Staying Singapore or moving to Germany

30 posts in this topic

Hello Friends! I am stuck in a dilemma and would like to seek some help from all of you who have lived in Singapore and now based in Germany. 

 

I am an Indian national and have been living and working in Singapore for 4 years and now I am in the midst of getting a regular work permit for an employer from Frankfurt. My blue card application was rejected and I barely speak German. Though my job does not require me to speak German but I will be enrolling for German classes once I am there.

How do you guys see a move from Singapore to Frankfurt? Is it a sensible move considering Singapore has low taxes(I pay 5%), very safe, no language barrier and much easier to integrate than Germany.

 

Also my wife has to learn A1 German level to join me on a dependent visa in Germany. Singapore has no such rules. Getting Singapore dependent visa for spouse is a piece of cake but I have heard for Germany it can take months and the process is painfully long, if applied from

India(Mumbai consulate in my case).

 

I know the move is a personal decision and every individual will see it differently. But your help and guidance will make me calm down my nerves.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Quote

Is it a sensible move considering Singapore has low taxes(I pay 5%), very safe, no language barrier and much easier to integrate than Germany.

 

Also my wife has to learn A1 German level to join me on a dependent visa in Germany. Singapore has no such rules. Getting Singapore dependent visa for spouse is a piece of cake but I have heard for Germany it can take months and the process is painfully long, if applied from

India(Mumbai consulate in my case).

 

I know the move is a personal decision and every individual will see it differently. But your help and guidance will make me calm down my nerves.

 

I've never lived in Singapore, however, AFAIK they have very broad definitions of family for the purposes of family reunification. I don't know whether or not this is important to you, however, you be NOT able to bring your parents here to live with you.

 

@Conquistador might have more insight into the differences.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you plan to live in Germany or Singapore in the long term and you plan to start a family I would say Germany is a much better place even with all the language barrier. German immigration laws seem hard at the beginning but in the long term they are more flexible, the path to citizenship is clear from the beginning. Integration in Germany is much more difficult for an Indian than it would be in Singapore.

If you just plan to work for a couple of years and cash some money I would take Singapore any day.

The food in Singapore is awesome and you can afford to eat out every day if you want. In Germany the food sucks in comparison and it is expensive to eat out.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I lived in Singapore with my husband while I was on maternity leave and I know of an Indian family that moved from Singapore to Germany. He's in IT and had once lived in Munich (as a bachelor, I dare say), so he knew Germany and wanted to come back.

 

Over the past couple of years and after many talks with him and his wife, I can say it's been great for him career-wise. He's now got permanent residency, has a company car, nice flat, a good salary, BUT his German is very, very basic. He came here (the 2nd time) for 2 weeks to do basic German lessons, but has not moved beyond A1, maybe A2. He works and travels a lot (doesn't need German at work) and then when the weekend comes he doesn't really want to study. He managed the time to get his drivers license (at an English driving school). She, on the other hand, finished up her master's degree from here. Began intensive German lessons  and also got her drivers license. So she's been very busy, but they have a small child, who did very well at a German kindergarten and is now in elementary school. They're expecting their 2nd child. The wives German is excellent now so she takes care of everything that needs someone with good German skills. He understands a fair bit, but cannot really speak it. Once you start working, it's hard to learn German.

 

My experience of Singapore - it's great if you're career-oriented, don't mind the long hours and have a partner at home who can pick up the slack (housework, kids, etc.). It's the reason we didn't stay - I have a great part-time job here and also a child, but in Singapore only part-time exists for freelancers or those with their own businesses. And so this has/will befall them as well here in Germany - he'll do well career-wise, but she's going to be the one to pick up the slack at home.

 

He has complained a bit about salary, doesn't earn nearly as much as he could if he had stayed in Singapore, but he cannot be fired in a moments notice. He was shocked when he got his first paycheck! But he says the work-life balance is what keeps him here. 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Krieg said:

...The food in Singapore is awesome...

 

Yes, but in Germany you can find far superior, high-quality,  affordable, organic fruits and vegetables. Something to consider especially if you have children. But I agree, I miss the diversity of the food in Singapore.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Elfenstar said:

My experience of Singapore - it's great if you're career-oriented, don't mind the long hours and have a partner at home who can pick up the slack (housework, kids, etc.).

 

When I lived in Singapore, we had a live in housekeeper/babysitter as did everyone else I knew. That's one of the main things I miss. B)  Costs a fortune over here.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If at the end of the day, after all expenses, what matters is how much money you've got after paying all checks, then Singapore is definitely better. Also career progression-wise, Singapore is better. However, if you don't mind sacrificing $$$ for work-life balance, then Germany is hands-down all the way down. A big minus is costly trips back home or bringing parents over an extended period of time as @englechen mentioned, plus getting accustomed to the ways of living in Germany

 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

almost forgot, as others too pointed out..Food is something you'd definitely miss here despite numerous restaurants poping all over!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My colleague is from Singapore. She lives in Germany 10+ years and has property as well, but only goes back to Singapore for holidays. No way, she is going back there for a stressful long-working hours job. Traffic has become a nightmare. Air pollution from Malaysia.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, sadhan777 said:

Hello Friends! I am stuck in a dilemma and would like to seek some help from all of you who have lived in Singapore and now based in Germany. 

 

I am an Indian national and have been living and working in Singapore for 4 years and now I am in the midst of getting a regular work permit for an employer from Frankfurt. My blue card application was rejected and I barely speak German. Though my job does not require me to speak German but I will be enrolling for German classes once I am there.

How do you guys see a move from Singapore to Frankfurt? Is it a sensible move considering Singapore has low taxes(I pay 5%), very safe, no language barrier and much easier to integrate than Germany.

 

Also my wife has to learn A1 German level to join me on a dependent visa in Germany. Singapore has no such rules. Getting Singapore dependent visa for spouse is a piece of cake but I have heard for Germany it can take months and the process is painfully long, if applied from

India(Mumbai consulate in my case).

 

I know the move is a personal decision and every individual will see it differently. But your help and guidance will make me calm down my nerves.

 

For me coming from the UK it was a no-brainer. I speak German already (I studied since I was a kid in high school) and the job contract here was far superior to the best available in London.

 

I suspect the standard of living in Singopore is a little better than in London, although if you're working all hours it probably doesn't matter where you are.

 

If you want to come anywhere in Continental Europe to live and work long term, and all you know is the Anglosphere, you need to be open-minded and prepared to learn some new ways (and the language!).

 

I would definitely recommend Frankfurt, but I understand not everyone is ready to readjust their mindset.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, sadhan777 said:

Is it a sensible move considering Singapore has low taxes(I pay 5%)

I don't understand how is this relevant unless you are a devoted libertarian who hates the idea of paying taxes. Then indeed Germany is not a place for you.

 

Otherwise the general costs of living (rent, health and other insurances, kindergarten/school for children etc) is what matters, and is very individual. Monaco has 0% income tax, but sky high rents, so unless you are a millionaire it is better to live in the neighboring France. It might be better off as a single person in Singapore, but when you have a family Europe is a place to be.

 

pro Singapore:

1. Climate;

2. Fast Internet (many regions of Germany still in stone age);

3. Food;

4. Best airport with connections to everywhere;

5. Ocean access.

 

pro Germany:

1. Climate;

2. Beer;

3. High speed railway;

4. Rome, Paris and Venice within 3 hours travel time.

 

I guess you have to live in both places to decide what is best for yourself.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a bunch for all the replies. I will consider all the points made by my fellow Toytowners and
will take a decision with a proper thought and not in a rush.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, LukeSkywalker said:

...Air pollution from Malaysia.

 

Actually, most of it comes from Sumatra (Indonesia). The slashing and burning practice is a huge problem.

 

1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

 

When I lived in Singapore, we had a live in housekeeper/babysitter as did everyone else I knew. That's one of the main things I miss. B)  Costs a fortune over here.

 

That's one of the parts of the Singapore culture I never got comfortable with - hiring these girls to work  6 days a week, 12 hours a day for a pittance to live in windowless, non-air conditioned bunkers oft the kitchen, to cook and clean and look after my kids. Yes, it's the norm in many parts of the world, I just never felt the urge to take part. 

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth (and you may be aware of this already), Singapore is a lot more authoritarian than Germany.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Elfenstar said:

That's one of the parts of the Singapore culture I never got comfortable with - hiring these girls to work  6 days a week, 12 hours a day for a pittance to live in windowless, non-air conditioned bunkers oft the kitchen, to cook and clean and look after my kids. Yes, it's the norm in many parts of the world, I just never felt the urge to take part. 

 

Yes, many people I knew treated them terribly. Some slept on a shelf in the kitchen pantry. Tessie had a large room off of the back balcony. We offered AC but she didn't want it. She had her own bathroom. I bought her a sewing machine so that she could make some side money. She was 42 when we hired her, not a young girl.

 

My Tessie got to send all of her money to the Philippines for her family. When her husband had a bad car accident over there, we sent her to be with him and paid his medical bills. I took her with me to my own hairdresser. I bought all of her food and toiletries. Everyone I knew made them buy their own out of their tiny salary. My boys were not babies and she only sat the younger one when I was out. 

 

We are still good friends. I still send her money. She worked in CA in a senior home for many years and last year moved in with her son who got to the U.S. and is now taking care of her. She put all of her children through school. She is family and always will be.

 

Their is a choice on how one treats their hired help.

8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing you have to consider is location, yes, Singapore has "better" weather, which is basically pretty hot outside and blasted AC indoors. But at the end you will be locked in in a very cosmopolitan island and for most interesting things or hobbies you will have to travel out of the country, mostly Malaysia because the other ones are too far and/or you have to fly. There are not even nice beaches, the only ones OKish are in Santosa and they are full of tourists.

In Germany our main sports hobbies with my kids are riding motocross bikes, mountain bikes and skiing/snoboarding during winter. Pretty difficult over there.

Even having a car is a giant PITA in Singapore.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why was your blue card rejected? I think as long as the works council approves your contract you should be ok. Also, if you're here with a blue card then your wife doesn't need to pass any language proficiency test. She just goes along for the ride under the blue card and has no work restrictions like you would.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/13/2018, 5:16:03, AlexCLE said:

Why was your blue card rejected? I think as long as the works council approves your contract you should be ok. Also, if you're here with a blue card then your wife doesn't need to pass any language proficiency test. She just goes along for the ride under the blue card and has no work restrictions like you would.

I applied for employment visa here at German consulate in Singapore. The guy at the counter asked me to send my 4 year education diploma certificate to ZAB for "statement of comparability" as it was not in the anabin list. The university is with 
H+ status. I sent all the required documents to ZAB but they deny to process it outright stating it is not a bachelor's. I also sent ZAB my work experience documents, CV and a copy of my higher diploma(from Stockholm).

 

So as I can not receive "statement of comparability", I have no other option than applying for regular work permit.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now