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Frequently asked questions

Below you’ll find the answers to some of the questions we most often hear regarding our Global Experts programs.

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What does it mean to have a B1 proficiency level in German?

Here is an overview of all language proficiency levels and a description of each level according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR):

A1 - Beginner

Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases, which address needs of a concrete type. Can introduce himself/herself and others and can ask and answer questions, such as: Where do you live? Where are you from? What kind of things do you have? Can describe people in basic terms and interact easily as long as the other person talks slowly and clearly. 80 - 200 hours of lessons; about 600 words of language usage.

A2 - Basic

Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to everyday activities, such as shopping, family, work, local geography, etc. Can communicate about routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar matters. Can easily describe own background and education, immediate environment and immediate needs. 200 - 350 hours of instruction; approx. 1,200 words of language usage.

B1 - Intermediate level

Can understand the main points of clear, standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered at work, school, in leisure activities, etc. Can deal with most situations, which are likely to arise when traveling in an area where the target language is spoken. Can express himself/herself in a simple and coherent way on familiar topics and personal interests. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. 350 - 360 hours of instruction; approx. 2,500 words of language usage.

B2 - Upper intermediate level

Can understand the main ideas of complex texts on both exact and abstract topics; can also understand technical discussions in his/her field of specialization. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers on both sides quite possible without strain. Can express himself/herself clearly and in detail on a wide range of subjects, explain a viewpoint on a topical issue and indicate the advantages and disadvantages of various options. 600 - 800 hours of lessons.

C1 - Advanced

Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts and recognize implicit meaning. Can express himself/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use the language effectively and flexibly in social and professional life or in training and study. Can express himself/herself clearly, in a structured and detailed manner on complex subjects, using appropriate linking language/wording. 800 - 1000 hours of lessons.

C2 - Competence

Can easily understand everything read or heard. Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express himself/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, making finer shades of meaning clear even in more complex situations. 1000+ hours of lessons.

What is the mandatory level language proficiency level I have to pass to reach Germany?

In order to obtain a visa, you must successfully gain an official certificate proving your German language skills fulfill at least the established A2 level requirements.

What support is given to complete the B1 language course and exams?

TÜV Rheinland provides you with 12 months online access to a language learning platform. The platform can be used 24/7 on various devices in addition to teacher training at a language school in your area.

How can I learn job-related words/vocabulary?

You can unlock up to 8 lessons in the online program which include various vocabulary trainers for specific professions such as automotive mechatronics engineers. This provides you easy, 24/7 access to the most important German technical terms you need for your new job in Germany.

What is the mandatory level language proficiency level I have to pass to continue working in Germany?

In order to be able to communicate reasonably at your workplace and in everyday life, you should be certified at least according to the German B1 language level.

What is the mandatory level language proficiency level I have to pass to extend my visa / get a residency permit in Germany?

In order to obtain a settlement permit or permanent residency, you must have at least the German B1 language level and be able to prove this with an official certificate.

Who will bear the cost of learning and exams for the higher B2, C1 & C2 proficiency language levels?

You must bear these costs yourself.

Does my spouse / Do my children have to go through language proficiency training for getting a family visa?

Individuals joining their spouse in Germany must be able to communicate at a simple level. In exceptional cases, individuals may be allowed to attend language classes in Germany. Although there are no specific requirements for children under 16 years of age, the basic level A2 is recommended.

What is a visa?

A visa is an official document giving you permission to enter and work in Germany. You must then obtain an unlimited residency permit to stay for a longer period of time in Germany. In order to apply for consideration to be naturalized and become a German citizen, you must live and work in the country for at least four years.

Do I have to pay anything for visa?

TÜV Rheinland pays the costs of applying for and issuing the visa for recruits in their country of origin. If you emigrate before your employment, you will be obligate to reimburse TÜV Rheinland a portion of the overall visa costs. A payment will be automatically taken from your monthly salary.

How can I renew the visa after the expiry date?

You may apply to transfer your visa into a temporary residence permit promptly after your arrival in Germany. Our integration manager will assist you in filing your application with the appropriate Foreign Department office in your new place of residence. There is a fee of EUR 110 for granting a residence permit.

How does TÜV Rheinland support my integration in Germany?

Upon arrival in Germany, both TÜV Rheinland and your new employer provide support helping you transition. This may include advice about opening a bank account, purchasing internet and phone service or registering with the obligatory authorities, for example. You receive an advance on your salary to help you settle into your new home. When questions arise, you will have assigned contact people you can turn to.

Where will I live in Germany?

This depends on the position you accept. In your initial application, you may express a preference as to an urban or rural area, but ultimately where you live depends on where your employer is located.

Will you help me to get accommodation in Germany?

Yes, we will look for temporary accommodation for you near your future workplace.

Who will bear the expense of accommodation during the initial days?

You are solely responsible to pay the monthly costs for your temporary accommodation.

TÜV Rheinland will cover the room costs should it be necessary for you to spend a night in a hotel after your arrival in Germany before you can travel on to your future place of residence.

What will my first days in Germany look like?

Our integration manager or welcome controller will pick you up at the designated airport in Germany. You may then travel by bus or train to reach your destination.

Our integration manager will visit the accommodation with you and brief you on what you need to know. You will also receive a welcome folder with lots of important information and tips. Together with the integration manager, you will discuss the next days and have the opportunity to ask questions.

During the first few days, our integration manager will accompany you in all necessary bureaucratic matters.

Registration at the Residents' Registration Office

  • Opening a bank account
  • Registration with the health insurance company
  • Information on medical care
  • Conclusion of a liability insurance policy
  • Taking out household insurance
  • Advice on other private insurance policies
  • Obtain electricity contract if necessary
  • Apply for telephone / Internet connection if necessary
  • Request cable connection if necessary
  • Site inspection and joint purchasing
  • Registration at the foreign office and application for a residence permit

Our integration manager is available to guide you with advice and support. If you have any questions or need help during the initial period, you can always contact him or her with complete confidence.

He or she will also accompany you to work on your first day, where you will be welcomed by your new employer and team.

In the coming weeks and months, meetings with our integration manager will take place as follows, unless otherwise discussed:

First month: 1x a week for 2 hours

Second month: every 2nd week for 2 hours

Third month: 1x per month for 2 hours

On-call duty: Monday - Friday from 07.00 - 17.00 CET

When can we bring family and who will assist us with the family visa?

Spouses and underage children are generally allowed to accompany or join third-country nationals in Germany. The person who is already in Germany must prove that he/she currently has sufficient living space and a secure livelihood, as well as a valid temporary/permanent residency permit

In addition, the following conditions apply to the subsequent immigration of spouses:

  • Both spouses must have reached the age of 18.
  • As a rule, individuals who wish to join their spouse must be able to communicate in German in a simple way in everyday life. In exceptional cases, they can also learn the language in Germany.
  • The person already in Germany must prove regular and adequate income ensuring that no social benefits can be claimed for the couple if the person joining them does not yet have a job.

The person joining the couple is entitled to work.

In principle, a minor unmarried child can join his or her parents (or the parent with custody) in Germany. If he or she is under 16 years of age, no further requirements have to be met.

Your spouse needs a visa to enter Germany, which he/she must apply for at the German embassy or consulate. In order to apply for a visa for the purpose of family reunion, you usually need to provide your passport and proof of marriage or partnership. Ask the German embassy responsible for you if any further documents must be submitted. As processing may take some time, please familiarize yourself with the documents required for the application and submit your application promptly.

After entering Germany, the spouse must first register his or her new address in person at the Residents' Registration Office and then apply for a residence permit. With the granting of the residence permit, the spouse immediately receives the unrestricted right to pursue gainful employment in Germany.

What are the mandatory requirements of getting full provisional approval?

In order to obtain a temporary residence permit in Germany, you must be able to prove a German employment contract, a partial or full recognition of your profession, and a German A2 language level certificate. The conversion of the visa into a temporary residence permit is carried out promptly after arrival in Germany together with our integration manager at the Foreign Department office in your new place of residence.

If you fulfill all relevant conditions, you may apply for an unlimited residence permit after living and working in Germany for 4 years.

What is the difference between full provisional approval and partial provisional approval?

A partial recognition enables the participant to travel to Germany with a §17a visa. He/she is allowed to obtain the required practical experience with the employer or complete necessary qualifications in Germany. Afterwards, he or she will receive full professional recognition and a temporary residence permit under §18.

A full professional recognition is granted to qualified applicants. The participant can depart for Germany as soon as he/she has a work permit and a §18 visa

What about the transportation facility from my workplace to my new home?

That depends on where your new workplace is in Germany. In principle, you can use all public transport if you pay for it. In some cases, your future employer may also provide you with a job ticket. In large German cities, for example, you can use bus, underground, S-Bahn or train. In small German towns it is even possible to reach your workplace comfortably on foot or by bicycle.

How do I obtain recognition for my professional qualifications?

In Germany a distinction is made between regulated and non-regulated professions. Different authorities are responsible for checking and verifying your qualifications for professional recognition, which is a prerequisite for the conferral of a visa:

Non-regulated professions such as mechanics, either:

  • Board of trade Act
  • Chamber of commerce

Regulated professions such as doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, engineers:

  • Regional bodies
  • State Medical Association
  • Berlin Senate Chancellery, etc.

Academic professions (non-regulated professions such as mathematicians, computer scientists, natural scientists, etc.)

  • Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB)

Do I have to sign any contract with the employer and if so, what is the tenure?

As soon as you participate in the Global Experts Program, we will start looking for an employer in Germany. Once we have found a potential employer and you have interviewed with them in an online meeting (“Meet and Greet”), you may receive an offer and an employment contract. By signing the employment contract you commit yourself to work for the employer in Germany for at least 3 years (i.e. 36 months).

If I want to quit before my contract expires, what compensation am I required to pay?

If you quit or if you are dismissed for a reason for which you are responsible (theft, etc.) within 36 months of starting work, you are obligated to repay the costs incurred by the employer for the recruitment process. These costs vary and cannot be named as a lump sum. Payment may be made in installments if your agreement allows.

Do I have to sign a contract? If so, when do I have to sign?

As soon as you have successfully completed the recruiting process by TÜV Rheinland Nife, you will sign a recruitment and placement contract with TÜV Rheinland Nife Academy.

This contract establishes the rights and obligations of both parties, gives a program overview, and regulates the placement in Germany. In addition, we a training and facilitation contract with the TÜV Rheinland Academy in Germany (TRA) is to be signed. Here again, a program overview is given and the rights and obligations of both parties are explained. Topics of the contract include, the language training of the specialist and the organization of the professional recognition by the TRA. Placement in Germany is also regulated in this contract.

When will I sign my employment contract with the German company?

Employment contracts are already signed in your country of origin, provided that you meet certain criteria (language level, visa, etc.). The employment contracts are equal to those of German employees in every respect.

Will I get to know my future employer in advance?

Yes. In some cases, there will be opportunities to communicate with your new employer (e.g. via Skype) while you are waiting for your credentials to be approved, before or how you receive your visa, etc.

Will there be overtime pay?

Overtime occurs when you work for your employer beyond the agreed individual regular hours. You are obliged to work overtime if the employment contract or a works agreement contains corresponding provisions. Urgent operational reasons can also lead to overtime work.

Employees may not work more than eight hours on working days (Monday - Saturday). An extension to ten hours per day is permitted if so-called time off compensation is made possible within the following six months - in other words, if you can reduce the overtime. The daily working time does not include rest breaks.

Will the company pay an annual bonus?

Not every employer pays an annual bonus, but most do. Whether or not an annual bonus is paid is usually specified in the employment contract.

What is the leave/vacation policy?

The statutory minimum vacation requirement is fulfilled with a 5-day week with 20 working days of vacation (= 4 weeks). The legal regulation is intended to ensure that employees receive at least 4 weeks of vacation per year. After a few years of employment you can receive up to 30 days of holiday.

What kind of employee assessment/review policy shall I expect?

In Germany, performance assessments are carried out on the basis of company documents as part of a quality management process. Periodic reviews help to identify strengths and weaknesses as well as to give employees the opportunity for optimal development.

What is the service period for pension/retirement?

German Pension Insurance is an important part of the social security system. When you start your working life in Germany, you automatically become a member (including insured persons) of the German Pension Insurance. All those insured by the so-called “Deutsche Rentenversicherung” receive an insurance number. It is your personal identification number and is issued only once. Your insurance number includes your personal account. It is where all data is stored that counts for your future pension. Among other things, earnings, periods of training, unemployment, school, illness and pregnancy are stored here.

Your employer pays your pension insurance contribution every month from your gross earnings. You can keep track of how much pension you can expect from the pension information statement sent to you every year. You will receive a pension information statement for the first time after you have been insured for five years and are at least 27 years old. To access retirement pensions you must have reached a certain age. Depending on your year of birth, retirement age currently lies between 63 and 67 years. The retirement pension is then paid until your death.

Am I allowed to work another job during weekends and off-days?

In most employment contracts there are clear clauses and agreements that govern the taking up of a second job. There are two different possibilities that can be regulated in the employment contract:

a) Obligation to inform and report
If this is stipulated in the employment contract, you must inform your employer before you start a second job. One possible formulation is, for example, that the employer must be notified of any second job or the taking up of a second job without further request.

b) Requirement for approval
Companies can go one step further and stipulate in the employment contract that a second job must be approved in advance. In this case, you must apply for written permission from the employer.

If the contract contains such a clause, you must comply with it in any case. Otherwise, you risk a warning or, in the worst case, even a dismissal.

What are the costs of living in Germany?

Tax categories: I (single), II (married), III (married and children).

Wife counted without work. Normally, wives also work in Germany.

Gross salary:

  • Approximately 2.500,00 € (net salary appr. 1.700,00 - 2.388,00 €)
  • Includes all insurances of the German social system:
    • Health insurance – for the whole family.
    • Unemployment insurance – if someone becomes unemployed he/she gets assistance.
    • Retirement insurance – you receive a German pension.
    • Nursing care insurance – you receive nursing care in old age.
  • Child benefit from the state: 388,00 € (tax category III)

Costs of living:

Fixed costs:

  • Rent:
    • 450,00 - 500,00 €
    • For 2 rooms plus bath, kitchen etc.
    • 50 qm, € 8/qm (average city/rural)
    • A shared flat is ideal to reduce costs
    • Best to rent furnished

  • Mobile:
  • 5,00 € - 10,00 €

  • Food and beverages:
    • 35,00 € per person/week is the average in Germany.

  • Netflix:
    • 8,00 €/month

  • Spotify:
    • 10,00 €/month

  • Garments:
    • The average German spends 40 € per month on shoes and clothing.

  • Hairdresser etc.
    • 10,00 € - 30,00 €

The total costs of living range between 663,00 € to 1048,00 € per month. That leaves an amount between 1037,00 € and 1340,00 € to live (depending on the tax category).

Flexible costs:

  • Car/bike/public transportation:
    • 120,00 € - 150,00 €
    • This depends on which car you have and how much you drive

  • Hobbies, gym, pub etc.:
    • 50,00 € - 100,00 €

  • Purchases apartment:
    • 80,00 € - 150,00 €
  • Vacation/travels:
    • 100,00 € - 150,00 €

  • Own share TÜV:
    • 150,00 €
    • 36 months

The flexible costs thus range from 500,00 € - 700,00 € in total.

You can save up to 640,00 € which can be saved or sent home to support the family.

What is the tax structure in Germany?

The most important tax for employees in Germany is the income tax. You pay income tax on all income in a calendar year - in your case, this will probably mainly be income from employment. If you work for a company as an employee, you don't have to worry about income tax for the time being. This is because your employer will automatically deduct the income tax from your gross salary each month in the form of wage tax and transfer it to the tax office on your behalf.

In addition, pension, health, nursing care and unemployment insurance fees will be deducted from your salary and paid on your behalf. Your monthly pay slip shows all employer transfers and the amount of your net salary.

Do I have to carry cash when I come to Germany?

For the first days in Germany, you should have some cash (about 50 €) with you to buy small things like food.

You can also take your existing Master or VISA Card with you to Germany. Deposit at least 100 € on your credit card to use until you have your own bank account in Germany. Check how many free withdrawals per year are possible with your existing Master/VISA Card. Otherwise fees may apply.

Do I have to pay anything to get this offer? If yes, what are the costs I have to bear?

Our program is unique in the fact that we do not charge any fees in your home country for the recruitment service. With contributions from our partner companies, we provide candidates with:

a tablet

  • 12-month access to an online language training platform
  • translation services for certificates and other professional recognition documents
  • visa fees
  • air travel to Germany

Only then, when you receive your salary in Germany, TÜV Rheinland will retain a manageable contribution to cover the expenses of 5.400 €. The payment modalities will be negotiated in the contract between the employee and TÜV Rheinland.

Will I get any reimbursement from Government?

No.

What is the average rent of accommodation and approximate amount we have to pay as a security deposit?

Dependent on where you live, you should calculate general rent costs of approx. 500 € per month for a 2-room apartment with kitchen and bathroom (approx. 50 sqm).

At the beginning of the tenancy, the tenant usually pays a security deposit to protect the landlord against possible damages. It may amount to a maximum of three monthly net cold rents. Possible damages include:

  • unpaid rent
  • unpaid operating costs
  • expected additional operational payments from the yearly statement
  • damage to the apartment caused by the tenant

In Germany, the net cold rent refers to that part of the rent which covers only the use of the room(s). Heating and other operating costs are not included in the net cold rent. The net cold rent plus operating costs results in the gross warm rent. The operating costs are shown separately in the service charge settlement. These can be, for example: Waste disposal, water (hot and cold), natural gas, sewage, heating, corridor lighting, fire insurance, cable connection.

The gross warm rent corresponds to the total amount of rent that the tenant has to pay to the landlord.

Other regular costs (e.g. for electricity or telephone) are usually paid directly by the tenant to the respective provider. The electricity provider can be chosen freely by the tenant.

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