Germany has been recognized as the worst place for emigrants and resettlers to live. According to a new study by the InterNations team, there is a sad bunch of reasons for this.
As part of the study, experts asked immigrants to evaluate their country of residence according to several criteria, in particular, how easy it was for them to get settled. According to those who emigrated to Germany, the administrative processes there took “an eternity.” During the survey of emigrants, questions were asked about the following key factors:
- Ease of finding housing in a new place
- Problems with bureaucracy
- Language barrier
During the survey, Germany went lower and lower in the ranking of the best destinations for immigrants, until it found itself at the bottom because many emigrants experienced problems with settling there. For example, almost one in six respondents noted that it was not easy to find housing in this EU country, while more than half said that it was difficult to afford in principle. “It can take up to three months to find even temporary housing,” complained one interviewee.
Andreas Mattner, president of the German Real Estate Federation, said the country was experiencing an acute housing crisis and was facing a “very hard awakening”. The statistics are such that in 2024, 1.4 million people will potentially be looking for an apartment in this country, but will not be able to find it. In connection with the unpleasant forecast, the German government urged officials to focus on housing construction.
The European nation has a very high rate of renters, with only 50 percent of Germans owning their own homes, so the rental property market can be competitive, especially in the country’s big cities. To apply for housing in the country, immigrants need to provide proof of income and a credit report.
Germany also fell in the ranking because of the language barrier: almost half of the surveyed emigrants said that it is difficult to live there without speaking German. More than half of them believe that it is a difficult language to learn.
However, German is not one of the most difficult languages to learn. For example, the US Foreign Service Institute estimates that most people need about 750 hours to study.
Although it is more difficult than Spanish, Italian, or French, it is much easier to learn than, for example, Arabic, which is believed to take more than 1,000 hours to master.
It can be very difficult for ex-pats to succeed in Germany without speaking German. Although many residents in the country’s big cities speak English, it should be borne in mind that it is much less common outside the central areas.
Another sad reason, why the immigrants quarreled with the country, is the excessive bureaucracy. More than half of the respondents encountered difficulties when communicating with local authorities. “I hate the German bureaucracy. Especially the fact that nothing is digitized! It takes forever to get in touch with any of the local government agencies to discuss a residence permit, etc.,” complained an ex-pat from Poland. Many important documents in Germany are processed on paper rather than digitally, which can slow down the legalization process in the country. Emigrants need to be patient if they move to this EU country and, if necessary, seek help from special offices or a resident of the country.
So, the ten worst countries to live as an ex-pat, according to the study, are as follows:
- Czech Republic