Documents for work in Germany
Willkommen in Deutschland!
Most of us at LCM have experienced the process of starting new ones in a country we don’t yet know how it works, its language or its customs. That’s why we want to help newcomers or those who are planning to come to Germany. Here is some advice on how to get started.
Documentation for work in Germany
- Anmeldung (registration document in a residence in Germany)
- Visa ( if not a European citizen, please include all pages)
- IBAN + BIC (A German account is recommended, although in some positions an account from another EU country may be accepted)
- Rentenversicherungsnummer (This is achieved by being registered as a worker for the first time in Germany, and appears on the payroll. If this is the first time, it will be provided by teh company when you are officially registered with they.)
- Identifikationsnummer o ID Nummer (It is provided upon registration in Germany. Can be ordered from the Finanzamt )
- Steuerklassel (Can be ordered from the Finanzamt not necessary in Minijob)
- Krankenkasse (German insurance card)
It is the Holy Grail of the German bureaucracy, it is the registration document and it is not only necessary for work but for many other procedures. It can be done at the registration offices (Bürgeramt) and an appointment must be made within 14 days of your move. They are usually quite busy, so try to make an appointment as soon as possible, even before the move takes place, so that you can get your registration as quickly and start work. Don’t worry if the appointment is later than 14 days, the important thing is to request it before the end of that period. You can also check regularly for free appointments, sometimes someone cancels their appointment and they are left with a gap, but you have to be careful because they fly.
Passport or ID card
It sounds obvious that we know, but sometimes we forget that it is necessary to deliver our ID and when you send copies of it to be scanned in good quality and in PDF format. It should also be noted that at least in the case of Spain the embassies only renew the passport and not your identity card, so if your ID is about to expire it is best to carry out the procedures with your passport.
This is only necessary for non-EU citizens. There are many different types of visas and it depends on the agreements that each country has with Germany, so our only tip would be for you to make sure that you are well aware of what kind of work your visa allows (how long, conditions, etc.). And most importantly, you should know where exactly is writted your visa conditions, so that you can always hand it in when you start a new job. It is normal that the company that hires you does not know exactly the conditions of all the visas and that they need to check whether or not you can enter to work with the conditions offered, so providing all the information regarding this will speed up the process.
Bank account with IBAN + BIC
It is best to open an account directly in Germany, because although some jobs accept any European account, it can cause you problems such as late payments, fees or even problems with the Finanzamt. However, many German banks will first ask you to have an Anmeldung in order to be able to open an account, or some even a payroll (if sometimes the bureaucracy gets tangled up). If you want to have a quicker procedure, the best thing to do is to use online banking, such as N26 , ING DiBa, DKB… All of them require a process called Post Ident, which is used for other procedures, such as activating SIM cards or even signing your rental contract. These identification entities usually offer the option of being served in English .
Identifikationsnummer or ID Nummer
This is basically your tax identification number, it will only be done once and even if you leave and come back from Germany it will still be the same. Go to any Finanzamt office with your Anmeldung and passport or ID card. Normally you don’t need an appointment to go to these offices. If you want to work as a self-employed person, you will have to apply for another self-employment number in addition to other business tax formalities. This number is not necessary if you work as a Minijob, as this type of contract does not pay tax. Remember that for a job to be considered as a Minijob the annual salary cannot exceed 6.240 euros per year (i.e. 12 months / 520 euros per month)
You don’t really have to worry about this number, as it is generated by the company the first time and then you only have to look it up in the payroll of your previous employer. This number is not necessary for Minijob if you have signed a waiver of your pension contribution. If you do not sign the pension waiver, this contribution will be deducted from your Minjob salary. This is the only tax that can be directly attributed to your Minijob salary, which means that when you work under this type of contract you are not contributing to unemployment benefit, so that if you become unemployed you will not be able to receive this benefit, and you cannot be included in a compensated reduction in working hours (Kurzarbeit).
The Steuerklasse (tax category) determines the amount of tax you will have to pay annually. The type of Steuerklasse you are entitled to depends on your personal and family situation. As a rule, the state benefits families or those on which other people depend through lower tax rates.
There are several categories, so take advantage of your visit to the Finanzamt to find out which one applies to you. And have a digital copy of the document so that you can tell your employer what your Steuerklasse is.
If you wish to change your Steuerklasse because your family circumstances have changed, you must inform the Finanzamt. Inform your employer as well, so that the change can take effect as soon as possible. You can only change your Steuerklasse once a year.
Although this document is not necessary for a Minijob contract, it is true that every resident of Germany must have a Krankenkasse. The Krankenkasse is the health insurance and you can choose between any of the insurance companies that offer compulsory insurance coverage to be your Krankenkasse .
When you register, the insurance company will provide you with a document certifying that they manage your compulsory insurance. A copy of this document or your Krankenkasse card must be given to your employer.
Please note that you must be insured even if you have a Minijob, even if your employer does not require any documents. The European Health Insurance Card is only valid for tourists or for the first three months after the Anmeldung. If the three months have passed since you registered and you have not been insured with any Krankenkasse, you can be forced to pay for all the time you have exceeded these three months at the time you apply, or even be fined.
How much is the Krankenkasse worth?
Generally, employees pay about 15% of their salary, half by the employee (about 7.5% of your salary) and half by the company. This amount varies depending on your salary and the type of insurance you have taken out. If you are self-employed, you must pay the full amount of the insurance.
As mentioned above, you must contract health insurance even if you do not work or have a minijob and pay for it yourself. In this case, the price varies depending on the insurance company. It is true that if you prove that you are not able to pay for your insurance, there are subsidies or even exemptions from the State.
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