Moving to Germany: Residence Permits, the B1 Language Exam, Life as an Expat and More…

Moving to Germany: Residence Permits, the B1 Language Exam, Life as an Expat and More...
Honestly? I don’t know why I keep doing this.

Alright, so I recorded another video a day or two after that last one, (Speaking German with an American Accent and a Vicious Cold), in which I attempted to speak the German language with a nasty cold, and an emphasis on my difficulties pronouncing the guttural “R.” This video, on the other hand, is a kind of summary of the frequently asked questions I receive from my readers. In it, I discuss things like:

  • Moving to Germany
  • Passing the B1 German language and integration exam
  • Attaining a German visa, residence permit or extending a residence permit
  • What it’s like to live as an expat in Germany
  • Paying taxes (filing your tax returns) in two different countries
  • And other frequently asked questions

I still had a cold when I recorded this, which means I still had the worst attitude in all of Deutschland. (Now that’s a bold statement.) So I hope you can look past my temperament and enjoy another one of my half-ass attempts at video blogging. ***WARNING*** This video contains a fair bit of swearing. Also, I advise you to put on your headphones so your boss won’t know you’re screwing around at work.

Still have questions about moving to Germany? Please check out my FAQs page.

Thank you for watching, and have an awesome day!


21 thoughts

  1. Hi,
    I moved from The Netherlands to Aruba. Took me 3 years to adapt, especially because my in-laws did not like Dutch people. My husband is from Surinam. Thank God I survived, but don’t ask me how. I learned to speak the native language, Papiamento as well as Spanish , spoke already English, German and some French. We learn that in Holland in school. So try to speak German fluently, it will help you to get to feel at home. Although people here still see me as a outsider .And after 30 years I broke up with the in-laws. What a relief!! So did my husband, broke up with his family.
    Our marriage survived, though at times it was difficult. I speak about 50 years now, LOL I wish you 2 all the best .


  2. Please tell me what your wife’s German friends think of you wearing her underwear on your head? Do they think that is an American thing??!!?? :) My hubby and I look forward to being an ex-pat like you one day, but living in Munich….because we are from Texas and love our stereotypes. (But, seriously, we really do love southern Bavaria and want to call it home!)


  3. About to take the B1 exam. About to file taxes for the first time since becoming an expat (and also selbstandig). Also struggling with family being far away.

    This video was gold.


      1. Keine Ahnung, dude. I was actually hoping you’d have the answer to that. I’m trying to find a Steuerarbeiter who specializes in expats, but even then it’ll be hard, cause my taxes are a little complicated. Sigh…


      2. Finding someone to do your German taxes is the easy part; getting your German tax return back to the States and filing there (after translating everything and converting the Euros to US dollars) is tough. I’m still trying to find the best solution.

        Can anyone else chip in here and help out a couple expats?


  4. You are getting the hang of this video thing :D Plus, I never realised you had your own song. It sounds like a battle cry! “Oh god, my wife is German…”, like a boxer entering the ring. Have to play this to my other half, he’ll love it :D


  5. The double tax filing requirement for American expats is one of the few things that will work me up into a fiery rage. Part of the reason I so willingly came to Germany was to get the eff away from the US, and now they insist on following me around, snooping in my bank accounts and forcing me to file two sets of taxes. I’ve filed a return in the US the past few years even though I made no income, just to assure the Amis that I’m not a tax evader, but I’m not going to do that this year because no one actually gives a fuck. The people who work at the IRS don’t want our tax returns anyway. They have better things to do since they are chronically understaffed and underfunded. I’ll file again when I actually have income and something more than just a sheet of paper with my name on it to file. But seriously, how can they be worried that we’re tax evaders? What tax evader in their right mind would move to Germany of all places? The taxes here are twice as high as in the US.

    Danielle |


  6. You’re damn right on two things:

    #1 – People in language classes need to learn to pipe down. I’ve taken to (when I do have language lessons) going down the 1-on-1 route because I got sick of moving at the pace of the slowest person. And, I can feel the irony coursing through my veins as I type this being a former class clown.

    #2 – Germany is never boring. Like, I’m never short of things to do since I got here. I think I’ve sat down and done bugger all about twice in the last month.

    Great video! I hope the panties were clean.



  7. Just found your blog and it’s hilarious!! About the US taxes, I went to a great tax workshop run by Expath in Berlin, and the guy who presented was named TM Mawn. I’ve been doing my own taxes in the US for years as a self-employed itemized deductor, and I can tell you this guy really knew his stuff. Anyway I had grand plans to call TK’s English hotline and chase down a Steuernummer at the Finanzamt today, but instead I’m going to drink more coffee and read your blog. Carry on, sir!


      1. Heya, I haven’t actually filed my taxes from Germany yet since we just moved at the end of December 2016. I am fairly sure you can just file everything online using the IRS Free File forms, but there may be an income cap. And you probably have to print everything off and mail it in as well. Will report back in a year!


  8. I love how the front crotch seam creates a perma-smile on your face! Btw, good job with the video! I can’t stand trying to orchestrate those things.


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