears of the "haves": they really do want the State to take wealth from successful people and re-distribute it, and believe no one should get more than their "share." Bild-zeitung readers.

    Because of the above, people go out of the way to hide their wealth rather than flaunt it.

    The goverment controls everything, from chimney sweeps to your television sets. People spy on you to enforce compliance with these things. Unions are rampant and have too much power, further crippling the economy.

  • BerlinGirl posted:

    on 19th July 2008, 13:43:55 - Reply

    Just happened to come across this site and I am astonished about some of the comments, but instead of complaining about bureaucracy I would ask all of the people who immigrate to Germany to rather give infos instead of lenghty complaints, this doesn't help anyone. As someone how as tried unsuccessfully to recieve a work permit inside the US I have to say that the process for Americans to settle down in Germany is cheap, easy and just in comparison for Germans to the U.S.. You are allowed to stay in Germany as an American for 3 months and even look for a job and ask for the residence permit even afterwards. You have to present a heathcare insurance either an American one and you have to declare that you won't go on socail welfare, having done that you are allowed to work immediatly in Germany as a freelancer. A permanent work looks different, but it doesn't cost you the montrous sums like 10.000 US$ instead you go online to the German embassy and look into the section of working in Germany. The guy on the here calling the German embassy in Florida should have just gone online and look for infos. Additionally I would nevere recommend to anyone to move to a country where you don't spek the language suffiently unless you don't need to work or the business culture is so diverse that it is mainly in English like it is in Switzerland or Russia or China. Germany in gerneral is not a racist country but Germans ARE in fact very outspoken and direct and making jokes about cultural differences of all ethnicities belongs to a European identify that serves a bigger aim: trying to get along with each other while sitting almost on top of each other in terms of little space...Asians have solved this in the other extremity by remaining very very polite and kepp smiling but for the same reason, many, many perople, with littel space trying to get a long. The other nice thing about Germany is that criminal law and general law doesn't vary dramatically from state to state like in the U.S.,also taxes are everywhere the same, and one last remark to the one who said, Germany is socialist: Germany has a social market structure economywise and not socialist. Big difference, but some people just don't want to understand the huge impact three little letters can have or the absence of the latter (-ist). So much for this, to all expats here a warm welcome to Germany, the land of outspoken, direct, warmhearted, thourough rude forgiving, diverse people. Cheers
  • David Fulton posted:

    on 17th July 2008, 22:59:39 - Reply

    I was born in Germany to a German Mother and an American Father. If I wished to immigrate to Germany from the USA would this fact help my ability to seek work papers and citizenship for myself and my family?
  • Chuck posted:

    on 1st July 2008, 11:36:55 - Reply

    Well, I thought the original topic was about this guy's frustration and helplessness in the German bureaucratic maze... Anyway, from my own personal experience I have to say that Germany is not the easiest place to integrate into. Dealing with the authorities and officialdom is certainly difficult at times. I came here as a freelancer and worked for a few years until my German was fluent enough to find a job in my professional field. I remember quite distinctly the absence of any "how to" guides at negotiating the bureucratic mass of forms, etc. Also, unlike many countries, Germany makes no effort to translate basic forms or documents into English. Lazy English speakers aside, it does nothing to streamline the process or present an inviting atmosphere. At any rate, obtaining a Visa was easy, the real devil was in the details: i.e., how nobody tells you the fact that once privately insured (Health Ins.), you most likely will not be admitted back into the AOK, what your Rente (pension) obligations are (and if you are a member of a professional class (e.g., lawyer, doctor, etc.) that you have to join a "Versorgungswerk" and be "freed" from the normal Rente. If you don't do everything correctly, then you end up with a whopper bill. Other examples abound (GEZ, taxes, the various licenses (scheine) you have to obtain for almost every activity whether it be sailing or playing golf)), but my point is that the Germans are fixated with procedure and formalism and generally make the system unnessecarily and overly complicated (that is not to say that many folks within the various bureaus are not helpful and friendly, they often times are). Germany is a very nice place to live, with the caveat that you are formally integrated into the "system." My advice is if you are new to Germany, take a German friend along in all dealings with government and when signing any important contracts, obligations, etc. Also, don't think the behavior, just because its different, is racist. Its just another culture and the abrasiveness and moutain of bureaucracy is typically German (and just plain old vanilla socialism).
  • Liam Reid posted:

    on 30th June 2008, 20:35:05 - Reply

    The first few replies present a Germany I have never experienced.

    Although my experience is limited the Germans I have interacted with are unbelievably helpful and most are very friendly.

    From the woman who overheard us asking for directions and then running aftr us in the street when we went the wrong way to the Landlady who gave us a lift to the airport which was more than an hour away from her home my experiences have always been positive. Make an effort with the language and most people in Germany are happy to help.
  • trier-deutschland posted:

    on 26th June 2008, 20:47:07 - Reply

    I'll ignore the level of ignorance expressed by some here. I recently had an experience when some Alabama local (about 60 yrs old) heard me conversing with a German at the post office and said "Heil, Hitler!" to us. I had to apologize for the stupidity of this man many times.

    My experience of the process was rather easy. In 200 when I graduated from my university, I returned with my German girlfriend to study in Trier. As I recall, all I did was to fill out the student application for the uni, and once accepted, present the forms to the Auslaenderamt, along with documentation that I have a German bank account, health ins, etc. Once I did this, I paid nearly 50 DM and received a Student Aufenthaltsgenehmigung which allowed me to work for no more than three months (combined) in a year.

    It was renewable on a yearly basis, which, for some reason I am not sure of, I didn't have to pay for a renewal. I simply showed up at the office and presented my passport and student documentation to the authorities. Now that I am married to the said girl, the process is easier than before, though I have allowed it to expire since we have been in the USA for the past two years working toward my doctorate.
  • Mac posted:

    on 26th June 2008, 15:40:58 - Reply

    The nonsense about excessive levels of racism does not belong here. I have found 99% of the Germans that I have met to be freindly, courteous and very interested in Americans, or anyone of any formal religious background. The Germans have gone so far as to outlaw Mein Kampf, pay out billions in reparations and have a huge memorial to the Holocaust. Germany is way past the WWII stereotype, and I encourage anyone to visit the country to see for themselves. I suspect much of the negativity here is from people who have never been, or have had a negative experience and have exaggerated it to include the entire nation in their judgement.
  • impitty posted:

    on 5th June 2008, 10:30:33 - Reply

    My rwo cents:
    I'm an American, been living in southern Germany for a year. My husband's job brought us here. I like Germany, but don't think I would stay here forever. I also don't think I'd go back to the U.S. though... My experience here has been very similar to the U.S... people can be very nice and helpful here, and they can be rude jerks... just depends... There is some level of racism here, just like in the U.S. and pretty much anywhere... I think cities (in any country) are worse for this than the country (we live in the country and even though I speak very little German, people have been very nice and helpful.)
  • an american posted:

    on 19th May 2008, 23:29:52 - Reply

    i feel that americans are sterio typed as racist and ignorant. but unlike england we don't make racist comments about other white people because most americans are mixed whites and are the majority race. yet it is the minoritys who get all kinds of special governmant help and complain about how they are poor, but when white people came to america from eastern europe and ireland, and itally they were living in slums that today would be condemed as unfit to live in. now they are the middle and upper class. the problen with america is a combination of the democratic party and minoritys trying to form a seperate culture is what causes racisim mostly. i bet when euro immigrents showed up at america the people living there were predjudece toward them. but they assimilated because they wanted to fit in
  • Ken posted:

    on 16th May 2008, 15:46:26 - Reply

    I hear these complaints, mainly on expat sites. They usually seem to come from Americans, who still have a WWII mentality. Why so many Americans are still fighting a war that ended more than sixty years ago, is beyond understanding.People who live in glass houses, should not throw stones!

    If you are a "foreigner" in any country, you naturally are going to be treated somewhat different than natives. That is a fact of life, and cultural differences add to that. I live in a predominantly Cuban American area, and believe me I feel like a foreigner much of the time.

    I would simply tell these complainers "if you don't like it, leave".
  • Jen posted:

    on 22nd April 2008, 17:01:58 - Reply

    I'll choose to ignore that last comment. I'm half German and half English and moved to Germany a year ago after having spent 22 years living in London. In my last year here I have experienced no problems concerning my background, infact people seemed to be more interested in me when they heard my accent and asked me where I was from. All the people in my company have shown an interest in my culture and have been ready to help when I've needed to fill in any official forms or didn't understand anything. My mother however had many problems in England, as even after living there for 30 years she had a very strong German accent and often was hit with racist comments, even by people in official roles like at our local council. I think it is very unfair to generalise about any race, not all English are racist towards Germans and not all Germans are racist towards English or any other race come to that, but there will always be acceptions.

    I am very happy here and although London will always be my home I would like to stay here a for a few years longer before returning or maybe going somewhere new.
  • Mike posted:

    on 5th April 2008, 12:38:47 - Reply

    Isn't it wonderful that we live in a world with so much variety and difference - it would be very boring otherwise! Good and evil, tolerance and intolerance, arrogance and patience, friendliness and hostility, respect and ignorance as well as exaggeration and understatement, are personal characteristics in every race, religion and colour, as some of the comments in some of the above demonstrate. The important thing is that we all try harder to abide by wholesome attributes and also not embellish or exaggerate. In this far from perfect World however we are probably all guilty of one or other of the more 'unwholesome' attitudes, at some time or other. We should recognise this and try at least to be more temperate members of the one human race!

    So, well done to all those who have managed to adapt to life in Germany - and for those who are having difficulty, good luck in the future either in Germany or wherever else you 'land'.

    Me - I am English, married to German with 2 grown up sons who have dual nationality. We have lived here for 24 years and prior to that I was in the Royal Air Force - the same Air Force that bombed Dresden and, until reunification, was also prepared to drop bombs on Eastern German cities! Myself and my family are nevertheless well integrated into the local German community, we go to parties, celebrations etc., and have very good friends in all sections of the community, including from the Seychelles, the USA, Russia, Pakistan, Turkey AND Kurdistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Australia (except during Cricket matches or Rugby, where of course England excel!!) - and even Scotland, Wales and Ireland - and many others.
  • Hossein Zakani posted:

    on 12th March 2008, 09:54:55 - Reply

    Dear reader
    I as well am an Iranian who is planning to move to Germany this year and would like to obtain employment.
    I am currently working as a Manager for Radio and Televsion , I have a M.A degree media manegement and I have two B.S in Communication and Computer "software" management from the University. As a result, I am very proficient in oral and written English language.
    I do not speak German;however, I do intend to take German classes and become very proficient once I move there.
    my reason to move to Germany are also purely personal.
    My fiancee is German and that is where we intend to live our life.
    I would like to be able to obtain employment prior to moving as I do not want to be solely dependent upon him
    Please email me at if you have any suggestions. Thank you!
  • Teajay posted:

    on 29th February 2008, 17:14:50 - Reply

    Interesting comments. We have lived in Bayern for 6 years and are both white, English blondes. We hear "Auslander" all the time, and I agree with Andreas. German can be a harsh sounding language and often wrongly interpretted. On the whole, we've had very few problems, and as we usually get mistaken for being Dutch (must be our dodgy german accents!), they are amusingly surprised once they know we are actually English, knowing how lazy us Brits are at second languages. Obviously, there are the odd people in our street who still resent our presence, but hey, you can't get on with everyone! We jumped straight in at the deep end when we first arrived, armed only with "Danke", but were welcomed fairly well on the whole. We are lively, outgoing people and have made some good friends here, and there have been some good old humdingers when we don't agree on certain things, but doesn't that happen at home as well. We keep talking about going home, but just can't seem to tear ourselves away from the beer!
  • Teajay posted:

    on 29th February 2008, 17:14:45 - Reply

    Interesting comments. We have lived in Bayern for 6 years and are both white, English blondes. We hear "Auslander" all the time, and I agree with Andreas. German can be a harsh sounding language and often wrongly interpretted. On the whole, we've had very few problems, and as we usually get mistaken for being Dutch (must be our dodgy german accents!), they are amusingly surprised once they know we are actually English, knowing how lazy us Brits are at second languages. Obviously, there are the odd people in our street who still resent our presence, but hey, you can't get on with everyone! We jumped straight in at the deep end when we first arrived, armed only with "Danke", but were welcomed fairly well on the whole. We are lively, outgoing people and have made some good friends here, and there have been some good old humdingers when we don't agree on certain things, but doesn't that happen at home as well. We keep talking about going home, but just can't seem to tear ourselves away from the beer!
  • Ava Birgit posted:

    on 29th February 2008, 14:49:33 - Reply

    I live in Germany due to my work and I must say I have never had a problem the germany or it's people yes I must admit that some of the older generation can be a little stand-offish with regards to speaking the english language but then again you are a visitor and in visiting any country it might be a good idea to learn a few phrases if you show willing most people respect that and give a little smile and are most obligu-ing. Maybe the reason so many people, tourist or other is because they think they are something important and think because most of the world speaks the english language speaking a second language is beneath them.
  • Andreas posted:

    on 28th February 2008, 21:46:42 - Reply

    I have heard many people making the claims concerning racism denise makes above. Strangely enough non-caucasian people that have grown up in germany don't make that claim. Take soccer player Navina Omilade as an example who said in an interview: "If I didn't look into the mirror from time to time I wouldn't know that I'm not white."
    The german etiquette often seems offensive to the english speaking world (and vice versa!). I think that is often mistaken as racism by people that don't know better.
  • Peter posted:

    on 28th February 2008, 19:52:30 - Reply

    I have lived in and visited Germany for various periods of time (three years to one month). I can honestly say I never experienced any difficulties with the natives. According to the above messages, this may be due to the fact that I am caucasian and of German extraction. But I seriously doubt it.
    The stigma of the Nazi period is alive and well for most residents in or visitors to Germany. Amazingly, the other side of the coin is unknown or forgotten.
    The Allies committed their share of atrocities also.
    The teror inspired airware cost Germany 500,000 dead primarily women, children and old people. The racial cleansing of Germans from their provencial homelands in the East (East/West Prussia, Silesia and East Pommerania etc.) resulted in the brutal relocation of some 15 million and the death of 2 million (again primarily women, children and the old.) The imprisonment of thousands of German prisoners of war in open fields with no cover and no or little food resulted again in the loss of thousands. Being in Germany, I often wondered how a country that experienced such losses could have again become a functioning member of the human community. I truly respect and admire Germany for what she is today not for what she was 65 years ago.
  • Alan Kruger posted:

    on 28th February 2008, 14:25:44 - Reply

    I have lived in Germany for the past 2 years with my family and we love it here. The big breakthrough came for us when I used a relocation specialist. You register though the city you are living in. The people at the consulates in the US never told me this. I have mostly had nice experiences with the German people but one bad experience with the LandesPolizei at Stuttgart airport when my laptop was stolen.
  • Daniel Syme posted:

    on 28th February 2008, 11:44:53 - Reply

    Have visited Germany many of times over the past seven years (mostly in Berlin and Rostock) and have experienced nothing of the foreign racial treatments mentioned above. Nothing but the utmost kindness from the people there. Of course, visiting is far different from actually living there - or perhaps they just don't hate Australians. ;)
  • Peter posted:

    on 27th February 2008, 21:25:59 - Reply

    I have been in Germany for 18 years and wonder sometimes why I've stayed so long. I'm tall, white, blond hair and blue eyed so you would think I would fit in but when I speak German with a foreign accent things change fast. I received a traffic ticket once with big bold letters on top of the citation "Foreigner" and received the maximum fine possible. Do yourself a favor and move to Wisconsin where there are lots German decendants but are very polite and considerate people unlike the real Germans. If you really must move here, get a job with the US military where you don't need any of the normal German "papers" to live here. To be fair though, there are a lot of good reasons to live here. ps. Germany technically is a US colony because a peace accord has never been signed and Germany's Grundgesezt was developed by the US Army around 1945 or 46.
  • denise posted:

    on 27th February 2008, 18:41:44 - Reply

    Why would anyone of Jewish background even want to live in Germany with all the attrocities that happened to their people that by the way is stil happening except the Germans have widened the reach of racial discrimination to any foreignor. I would put it behind me. As a foreignor living in Germany (American with a hint of color), I've discovered Germany is the wrong place to live....especially in the EAST. But I guess if you are GERMAN BY BLOOD...and obviously that doesn't mean a foreignor then good'll join the rest of Germans in denial.
  • mike kucherov posted:

    on 27th February 2008, 15:30:50 - Reply

    Dear Mr. Behrendt,

    I don't know what your family backround is, but if it so happens that you have a Jewish ancestor who was stripped of German citizenship (as all Jewish Germans were) under the NS regime, you then have an automatic, fast-track claim to German citizenship.

    This is how I got my German citizenship, and I must say it was a speedy and painless process (I was able to document everything of course).

    Mike Kucherov