Visas and work permits
On paper, getting the right paperwork to move to Frankfurt is very simple. Not every citizen needs a visa to enter Germany for three months or less, but if you have a desire to move or live or work in the country, you will need to apply for an Aufenthaltserlaubnis (temporary residence permit, which can be issued for one to three years) or a Niederlassungserlaubnis (permanent residence permit, which only applies to people who have lived in the country for more than five years and have passed a citizenship test).
This must be done within a week of arriving in Germany, but in the case of Frankfurt it is highly advisable to arrange the permit and accommodation before you leave. Because immigration to Frankfurt is so popular, local authorities only approve permits for workers who can prove that they will earn at least €400 per month above the cost of accommodation. Contact one of the German consulates scattered around the US (or your embassy if you’re near Washington DC) to start the application process.
Means of transport for your move
The port of Frankfurt may not be home to many luxury cruise ships, but it can be used to transport goods, so it’s worth considering this method of getting your goods to Germany instead of the much more expensive form of air travel. If you’re not planning a move from across the sea or ocean, removal companies with minibuses are the best option to take care of your belongings.
What should I take with me when I move?
You don’t have to worry too much about what to pack, there are plenty of elite shopping opportunities in Frankfurt, so you can stock up on designer clothes, jewellery, furniture or other goods when you arrive. Just make sure you have suitably waterproof clothing to get you through the first few days upon arrival, especially if you’re arriving in the summer where the weather likes to surprise you.
Moving with pets
If you want to bring your pet with you to Frankfurt, first make sure you have permission to do so. Almost everything is allowed (provided your furry family member has a pet passport, microchip and proof of all vaccinations, including rabies), but some dog breeds are banned throughout Germany. Do some discernment to make sure you are not in breach of international law. If you are bringing a dog to Frankfurt, you will need to register it with the local authorities and pay the Hundesteuer, or dog ownership tax, within two weeks of arrival.