Relocation during Corona
The coronavirus poses great challenges for our society. Many employees are still working short-time or stay in the home office. Companies that recruit specialists from abroad are particularly affected by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although quarantine measures in Germany have already been eased considerably, we will certainly continue to feel the consequences of the coronavirus in our everyday lives for some time to come. We have compiled some information for Expats and what you need to know about relocation in times of corona.
Relocation of foreign specialists possible again
People in Germany and around the world are following the development of infection rates in the corona crisis with great interest. While Brazil and the USA, in particular, are still struggling with the virus, the situation in Germany now seems to be largely under control. Accordingly, the German borders were opened on 15 June. Entry from almost all EU countries is now once again mostly unrestricted.
Professionals from third countries may also enter Germany if they are in possession of a valid visa. This applies in particular to specialists from urgently needed occupational groups such as medical and nursing staff.
However, before planning a trip, it is essential to check which exit restrictions for the respective country of origin. As the German embassies are still subject to very difficult conditions in some cases, they sometimes only work to a limited extent. For this reason, delays must be expected when applying for visas. Persons who feel ill and show symptoms of a cold or flu are strongly advised not to travel.
Authorities are working again
Authorities and offices are now open again. Since in the past weeks and months only emergencies and unavoidable requests have been processed, an enormous mountain of applications has been left behind, which now needs to be processed. Accordingly, citizens must be prepared for long waiting times. In order to cope with this additional workload, the city of Bonn has significantly expanded the range of appointments available at the service centre.
The immigration office is also working again, but there is currently no personal customer service. Those who still need an appointment must be able to give special reasons for it. Expats whose residence permit expires due to the termination of their employment in Germany, however, do not have to worry. They may still stay in the Schengen area until 30 June even without a valid visa.
In this difficult time, HereLocation supports you actively in your relocation to Bonn. This includes last but not least the accompaniment during the administrative procedures. We always keep an eye on the latest news and inform you immediately if conditions on the local level should change at short notice. Contact us now if you want to know more.
Foreign driving licences now valid for one year
Many questions about relocation during Corona reach us on the subject of exchanging a driving license. Under normal circumstances, a foreign driving license can be used in this country for six months before it has to be exchanged for a Garman one. If this does not happen, the holder of the driving license is, therefore, no longer allowed to drive. Many Expats are now justifiably worried that they will miss the deadline for the exchange due to the Corona crisis. However, this worry is unfounded, as a foreign driving license can be transferred at a later date without any problems, even if the six-month period has already passed, e.g. after ten months.
In addition, the exchange period for Expats coming to Germany between October 2019 and April 2021 will be extended to one year. Anyone who travels to Germany within this period will therefore only have to have their foreign driving license exchanged after one year. For Expats who enter Germany from May 2021 onwards, the six-month period then applies again.
Problems with finding school and accommodation still likely
A particular challenge during the Corona pandemic was the opening of schools and kindergartens, as it is hard or not at all possible to maintain the specified safety distance of 1.5 m. Nevertheless, the kindergartens have now been reopened to all children and school operations have also been fully resumed in some federal states. In NRW, for example, all primary school children are now attending classes every day again. Nevertheless, Expats still have to prepare themselves for problems when looking for a school or kindergarten at least until the summer holidays. Normal operations are not to be resumed until after the summer holidays.
The same applies to the search for accommodation. There are again visits to apartments on site. However, due to strict hygiene measures, individual visits are preferred over collective visits, so it must be assumed that the preselection will be even stricter. In order to ensure that foreign specialists can still find a nice place to stay in Bonn, we actively support them in their search for accommodation even in times of Corona. Trust in our expertise and benefit from our good contacts in the real estate industry. Together we will surely find a nice rental property for you and your family. By the way: If you prefer to view apartments via video chat, we will be happy to set this up for you. Just contact us, we look forward to hearing from you!