Onboarding Checklist for International hires

Yay, you made an international hire. Everything worked out super well with your candidate´s visa, and they arrived in Germany, with the embassy visa in their passport.

Now, it is time for their onboarding. So, what do we do?

The admin-part of onboarding on a new job is usually an easy task: present some documents, give some numbers, and you´re done. Probably you already have them in a file or folder, ready for your new onboarding. But, what do you do as an expat, who is not in possession of those numbers and documents?

In this article we will go through the basics of the admin side of onboarding and will provide you with practical tools to assist your international employees start working efficiently.

  1.  Anmeldung der Wohnung: As everybody know, the first step in relocating to Berlin is the almighty Anmeldung. Not so complicated. Basically, it’s just about going to Bürgeramt, presenting a passport and a form (maybe some more documents, but nothing difficult), and getting this piece of paper. However, many people find this step to be intimidating and scary. We have created some guides for this step, to help your employees deal with it better, feel free to reach out, we will gladly send them to you.

  2. Tax ID (steuerliche Identifikationsnummer/ Steuer-ID): about 10 days after one got their Anmeldung, they will get the tax ID via post to their home address. However, in our imperfect world, that does not always happen. We often encounter situations in which people do not get the number, either because they got forgotten, or because their name is not on the doorbell and post-box in their house, and they did not get a c/o on their Anmeldung. In this case, one can get the tax ID simply in Bürgeramt, without an appointment.

  3. Health insurance: Health insurance is a very complicated topic in Germany. Some people could choose between private and public, and even if one does not have the option to choose, there are so many public health insurance providers, between which there are so many small differences, that one could drown in the stream of information.

    Most importantly, your employees must have health insurance in order to complete their admin-on-boarding. From our experience, each company tackles this issue differently: some work exclusively with one Krankenkasse, others work with several, others work with brokers, and others get this service from their relocation consultancy service.

  4. Social Security Number (Sozialversicherungsnummer): Somehow, many people find this to be super tricky, when in fact it is super simple: If your employees have decided to get public health insurance, you could ask the Krankenkasse to apply for a social security number (Sozialversicherungsnummer) for them. In that case, they will receive it via post within a couple of weeks. If they chose to get private health insurance, they need to apply for it at Deutsche Rentenversicherung.

  5. Residence permit: Hurra, your employee got a national visa at the embassy. But wait, it is only valid for 3-6 months… So, the admin-part of a relocation process ends when your employee had gotten their residence permit or their blue card. This needs to be applied for at the local Foreigners´ Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde/ Landesamt für Einwanderung).

  6. Tax classes: In basic terms, if your employee is single (marital status wise), and has only one job, their tax class should be 1. If they are married (legally), their tax class should be 4, unless if they changed it to 3 or 5. Your payroll provider should have access to the tax class change, so basically, you can solve this one just by knowing your employee´s marital and occupational state.

  7. Bank account: This is yet another thing your employee should get. Just have them do it.

  8. Church tax: In many cases, your employee will not have a religion, and will therefore not be subjected to church tax. However, in certain cases and especially for people who come from catholic countries such as Spain, several countries in Latin America or Italy, they will be classified as catholic. Even if they declared themselves to have no religion in Bürgeramt. In this case, the only way to avoid church tax payments is by de-registering from the church. 

    Since we believe in creating the smoothest experience for both employer and employee, admin-on-boarding, including taking care of Anmeldung and health insurance, is a basic part of all our relocation packages. Please feel free to contact us to learn more!