What documents do you need to emigrate?

If your dream of living abroad is to become a reality, careful planning and preparation is essential. In addition to the emotional goodbyes, emigrating also requires a number of practical steps, including obtaining important documents and certificates. These often need to be translated and certified in order to be recognized in your target country. What exactly a certified translation is and who is allowed to do it, we have compiled for you here.

Below we have compiled an overview of the essential documents that are required when emigrating from Germany.

A valid passport is essential. Note that some countries require a certain period of validity of the passport. The identity card can be useful as additional identification. As a rule, both should still be valid for at least half a year. You can usually apply for a new passport or ID card at a citizens’ office responsible for you. In some cities, this can now also be done digitally, but an on-site appointment is often necessary. Particularly in larger metropolitan areas, you should apply for this ahead of time, as the processes often take a long time here due to overload in the citizens’ offices, and appointments are hard to get.

These documents are often the basis for all further steps. A certified translation may be required to prove your family and marital status abroad. This does not only apply to yourself, but to your children as well, should you have any. Civil status documents such as birth certificates are usually issued by the registry office in whose jurisdiction you were born.

If you have adopted or custodial children, it may be necessary to have these documents translated into the language of your new adopted country as well. You can usually obtain these documents from the responsible youth welfare office.

For married people and those who want to be (again), these documents are of great importance. It is also important for divorcees to provide proof of divorce in the form of a divorce certificate or the accompanying divorce decree. While the registrar’s office is responsible for a certificate of eligibility for marriage or a marriage certificate, divorce decrees and divorce certificates are issued by the corresponding district court by which you were originally divorced.

Depending on your profession and target country, these documents may be necessary for the recognition of your qualifications or degrees. Diplomas, in particular, must usually be presented along with a transcript of records in order to be valid. Here, you can usually request certified copies from the appropriate school or university where you or your children graduated.

Some countries even require signed employment contracts for successful immigration, for which references from your current employer can be extremely helpful. You should therefore ask your employer for appropriate certificates or references well in advance before emigrating from Germany.

If you want to drive abroad, inquire about the requirements for recognition of your driver’s license. Often you are only allowed to drive abroad with your German driver’s license for a transitional period and must have it rewritten after a transitional period or apply for an international driver’s license beforehand. Generally, citizens’ offices are also responsible for this.

Some countries require proof of health and vaccinations. So remember to have medical certificates and proof of vaccinations. This doesn’t just apply to your family, you often need to be able to show appropriate documentation of vaccinations for your pets as well. Your family doctor will provide you with proof of measles vaccination, for example.

Bank statements, tax returns, proof of income, and other financial documents may be important for entry or residency purposes. Particularly if you want to establish a company abroad, these documents are relevant. To obtain these documents, contact your bank, tax advisor or employer.

Particularly in the area of children’s and youth work, it can be important to provide a background check. If you want to work abroad as a teacher or in childcare, for example, such a background check is essential. You can also apply for a police clearance certificate digitally either from the relevant registration office or from the Federal Office of Justice.

A certificate of good standing is a document that certifies you are authorized to practice medicine without restriction. It also confirms that no legal action has been taken or proceedings initiated against you. The relevant district governments or regional authorities are responsible for this.

Depending on the country and length of your stay, you may need a visa or a residence permit, especially outside the EU. Find out about the requirements in advance. Unfortunately, this often takes several months, so be sure to start well in advance and submit your application to the appropriate diplomatic mission in your target country.

Check your insurance situation in your target country. You may need a translation of your insurance documents to ensure the transition to a new insurance plan. To do this, contact your statutory or private health insurance company accordingly.

It is advisable to arrange legal matters in advance. If you become legally incapacitated abroad, for example due to an accident, this can have serious consequences. It is better to act with foresight than to face the consequences later. These should also be translated into the language of your new home country so that these documents can be used directly in an emergency, for example, in a hospital. You should have these documents drawn up by a notary in consultation with the authorized persons, i.e. usually a partner or your own children.

As you can see, a smooth start to a new life abroad requires thorough organization. Professional translation services, such as the ones we offer, can help ensure that you receive the necessary documents correctly and in a timely manner. Rely on our expertise to make your departure as smooth as possible. Contact us today for a consultation!

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