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Mephisto



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:52 pm    Post subject: Advice Reply with quote

Ok, so here it goes: I was born in Poland and spent the first 10 years growing up in various cities along the northern coast. In 1992 my family moved to Canada, and I spent the remining years in Toronto, finishing high school and earning a Bachelor's of Business Administration from a good Canadian University. In 2005 I went to China to teach English, and came back in late 2007 to earn some cash. While working in China I met a Chinese girl who will be doing her Masters in Germany, in a city yet to be determined. We've agreed to meet in Germany and live together, however, I'm entirely unsure what to do with regards to paid occupation. I understand that residents of new EU countries are not allowed to work in Germany until they get a work permit, which both blows and sucks monkey balls (I'm a Polish citizen by virtue of birth). I also understand that non-EU citizens have a hard time getting the permit, so my Canadian citizenship won't help out. Here in my question: Should I try getting a work permit via my Canadian citizenship, or my Polish one if what I want to do is teach ESL? Here is another question: How likely would a Pole be hired to teach English by a German language school? My English is better than my Polish by now, though I might have the tiniest bit of accent left over from my youth (most people think I've spent time in Britain); my grammar is perfect. Here is a third: is the distribution of work permits in Germany dependent on the type of employment one seeks (ie, work permits for ESL teachers are hard to obtain, while those for engineers are easier), or it doesn't make a difference? I worked as an accountant for quite some time, as well as a martial arts instructor, so perhaps ESL isn't the only way to go here (I could try to work in my field, or teach Chinese martial arts in a park)? My German is at a basic-intermediate level, but by the summer of next year it should be decent enough to get by comfortably.
Help will be much appreciated, both openly and via PM's,
Thanks,
Pawel
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Mephisto



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adding on the questions - an idea occured to me that perhaps I could work in Poland and go to Germany on the weekends - does anybody do that?
Cheers,
Pawel
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9450
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have all your answers, but maybe a bit.

You're right that Poles don't have full rights to work in Germany (and neither do Canadians!). You're also right that work permits can vary depending upon the job type (for example, Czech and Polish engineers can get work permits easily - English teachers, not).

There are currently a couple of threads below on this board from Shaytess, a US citizen who is trying to successfully navigate the work permit process for English teachers. She's yet to actually succeed, and I'm quite curious whether she will ultimately be accepted.

There are English teachers working in Germany who are not native speakers of the language, of course Smile If you can get a work permit and your language skills and quals are strong, I don't expect that your first citizenship will deter an employer who wants you.

Finally, there are good travel connnections via both rail and bus between the two countries, depending on what cities you end up in. Smile
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Mephisto



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Spiral,

Is there a way to find out what kind of jobs Polish citizens are more likely to obtain a work permit for in Germany? Might there be websites out there of which you or others know which cater to business professionals looking for something which I would generally call "office" emplyment - in English of course? Finally, how tight, would you say, are the authorites with regards to teachers finding private students and teaching them for cash - I understand perfectly well that that is illegal; what I'm asking is do you or others here know of anybody actually being expelled for illegal ESl work of this kind? From my experiances in China, where there is effectively no law, that would never happen (the only time it would happen is if people were caught without a visa in the country). Is Germany very strict in its rules regarding paid non-registered ESL work?

Thanks,
Cheers,
Pawel
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9450
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

German law is quite strict. I think you'd be hard-pressed to get around it for the long-term.
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puhutes



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Pawel,
Actually, being Canadian, getting a working Visa in Germany is really easy. If you are under the age of 36, you can apply for the Canadian "Youth Visa". All of the documentation is on the German Embassy's home page.
http://www.ottawa.diplo.de/Vertretung/ottawa/en/04/Visa/Visa__for__Canadian.html
I thought it would be very difficult to obtain, but it was really very simple. I only needed to print and fill out the form, give them a passport photo, and your passport. The visa was free (I was very surprised). The youth visa is valid for a year and permits you to live and work in Germany. Before I left in July, I took a TESOL certification to hopefully increase the likelyhood of finding work. Guess what... no one really cared if I had my TESOL certification or not. I've been having people throw jobs at me since I got here. They are all freelance. I earn around 30-45euros per 90 minute lesson. I also don't think anyone would care that you are Polish... as long as you can speak English fluently. We have people at my school teaching English, they are from Afganistan and Mexico. Also, Germans will often teach English. Another thing about the Visa, as long as you have a Visa, the German "Foreign office" can extend your Visa at a later date if you have an income. The nice man told me to come back in May and we will discuss extending my visa before it expires, as Canada is considered to be one of the "good" countries. There are other nationalities which are considered "bad" and these foreigners will have a harder time to get work permits and extensions. I currently have around 30 ninety min. classes a month and I am earning around 1300euro before taxes. Anyways, this is my first post here. Hope it helps...
Jennifer
PS... stay away fromthe big chain schools, they pay little to nothing.
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Mephisto



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Puhutes,
thank you very much for your detailed and extremely helpful reply - I'm going to check out the link you gave me, and if what you say is true, all my problems are gone (I was already checking out train schedules to figure out how much time I would waste per week going back-and-forth between Germany and Poland (where I thought I would be forced to work if Germany wouldn't grant me a work permit). Did you just land in Germany yourself? Are you also Canadian? How are you liking it so far?
Cheers,
Pawel
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puhutes



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Pawel,
You're very welcome! I'm 3-4 generations Canadian Wink So about as Canadian as one could possibly be. I've been living near Frankfurt since July 2007. My Youth Visa is valid until July 2008. I've heard from some Germans here that you should be also able to work here because of your Polish citizenship... but honestly, I can't say much about this, because I can only speak for me personally and I was so shocked at how easy and fast it was to obtain this Canadian youth Visa. The Embassy people were the ones who told me I should teach English... They said most students obtain the youth Visa after they graduate and have no problem finding jobs. I love Germany... but you're talking to a German-o-phile who's been totally crazy about Germany for many years *lol* So maybe I'm not the best one to ask... but I am very happy here! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
LG Jennifer
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Mephisto



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Puhutes,
I looked over the website you posted, and it looks like the perfect way out from my situation. As well, it's encouraging to hear that being Polish can help, though I did hear there are restrictions on work permits given out to Poles since Poland is a new EU member. If I have more questions I'll be sure to ask; for now, the main things have been answered. Thanks again,
Cheers,
Pawel
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lunasea



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Milan, Italy

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello! since we are on the topic of work rights/issues, i am a dual citizen (american and italian) and will be looking for work in berlin this summer. will i have any problems? (i speak german at an intermediate level, but am certified to teach ESL as well as italian.)

thank you, i'm sorry if i hijacked the thread a bit! Embarassed
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