Which countries have immigration programs?
What should people who want to emigrate consider? What requirements should you have? Cornelia Banisch from Raphaelswerk, a Caritas association, answers these and other important questions about emigration. The facility advises people who want to emigrate, but also those who are returning to Germany.
What should someone bring with them who wants to emigrate?
Cornelia Banisch: Definitely the language skills of the country. Expertise in a job is always an advantage, as are close family ties. I also think it's important that people who want to emigrate are open-minded enough to adapt to other cultures and other ways of life and to respect them.
Are certain professions and skills particularly in demand in some countries?
Banish: Yes, there is. Immigration countries such as Australia work with special job lists. When I advise people, the first question is always about the person's profession and whether it is on one of the crucial profession lists. It then depends on which immigration program you have a chance at all. Such countries work according to a point system: points are awarded for the job itself, the experience in the job as well as for age and language skills. After that, it ultimately decides how great the chances are of being allowed to immigrate.
How do I find such lists?
Banish: There are government websites that provide information about this, but that is very opaque to the layman. Providing orientation in these systems is therefore the main part of the consultations that we carry out. I then ask something like age, occupation, nationality and work experience and then individually look at what is possible for people. I will explain to you how you can have your language skills and professional experience recognized or prove and where you can submit which applications and what it costs.
Which challenge should people wishing to emigrate not underestimate?
Banish: That they leave their entire social network behind, as well as their habits. It is often the case that you only realize how German you are when you are abroad. At first, many feel strange in a new country with a foreign culture and a foreign language. And you don't know the whole social structure at first either. That means you have to be a bit down-to-earth in order not to panic straight away.
What are the most common illusions people have of living abroad?
Banish: I wouldn't speak of illusions at all. But I ask people exactly what their motivation is to go abroad. As a completely new motivation, I have now heard in the counseling: "These trouble spots in Germany are so close to me. That is why we now want to look for a place for our family in Australia, because it seems a little safer there". Otherwise, I often hear that people in Germany find everything to be too tight, too stressful and too bureaucratic and that they hope that things will be different in the other country - more open, relaxed and not so serious. But many just want to live somewhere else. And mostly they want to do that before they turn 40.
How specific should your clients' emigration plans be when they come to you for advice?
Banish: Seriously. If I do such a consultation, preparation is also necessary. Then I take an hour to an hour and a half for the conversation myself. If they just have such a quick idea and don't mean it seriously, then the whole thing doesn't make much sense. However, they don't have to want to start the day after tomorrow either. It would be good to know which country or region you want to emigrate to. Or at least one should be able to say whether the place should be inside or outside Europe. A starting point can also be whether and where there are any opportunities to gain a foothold in the job that you have.
What does a consultation with you actually cost?
Banish: We in Hamburg take 40 euros from everyone who has an income. We waive the contribution for people who receive unemployment benefit II or have a similar income.
Do you also advise on insurance and financial matters?
Banish: That is of course limited. I cannot provide legal or tax advice. But I can provide general information or refer you to the relevant specialist departments. The social system is of course a very important issue. We also advise many returnees and there is a big question, for example, of how to get back into the German social system.
Do you have to have a return strategy in your pocket right from the start?
Banish: Yes absolutely. I advise a large number of returnees and know about the problems. That is why I am already telling the emigrants that it is important - at least initially - not to completely deregister from the German social security system. It is also important to keep in touch with people at home. Returnees can then stay with friends or relatives temporarily and register their place of residence there.
Has someone who returns to Germany because his dream of emigrating has not come true also failed at the same time?
Banish: Some feel it that way. But there are also people who say I just had an experience. And I agree: It's not always a positive experience, but it is an important one for life. Living abroad is, to a certain extent, a personal experience. Because in the moment when I am a complete stranger and all of the security that I have built up around me is missing, I really get to know myself - the substance that I actually am.
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Do you sometimes advise people against emigrating altogether?
Banish: That also happens. Whereby "advise against" is the wrong word. But I sometimes advise in such a way that it ultimately becomes apparent that the chances of being successful with emigration are not particularly great. This can be due to age or a lack of language skills, for example.
What are the main reasons for returnees?
Banish: Homesickness for the family is often mentioned. Many would also like to spend their old age in their home country again. And then failed relationships abroad as well as unemployment and the failure to exist there are often the reason.
The interview was conducted by Ulla Brauer.
This topic in the program:
45 min | 08/29/2016 | 22:00 O'clock
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