I am an EU national (Italian passport) who has been living and working in the UK since 2006 and I recently got a job offer that I intend to accept for a new role in Berlin (I have no German and will start a course very soon). I will be starting Mid-March and the offer itself includes a nice relocation package (~6K) and I have just started to research what I would need to do to confidently start my new role (it is the 1st of December now and I am on a 3 month notice period with some room for negotiation in terms of length). Considering the relocation budget offered by the company, would you simply use a relocation services agency? From what I gather, this is what I will need to do (essential steps):

  • Register my address in Germany, for which I will need the following:
    • your passport or ID card;
    • a copy of the lease or rental agreement for your accommodation
    • a completed registration form (Anmeldeformular) countersigned by the landlord The above, of course, implies that I have already found and signed a rental agreement (that is why I wondered whether a relocation agency can help while still working my notice). Then, again this is from my very initial research, I will need to apply for my health insurance and after a 2 weeks or so I shall receive an email with my social security number. My understanding is that the social security number (NI in UK terms) and health insurance are essential for my new employer to pay me? I am also researching about opening a bank account (I am currently with HSBC) and I am considering N26. Has any of use open an international account with HSBC?

Any help will be much appreciated in terms of steps to take and how to approach them within the allowed time.

Thank you so much


  • For 6k Euros you can get a relocation agency and a moving company to move your entire household. That's pretty awesome. But if you lived in the UK you probably only have a TV and laptop and clothes anyway because you likely rented a furnished flat. Be aware that in Germany that practically does not exist.
    – simbabque
    Dec 3, 2018 at 14:28
  • 1
    @simbabque Unfurnished flats are far and away the most common in the UK too. Dec 3, 2018 at 17:26
  • @MartinBonner that's entirely possible. I recently expat-moved to London, and I saw an equal distribution. I didn't bring any furniture with me because price-wise it made hardly any difference to rent with or without furniture. So I can only speak from experience.
    – simbabque
    Dec 4, 2018 at 11:16
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    @simbabque The main problem with renting a furnished flat in England is that you risk getting English furniture. This is particularly problematic in northern England, perhaps less so in London, which has entered not only the 20th but locally even the 21st century already.
    – gerrit
    Dec 6, 2018 at 10:43
  • Hi paranza, welcome to Skeptics! I'm in a similar situation as you, an EU national preparing to relocate from the UK to Germany before Brexit, just minus the generous relocation package (see my recent questions). Unfortunately, the question "would you use a relocation services agency?" is not very suitable for this site. On this site, we are looking for generally useful, objectively answerable questions. Whether or not a relocation services agency works for you is subjective and depends entirely on your personal situation.
    – gerrit
    Dec 6, 2018 at 10:49

1 Answer 1


Registering your place of residence with the municipal authorities is a trivial bureaucratic step. There are many more difficult steps, most notably finding an affordable flat to rent.

  • You will need health insurance. Depending on what you earn, you may have the choice between private and public (gesetzliche) insurance companies. This choice is an important one with long-term consequences. Private ones are often better for young healthy singles, public ones are often better for older people and families, and changing later can be expensive or impossible.
  • Knowing your health insurance status is essential for getting paid because healthcare premiums are directly deducted from your wages. Without knowing your insurance, they don't know what to deduct and where to send it.
  • Social security is different from medical coverage; the Sozialversicherungsnummer is mostly for pension purposes. You need one to work, and in certain jobs you need to carry it with you.
  • The OP should remember that young people have an overwhelming tendency to turn into older people (the alternative is worse), and surprisingly often young singles turn into families. Once either or both have happened, it is too late to change from Privat to Gesetzliche. (Of course, if the OP is confident they won't be in Germany in five years time, that's different.) Dec 3, 2018 at 17:29
  • Private ones are better for young healthy singles, that's a subjective and debatable statement.
    – gerrit
    Dec 6, 2018 at 10:45
  • @gerrit, I'll insert "often". The point is, it is a decision with far-reaching consequences if an employee (not freelancer) earns enough to have a choice.
    – o.m.
    Dec 6, 2018 at 16:57

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