Learn German: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning German FAST & how to get German PR.
This is a step-by-step guide that was created with one goal in mind: To help complete beginners learn, how to speak German fast & get Resident Visa in Germany.
- How Long Does It Take To Learn German
- How To Learn German Language?
- How to get a German Residence Permit?
- What is a German Residence Permit?
- Types of Residence Permit
- German Residence Permit Requirements
- How to Apply for German Residence Permit?
- What is the Best Course Available To Learn German Language Online
- What Do You Get With Rocket German?
Why Learn German Language
There are many reasons why you should learn German language – below we highlight few of those reasons:
- Germany is the world’s second-largest exporter.
- The German economy ranks number one in Europe and number four worldwide. Its economy is comparable to that of all the world’s Spanish-speaking countriescombined.
- Germany is home to numerous international corporations.
- Direct investment by Germany in the United States is over ten billion dollars.
- German has the largest number of native speakers in the European Union (far more than English, Spanish, or French).
- German is among the ten most commonly spoken languages in the world. It is also a lingua franca of Central and Eastern Europe. And as for “all Germans speak English anyway”? That’s pure myth.
- 22 Nobel Prizes in Physics, 30 in Chemistry, and 25 in Medicine have gone to scientists from the three major German-speaking countries, while many laureates from other countries received their training in German universities. Eleven Nobel Prizes in Literature have been awarded to German-language writers, and seven Germans and Austrians have received the Peace Prize.
- Germans are world leaders in engineering.
- German and English are similar. Many words in German sound and/or look the same as equivalent English words, because the two languages share the same “grandparent.” For example, look at these words:
- Haus = house, Buch = book, Finger = finger, Hand = hand,
- Name = name, Mutter = mother, schwimmen = swim,
- singen = to sing, kommen = to come, blau = blue, alt = old,
- windig = windy.
- The German-speaking world has produced some of the most revered filmmakers of the 20th century – from Fritz Lang to Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders and a new generation of transnational directors such as Tom Tykwer and Fatih Akin. German and Austrian filmmakers such as Lang, Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch also shaped the history of Hollywood.
- German is the language of Goethe, Marx, Nietzsche, and Kafka, of Mann, Brecht, and Grass. Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and Schubert, Brahms, Schumann, Wagner, Mahler, and Schoenberg spoke and wrote German, as did Freud, Weber, Einstein, and Heisenberg, Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger.
- German is the second most commonly used scientific language in the world.
- 18% of the world’s books are published in German, and relatively few of these ever appear in English translation.
- German is the gateway to a world-class higher education.
- Many of the Western world’s most important works of philosophy, literature, music, art history, theology, psychology, chemistry, physics, engineering and medicine are written in German and continue to be produced in German.
How Long Does It Take To Learn German
Learning German can be a bit difficult, especially if you are a native of a language that doesn’t belong to the Indo-European family of languages.
But, no matter what your native language is, and even if German may seem tricky to you at first, don’t get discouraged. If you’re wondering if there are any shortcuts or specific ways how to learn german, we have mentioned a few in this guide that will help you make progress faster.
There is no fixed period of time that guarantees you will succeed in learning the German language, but what’s most important is consistency. You’re not going to wake up one morning and find yourself speaking fluent German. That only happens in the movies. If you take just one step at a time, you’ll see results happening fast.
Learning a new language may take a different time depending on many factors like your prior experience and exposure to the language, your resilience, how much work you put into the learning process, motivation and so on. But, if you practice on a daily basis for a period of at least three to six months, you’ll probably be able to handle a daily conversation with a friend and doing things like getting into a cafe and making an order in German.
How To Learn German Language?
Here’s how to learn the German language fast and easy:
- Find a strong reason that will keep you motivated.
- Learn all the fundamentals of the German language.
- Keep things interesting by learning slang, funny words, and idioms.
- Practice daily. If possible, talk with native German-speakers.
People say it’s all about mastering the basics. So, if you’re wondering how to learn german language if you’re a complete beginner, we recommend you start from the the alphabet. The German language has 26 letters, just like English. There are a few letters with pronunciation that doesn’t exist in English: ä,ö,ü and β, but you won’t find these letters in the Alphabet. Practice their correct pronunciation as this will help you adjust your accent significantly.
German Language Grammar
What makes a language look difficult to you? Its grammar, right? Grammar is usually a nightmare for all people planning to get into a new language, and it’s not the case only with the German language. But, learn this part well and you’ll be speaking German fluently in no time. German has six tenses: Prasens, Präteritum, Perfekt, Plusquamperfekt, Futur I and Futur II.
- Präsens relates to the Present tense in English,
- Präteritum relates to Perfect tenses,
- Plusquamperfekt relates to Past Perfect,
- Futur I relates to the Future tense,
- Futur II relates to the Future perfect plus “will” and “have”.
This relation is not completely accurate, but looking at the tenses this way will make it easier for you to understand German grammar. They have four cases (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive). Here is a tricky thing about German that many people mention it often: the 16 forms that “the” of English takes on German in different cases and gender. German has three noun prepositions for each gender: die (for feminine nouns), der (for masculine nouns) and das (for neutral gender).
With every new word that you learn in German language, you must also learn what preposition needs to come in front of it. It may confuse you at first because sometimes a biological gender may not match its grammatical gender. However, there are some rules determining which noun gets which article with exceptions. There’s no need to stress about this part too much. Although you have to memorize all of them mechanically, a huge part of this grammar fundamental will soon start making more sense to you.
Is it difficult to get a PR in Germany? What is the criteria for PR in Germany?
Yes, it is easy to get a PR in Germany if you know German language.
If you want to live in the economic engine of the European Union, then Germany should be your destination. The country has the lowest youth unemployment rate and one of a kind manufacturing sector. Students can easily enroll in some of the best universities around the globe. Further, the vocational courses in Germany are world renowned. Hence, instead of wasting away time, students will be able to perfect a skill or two.
In regards to jobs, Germany has strict labour laws that protect the workers. In fact, the total working time in offices is less than that of UK and US. Workers are entitled to both maternity and paternity leaves. A maternity leave of 14 weeks is granted at 100% pay. German healthcare and social welfare programs are of the highest standards. Health insurance is mandatory for all citizens and permanent residents.
Further, communities are closely knit together and enjoy various festivals throughout the year. Also, Germany is a secular country and enables you to practice your religion. Germany immigration programs, to the least, look at the following arguments before granting a visa or permanent residency:
- Financial Stability of the Individual
- Health and Travel Insurance
- Language Proficiency
- No Criminal records
- Familiarity with German culture and way of life
VISA APPLICATION PROCESS FOR GERMANY
After you have completed your application form, you will have to make an appointment with the German visa application center. Once there you have to ensure all your documents are stacked in the order mentioned in the checklist and that you have completed and signed your form. The papers and application you submit will then be verified. If your application is incomplete or a document is missing, this whole process will be restarted.
Once your papers have been checked, you will receive a printed copy of your application that you will sign and will then be required to pay for the visa. Once this is done your bio-metric details will be collected. This is the last step in the process, and you will then have to wait to hear back from the Consulate when the visa is processed.
Germany is one of the best countries in Europe and indeed the world. The people are friendly, and as a thriving and growing economy, they have many employment opportunities. However, as one of the most sought-after countries for immigration, their visa process is relatively complicated and thorough.
How to get a German Residence Permit?
Moving to Germany is an exciting adventure. It’s a place full of diverse people and the opportunities are endless. There are gorgeous cities and beautiful nature. You will not regret moving there for a second. The downside though is that until you are settled in, you’ll have to jump a few hoops. Germany is known as a place with a lot of bureaucracy. It’s said to be a red tape nightmare, so you’ll have to go through a few processes to be able to stay in the country.
What is a German Residence Permit?
If your only goal is to visit Germany for touristic purposes, you don’t have to fret about a residence permit. A tourist visa allows you to stay in Germany for about 90 days and explore the country and all it has to offer. Staying beyond the allowed 90 days is not possible though without a residence permit.
So a German residence permit allows you to stay in Germany for a longer period than only 90 days. During that time you can study, work, or engage in other activities in the country.
But how do you know whether you need a residence permit? Well with the exception of people from EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein, all other foreign nationals need a residence permit to stay in Germany for more than 90 days.
A lot of foreign nationals will have to apply for the residence permit for Germany from their home countries, or get a Schengen visa to enter Germany for 90 days. For some countries, though, it is possible to enter Germany without a visa during those first 90 days and apply for the residence permit from inside the country. Visit the Do I need a Visa for Short Stays in Germany to find out whether you are allowed to go into the country without a Schengen Visa.
Types of Residence Permit
Depending on your length of stay and the requirements that you fulfill there are various types of German residence permits. In general, there are three residence permits that allow you to stay in Germany for different periods of time.
Temporary Residence Permit
The Temporary Residence Permit or Limited Residence Permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) as its name suggests, is for shorter stays in Germany. When you get this type of residence permit, you are allowed to stay in Germany for one year only. However, it has the possibility of extension provided that your situation does not change and that you fulfill the requirements.
The Temporary Residence Permit is granted to foreign nationals if they have a specific reason for staying in Germany. When you apply for this type of permit, you state the reason why you want to stay and the card released to you specifies it. Afterwards, you cannot engage in an activity that your residence permit doesn’t allow. For example, if you apply for the temporary residence permit for studying, it will state that you can only study and not work. The other way around applies as well.
The temporary residence permit is the first type of permit that most foreign nationals get. It creates a basis for a more permanent stay in Germany. One of the requirements, then for the permanent permit is to have held the temporary permit for a specified period of time. Only those with special cases can surpass this requirement.
There are many reasons that a person would want to have a temporary residence permit for Germany. Here we will outline the three most common ones.
Finding a job in Germany qualifies you to get a temporary residence permit. You can initially start your job hunt from your home country, or you can get a Germany Job Seeker Visa to go and search for one within Germany. Either way, after you get an employment offer, you can apply for a temporary residence permit. You are not allowed to start working before you obtain the document.
There are several requirements that you need to meet for being allowed to work in Germany with a residence permit. Some of them include German proficiency, and then you and your employer must prove that the job position could not be filled by other German citizens, EU citizens, or Priority workers. Priority workers are those who have been in Germany for a longer time. In addition, you must get approval from the Federal Employment Agency or Bundesagentur fur Arbeit.
After you get your approval and meet the requirements, you can apply for the residence permit. The period of time you are allowed to hold your permit is determined by your employment contract. If your contract is for only 2 years, your permit will also be valid for 2 years. However, you can extend it as many times as you need as long as you maintain your employment status.
Temporary residence permits are also given for students who will be completing an undergraduate, graduate, or vocational degree in Germany. They usually get the residence permit for the length of their program. During their education, they are allowed to work full time for 120 days or half-time for 240 days. In addition, they can engage in work-study positions. However, they cannot enter long term contracts.
After they finish their degree, students are allowed to extend their temporary permit for another 18 months, with the reason of finding a job in Germany. German authorities allow this since they want to retain educated people within the country. If the students find a job, they can then apply for an Employment Residence Permit.
Marrying a German citizen or a person who has a permanent residence permit in Germany allows you to stay in the country, but you will still need a residence permit. There is no single German residence permit through marriage, but this means that you will just get your permit to stay in the country for family union purposes. Same sex couples are also accepted in Germany and are eligible to get residence permits after they get married
The requirements include a good grasp of the German language at a B1 level and they are similar to the requirements of other residence permits, which will be outlined below. The residence permit will be temporary, but after a few years of marriage (usually 2 years) and time spent in Germany (3 years), the spouse becomes eligible to gain permanent residence.
During this time, the spouse can apply for permits that are for employment or study purposes.
The EU Blue Card
The EU Blue Card is similar to the Temporary Residence Permit, but it targets a specific group of people and has longer validity. The EU Blue Card is for foreign nationals of non-EU countries who are highly skilled in a profession and want to work in Germany. Highly skilled employees means that they have completed a higher education degree such as a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. Those who are more likely to get the EU Blue Card have an IT or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) background.
To qualify for the EU Blue Card, they must find a job in Germany, which allows them to practice the skills they have gained during their degree. The job must be in the same field as their educational qualifications. In addition, their job should allow them to earn a minimum of 50,800 Euros annually and they should have a high German proficiency.
The EU Blue Card is valid for four years and those who have it can then immediately get permanent residence if they maintain their jobs. They qualify to get the permanent residence after 33 months, but if they know German well they can get it after 21 months.
If you have an EU Blue Card, you can also bring your spouse in Germany. The spouse does not necessarily need to know German well, and can work after you get your permanent residence.
Permanent Residence Permit
To be allowed to stay in Germany for as long as you want to, you need to get the German Permanent Residence Permit. This is also called the Settlement Permit or in German, Niederlassungserlaubnis. With the permanent residence permit, you can work in Germany as well as travel in and out of the country whenever you need.
This permit is mostly given to people after they have held the temporary residence permit for a few years or for those with the EU Blue Card. They need to prove that they have worked for at least 5 years, that their job was approved by the Federal Employment Agency, and that they have paid the necessary taxes and contributions to the government. In addition, the German language proficiency requirements are more stringent, so you will need to know more advanced German.
If you have a permanent residence permit, your children and spouse are allowed to join you. They will first get a temporary residence permit, and after a few years, will be able to get the permanent permit.
German Residence Permit Requirements
To be given any of the residence permits, you will need to fulfill a few requirements. Most of them will be the same, such as:
- Have a valid passport from another country
- Not have a criminal record
- Be proficient in German in at least a B1 level
- Have German health insurance
- Pass a health check which proves you are healthy enough to work and/or study
- Be financially stable and support yourself and your family
- If you will work in Germany, you will need a letter from your employer with the job offer and description
- If you will study in Germany, you will need proof that you have been admitted into a university
- If you will join your spouse in Germany, you will need proof of marriage such as a marriage certificate
If you have all of these documents and fulfill the requirements, then you can begin your application process.
Aufenthaltstitel: Unlike the previous permit that was attached to a passport page, the new eAT chip-card residence permit, issued since 2011, is a credit-card-sized plastic card with biometric data. PHOTO: bamf.de
How to Apply for German Residence Permit?
The steps to applying for a German Residence Permit are as follows.
Register your German address
Whether you are applying from Germany within the first 90 days or from your home country, the first thing you must do is register your new German address with the authorities. Germany has this requirement and you must fulfill it in order to be eligible for a residence permit.
If you don’t register your address, you could get fined and your permit might be denied. After you complete this requirement, you will get a certificate which you can attach to your documents.
Health Insurance and Bank Account
If you haven’t already gotten health insurance in Germany, then you must do so before you apply for the residence permit. Germany requires you to be insured and will rarely accept foreign insurance policies. So get yourself coverage from a German company.
In addition, to prove financial stability, you might want to open a German bank account and transfer your funds there. You will then get any financial bank statements and attach them to your other documents, so as to prove you can support yourself and your family.
Fill an application form and set an appointment.
You can apply from your local immigration office, where you can go and pick up an application form. Besides getting the application form, you can also set up an appointment. The sooner you set your appointment, the better. The immigration offices in Germany are always crowded and the wait time is long, so you might as well get an appointment soon to avoid surpassing your 90 days.
Attend your appointment
On the day of your appointment, try to get there as early as possible. You will most likely have to wait even if your appointment has a set time. Make sure you have your document file with you and you are not missing anything.
When your turn is up, you will have an interview of around 10 minutes. The officer will look at your document file and if everything is fine, you will be sent home to wait for processing. If you are missing any documents, you will have to set another appointment and bring the additional ones.
Your residence permit request will need to be processed for around two to three weeks and then you will get an answer. If you get your permit, you are allowed to stay in Germany for the length of time that it is granted to you. If you are denied, you might want to check out the reasons why that happened and try to improve your application the next time.
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