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Everything posted by Auswanderer

  1. Getting a job from abroad

    In my minimal experience in dealing with German companies, they tend to be looking to hire someone long-term and as such the hiring process is often longer and more intensive than countries with greater labour market flexibility. I find that my colleagues suggest they'll stay in a job a minimum of two years, even if they don't really like it otherwise it will reflect badly on them. I tend to think a year is reasonable. I know others consider 3 months to be above and beyond. It sounds like you're doing quite well on the job hunting front if you are making it to this point in the application. Your best bet is probably just being upfront and saying that you're really interested in the position, but know that it is very difficult to get the appropriate visa and ask if they can proceed further via video.   The other thing that you have to consider if you plan on moving here is that there are a large number of fixed costs in coming to Germany which might make it quite difficult for you to take up a job offer. You need the first months' rent, you need accommodation while you find somewhere to live, you will probably need furniture and even a kitchen, etc. 
  2. Retiring soon. What to do about health insurance?

    Wow, what a disturbing thread. I feel like every few months I come across another piece of small print in the German social contract that makes me wonder why anyone migrates here. Something else to read up on!
  3. There are a couple of problems you seem to be facing. Firstly it is worth remembering that you are a migrant working in a professional field in a country that generally sees migrants as here to do jobs that locals don't want to do. Further, your field is heavily language based which unless you are targeting your native language group will put you at a disadvantage. Coming to Germany as an engineer is one thing, coming here as a lawyer is another. Just because you were successful in one country does not mean that those professional skills will either translate or be recognised.    Secondly, your manager might be an exception: I have met Germans that graduated from university at 22, did a Masters at the same time as they were employed and by their late 20s are more than competent enough to manage a small team. Your manager might not be that person, but she might also be meeting the expectations of the organisation that you both work for.  As we get older it is natural that before long we will either be the same age as our managers, or be managed by people younger than us if we're working in a traditional corporate structure. At some point you're going to have to get used to it.    It sounds as though you are not very fulfilled in your current role. Why don't you do some consulting on the side? If no-one wants to hire you it might be a sign that your skills aren't as in demand as you might have thought?
  4. Australian to German driver's licence conversion

    Unfortunately the process is a joke and you're experience will depend almost entirely on which bureaucrat you meet on the day. When I transferred mine they wanted the date of issue of my first ever Australian licence. The reason given was that if you were registered as living in Germany at the time you were granted your licence it would not be recognized. My experience was that every appointment they would request a different document or ask me to meet another requirement; it can be a long road to accomplish a minor bureaucratic task. 
  5. Ageism and sexism in Germany

    It seems to be a global trope of the IT industry that all the jobs are going to be off-shored to India or Eastern Europe. I'd be curious to see if there is any evidence that the absolute number of IT has decreased during all of these supposed outsourcing periods. As far as I can see there has been a pretty steady growth in the industry and generally work has always been available in at least the same proportion as for other professionals (that is, taking into account recessions, etc).
  6. Non-germans and the labour market

    Interesting article in Zeit reporting on a new OECD study on employment prospects in various countries. As expected for Germany education, earnings and employment are strongly related. What is quite interesting is how poorly Germany does (in comparison to other OECD countries) at integrating non-Germans into the labour market. Given that there is an increasing expectation that shortages of teachers, carers, nurses, etc will be filled by foreigners, it is difficult to see how that will work without significant changes given past experience.
  7. The process for you to enter and work in Germany is straight-forward as an Australian, it is complicated because you are looking to migrate and you have a preexisting medical condition. Australia is very easy to migrate to if you are young, healthy, English-speaking and well educated. If you aren't those things it really isn't straight forward, or even at times possible.    If you are serious about this the simplest way is to get married. Do it in Australia as the paperwork at both ends of the marriage (should it come to that) will be simpler. If you don't want to go that route the options others have laid out are what you need to do. The Vorrangsprinzip doesn't seem to be a massive barrier (based on reported success stories here), particularly if you can get a creative position through your partners family. Surely they want to acquire a business in Australia and as part of their due diligence want to employ an Australian accountant who is based in Germany? 
  8. Cologne Brexit Meeting - Wed 13th Feb

    How many Germans do you suppose live in the UK without B1-Level English? Just about everyone would finish school at that level or higher.    I don't imagine there is much faith on the Continent that UK immigration policy won't start becoming as onerous for EU citizens as it is for third-country nationals.   As a hypothetical, who doesn't think that learning the local language is a reasonable requirement for long-term visas?
  9. Cologne Brexit Meeting - Wed 13th Feb

    Just putting it out there that Germany has been very public in their wishes for the UK not to leave the EU, but at the same time warning that the benefits of EU membership will not be extended to non-members. The UK has created this situation, the EU is simply responding. Compared to what non-EU citizens need to go through in order to migrate to the UK, Germany has to be seen as a cakewalk. 
  10. There are very few places in Germany that are unsafe, so regardless of where you end up in and around BW you're going to be fine! I was surprised when I moved here that Maklers (real estate agents) invariably warned me about certain areas of the city as 'dangerous', despite the fact that I'm a foreigner too. What they meant was multi-cultural. When you get here take some time to walk around different areas, you can quickly see which areas don't appeal and which do.  
  11. Air Berlin and now Germania and now WOW

    The price of the ticket is set by the airline, and the taxes which apply are the same taxes which apply to other businesses. There are a large number of other fees and charges, but these apply to all airlines operating in the market. They may act to reduce overall demand, but they do not discriminate. If we consider which airlines are going under at the moment it is the budget airlines that had thin margins padded by discretionary expenditure. There is a problem with the business model, not with tax policy. It's also worth considering what those taxes and charges on the ticket are. Someone has to pay for the construction, operation and maintenance of airports, air traffic control, security, etc. 
  12. Brexit: The fallout

    And all this time the negotiating teams just lacked an appropriate infographic to explain to them how simple it all is...
  13. You have to be careful of what you are comparing here (income from wages, all sources, scaled for family size, etc), and without providing a source it's difficult to tell. BW is indeed very high on the scale (around ~3600 brutto ) but it's hard to believe 4k net is the average of all families. 
  14. Rent to Rent

    Why would you say that it's immoral? I have previously had colleagues who were extremely well paid but chose to rent a bed in a shared room in a shared flat because they were travelling with work for 200+ days per year, and when they were 'home' only wanted a place to sleep and leave some things. I agree that there are good arguments to be made that strict controls on subletting reduce the risk of exploitation (I personally support Germany's relatively restrictive stance on property usage and zoning), there are people who want those arrangements for a variety of reasons. 
  15. Brexit: The fallout

    Well that's a bold prediction! My crystal ball came in at 53.21924% in favour of Germany, but it's admittedly hard to predict so far in advance. 
  16. That's a very good salary for Germany, and you can live comfortably on that. According to Die Zeit's 'middle class' calculator, that income puts you in the top fifth of all households in Germany after taking into account family size. The notional 25-30% cost of accommodation limit applies less as you move up the income ladder.   
  17. Brexit: The fallout

    There is a lot of confusion about what a custom union is (including in the media and seemingly the HoC). A customs union (CU) exists where a group of custom zones (political entities that have the right to levy tariffs) agree to set a common tariff schedule that applies to all members of the CU. For those that are interested, the GATT outlines what a CU is. When goods enter the CU a tariff is paid at the point of entry and then there are no further checks necessary within the CU.   To see why a CU must have an enforceable border consider an analogy. There is a medieval city surrounded by a wall with 5 gates, and each gate 'controls' a zone of the city. All goods coming into the town must pass through on of the five gates, and the same tariff schedule applies to each; a standard customs zone. Because the city is congested, goods pass through the gate closest to where they are used in the city. One gate however, decides to charge a different schedule than the others  in the hope that more factories and shops will open up near it. The gate operator assures the rest of the town that they will perform checks to ensure that products passing through the gate are only intended for use in that gate's zone. Importers will assess whether it is better to import through the cheaper gate and transport across the city, rather than going through the nearest gate with the higher tariff. The other four zones assume that this presents an unfair advantage to the gate with the lower tariff.    This is why the UK has a choice to be in a CU with the EU and be bound by EU negotiated trade agreements, or go out on their own and have goods inspected at a border. That border could be either the land border in Ireland or in the Irish Sea (keeping NI in the CU). If there is no border between the UK and the EU, and the UK goes ahead and strikes deals with different third countries, the EU tariffs will be circumvented.    The UK can leave the EU, end free movement, and avoid a hard border with Ireland. The trade-off will be to give up the right to strike their own trade deals; which may be a blessing in disguise.   
  18. German house insulation vs US?

    Someone needs to write a book on how to care for a German spouse in Australia. Some topics could include insulation, bread, denominating distance as time, skiing on frozen mud, etc
  19. Do people at the "Ausländerbehörde" speak English?

    I have some friends in the various government (Bund) agencies that claim their lack of professional level English is a disadvantage for them career-wise. None of those people are client facing, and as far as I can tell, seems to be more about professional development opportunities.
  20. Integration courses exemption/relaxation

    Like most things to do with the Ausländerbehörde there is the discretion of the case officer regarding what is required of you, but being a 'potentially skilled migrant' is probably not sufficient. I was told by the childcare at my local Volkshochschule that they only take children over one year of age (not that the VHS itself was aware of this requirement) so that might be a possible extension to the time for when you have to complete the integration course.   As evidence of some flexibility around the participation requirement: I previously received a letter asking why I hadn't done the integration course. I called the ABH and we discussed (in German) whether it was necessary. Since my German was at that time ok (B2) they told me not to worry about it. I don't know if that was ever recorded in my file so perhaps it will come back  to bite me. Fingers crossed!  
  21. Brexit: The fallout

    Hmm, they replaced one brand, and saw an increase in sales in one category of drinks. It's a shame that most journalists are too statistically illiterate to ask them what the trend was before the change, how the Jägermeister sales compared to those of Strika, or why they didn't either do a random trial of different stores or even, God forbid, put them side by side and see what consumers want?  
  22. Brexit: The fallout

    I think the Canada-style deal was mentioned within the context of a deal having been reached, and the trade negotiation would be undertaking during the transition period as outlined in the agreement.    Countries within the EU are already free to set their own tax rates (compare the Republic of Ireland's corporate tax rate with Germany's - to choose one example), so there is no need to leave the EU to change tax policy.    The thing with FTA is that they reduce trade barriers, but seldom remove all of them. You'll note in the Singapore FTA there are lots of clauses about agreed environmental and labour market standards and protections. The EU will be the senior partner in a trade negotiation which tends to mean that they write the rules. 
  23. Brexit: The fallout

    Surely a managed no deal is actually a deal?
  24. Brexit: The fallout

    The simplest answer is that she is the Prime Minister, which makes her responsible for setting and implementing the government-of-the-day's agenda. At the beginning of her prime ministership she set out what she wanted to achieve, and has not achieved that (as yet) so must be regarded as having failed. At the best of times the British press is rabid, and these are not the best of times, so she is being given a rough ride in the media.    More generally though, I don't think that she will be remembered by history too unfavorably. She has made some massive political mistakes (calling an election, triggering Article 50 with seemingly no plan, trying to sideline Parliament) which are her own doing, but she was dealt an impossible hand. There are many people who can be blamed for Brexit (May, Cameron, Rees-Mogg, Johnson, the lackadaisical Remain campaign, etc), but right now May is in the hot seat and is more or less dictating the agenda from the UK side of the negotiation.  
  25. What you're proposing does seem crazy, and you didn't really mention any reason for why you are choosing Germany over another country. No-one knows what is going to happen regarding Brexit; it might all be reversed, it might be a hard Brexit, etc. Moving to Germany now will mean that in addition to dealing with the potential changes caused by the new relationship between the EU and the UK, you'll have to do it in German and in a system that is new to you. Provided you have employable skills and are relatively young, Germany is not a difficult country to migrate to, so you are not ruling Germany out forever. The immigration rules here appear to be becoming laxer too.    I'd be interested to know what the things are that irritate you about France. It might be worth taking some of the little time you have available to consider if those problems stem from the French, or from the realities of being a migrant.