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Information on Working in Germany for Croatian Citizens

Croatian citizens working in Germany:
Germany is currently looking for up to 150,000 qualified specialists for many sectors and professions. including the areas of  IT, manufacturing, engineering, technology,  logistics, mathematics, healthcare and science. 1,3 million vacant specialist positions mean German companies are recruiting from abroad. 

Croatia became a Member of the EU in July 2013:
On the 1st of July 2013, Croatia became a member of the European Union, and with this became the 28th Member State of the EU and the 1st West Balkan Country to join the EU.

Wonderful job opportunities await you in Germany:
Germany has abundant positions for specialist workers and is offering stable wages, excellent working conditions and great career prospects.

All you need is a Restricted EU Work Permit:
- As a Croatian national, you can get a "restricted EU work with freedom of movement permit" to work in Germany. 
- This is a transition period until mid 2015 for most jobs. 
- In some cases, special allowances may be made due to your profession and you may not need a work permit for that long. 
The permit has to be given by The Federal Employment Agency in Germany. 
 You have to receive this permit before you can begin work.
After the transition period named by The Federal Employment Agency in Germany you will be entitled to work in Germany without restrictions.

Obtaining a restricted EU work with freedom of movement permit to work in Germany:
1)  To get a work permit it is essential that you have an employment contract or a written job offer from a German company.

2)  Your application must be sent to:

The Work Permit Team (AE) of the International Placement Services of the Federal Employment Agency called the „Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung – ZAV“. 
The company where you will be working in Germany should be able to give you the contact details of the agency. The agency in charge of your permit is generally based where the German employer is situated. 

3)  The agency must receive your application a minimum of four weeks before you want to start working in Germany. 

4)  Complete your permit application form for a restricted EU work permit („Arbeitserlaubnis EU“) and include:
-  Copy of Passport 
-  Copy of the freedom of movement certificate („Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung“) – you can get this from the same office which gave you your passport.
-  Qualifcation Certificate showing your education and training background 
-  A job description with the most important employment terms (especially pay and working hours) filled out by the employer.

5)  It will take a certain amount of time for your application to be processed.

6)  You will be given a restricted permit for a transitional period up to mid 2015 to begin with.

Tax, Health Insurance and Pension Obligations for Working in Germany:

Tax Income Card - „Lohnsteuerkarte“:   Your German employer will tell you what you need to get your Tax Income Card - „Lohnsteuerkarte“:
Go to the „Ausländeramt“ (Immigration Registration Office), show them the dcoments given to you by your employer and you will receive your tax income card. In Germany, income tax is paid every month. It is directly linked and deducted from your gross salary and the percentage you pay depends on how much you earn. 

Health Insurance – „Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung“:  By law in Germany, health insurance is mandatory. Here again, it is linked to your salary. The current rate is 14,9% of your monthly salary, which gets taken from your pay and paid into your health insurance policy. Your employer pays half and you pay the other half. 

Public health insurance company schemes are the most popular. These tend to have better tariffs than private insurance companies. Your employer will ask you which insurance company you would like to join. 

Statutory Pension Scheme - „Gesetzliche Rentenversicherung“:  All employees have to pay into the National Pension Scheme. This amounts to 19,9% of your gross salary. Your company pays half the amount and you pay the other half. It is deducted from your monthly salary.

Germany as a Place of Work for Croatian nationals:
- There are approx. 230,000 Croatian citizens living in Germany. They are considered very much a part of multicultural German society. 
- Germans are very friendly and eager to help their foreign colleagues in adapting to life in Germany. They will very often organise social events in the evening or take you out to show you the local sights. 
- German colleagues are very impressed with the good German and English language skills of their Croatian co-workers.

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