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job opportunities for non-EU citizens in Germany

 
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ioamosalerno



Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 40
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:08 pm    Post subject: job opportunities for non-EU citizens in Germany Reply with quote

Hi, I took a look at several other posts on here, some of which touched on the subject, but nothing concrete. I have heard that of the Schengen countries, Germany is one of the few were it is (somewhat) easier to obtain a work permit to teach English. The reason, from what I have gathered, is that Germans have some sort of preference for learning English from North Americans. I am from the states, and already in the EU as a tourist. I am hoping to find a school that will sponsor a work permit, and Germany is a cool place! Any insight would be most appriciated.
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I worked there years ago, many Germans indicated that they thought British English (meaning 'standard' according to their terms) was the 'best'. However, companies that do lot of business with the States would most likely be interested and I don't think it would be an actual problem.

Finding an employer to sponsor a work visa is going to be the issue, I'd say. There is the option of freelancing but, as far as I know, you'd need contracts of (offers of) work to support an application for a visa to do this. If you speak German you could also contact businesses directly - it'd be much harder do that without the language unless you already have local contacts who could help you. If you're already there - in Germany - I'd start contacting language schools immediately as you'll only have 90 days in the Schengen zone.

I don't want to sound discouraging but it seems plenty want the same thing and many of those available to work will already have right of residence within the EU. Check this link. It's under France but more details are given about a non-EU member's chances of working in the Schengen zone.
http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?p=965278#965278
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gjj



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are very few language schools in Germany these days which are prepared to hire teachers on a full time contract. The majority of teachers work on a freelance basis, which means they are paid by the hour, responsible for their own tax payments, health insurance, etc.

That has some advantages, e.g. being able to choose your own schedule.

When I worked until recently as a recruiter for one of the language schools, US citizens seldom had problems obtaining permission to work on a freelance basis.

You need to obtain offers of freelance work from at least two prospective employers (in reality often one is enough), be able to prove that you have health insurance, go to the appropriate department - the Auslaenderamt - and depending upon which officer you see, you should get a temporary residence visa with the permission to work on a freelance basis as an English teacher. In my experience this has taken between five minutes and several months. In Duesseldorf it generally took a week or two. The important thing is that if the first officer isn't co-operative, then go back and see another one. It helps enormously if you speak fluent German or take a native speaker with you.

Once you are in, you can renew the visa very easily.

It really isn't problematic.

Good luck!

GJ
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gii wrote:
The majority of teachers work on a freelance basis, which means they are paid by the hour, responsible for their own tax payments, health insurance, etc.
That has some advantages, e.g. being able to choose your own schedule.

When I worked until recently as a recruiter for one of the language schools, US citizens seldom had problems obtaining permission to work on a freelance basis.

Can teachers actually live there freelancing these days and afford the none too cheap health insurance, accommodation and compulsory payments into the pension fund? As I wrote before, going direct with companies is the way to go in terms of money, but not necessarily easy if you're new in the country and don't speak German. You'll most likely have to start with language schools and be prepared to live on little money initially. In theory, working for yourself as a non EU person should be easier than being an employee. As far as I know you won't be subject to the same stipulations that are required of an employer when hiring, such as proving an EU member can't do the job. Personally, I'd not be willing to uproot to a foreign country unless I was really sure it was going to be worth it financially - and I mean being able to pay the bills - not just saving.

As an EU citizen, I worked in two different regions and indeed had two very different experiences at the Auslaenderamt. The first just stamped all the necessary papers, but I had problems with the second - and there wasn't another officer to go to. Perhaps the second experience wasn't usual but even the first wasn't great. I recall getting a nasty, threatening letter over my residence details. It was actually a mistake they'd made but was an apology forthcoming? Like hell. I phoned up to sort it out and after a while realised I'd been put on speaker phone, and that there were a few employees in the background sniggering away as was the person I was trying to talk to. I was rapidly removed from speaker phone when I began snarling and bellowing, and was then spoken to in a very different manner.

The staff employed in these type of govt. offices are not renowned for their friendliness or personal charm. Indeed I think the opposite of that is actively recruited, though I suppose some are okay. (I'm sure that's true everywhere in the world). Even though I was EU and later on could speak German, dealing with the Auslaenderamt was far from easy.
To the OP: you would almost certainly need to speak German or take someone with you who can.
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gjj



Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Artemisia, I think you're right about the relatively low income which freelancers make in Germany these days.

Most of the freelancers I know have German partners, or a partner who works for a German company, and they don't rely entirely on their own earnings.

Potential teachers have to remember that Germany hasn't entirely emerged from the economic crisis, and when companies make cuts, just about the first thing that they cut is language training, so many language schools are going through a very bad period.

You're right too that the best option would be to work directly for companies, but unless you have local contacts, a track record in Germany, and fluent German, that just isn't going to happen.

GJ
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