Relocation for a job is a complicated process and decision to move requires full consideration. Of course, when you are young, single and free like a bird, it is rather a fun adventure than a stressful change.
When you have a family, the process becomes more complicated. However, complicated dos not mean impossible, it just means that you have to plan logistic more carefully.
The main relocation challenge is to find a new place you and your family will call home, to become acquainted with a new environment, to build all infrastructure and of course to master a new job and to do all at once.
We started to prepare to relocation four months before the move day. We received a huge support from the relocation agency hired by my husband’s employee. Staying home with one-month-old baby, the maximum I could do was searching for some useful information in internet.That is why you should ask your employee whether he provides relocation support. For example, some companies will pay you for the transportation of your belongings, assistance in house hunting, dealing with the local authorities.
Since we were relocating with a baby we were less flexible and less mobile that if it were just a two of us. Every trip or meeting in local authorities with a small child was a great deal for us. Thanks to our relocation agent our move and settlement were very smooth. If I would make the list of important services you should ask your relocation agent for, I would suggest the following.
Basic relocation package has to include:
- Assistance with the local authorities. Everything related to your legal status and documents is critical, especially when you do not speak the language. By the way, it is important to ask in advance, whether you have to pass language exam to get your residence permission/Blue card/Visa. Eventually, without status legalization, you cannot start work.
- Temporary housing. Even if you find your home quickly, ask at least for one month of temporary housing. If you come alone, it can be a regular hotel room. If you come with children, it has to be apartment with fully equipped kitchen and laundry.
- Help with house hunting. You come to the new place and it will take a lot of time to understand what city or area is better for your needs. Is it child-friendly? Is it far from center, kindergarten, post, shops, doctors? How long does it take to get from home to office? What is a reasonable price level in the area? We thought about renting one bedroom apartment, but in Germany you cannot rent one bedroom apartment if you have a child. It is also an important moment to consider when you plan your expenses for housing rent. Another problem was very high demand. It is not enough to find the apartment, you have also to fight for it with other potential tenants. Ask your relocation agent to attend the meeting with a landlord and to help you make a proper application, showing you are a reliable tenant.
- Meeting with tax adviser. Actually, the sooner the better. I would do it even before accepting the relocation offer because such issues as double taxation influence your income directly. This also be a good reason for salary negotiation.
“Nice to have” services in your relocation package:
- Support with opening bank account
- Assistance with driver license exchange
- Consultation with an insurance agent and choosing medical insurance
- Support with a buying car/leasing
Important information you can find by yourself (local Facebook groups here is the best source of information):
- Finding GP for you and your family
- Application to kindergarten/Krippe (for infants)
- Finding language courses/private tutor
- Job placement or employment for spouse