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Moving back to Germany in a month- Help!

(80 Posts)
peacelikeariver Thu 30-Mar-17 11:37:12

So after 20 years in London I'm packing up my family and taking them home. Well, my home, they have never lived there. This is not a fancy move, just a normal job, no relocation package. Thankfully I have a very capable SIL who has been very helpful.
I have found a job and with child benefit we will have enough to live on while DH learns German. We have a flat. The kids are excited. All good.
Now comes the stress of actually moving!
Any tips? I have not lived in Germany for 20 years, never been an 'adult' there, so all the bureaucracy is a bit alien to me.
I have opened a bank account online.
Have applied for Krankenversicherung.
School is not problem, kindergarten we have to sort out once we get there.
As I understand it we will get tax ID numbers once we register there?
Is it true I need a letter confirming we have cancelled child benefit here to apply for it there?
Any tips and experience of relocating to Germany greatly appreciated!

Welshcake77 Thu 30-Mar-17 17:42:18

Whereabouts are you moving to? It's been a long time since I came over but the main thing is to register (anmelden) with your local Rathaus/Standesamt. Everything else seemed to flow on from there! If your DH and DC don't have German citizenship they will need to register with the nearest Ausländerbehörde. You used to get an Ausweis but I don't think they do that any more.
Maybe look up Gemeindezentrum for local toddler groups to meet some other parents before you get into kindergarten.

Your employer will probably request a number of documents so I'd make copies of passport/Ausweis/anmeldebestätigung.

Otherwise it sounds like you've got the min things covered. Good luck with it all and come join the German thread smile

5moreminutes Fri 31-Mar-17 14:14:17

Yes it is true that you need the letter confirming you've cancelled UK child benefit.

I honestly can't remember how i got a tax number blush

Yes obviously don't forget to register. If you want an Ausweis you have to say so and pay a fairly small fee - I forget how much exactly, I think around 20€, and can only get one for the family members with German or duel nationality (there is no minimum age). They are very convenient being credit card sized and avoid the need to carry a passport. Legally you're meant to have an Ausweis or passport on you all the time, but even if you ignore that it's handy if you're going to travel within the EU.

If you're getting a car you need to register that too. You can choose your own numberplate within certain parameters, which is vaguely amusing.

Kindergarten will want to see your child's health check record (Grundschule may too, secondary isn't interested) so take their red book or visit a Kinderartz for a check up and to get the required yellow health record book and vaccination pass.

peacelikeariver Sat 01-Apr-17 17:16:46

Thanks, ok better get on the canceling the child benefit so I get a letter.
Kids have dual citizenship and DH is also european so that shouldn't be a problem.
Does anyone know about keeping a UK bank account? Google seems to say anything from no problem to no way. Any personal experiences? We are with Barclays here.
I did think the Kinderarzt will probably faint when they see the kids have been glanced at by a health visitor once or twice and have not had any of the 110 U- untersuchungen. grin

5moreminutes Sat 01-Apr-17 17:22:41

Keeping a UK bank account is no problem. I'm with NatWest and still have the account i opened as a student well over 20 years ago - i changed my address to here so its all totally above board and has never been a problem. Obviously wages are paid into German accounts. I actually applied for my NatWest credit card when living in Japan, backed up by Japanese pay slips, so I don't understand why keeping a UK account would be a problem?

70ontheinside Sat 01-Apr-17 17:37:59

We have lived in the UK for yonks, so I am a bit hazy on the details...

Make sure you get into the right Steuerklasse in your Lohnsteuerkarte (or whatever the modern equivalent is). Finanzamt or your HR department will be able to help.

Don't forget to take out a Haftpflichtversicherung asap - it is very important!

Vaccination schedules in Germany are slightly different to the UK. And, of course, you have already missed zillion Us, it's a miracle your kids are still alive wink.

Make yourself familiar with your local rubbish collection and recycling system. It's complicated.

Welshcake77 Sat 01-Apr-17 17:55:50

Oh good call on the Haftpflichtversicherung! You could use the website for things like that it's a good comparison site.

I have also kept my uk bank account with Lloyds which I've had for over twenty years. Just changed the address to my German one for correspondence but most is done online anyway.

peacelikeariver Sat 01-Apr-17 21:33:02

Oh the joys of insurance, my mother never shuts up about it. It is a miracle how we ever survived in the UK.
Doctors will be interesting I think, there seems to be a lot of homeopathy floating around the regular healthcare system. Odd.
Was just looking at the Impfkalender - why on earth do they routinely give babies Hep B Vaccine? I'm not an anti vaxer but that seems a bit excessive? Do kids have to be fully immunised for schools and Kindergarten?

peacelikeariver Sat 01-Apr-17 21:36:12

Is there some kind of German equivalent to mumsnet? Or is that wishful thinking?

70ontheinside Sat 01-Apr-17 22:18:03

Toytown Germany is for expats, and there is Netmoms, which seems a bit like nethuns.

theyearofthekitty Sun 02-Apr-17 00:01:35

Oh the joys of insurance, my mother never shuts up about it. It is a miracle how we ever survived in the UK.

Having a Haftpflichtversicherung is extremely useful though and not expensive at all. Although if everyone had it there wouldn't be so many entertaining MN threads about brass necked fuckers trying to wriggle out of replacing stuff they have damaged or broken.

Was just looking at the Impfkalender - why on earth do they routinely give babies Hep B Vaccine? I'm not an anti vaxer but that seems a bit excessive?

The vaccination is recommended by the WHO and is most effective when given during the first few days of life. Babies and small children are also a fair bit less likely to clear the infection than adults, so best to vaccinate early. Around 350 million people world wide carry the Hep B virus, so it's a lot more common than for example HIV!

peacelikeariver Sun 02-Apr-17 00:12:11

I was just wondering about Hep B because here it is only given to at risk groups, I had it myself, I work in healthcare. I wonder what is so different between the UK and Germany in that respect?

PrimalChic Sun 02-Apr-17 00:31:12

The child benefit letter only takes a week or two to come through, you just take it out with you.

Where about are you moving to? There are relocation companies that can help and you can have a full package or just ask them to help with certain things. We used one to move out there but managed to go it alone moving back and de-registering.

Try the international women's group in case they have a group in your area. You can ask for local recommendations there or local Facebook sites. Remember it's not like the UK. If you don't like your paediatrician or GP, you can just find another!

Take Bisto. And calpol.

theyearofthekitty Sun 02-Apr-17 00:39:52

I think pretty much all Western / rich countries recommend the vaccination for everyone these days and the UK is really the odd one out here. As a consequence cases of acute Hep B have declined significantly in those countries in the last two decades or so. I suspect it probably all comes down to cost with the NHS being so dramatically underfunded.

5moreminutes Sun 02-Apr-17 00:48:57

You also get 10 yearly boosters for vaccinations paid for as standard by state health insurance as an adult, unlike in the UK. Tbh the health care is just better... Having had babies in both countries the standard of care in the third trimester and around the actual birth makes the NHS look third world...

Of course as Germany seems to be "behind" the UK in most things it will probably follow the UK and all go to ruin in 20 years time...

70ontheinside Sun 02-Apr-17 10:20:41

Yes, buy lots of meds to take with you. They can only be bought in pharmacies and are ridiculously expensive!

As said above, you can pick and choose your own doctors. If one is too much of a homeopath, change.
Pharmacists also always try and offer "something natural".

BertieBotts Sun 02-Apr-17 18:16:47

UK is very conservative over vaccines because of cost basically, but I prefer the UK approach there.

I don't find medication too expensive here. But yes, bring calpol. They seem to favour suppositories or horribly bitter stuff.

You get a tax number in the post when you start working.

BertieBotts Sun 02-Apr-17 18:18:09

Depending on where you are, I found a nice english speakers' group locally and they have a facebook page for parenting stuff which can be nice.

Katsite Mon 03-Apr-17 16:38:37

Do you have a place to stay? Internet and landline connections can take a long time to get installed. As can waiting lists for a Hort if you are planning on using one.

peacelikeariver Mon 03-Apr-17 23:55:43

Right, adding calpol to the list, not that we ever use much.
We do have a flat sorted but I think we can only do the phone/ internet once we are registered.
So many rules to get used to.

No relocation agency for us, just my brother and a very big van. smile

I was looking at school bags for DD( starts school in August) the other day, since they are kind of a big deal over there. I was prepared for them to be about 100 euros and nearly fainted when I saw some for 225! For that money I'd expect them to include an Abiturzeugnis! I guess if they last for Grundschule that's not too bad, bit like paying out for uniform all the time.

How quickly did your children pick up German? Mine understand a lot but refuse to speak it since they started preschool here. They'll have to snap out of that sharpish I guess.

5moreminutes Tue 04-Apr-17 07:52:12

peacelike last year's bags are always way cheaper, so if you don't want to pay too much you can get bags of the same quality for around €100. I'm fairly sure children where we live wouldn't know the difference, or even that there are new bags each year... can't speak for city kids

5moreminutes Tue 04-Apr-17 07:55:18

You know you will have to buy every last item of stationary every year though - every exercise book, paintbrush, art block, folder, plastic covers for the text books, as well as all the pens and pencils etc. In most Grundschule if you buy the "wrong" item (with margin instead of without for example) you will be expected to replace it with the correct one...

Katsite Tue 04-Apr-17 08:17:44

I'd be very interested to see how you get on. I returned after 25years+ abroad. Looks like you have support on the ground so that is very positive. Good luck!

BertieBotts Tue 04-Apr-17 08:38:04

Yes the bags seem to have rocketed in cost hmm We managed to get one without the stupid pencilcase for €80 in Real. I got a Minions pencil case on amazon for about €11.

I still haven't found the right sized squares for DS's maths book. They don't exist!! He keeps getting annoyed about it and I just get annoyed back because I have looked in the shop and that's all there is. (Unhelpful) Plus he needs a stand to hold books up. I don't understand why they can't just lie them on the desk, but there you go.

DS could say simple sentences in about 9 months and was fluentish by 18 months I think. But he had no German before we moved. If they understand it, it will be quicker I think.

peacelikeariver Tue 04-Apr-17 08:42:01

I know we have to buy all the stationary and books but that also means we keep the excersise books. Last teachers meeting DD teacher told me she writes beautiful stories. I asked if I ever get to see them. Answer was maybe can have a look at the end of the year. I find it really irritating that they have no books and nothing comes home here and I don't really know what she is up to. I guess I'm a bit nostalgic about my own schooltime too and can't really relate to the UK system.
Where does one obtain last years bags? And just why are they so expensive?
katsite how did you get on? Did you run away screaming after a month? grin

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