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How Much Does It Cost To Move To Germany

Published on 2021-02-04


how much does it cost to move to germany

Moving to Germany from the USA can be a great idea for you if you want to change environment to pursue a new life, seek better employment opportunities, open a Germany branch for your business, further your education,  conduct research or training or enjoy retirement. You will have access to one of the best social security and public transport systems in the world. However, you will also pay higher taxes and earn lower salary than you would earn in similar positions in the US.

If you have made up your mind to move to Germany from the USA, either for employment, education, or retirement, here are some tips to help you prepare adequately for your move and how much it will cost to move to Germany.

Paperwork Requirements for your move to Germany

Every country including Germany has procedures to complete before and during a migration process. This section outlines the paperwork that you will need to complete your move to Germany.  

German Visa and Residence Permit

As of 2021, a US citizen, you are allowed to travel to US and stay up to 90 days in Germany without a German visa, and thereafter apply for a residence permit. Although there is a yet to be implemented European Union electronic authorization requirement for US citizens before visiting certain EU countries. This can be a much easier way to get your residence permit rather than doing it from the US.


The German Residence Permit

The Residence Permit allow US citizens to live and work in Germany, after the expiration of their 90 days non-visa limit.

There are two types of German residence permits, namely:

  • Temporary Residence Permit: Also  known as the standard residence permit. This is required if you are moving to Germany for a limited period such as working on posting in Germany, family reunion, education and training, etc.
  • Permanent Residence Permit: Like the US “Green Card”, allows holders to reside permanently in Germany. 

To transit from temporary residency to permanent residency, you will have to meet the following requirements:

  • Hold temporary residence permit for at least five years
  • Have proficiency beyond the basic German language skills
  • Enroll for and pass the German integration course exam. The integration course is 195 per 100-hour module which is paid in advance. The total cost for the entire integration course is about 1,300 euros.
  • Prove an appreciable level of financial stability and security to live comfortably in Germany.

You can also apply for your German residence permit from any of the nine German embassy or consulates in the United States. However, note that it takes a minimum of three months to process a residence permit. This is becomes even though you are submitting your application in the US. It will still go through the German Aliens Authority.


Health Insurance Coverage In Germany


All German residents including expats are required to get a German health insurance. You will have three options to choose from:

  • The public health insurance system: By 2019 figures, all German residents earning an annual salary below 60,750 are mandated to get the public health coverage. The public health insurance covers in and out-patient care from a general practitioner or medical specialist, prescription drugs, pregnancy care, basic dental care, employee sick note, statutory sick pay (after employee’s obligation is over. The public health insurance coverage covers for spouses, civil partners and children up to age 23 and 25 if studying. People receiving unemployment benefits and pensioners are also covered under the state healthcare system.
  • Private health insurance: Can be provided by a German or international insurance company – You can choose a private insurance if you earn above 60,750 euros per year, and you are self employed or civil servant.
  • Combination of both public and private insurance: As a supplement for what’s not covered in your public health insurance policy.

Regardless of whether you are using a public or private health insurance in Germany, you will still pay the state insurance contributions which is split between employers and employees. Once you start working in Germany, you will have to register through your employer, though you have the right to choose an insurer based on rates and incentives offered. 

Public insurance providers charge a flat rate of 14.6 per cent of your gross income. However, there is also a supplemental charge which is an average 0.9 percent of your gross income, to a maximum monthly income of 4,425 euros. You won’t have to pay more if your earn more, income and health insurance cost in Germany does not increase mutually. 

After registration, the insurance provider will issue you a card with a digital chip that contain your personal data. This card is required to be presented the first time you visit a doctor each quarter.

Opening A German Bank Account

When moving to Germany, you will need to set up a bank account to handle basic financial transactions such as renting an apartment, getting a German phone number, receiving your paycheck or conducting business. Setting up a traditional bank account in Germany can be difficult but as new expats, you can consider an electronic bank to start with, and then later open a traditional account once you get all your paperwork sorted. You can also open an internet banking account in Germany right before you leave the US.

The Cost of Moving To Germany from USA

International moving services support aspiring German residents

When you factor in all the expenses like shipping cost, custom fees, packing services, e.t.c., the average cost relocate to Germany from the US is around $5,000. People moving to Germany from the east coast will have to pay a lower price to move to Germany when compared to people moving from west the coast.

If you are moving internationally for the first time, you probably think that you will have to leave most of your belongings behind. If the cost of your international plane ticket is thousands of dollars, how much more could it be to try to ship your whole home? The truth is, moving internationally via shipping container can be more economical than you think. So, how much does it cost to move to Germany when all factors are considered?

Here’s what you need to know: 

Shipping Rates to Germany

When you move to Germany via sea transport, you can choose either a half-container or full-container. The half-container offers 20 feet of space, and the full-container gives you the whole 40 feet. While you will need to work with a shipper to get a comprehensive quote, container shipping rates to Germany are available online and serve as a helpful baseline. 

To move a full container from New York to Germany, you can expect to pay under $3,000. A half-container can be shipped for as little as $1,700. Moving from the West Coast? You should still be able to ship your container for less than $3,000. 

Cost Of Moving to Germany With Household Goods

One of the first things people ask international moving services when moving overseas is whether they will owe customs duty and taxes. Unwelcome surprises at the border can cost you thousands of dollars or force you to surrender prohibited items.

Moving overseas involves a lot of moving parts and you will need to carefully choose which items to bring and which items to leave behind. Every item that you pack for shipping must be carefully inventoried, with detailed lists describing the contents of each individual box.

The best part is, if you are making Germany your permanent home, you can import your household goods free of custom and border taxes. All you have to do is qualify. To qualify for tax and duty-free imports, you must provide the following documents:

  • Official termination for your residence in the U.S. (such as a lease termination or sale agreements for your previous home in the U.S.), along with proof that you lived in the U.S. for at least a year.
  • Proof of new residence in Germany (a lease agreement, Einwohnermeldeamt [German police registration], or a letter from your German employer.)

Because the laws governing immigration and customs are subject to change, you should always reach out to your local German embassy for current guidance. This can keep you informed of any changes that may impact your move.

Cost of Importing A Vehicle Into Germany

If you are moving to Germany from the USA permanently, your vehicle can be imported tax and duty-free. (Note: This tax exemption pertains to customs only. Germany has other taxes associated with vehicle ownership that you cannot avoid.)

Unfortunately, for vehicles manufactured for use in North America, modifications will be required to meet German vehicle safety standards. These modifications could be to your steering, headlights, emissions, brakes, or tires. 

These modifications can be expensive and must be performed by a qualified mechanic. If you are on the fence about whether or not you want to subject to your car to this modification, look it up online. The results can be quite unattractive and you may even feel that your car has been ruined. You may end up choosing to purchase a vehicle in Germany when you arrive.

Once your vehicle has successfully arrived and been processed through customs, you must register your vehicle in Germany. Vehicle registration in Germany requires:

  • Valid Passport or Other ID
  • Proof of Vehicle Ownership (free of liens or encumbrances)
  • Proof of your New Address in Germany
  • Customs Clearance
  • Export Permit
  • Vehicle Registration from the U.S.
  • Insurance Card
  • Proof of Roadworthiness and Emissions Testing
  • Certification from the German Federal Motor Vehicle Registry attesting that the vehicle has never been registered in Germany
cost to move to germany

Three Movers

Moving internationally is a big deal but it doesn’t have to be a terrible experience. Working with an overseas moving company will lighten your load and give you peace of mind. Three Movers offers personalized service to make your international move a seamless transfer. Contact us today for your free cheap moving quote.

FAQs about moving to germany from USA and Costs

Moving to Germany from the USA is not easy. While you may be able to handle the emigration and customs process on your own, you’ll need the help of professional movers to move your belongings to Germany.

Before moving to Germany you should know the German language. Even though 56% of people in Germany do speak English, your life will be much easier if you know German.

Yes, you can just move to Germany from the US and stay there for 90 days. Then you can get your residence permit after that.

Three Movers is the best international moving company.

Yes, Germany is one of the best countries to live in. Healthcare and education system in Germany is awesome. Plus, Germany has one of the most stable economies in the world.

Keeping your package/belongings as light as possible is the cheapest way to ship to Germany.

Hiring a well-renowned shipping company is the best way to move vehicles to Germany.

First, you have to take a medical test of your pet. Then you can take your pet with you on the flight to Germany

You can import up to 430 Euros worth of goods without paying duty in Germany.

Moves From the USA to Germany: Our Top Routes

Three Movers can help you relocate from every US city to almost anywhere in Germany. Here are some popular routes for relocation connecting the USA to Germany.


The USA To Berlin

New York City to Berlin
Los Angeles to Berlin
Chicago to Berlin
Houston to Berlin
Phoenix to Berlin
Philadelphia to Berlin
San Antonio to Berlin
San Diego to Berlin
Dallas to Berlin
San Jose to Berlin
Fort Worth to Berlin
Jacksonville to Berlin
Columbus to Berlin
Charlotte to Berlin
Indianapolis to Berlin
San Francisco to Berlin
Seattle to Berlin
Denver to Berlin
Washington to Berlin
Boston to Berlin
El Paso to Berlin
Nashville to Berlin
Miami to Berlin
Oklahoma City to Berlin
Las Vegas to Berlin
Detroit to Berlin
Portland to Berlin
Memphis to Berlin
Louisville to Berlin
Milwaukee to Berlin
Baltimore to Berlin
Sacramento to Berlin
Atlanta to Berlin

The USA To Hamburg

New York City to Hamburg
Los Angeles to Hamburg
Chicago to Hamburg
Houston to Hamburg
Phoenix to Hamburg
Philadelphia to Hamburg
San Antonio to Hamburg
San Diego to Hamburg
Dallas to Hamburg
San Jose to Hamburg
Fort Worth to Hamburg
Jacksonville to Hamburg
Columbus to Hamburg
Charlotte to Hamburg
Indianapolis to Hamburg
San Francisco to Hamburg
Seattle to Hamburg
Denver to Hamburg
Washington to Hamburg
Boston to Hamburg
El Paso to Hamburg
Nashville to Hamburg
Miami to Hamburg
Oklahoma City to Hamburg
Las Vegas to Hamburg
Detroit to Hamburg
Portland to Hamburg
Memphis to Hamburg
Louisville to Hamburg
Milwaukee to Hamburg
Baltimore to Hamburg
Sacramento to Hamburg
Atlanta to Hamburg

The USA To Munich

New York City to Munich
Los Angeles to Munich
Chicago to Munich
Houston to Munich
Phoenix to Munich
Philadelphia to Munich
San Antonio to Munich
San Diego to Munich
Dallas to Munich
San Jose to Munich
Fort Worth to Munich
Jacksonville to Munich
Columbus to Munich
Charlotte to Munich
Indianapolis to Munich
San Francisco to Munich
Seattle to Munich
Denver to Munich
Washington to Munich
Boston to Munich
El Paso to Munich
Nashville to Munich
Miami to Munich
Oklahoma City to Munich
Las Vegas to Munich
Detroit to Munich
Portland to Munich
Memphis to Munich
Louisville to Munich
Milwaukee to Munich
Baltimore to Munich
Sacramento to Munich
Atlanta to Munich

The USA To Cologne

New York City to Cologne
Los Angeles to Cologne
Chicago to Cologne
Houston to Cologne
Phoenix to Cologne
Philadelphia to Cologne
San Antonio to Cologne
San Diego to Cologne
Dallas to Cologne
San Jose to Cologne
Fort Worth to Cologne
Jacksonville to Cologne
Columbus to Cologne
Charlotte to Cologne
Indianapolis to Cologne
San Francisco to Cologne
Seattle to Cologne
Denver to Cologne
Washington to Cologne
Boston to Cologne
El Paso to Cologne
Nashville to Cologne
Miami to Cologne
Oklahoma City to Cologne
Las Vegas to Cologne
Detroit to Cologne
Portland to Cologne
Memphis to Cologne
Louisville to Cologne
Milwaukee to Cologne
Baltimore to Cologne
Sacramento to Cologne
Atlanta to Cologne

The USA To Stuttgart

New York City to Stuttgart
Los Angeles to Stuttgart
Chicago to Stuttgart
Houston to Stuttgart
Phoenix to Stuttgart
Philadelphia to Stuttgart
San Antonio to Stuttgart
San Diego to Stuttgart
Dallas to Stuttgart
San Jose to Stuttgart
Fort Worth to Stuttgart
Jacksonville to Stuttgart
Columbus to Stuttgart
Charlotte to Stuttgart
Indianapolis to Stuttgart
San Francisco to Stuttgart
Seattle to Stuttgart
Denver to Stuttgart
Washington to Stuttgart
Boston to Stuttgart
El Paso to Stuttgart
Nashville to Stuttgart
Miami to Stuttgart
Oklahoma City to Stuttgart
Las Vegas to Stuttgart
Detroit to Stuttgart
Portland to Stuttgart
Memphis to Stuttgart
Louisville to Stuttgart
Milwaukee to Stuttgart
Baltimore to Stuttgart
Sacramento to Stuttgart
Atlanta to Stuttgart

The USA To Frankfurt

New York City to Frankfurt
Los Angeles to Frankfurt
Chicago to Frankfurt
Houston to Frankfurt
Phoenix to Frankfurt
Philadelphia to Frankfurt
San Antonio to Frankfurt
San Diego to Frankfurt
Dallas to Frankfurt
San Jose to Frankfurt
Fort Worth to Frankfurt
Jacksonville to Frankfurt
Columbus to Frankfurt
Charlotte to Frankfurt
Indianapolis to Frankfurt
San Francisco to Frankfurt
Seattle to Frankfurt
Denver to Frankfurt
Washington to Frankfurt
Boston to Frankfurt
El Paso to Frankfurt
Nashville to Frankfurt
Miami to Frankfurt
Oklahoma City to Frankfurt
Las Vegas to Frankfurt
Detroit to Frankfurt
Portland to Frankfurt
Memphis to Frankfurt
Louisville to Frankfurt
Milwaukee to Frankfurt
Baltimore to Frankfurt
Sacramento to Frankfurt
Atlanta to Frankfurt

Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at [email protected]

Customer Reviews

I want to take a moment to say thank you to the extremely hard working crew that handled my move. I admit I was skeptical of hiring a company to move my household stuff but I was so pleased with the services. These guys packed everything up and had it loaded and delivered in no time at all. Everything was taken care of from start to finish and my wife and I were able to take some much needed time to check out the new town without having to worry about getting things unpacked. Three Movers took care of everything and we really appreciate it!

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