A few things you need to know before you move:

1. Many companies have downsized their Human Resources Departments, therefore a lot of planning will be left to you or an outside company. Check with your employer if they offer relocation services or if they are willing to pay for such services.

2. Karlsruhe has a tight real estate market — apartments and houses are available, but you should plan on more than just a long weekend to find a place. Call ahead and make some appointments before leaving home to most efficiently use your search time. Hotels and B&B's can tide you over.

3. Germans love paperwork and documents. Make sure you have most of these ready before you arrive to avoid delays in processing. Important documents include:

  • valid passport for yourself and those who will be moving with you; if your family is not moving with you right away, then copies of their passports are necessary
  • visa where applicable
  • original birth certificate for yourself, your spouse and your children; if your children are not moving with you, it is still necessary to produce these birth certificates — and certified German translations
  • original marriage certificate and a certified German translation — you need this even if your spouse is not moving with you
  • international driver's license
  • medical information such as a list of vaccinations or prescriptions, preferrably in German
  • original documents of academic degrees as well as a translation (at least in English)