There is so much that speaks for Germany: a good social system, a good health care system and the high level of education, for example. But there are also many things that speak against Germany: the weather, for example. Or that in Germany, on average, more work is done than in many other countries. According to the Federal Statistical Office, more than a quarter of a million Germans emigrated in 2018 alone – and the trend is rising.
Why do so many people want to emigrate?
Money and lifestyle are the most common reasons for emigration. This is shown by the German Emigration and Remigration Panel Study, the results of which will be published in December 2019 by the Federal Institute for Population Research under the title "Winners of Globalization – Individual Consequences of Stays Abroad and International Mobility" summarized were published. The authors have found that people who decide to move abroad are more qualified than average. According to the study, three quarters of the participants had a university degree. They usually benefit financially from emigration. And not by a long shot: According to the study, they earned an average of 1200 euros more net by moving abroad than before in Germany.
It doesn’t always have to be a higher salary at a new job that provides a financial incentive to emigrate. There are also countries that reward emigration with money.
Here is money for emigrants
Again and again there are financial incentives from cities, villages or regions for those who decide to move their life abroad. For example:
- Those who found a start-up in Chile are rewarded. The Start-up Chile program helps successful applicants with a work visa over a year of financial support amounting to – depending on the type of start-up – several thousand euros.
- If you emigrate to Saskatchewan, Canada, you can earn up to 14 percent as an experienced academic.Get 400 euros of funding. Condition: His profession is in demand and he commits himself to live and work there for at least seven years.
- Those who emigrate as a couple to Ponga in northwestern Spain receive 3,000 euros.
- In Tulsa, in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, participants in the Tulsa Remote program get 10.000 dollars.
- Families moving to the Greek island of Antikythera receive 500 euros in monthly support.
Attention: Time and again, programs are stopped – but new ones are added elsewhere, usually aimed at attracting skilled emigrants and breathing new life into places where the population is dwindling.
If you want to emigrate without a lot of start-up capital and are flexible, you should do some research beforehand. And it’s best to be pretty accurate, because a financial bonus isn’t everything either. Because often, especially in Europe, it’s the small villages that wave money at you and want to prevent the place from dying out completely. Accordingly, the possibilities can be limited there to build something professionally but also privately. And as nice as a few thousand euros in start-up capital sounds, it’s usually not enough to secure a living over a longer period of time, which is often a prerequisite for the bonus.
Spain emigrant reports
A little more is needed to make emigration a success. Alexandra Neumann knows that too. The 32-year-old emigrated to Malaga, Spain, about four years ago. Sun, beach and sea – nevertheless she has put in a lot of work to build up a new home here. She emphasizes: "Here in Spain you don’t get anything for free."
The story of the woman who decided to seek her fortune abroad began ten years ago. "That’s when I met my partner Gustavo", she recalls. Gustavo had just moved from Spain to Germany to work there. The two fell in love, moved in together and lived together in Bergisches Land. And when they went on vacation, they went to Gustavo’s old home. "I fell in love with Malaga right away. I also noticed that Gustavo was homesick and missed his family. That’s why I said: Get me a job and we’ll emigrate."
At some point, Alexandra discovered a job ad on Facebook by chance. "A company was looking for German employees for the sales department. And I thought: I can distribute. I probably went into it rather naively, but I applied – and suddenly had an interview with a very large, international IT company", she remembers.
The application process went through five rounds. Finally, Alexandra got a job offer – and then everything went really fast. A haulier was ordered to take not only their belongings but also their horses to Malaga, she and Gustavo got in the car, drove off – and Alexandra’s expatriate life began. "At the beginning I didn’t realize that I was now living in Spain. I had the first two weeks off – and it was really more like a vacation. When I actually started working at my new job, I realized: I live here now. Funnily enough, Gustavo, who had already lived in Malaga, felt the same way. It also took him a few weeks", she says.
What are the best conditions for emigration?
- For the move to another country to succeed, five things are advantageous:
- professional perspective
- Language skills
- local knowledge
- Local contacts
"Without a job, I would never have moved to London", says emigrant Viktoria Hof, who moved from Germany to the United Kingdom six years ago. The 30-year-old did an internship abroad in London during her studies and fell in love with the British capital – and with Adam, a Swede who had come to London for professional reasons.
By chance she came across a job ad, applied and got lucky. Since then she lives in London. She advises: "You should only move once you have found a job. It’s also helpful to speak the language, at least partially. Nevertheless: Whoever thinks about emigrating should just do it. Good preparation is important and helps. But you can’t prepare for everything. Who dreams of emigrating, should not be deterred and just try it."
Viktoria can’t really imagine returning to Germany. She has made a career in London. But whether she will stay in Great Britain forever is not certain. She and Adam are now married. Through him she got to know Sweden. Also a beautiful country. The two play every now and then with the idea of spending a few years or even more there. But it’s not that far yet.
Alexandra Neumann, who emigrated to Spain four years ago, was lucky: Her partner Gustavo’s family was already there. "That made a lot of things easier. For example, they were able to help us find a place to live and we had someone there to help us", she says. She advises those who don’t know anyone in the emigration destination to live there on a trial basis if possible. "A vacation alone is not enough to really get to know a country", she says.
On the other hand, she admits that even when you think you know everything about your new home, there are still surprises to come. In her case, for example, this was noticeable when dealing with authorities. "It’s terribly complicated here and nobody really gets through it. To make it work, it’s best to hire so-called gestorias to do it for you – but you have to know that first, because there is no such thing in Germany", she says.
Another thing that takes some getting used to for them is how relaxed the local craftsmen are. "There is no emergency service here, so if the boiler for hot water is broken, it can take days or weeks to get it fixed. And often only temporary repairs are made", she says. But she doesn’t really let that bother her. "You have to get involved with the country when you emigrate", says they. And even though she works in Malaga just as she did in Germany and her daily routine is not as different as it used to be in her home country, she enjoys her life in Spain. "It is different whether you are stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work and it is raining, or whether you are driving along the sea. Besides, the winters are not so cold, it’s not so dark, you’re outside a lot more. Besides, Spaniards are very open and friendly, even towards foreigners," she says, she says.
Where do Germans want to emigrate?
The Federal Statistical Office keeps records of where Germans move to. Accordingly, the most popular emigration destinations were in 2018: