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India at 70

Most nations around the world have that one special day reserved to commemorate their struggle for freedom. It’s the time to think of all the sweat, tears and sacrifices that went into building that nation. In Germany, we have Tag der Deutschen Einheit or Day of German unity which is held on 3rd Oct every year to celebrate the unification of Federal Republic of Germany and the Democratic Republic of Germany to create one united Germany. Likewise, in India we have 15th August, the day we gained our much-deserved freedom from the British rule. This year, India celebrated its 70th Independence Day with great fervour and festivities. It has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for the country and its people, and clearly, India has come a long way in these last 70 years. India’s inexorable progress towards medical sciences, IT, space studies and nuclear physics has contributed to its remarkable rise in the world. Indeed, India has won many laurels, but the road ahead is not an easy one. There remain plentiful challenges to embrace and myriad obstacles to overcome. 

India is the world’s largest democracy and home to the second-largest English speaking population apart from being a booming economy. But does that define our status any differently? Precisely not. With the ever-widening rich poor gap in the country or the escalating economic disparity, the great Indian dream is but a mere mirage.  India’s richest 1% hold 58% of the country’s wealth according to a recent study. Rampant unemployment is another major concern, over 30% of Indian youth faces unemployment as per the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, which is nearly three times that of China.  India accounts for the largest number of people living below the poverty line which make up to 30% as listed by the World Bank. Homelessness, hunger, unhygienic living conditions and epidemics, claim innumerable lives daily. India takes pride in globally projecting itself as an emerging New India, an idealistic image which is too farfetched. But has this so called new India resolved its old issues? Well, it’s time for some reality check. The other side of shining India faces chronic hunger without any respite.  Drought, failure or late arrival of monsoons, hailstorms, floods, the burden of debt on the shoulders of farmers, have contributed immensely to the unprecedented spurt in farmer suicides each year. Nothing is being done to combat the agrarian crises or to save the lives of poor farmers.

I often ask myself, have we really found freedom? Literally yes, logically no. One might say, off course, we are free, we are no longer in the clutches of Britain. Fair enough! But, merely shouting ‘freedom’ at the top of your voice or unfurling flags, is that freedom to you? Freedom is that which makes you feel safe and secure inside out, it is when you are free to be yourself and above all, it ensures uniformly securing to everyone an equal opportunity for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. To me, even today India is shackled by social stigmas which have long haunted our society. Though, we have made progress on the economic front, but India’s centuries old struggle to bring about social and cultural reforms has failed miserably.

The country is plagued by wide spread corruption, female infanticide, the brewing rape culture, poverty, malnutrition, communal disharmony, child labour, sexual abuse against children, human trafficking, dowry related deaths, honour killings, illiteracy, unemployment, and the more recent menace of mob lynching. India’s deceitful ploy knows no bound when it comes to ‘cover up’ its human rights violations.

If we look at the broader picture, nothing much has changed in India frankly. It still stands where it was before or maybe has slipped a little further down. We have blood sucking parasites in the name of politicians who are not one iota interested in the welfare of the country, except for their own vested interests. Back then were the colonizers who looted the colony of its riches to make Britain wealthier at the cost of suffering Indians. Today, we have our own people sowing seeds of discord at the cost of the country. The stifling corrupt atmosphere has ruined the nation and badly messed up the life of a common man.

I still remember during my integration course in Germany, one day we were asked questions about our home countries. When my turn came, I was asked something that I had no answer for, except for deep remorse, shame and woe. It was about the crime that I, as a woman, detest the most. I became indignant, I felt hurt and I felt deeply ashamed of what has befallen India. The rising rape culture has spread like wild fire, it’s going berserk, it is unstoppable. This crime has lent a bad reputation to India worldwide. I was asked to narrate the incident in German that sent shock waves across the world. Every time, I think of that horror I clench my fist in disgust and anger. That fateful night of Dec 2012, where a helpless young girl was mercilessly gang raped on a moving bus in Delhi. Rape has, since then, become a recurrent feature in India. Every hour someone, somewhere in India is getting raped or sexually assaulted. If only women were treated more as humans and less as commodities in India. The wave has gripped not just the local women but has also victimized many female tourists. The result of which is a steep fall in tourism in India. But what do you expect in a country where parliamentarians are often caught watching porn during the parliament sessions, unashamedly violating the code of ethics.

In many of the Indian villages, the local village councils use ‘rape’ as a weapon to seek justice. If any male member of a girl’s family has committed an offense against someone, these councils order all the men in the aggrieved party to rape the women belonging to the offender’s family as a punishment for the offense. Women, young or old, who are victims of rape or sexual assaults are often held responsible for the crime. Women are scrutinized at every level, from what they wear to where they go, whom they meet, what they drink and what they eat. The most hilarious reaction generally comes from India’s politicians, many of whom blamed Jeans, Chinese food, non-vegetarian diet and cell phones for the alarming rise in rapes in India. It’s so insanely outrageous, they have the audacity to talk such nonsense instead of taking stringent action against the rapists. Most of the crimes in India are conducted with full or partial support of the police who are often involved in heinous crimes themselves. They dissuade victims from filing report against the convicts. Majority of the convicts have strong political backing and police bow down before them.

The present-day scenario in India is that of fear and insecurity not just among the womenfolk but also among the minorities and the lower castes. The very fabric of India, interwoven with the threads of multi-culturalism and pluralism, is tearing apart. Minorities are now being treated as illicit children of India and the exploitation of lower castes too has surpassed all limits. Churches are vandalized, minorities are threatened with dire consequences, if they dare raise their voice, which anyway remains largely unheard. The recent spate of mob lynching of mostly Muslims on false pretext has further ignited the fire of hatred and intolerance.  The safety of people belonging to different faiths is being compromised without any action. What goes behind this epidemic of lynching is even scarier. It’s more than psychological, the crime is fully orchestrated and has strong government support. The most harrowing of all the recent episodes of mob lynching was that of a 15-year old Muslim boy in full view of the public on a crowded moving train. He was stabbed multiple times and mocked at for being a Muslim. He was thrown out of the moving train and later succumbed to his injuries. He bled to death but none stepped forward to his rescue. The problem with us Indians is that, it takes a lot of shaking, and sometimes, a solid kick in the rear, to awaken our sleeping conscience. By the time, we rise, it is already too late. Another incident which jostled the country, where a mentally challenged woman was stripped and beaten to death by the local public on mere rumours. People make videos of these gruesome spectacles to upload on social media but they are not humans enough to come to the forefront and save these ill-fated preys. Moral degradation mingled with religious bigotry has culminated in the breakdown of many societies and India is on the brink. 

India has witnessed some of the ugliest communal riots in history. But when tensions simmered down, people would forget their grievances and make haste to reconcile. This paved the way for normalcy to be restored.

My grandmother often reminisced about the events during the time of partition of India. Worst communal riots had broken out. There was anarchy everywhere. Her stories which I found so riveting as a child, now give me goose bumps. I feel sorry for the ordeal people had to go through. She was a teenaged girl then. Late one night, when the whole family was fast asleep in the charpoys neatly lined up in the courtyard of her house. Something terrible happened, there was a sudden heavy knocking at the front gate of their ancestral home. Her father nervously hurried to check, there was something ominous in the air that night. He silently unlatched the gate, he saw his Hindu neighbour standing there who had come to inform him of the danger looming around. A big armed mob was heading towards the area destroying every Muslim household and raping the women. My grandmother and all the female relatives (back then it was all a joint family system) hurriedly smeared their faces with coal dust to look ugly and darkened themselves as they were all quite pale complexioned. This helped them to sneak out easily into the dark without getting caught by the mob. They ran for their lives, fled through jungles for days, sleepy, hungry, thirsty and exhausted till they found a safe refuge and then there was no looking back. Their home was torched and all their personal belongings looted. What they lost was no match to what they saved. Material wealth could still be earned back but the honour lost is lost forever. Had it not been for that Hindu neighbour who alarmed them of the lurking danger, they all would have been killed. They owed their life and honour to him. This is a story which dates to 1947. If there were bad people, the good people outnumbered them. Today, we witness someone getting murdered or raped in front of us and we remain indifferent. Catastrophe is not the rise in the number of bad people, it is the silence of few good men in the midst; it is the death of collective conscience.

Never have I felt this way, but this time, it’s a relentless feeling of infuriation and helplessness which just doesn’t cease for a moment. Is it the tsunami of intolerance that is slowly drowning India? Is it the forced nationalism that we are fed day in and day out? Is it the freedom that still enslaves us? Is the resurfacing of the anomalies in India to be blamed? Many questions but no definite answers. Forget black money, India can’t even bring back the defaulter Vijay Mallya who is on the run.

Let’s catch a glimpse of where India stands today, at 70 it claimed the lives of nearly 70 infants who died within hours due to lack of oxygen cylinders at the government hospital, this was followed by a rape of a teenaged girl returning from school’s Independence Day celebration, two separate incidents of massive train accidents which left many causalities etc.

Distorting Indian history is the new cool, the right-wing historians are demonizing the Mughals whose contribution to India is truly unrivalled, yet when it comes to Independence Day speech each year, the Prime Minister chooses to deliver it from the ramparts of the historical Red Fort and when it comes to displaying the architectural marvels of India, we proudly boast of Taj Mahal. But wait? Weren’t they too built by the Mughal emperors? What hypocrisy India!

Where you can’t eat food of your choice, where you can’t wear clothes of your choice, where you can’t speak the language of your choice, where you can’t step out after dark should you be a woman, where minorities are alienated, where justice comes to those who can afford it, where laws grind the poor and rich rule the law, where the media no longer communicates reality but rather an ideology which is being forced upon us, where poor have to carry the corpses of their deceased relatives on their shoulders because they are denied ambulance, where government shows apathy towards downtrodden, what kind of freedom is it? If it is the independence which gives you the licence to spill the blood of innocents and terrorize others, then think again. This is not the India which Mahatma Gandhi had envisioned.

I am fully aware that this blog would rub many of you the wrong way. Believe me, this one is targeted at nation building and not nation bashing. We as Indians are currently fighting a cancer from within. Measures need to be taken to stop it from spreading any further. All is not lost, there is still some hope. India gained its independence on 15th Aug 1947, almost two years after the second world war ended. While India was busy dividing its people, Germany was busy in rebuilding the nation and look where Germany has arrived today and where does India stand? Strength of a nation lies in uniting and working together towards a better tomorrow, something which we haven’t learned till date.

I learnt ‘what real freedom meant’ in Germany and it had a profound influence upon me. During the Football World Cups, I have seen how freely people of other nationalities proudly carry the flags of their countries and wear t shirts flaunting their respective teams without anyone bating an eyelid. That is freedom. I can’t even imagine anybody doing so during Cricket World Cup in India. There would be a massive riot.

You know a country is doomed when follies and fallacies abound, when its art and artists are targeted, when its history gets concocted, when freedom of expression gets you trolled, when you are silenced forever if you try to change the system, when the literati and artists start returning their government trophies as a sign of protest. That’s real crises. What America had as Ku Klux Klan in the past on colour and which was again conspicuous in the recent Charlottesville violence perpetrated by white supremacists, what Germany possessed as Nazism on race as part of its dark history and the sporadic outbursts of violence by neo Nazis (though they are strictly quelled by the Government), India has followed the footsteps very closely by creating a group of cruel vigilantes who attack people, whenever and wherever they want. Such fringe elements roam freely on the streets of India.

While Germany came to the rescue of millions of refugees by giving them entry on humanitarian grounds, India is all set to deport Rohingya refugees back to Burma where they were ruthlessly persecuted. But then we hardly empathize with the plight of our own people, forget others.   

The arguments I have put forth are all blatantly honest and need to be spoken out and dealt with firmly. I have voiced my concerns, it is not the bitterness towards India, not at all. It is the land of my forefathers, land where I was born and raised up and I hold it very dear to me. However, this doesn’t mean that I would live in a fool’s paradise and go all gaga over it despite the many evils surrounding us. As Indians, it is our job to address matters which need attention. By breaking the silence and by speaking out in favour of all those who have been subjected to years of injustice and those who are being deliberately wronged in our country, we are actually doing service to our nation. We are trying to save it from ruining itself, all oppressive regimes have met the same fate. We have ample examples before us. It’s time not to look away but to admit our faults and work towards strengthening India by strengthening our countrymen, no matter who they are. When we start treating the cause of others who are being wronged as our own cause, when we move past that ‘I, me and myself’ barrier and when we ally ourselves with those who are suffering in our country irrespective of their caste, colour or creed, that’s when real patriotism is shown. Nationalism is evil in its essence, it makes your vision constricted and makes you wrongly believe that your country is perfect, free from all defects.  It evokes in you a false sense of pride where you can’t see the reality around you. Patriotism, on the other hand, is love and sincerity towards your country. It brings about willingness in you to accept the pitfalls and to correct them to be a better nation.

I sincerely hope that one day, we work to lift India from the pits of despair to newer heights. I hope of a country which welcomes everyone, where each one of us can freely pursue his/her dreams, where people of all faiths live as one big Indian family where we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.

Blue Card Spouses - Advantages

I receive many mails asking me about the status and possibilities of Blue Card holders spouses. Here I give you some information about this topic.

 

Do not ask me why.. but a spouse of a Blue Card holder has a much better status as the workpermit holder himself.

 

The Federal Office for Migration says..

 

Do spouses who subsequently immigrate to Germany enjoy free access to the German employment market?

Yes, spouses immediately enjoy unrestricted access to dependent and independent employment (Section 27, subsection 5 of the German Residence Act).

 

This means a spouse can take any kind of job from MacDonalds to the Director of a Company or start any kind of selfdependent business without any problem or additional permission!

 

 

There are some points which you should have in mind before you start.

 

As a family member the spouse is insured by the insurance of the Blue Card holder, without additional costs. As soon as she or he earns mor than 450,- € per month they have to tell the insurance and pay more. The same with the tax class. If just one member of the family works he gets tax class III which means less salary taxes ( a single worker gets tax class I ) as soon as both spouses work they will get different tax classes. Please ask your tax adviser before you do anything, because you have to calculate if the additional income will be ‚eaten‘ by the higher taxes.

 

In case a spouse will start a business, that’s easy. As long as the business do not need an approval like for Doctors, Lawyers, Taxconsultants, you can just go to the local trade office and register your business. The fee is about 15,- € and in most of the German cities you can do it online. ‚Google‘ for ‚Gewerbeanmeldung‘.

 

Of course you have to tell the Finance Office about your activities and as long as it is just a kind of try you can tell them that you do it as ‚Nebenerwerb‘ and that you don ot expect high income at the beginning.

 

I strongly recommend to ask a taxconsultant before you do anything! It might cost some Euro, but if you do something wrong it can be much more expensive!

 

You can start your business from your home (ask your landlord). You do not need a separate Bank account.

 

trust7 offers you the possibilty to tell the community about your business. Write an article about it, your experiences, the ups and downs.

 

This can help others and maybe you can get some new clients ;-

 

Good luck

 

Detlef

 

How to Found Your Own Company in Germany

Are you thinking about becoming a freelancer or founding your own company in Germany? Are confused and looking for guidance? 
Then get prepared! A goal without a plan is just a wish, and a plan without facts is not only bad, it is dangerous.
trust7 offers a very good opportunty to prepare yourself and learn about the basics of starting a business in Germany.
Join our seminar about Start Ups / Founding a Company!

Because it is on a Saturday and located in Berlin, you can easily combine it with a weekend trip to our Capital, for yourself and/or for the whole family. 

To book send an email to seminar@trust7.com

Seminar host: Detlef von Hellfeld
Detlef von Hellfeld is an entrepreneur who has run his own business for decades. At present, besides his own company, he is a senior consultant for 3 IT companies, 1 from Germany, 1 from India, and 1 from the UK. 

Start Up/Company Foundation Seminar

 

Presenter:            trust7 Consulting

Seminar Host:     Detlef von Hellfeld

Place:                  Berlin

Date:                   22. April 2017

Time:                  12:00 bis 17:00 pm

Language:           Englisch

Fee:                     150,00 €    

 

Agenda: 

 

Introduction of the Participants

 

Why should I start a business of my own - pros and cons

 

Legal Requirements - Foreigners / Citizens

 

Different Types of Business - Single Company - GbR - GmbH - Freelancer

 

Mandatory Memberships / Costs - IHK - Employer's Liability Insurance Association

 

Fiscal Aspects / Find Tax Advisor

 

Rental Agreements for Commercial Premises

 

Hiring Employees - Salary - Social Payments - Health- and Pension Insurance

 

Legal riscs of Self-Employment / Pseudo Self-Employment

 

Banks - Capital - Credit - Venture Capital

 

Franchisesystems

 

Start Up / Business Plan Contests

 

Questions and Answers

 

End

 

 

Why I Moved Back to India after 10+ Years in USA

This article has been written by Nupur Dave and I got her friendly permission to publish it on trust7! Thanks!

I am, what they call, a US Return. After more than a decade living in the United States, I moved back to India for good. 

When I announced I was moving back to India permanently, some of the responses I was given were

* "Are you SURE?"

* "Let’s see how long you last”. 

* "I am happy to see you walk the talk"

*"OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG"

* and the insipid "Ok cool"

 But why did i move back? Wasn't it a normal, successful and happy life in the United States?

 Yes, but on paper.

 I had a job: I worked for Google, consistently rated #1 company to work for. I had status: active in the Indian Googler network, organizing events for thousands of Indian Googlers. I had a life: living in the city of San Francisco, paying drops of blood for a rent, to live a more happening life away from the suburbs. I had comfort: I took a leather seated wifi enabled luxury bus to work. I had social circles: platefuls of friends, acquaintances and girl friends I could run to for dinner, party or a good chat. I had health: I visited the celebrity barry's bootcamp, I was fit and had access to the best of San Francisco food experiences.

But I was unhappy.

How much can you hang out with friends? You still sleep alone. My life in Sunnyvale, the suburbs of America, revolved around lunch and dinners with friends in Indian restaurants, Chaat Paradise, Chaat Cafe, Chaat House. I got sick of it. I was too dependent on my friends for a happiness that was evasive. I wasn’t exactly happy when I was with people, but always sad and empty when I was alone. Soon, with age, friends started falling off the grid after they got married. Does marriage bring happiness in America? I don’t know. I’d ask, but no one will tell the truth.

“Hate something? Change something” became my philosophy. So I moved out of the suburbs. Moving to the dense city of San Francisco changed that feeling of sickness. There was a lot I could do on my own. Life was better. I could run on the beautiful Embarcadero road next to the bay waters, watch the eyeful twinkling lights of the bay bridge, and eat real mexican food. I no longer spent my life in a car, and could walk to the shopping center, or take a bustling train to any part of the city.

But the life soon got exhausting. My high rent meant that I had to save money on other things. Saving money led to tiring decisions like walking to places instead of taking taxi, cooking my own food instead of ordering in ($16 for a masala dosa!), slogging over house cleaning on my own after 4 hrs of food photography and the mess that it necessarily created to achieve the creative outcome. If money could solve that problem, it couldn’t have solved my 3 hour commute. I would return home at 8:30 pm from a tiring bus ride from office, only to spend 45 minutes to wash the stained vessels dumped in the sink.

The pleasant work of Writing, Photography, the will-power consuming work of Exercise, and the unwanted children of Cleaning, Cooking, Organizing, Folding, seemed to fill up every open space of time I had, and then exhausted, I filled up the rest of my time with the brainless task of resting with Netflix.

I couldn’t keep up.

I hired a helper from Taskrabbit.com, a company through which you could hire house help. At $25 per hour, I got a girl who could help me fold my laundry, clean the kitchen and basically do everything I couldn’t do alone-- miraculously, I was up and about and enthusiastic to work when she’d visit.

The relief was short lived. I could not afford to hire help and I woke up every morning with an emptiness in my heart. I woke up wondering what my purpose in the US was. I woke up missing India. Over 3 years in the city of San Fransico, I slowly and surely, got obsessed. I wanted to help India, like how you’d want to help a malnutritioned child in Africa-- but its all in the head. Thought, in this case, doesn't count. I worked hard for the Indian Google Network, my only easy outlet. I thought of a program to make it easier for NRI’s to volunteer in India. I created a proposal called ‘Dharti’, tried for a tie up with an IIT, tried to get an impact fund sponsorship. Nothing went though 

It was not meant to be.

4th Dec 2015. I was adjusting my sari. I was at my cousin's wedding in Indore and my 8 yr old nephew looked at me and suddenly asked.

“Aye why you stay in America?”

“I … because... I...” the answer didn't snap out, surprisingly. I tried again. ”.....Because my job is good”.

“Because my job is good?”. An echo in my head added a question mark to my answer. It was my subconscious asking myself --“Really? Job is the reason to stay in America?”. The answer didn’t feel real or reason enough to give an innocent 8 year old.

That moment, a seed was planted. By my nephew. What is the real reason I live in the US and not India? I questioned myself 

3 months later, It was getting progressively and exponentially difficult to manage my apartment. I knew I wanted to pursue food photography and writing but it just wasn't scaling.

“You must come back to India” my brother in law told me on the phone.

“I’m afraid” I said tightening the hold around my phone.

“Why are you afraid?” he asked

“What if I don’t like it? Silicon valley has the smartest people!”

“You think there are no good people in India?” , he asked firmly.

I went silent.

I set the phone down. I was still afraid. How can I leave this land of opportunity? Can I leave this life? I have a car with a sunroof, I can drive alone at night, I have access to the best people, the place is neat and clean, I am earning in dollars, I can afford an international vacation, the best men are here in silicon valley aren't they-- All these founders, engineers, VC’s!

I parked the idea aside, unconvinced. And moved along another month.

Life has its own way of convincing. After long stares into the beautiful bus view to office, a question soon bubbled up,

“What is the one thing you will regret when you’re 50, and settled in Fremont California with a minivan and a child with an American accent”

The answer was always the same “I will regret that I didn’t go back to India”

On the night of a weekend in May, I was restless. The weekend chores were looming on me and I knew I could not keep up. But that night I didn’t want to keep up. I walked to the mirror and looked at the image, the image of a hypocrite. Someone who praises India, misses India, but yet stays abroad. I didn’t want to be that hypocrite, rolling in regret every day of my life.

So I made that decision. On my last bus trip from office, I played a song. Aye Mere Pyare Watan from Kabuliwala. You must watch it. 

https://youtu.be/oAdeqOrfzPA

[Cross posted on http://www.khaanebhidoyaaron.com/single-post/2017/02/19/Why-I-Moved-Back-To-India-after-10-Years-in-USA-Part-1]

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-i-moved-back-india-after-10-years-usa-nupur-dave

 

The Perks of German Citizenship

Times change and so do people’s preferences. Every dawn of morning marks a new beginning, bringing with it newer choices and a renewed vigour. What once seemed to be the inevitable destination(s) to settle down may not however be so today. People have become more daring and are ready to take a leap of faith. They are willing to go out beyond the horizon, to explore and settle down in places which were unheard of in the past. The good old US and UK charm is slowly beginning to recede away. It was a bygone era when people’s thinking of going abroad was limited solely to either the UK or the US; the tried and tested spots. The new generation is more daring and enterprising, and makes smarter choices. It so happened, while reading the newspaper one fine morning I stumbled upon an article, which, I must say, got me hooked. It was about the benefits of holding a German passport. After reading it, I told myself firm and loud, if I am in Germany, I better be one of the Germans. So now for me, no more drooling over any other foreign passport. And here’s why I made up my mind about getting a German passport.

The German citizenship offers you the same inalienable rights as your natural German counterpart irrespective of how you acquired the citizenship, some of the many rights you enjoy are-

  • the right to vote
  • basic constitutional rights, like, freedom of assembly and association
  • consular protection
  • free movement across the EU
  • exemption from certain visa requirements
  • easy access to health, pension and unemployment benefits
  • financial support for higher studies in public institutes.
  • entitled to a work permit.
  • eligible to become a civil servant
  • shorter waiting period of three years for non-German spouse to apply for citizenship.

This list is even more enticing than a love letter and I can keep on looking at it for hours. But the vital question is, how to get German citizenship? Well, there are no short cuts to getting a citizenship of any country worth living, and Germany is no exception. Patience, determination and will power, will eventually lead you to your destination. Citizenship will happen, but within a stipulated time and a set of criteria need to fulfilled. During the intervening period, there will come trials, but you must hold on firmly.

On a lighter note, you don’t essentially have to shrug your shoulders while conversing, and simultaneously let out a blow of air from your mouth in a ‘phhuuu’ to become German. That was a joke by the way. Let’s hit the key points we need to consider for German citizenship. If you have been permanently residing in Germany for eight years, you are qualified to be a German citizen once you meet the required terms and conditions. Being a German citizen not only means that you are fully integrated or accepted in the German society but you are also granted the same rights and legal status, as other German nationals. Before you gain German citizenship, you must give up your former nationality with a few exceptions. Refugees, ethnic German re settlers or exiled persons of German origin along with their families who have been given shelter in Germany unquestionably become German.

The answer to the question of ‘how to become a German citizen’ has been broadly divided into the following categories-

German citizenship through naturalization

A foreigner or a stateless person can acquire German citizenship through naturalization. The process begins upon presentation of a naturalization certificate and involves an administrative order. To be naturalized, the applicants are required to take an hour-long naturalization test which is called Leben im Deutschland. The test covers the legal and social aspects of life in Germany. It has 33 multiple choice questions and you must score at least 17 out of 33 to get the certificate. A person is entitled to be naturalized in accordance with §10 of the German citizenship Act (StAG) after meeting all the needed requirements. If you are the spouse or registered same sex partner of a German citizen, your naturalization is governed by § 9 of the German citizenship Act. Sometimes, you might not fulfil all the needed criteria and yet be granted naturalization based upon discretion according to § 8 of StAG if it could be proven that your naturalization would be in the public interest. Besides, you are expected to meet certain basic requirements which are essentially uniform for all kinds of naturalization-

  • have permanent residency at the time of naturalisation.
  • been permanently and lawfully living in Germany for eight years (exceptions- seven years if you attended an integration course and six years in case of special integration like volunteer work etc.)
  • self-sustaining and able to support your dependents without seeking any social welfare or unemployment benefits.
  • sufficient spoken and written German language skills or holding DTZ Zertifikat (Deutsch test für Zuwanderer or German test for immigrant’s certificate equivalent to B1 level)
  • have no past criminal record.
  • allegiance to the constitutional principles of freedom and democracy with no evidence of anti-constitutional or extremist acts in the past or present.

However, not all are required to take the naturalization test. The exempted ones are:

  • those below the age of 16
  • those who have graduated from a German school or have higher German education in law, social, political or administrative fields
  • those with serious health issues or disability or old age

Naturalization, however, is only performed on request.

German citizenship by marriage

All those who think marrying a German national is your lottery ticket to gaining German citizenship, think again! Section 9 of the Nationality Act permits spouses or registered same sex partners of German citizens to apply for German citizenship only after completion of three years of permanent residence in Germany. But they must have been married for at least two years at the time of application. However, if you get married after arriving in Germany, the process for citizenship will take longer. In addition, the general requirements for naturalization too apply here.

German citizenship by birth

A child becomes German through birth if at least one parent holds German citizenship. A child born on or after 1 January 2000 to non-German parents automatically gets German citizenship if at least one parent has a permanent residence permit, and has been residing in Germany for at least eight years or a Swiss citizen.  However, a child born to German parent (s) abroad doesn’t acquire German citizenship if the German parent (s) themselves were born abroad on or after January1, 2000, and continue living outside Germany unless it means, the child would be stateless or if the birth is registered with a German embassy or consulate within one year. If the biological father of the child is German and the child is born out of wedlock, acknowledgment or legal establishment of paternity is required before the child turns 23 to claim German citizenship. The citizenship of the other parent doesn’t matter as concerns the German citizenship. This suggests that any child born to one non-German parent or to a parent holding dual nationality usually acquires the foreign citizenship of the other parent by birth thus carrying multiple nationality. But only temporarily unless you meet the requirements of dual citizenship. If you do not meet the criteria, then children who hold one or more nationalities through their parents must decide between the ages 18-23 whether they desire German citizenship.

Dual Citizenship

It is expected once you get German citizenship you cede your original nationality. However, German law allows certain people to hold two citizenships upon fulfilment of following terms and conditions-

  • children who have one German and one foreign parent, or a parent holding two citizenships naturally acquire parents’ citizenships by the principle of descent.
  • children with Optionspflicht can temporarily hold multiple nationalities, but they must choose whether to retain German citizenship between the ages of 18 and 23.
  • children born to immigrants are permitted to hold two passports according to the new law, if they meet the criteria listed below-

*must have been raised in Germany, more precisely by the time they turn 21 they must have lived for eight years in Germany, even if they weren’t born here.

*attended a German school for at least six years or must have completed some vocational training.

*a school diploma or a training certificate is needed as a proof.

The law concerns only those born after 1990 and those who fail to meet any of the above requirements must opt for a single citizenship.

  • as per Section 7 of the German Citizenship Act ethnic German re settlers and their families (that come along) do not have to renounce their previous citizenship on getting German citizenship.
  • Germans who take up the citizenship of any other EU country or Switzerland do not lose their German citizenship according to Section 25 of StAG.
  • those from EU member states, Switzerland or former Soviet Union, do not have to surrender their former nationality.
  • people from countries like Algeria, Iran, several Latin American countries among others which do not annul the citizenship of their emigrants.  

Holding dual citizenship doesn’t give you an edge over other citizens nor does it undermine your rights and duties. You are totally on a par with other citizens and won’t be treated any differently. However, if you prefer to live in your home country (or any other country apart from Germany where you hold corresponding citizenship), in such a case, you will lose your right over consular protection. The other country will treat you as its citizen and their services will apply on you.

Applying for German citizenship-

1) Parents of under 16 children can apply on their behalf. Those aged 16 and above should apply themselves.

2)Depending upon your based location you will get an application from your local immigration office, youth migration service or the town council or local authority. Your local citizenship authority will provide you the needed information.

3) In case you are outside Germany when applying for German citizenship, in that case you should consult German Embassy/Consulate.

Who is prone to losing German citizenship?

German citizenship can only and only be declared null and void under certain unavoidable conditions approved by the Constitution. According to the German citizenship Act, German citizenship is revoked in the following cases-

  • If you acquire a foreign nationality while holding German citizenship (except the nationality of one of the EU States or Switzerland) you automatically lose your German citizenship.
  • If the other state has agreed to granting citizenship, then German citizenship is revoked upon request.
  • In case of adoption by a foreigner resulting in their citizenship being acquired.
  • Cancelation of naturalization obtained through fraudulent means like bribery, incorrect information or deception.
  • If the person who has been offered Optionspflicht declares that they do not wish to retain their German citizenship or fail to submit a declaration.
  • If a conscript voluntarily joins the armed forces of another country whose citizenship they hold as well without the approval of the district board.

Losing German citizenship means losing all the rights and duties which were previously conferred upon you like the other German citizens. You will legally be treated as a foreigner.

As reported by The Telegraph, German citizens possess the world’s most powerful passport according to an annual survey. Both the UK and the US passports, have slipped down in global rankings. The ranking by Henley and Partners, a citizenship and planning firm takes into consideration the number of visa free countries which can be travelled anytime of the year. With German Passport one can easily travel to 177 countries out of a possible 218.  Isn’t that stupendous!! Britons can visit 175 and the US folks 174.

Settling down in Germany is not easy, nevertheless, once you start living here it just grows on you. From the moment, you decide- “I am settling down in Germany, period”, you realize you have a gold trophy ahead of you but to lift it up you must get past the language barrier. Ahhh!!! The not so friendly German language. But I kid you not, once you learn the language, Germany becomes the best abode. Once the awkwardness, that comes along with the lack of communication, is gone, trust me, Germany becomes far too riveting. My stance on the topic of citizenship is as steady as can be. After all, it is the law of nature- all that fascinates doesn’t come easy but through struggle. So, that years later when you look back at your life, you are proud of your choices. At the end of the day, what we all want is; stability, security and satisfaction in our lives, and Germany is worth striving for.

 

 

 

German Citizenship

 

 

Establishment of German Citizenship and Naturalization

Ever since the British voted to leave the EU in June 2016 our law firm has noticed an increased number of requests from British citizens seeking to apply for German citizenship. British citizens living and working in other parts of the EU are reluctant to give up their rights stipulated in the treaties, most importantly the right to freedom of movement and other benefits associated with EU-membership.

The Brexit vote demonstrates that German/ EU citizenship provides a great advantage. Particularly, the fact that there exists no such thing as a EU-wide residence and work permit makes German citizenship more appealing to EU-nationals and third country nationals alike.

There are different ways to obtain German citizenship:

Establishment of German citizenship

In general, German citizenship is determined based on the right of blood (“ius sanguinis”).

In order to determine whether an applicant is a German citizen proof is necessary that the parents were holding German citizenship when the applicant was born. Often, however, the applicant´s ancestors have lived abroad for generations. The starting point of the establishment of citizenship is the ancestor who was born in Germany and resettled to start a new life abroad. It needs to be determined, whether or not German citizenship was passed on to the descendants. And applicants need to bear in mind that citizenship might have been lost due to a variety of reasons, including marriage or naturalization.

Eligible persons can file an application for the establishment of German citizenship.

Naturalization

German citizenship can also be acquired by naturalization.

Firstly, a person can become a naturalized citizen after having legally resided in Germany for a certain amount of time (generally between 6 and 8 years).

Secondly, there is the opportunity of restoration of German citizenship in the course of compensation according to Art. 116 (2) Basic Law.

This provision allows for the application for restoration of citizenship for persons who have been illegitimately stripped of their German citizenship on political, racial or religious grounds between 30th January 1933 and 8th May 1945. The same applies to their descendants. Art. 116 (2) Basic Law is predominantly aimed at persons of Jewish origin, who lost German citizenship during the Nazi Regime.

During that period a large number of Jewish people fled from Germany to seek protection. The descendants of those persons, no matter what country they are now residing, may now be eligible for restoration of German citizenship.

Thirdly, former German citizens or persons with ties with Germany residing abroad may apply for naturalization.  

When it comes to the acquirement of German citizenship it is of utmost importance to keep legislative changes in mind. German law generally does not have retroactive effect. This means that the law effective at the time of the relevant incident (e.g. time of birth) is applicable.

For example, the current version of Section 4 (1) StAG (German citizenship law) stipulates that a child obtains German citizenship if a parent holds German citizenship. However, from 1933 to 1964 section 4 (1) stated that a child born in wedlock to a German father obtains the father’s German citizenship whereas a child born out of wedlock to a German father obtains the citizenship of the mother. As a result, a child born in wedlock to a foreign father and a German mother was unable to obtain German citizenship.

Today this is an unconstitutional provision which still has consequences. To right this wrong, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has therefore decided that it is in the State´s interest to give descendants of such constellations the opportunity to apply for naturalization. However, amongst other requirements applicants will have to prove particularly close ties with Germany.

Many of our clients worry that by obtaining German citizenship they will have to give up their former citizenship and with it a great deal of their identity. As a matter of fact, Germany generally does not allow dual citizenship. However, there are many exceptions to this rule and our lawyers are happy to advise on the possibilities of dual citizenship.

In the case of a possible Brexit: Britain allows dual citizenship and Germany abstains from its general rule that people who become naturalized have to give up their former citizenship.

People who live abroad may submit their applications for naturalization to German diplomatic and consular missions, who will then submit the applications to the BVA (Federal Administration Office). Applicants who reside within Germany should directly contact the competent immigration office at their place of residence.

 

A great number of British citizens is eager to obtain more information about their options. Between June and August 2016, the German Embassy in London has received hundreds of requests for information about naturalization and formal applications. These numbers will certainly rise.

Naturally, we are happy to provide legal assistance on all issues related to obtaining German citizenship.

Best regards

Katja Ponert (VPMK Lawyer)

 

Stagnation is Regression - Speed Up Your Career

Do you think it is time for an update of your career? Do you want new professional challenges? Earn more money, meet new people, enlarge your skills?

 

Well, then you should not wait to long. Speak to your boss or project leader or if you do not see chances in your current company, start searching the job market.

 

 

 

trust7 offers a special service for you! We provide your resumes to our handpicked clients and evaluate the conditions for their opportunities.

 

Your resume will be anonym! We will tell you the name of the possible employer and then you can decide if we go on or not!

 

Your data will be protected and no one will know about your activities.

 

Trust is the basis of our business, our philosophy and what we believe in!

 

This service is absolutely free and non-binding. The only prerequisite is, that you are already working in Germany.

 

Contact us via career@trust7.com

Banana Republic Sweden

Today I read an interesting article about Swedish Immigration Authorities, which I want to share with you.

The author, Mr. Mathias Plank, CEO and founder of Dynamo Digital Ventures, gave his permission to publish it here.

Thanks, Detlef

 Welcome to the Banana Republic of Sweden

This week we received a letter from the Swedish Migration Board. They have decided to deport Tayyab, one of our superstar developers, along with his wife. Tayyab now has four weeks to leave the country. He’s even at risk of not being able to enter the Schengen area - ever again. WTF!

Tayyab has spent more than three years in Sweden. He has taken his Masters Degree in Computer Science and worked his way up as a software developer. Today, despite his young age, he's one of our most valued talents. He lives in central Stockholm together with his wife, pays his taxes and contributes to the friendly, inclusive international culture we all enjoy at the office.

So, what has Tayyab done to deserve this harsh, abrupt decision? Did he commit a crime? Lie about his background? Involve himself in murky activities? No, in fact he didn’t do anything at all: His former employer may have made a small, formal error. In short, Tayyab’s pension benefits may have been two percentage points below the industry average (but not below those of his colleagues and bosses at the time). This has since been corrected in arrears by his former employer.

So, a microscopic detail for you and me. For the Swedish Migration Agency, apparently grounds for deporting Tayyab.

DYNAMO employs only the best mobile software developers. Since there isn’t enough homegrown talent, we need to look for people all over the world. Among the 56 developers at our HQ in central Stockholm you’ll find people from 25 different countries. We need Tayyab, and we also need more skilled top talents like Tayyab in our country.

In short, Tayyab is an asset. He’s an asset to us, and he’s an asset to this country. So how can the Swedish Migration Board treat him like he’s a liability, a burden that needs to be kicked out immediately?

Over the past 20 years I have started six companies and employed more than 250 people. I've paid company taxes, salary taxes and value added taxes - always with a smile on my face. Yesterday that changed.

I understand that there are and must be laws and regulations. But this insane reaction to a minor formal error that wasn’t even committed by Tayyab himself must be a ridiculously harsh interpretation of those laws. If not, then our problems as a country are bigger than I’d imagined.

You are not only taking away our very best talents from us - you are also taking away the drive and the capability to run companies, pay taxes, employ people and increase the tax base. Not to mention what you’re doing to a young man and his wife just trying to make a living.

https://www.change.org/p/the-swedish-government-ensure-tayyab-is-allowed-to-keep-his-job-life-and-home-in-sweden/

Mathias Plank

Founder & CEO 

DYNAMO Digital Ventures

Divorce by Mutual Consent

The vast majority of divorces in Germany are now done amicably.

The German family law provides for these simplified ways of divorce, which allows for a quick and inexpensive dissolving of the marriage when both spouses wish to be divorced. Moreover, in most of the cases it´s possible to find a peaceful solution with the consent of the spouse even in difficult initial situations.

In Germany for a divorce by mutual consent it´s necessary that after one year of separation a lawyer sends a divorce application to the family court. There is no need to give the reasons for the divorce. The spouse must then approve the court date of the divorce and this needs no lawyer.

More amicable settlements to ancillary matters such as maintenance, custody or handling and property disputes may nevertheless be resolved of court independently. However, these arrangements are not necessary for the implementation of consensual divorce. Only the balance of the property acquired by both spouses, entitlements to pension and other pension costs is carried out by the court. These matters can also be notarized beforehand and excluded. If both spouses are not German citizens, a supply balance is in most cases not required by law.

Since 1998 I have assisted international individuals and business customers. The international client is our top priority. I am active both in the field of general contract law and in the area of family law since 1998. Based on this experience, the contractual aspects of all separation and divorce consequences, clarification of difficult situations and fast amicable divorces are my strengths.

My other main focus is in the area of immigration law. I know the particularities of marriage and divorce of bi-national marriages and possible effects on the immigration status of the alien.

In light of these specializations I have experienced a lot in court. After all, I have to say, that I am happy about the developments of divorces by mutual consent. A lot of money can be saved and a lot of energy can flow into the future instead of the past. Separate couples are not enemies anymore, but friends and children can easily move between mother and father, without feeling guilty in that situation or sad. They can feel safe in new family constellations, instead of being confronted again and again with the old problems of their parents, that have in most of the cases nothing to do with the children, but hinder their developments into happy and self-responsible adults.

So the last meeting at court in a case of divorce by mutual consent a few weeks ago surprised all participants. The couple was already separated for more than three years and my divorce application to the court for the Japanese wife was very short, as there was not so much to say. As usual I took my place together with the wife on the left side of the judge, the side for the applicant. Before anyone could say anything, quickly and as a matter of course, the spouse took the seat next to the wife and the place on the right side of the judge, the place for the respondent, remained empty.

The judge looked at the both of them and then slightly bemused asked: "Are you sure, you want to get divorced?" And finally added: "Well, you both say conscientiously you are separated for three years and so I will not check this" and then smiled.

Rebecca Müller

Partner at vpmk attorneys, Berlin

Berlin is In

 

 

Although I always try to write my Blogs in English, this time I will do it in my native language.

 

Sorry ;-

 

Berlin entwickelt sich seit geraumer Zeit zur beliebtesten Metropole in Europa. Nicht nur bei Touristen, Studenten, Künstlern und jungen Leuten aus der ganzen Welt und der deutschen Provinz (ist nicht bös gemeint) sondern mehr und mehr auch von Firmen jeder Größe und aus den verschiedensten Bereichen. Zusätzlich wird ein Zustrom von UK Businesses erwartet, die so den Folgen des ‚Brexits‘ entgehen wollen.

 

trust7 Consulting betreut und vertritt schon seit vielen Jahren vor allem indische und US Firmen, und in letzter Zeit erreichen uns Anfragen von Interessenten aus dem mittleren Osten, speziell aus dem Iran.

 

Auch deutsche Unternehmen verlagern immer mehr Abteilungen und Entwicklungszentren nach Berlin, sodass wir schon jetzt viele neue und sehr interessante Jobs in Berlin anbieten können und es werden mehr :-)

 

Im Juli hatte unsere Senatorin für Wirtschaft Cornelia Yzer in Kooperation mit der Firma Berlin Partner GmbH zu einem Business Lunch für einige ausgewählte Geschäftsführer geladen. 

 

Business Lunch Welcome by Senator Cornelia Yzer

 

Senatorin Cornelia Yzer begrüßt die Gäste

 

Senatorin Yzer begrüßt trust7 Consulting - Detlef von Hellfeld

 

Wirtschafts Senatorin Yzer begrüßt trust7 Consulting - Detlef von Hellfeld

 

Die Fotos wurden uns freundlicher Weise von © Berlin Partner - Pedro Becerra zur Verfügung gestellt!

 

Alle Teilnehmer waren sich einig, dass Berlin als Business Standort permanent an Bedeutung gewinnt und ich kann nur empfehlen, sich mit uns in Verbindung zu setzen, um die Möglichkeiten für das eigene Business zu diskutieren.

 

Für Software Ingenieure die gern in einer jungen und dynamischen Metropole leben und arbeiten wollen, bietet trust7 Consulting viele Möglichkeiten. Wir freuen uns auf Ihre qualifizierten Initiativ Bewerbungen!

 

Beste Grüße aus Berlin

 

Detlef

 

Religion, a solace or a threat

If becoming “religious” has turned you into a more judgemental, arrogant, rude and harsh being, you need to introspect if you are worshipping God or your ego.

We all must have come across this axiom circulating on social media sometime or the other, but have we ever pondered over it? Let’s begin from the beginning. When we talk of religion what is the first thought that comes with it? Well, my stance on the issue of religion is, “despite all its holiness, there is nothing holy left in it anymore.” The intension is not to get you caught in some sort of philosophical trap, if you look closely at my statement about religion, you sure will get a head start on religion. I have always been sceptical about writing on the subject of religion due to my own unknown fears until Mr. von Hellfeld convinced me into writing on this burning topic which has suddenly gained momentum like never before.  In the current times, unfortunately, religion has become a perpetual threat to the free society, more due to its misuse than use. God alone knows, what alchemy is being employed these days to turn such pious aspects of religion into diabolical elements of controversy, political agenda, barbarism, massacres, material gain, greed, and so forth.

 

I am no atheist, I am no agnostic, I believe in religion and my religion believes in peace. Religion is not something I have plainly inherited nor is it something I show off by wearing charms, amulets or talisman. I do not adorn the walls of my house by gaudy religious symbols. Religion is something very deep and very personal, something to be felt not flaunted. I choose to follow my religion with eyes wide open rather than closed, that’s because I have read, questioned and understood it. I firmly believe that if you truly respect your religion, open and read its holy scripture, and try the best you can to implement its teachings in your day today life. See for yourself what is written in it. Sacred books are not just meant to be cleaned off dust, kissed and kept on the highest shelf of your closet, that’s the worst disrespect one could show to them. I am no saint and I am no authority to preach. But the present wave of global anarchy caused in the name of religion has compelled me to discuss the pit falls of practicing religion blindly. It is the ignorance of true religion that lets vested interests abuse religion; as is manifest in the present scenario.

 

It does not matter what your religion is, so long as your conscience guides your actions and words. A friend of mine in a humoured tone once said, ‘I was born a human until religion divided me.’ For once I won’t hesitate in confessing that it could be a plausible conjecture, even if it is not wholly true. For me, God, despite religious diversity in the world, is the ultimate truth, and through our inner voice termed as ‘conscience’ do we connect with our creator. If one rightly follows his/her conscience one could never go astray. After all, the language of God can only be decoded by our conscience. The tyranny, the oppression, the homicide which we are witnessing in the world today, all these collective inhumane acts are a result of the death and decay of our conscience which differentiates between right and wrong.

 

We may agree or disagree with one another but that does not mean we become intolerant or spiteful towards each other. I grew up in an Indian Muslim family, completed my schooling from a convent school run by catholic nuns, my circle of friends includes people of Hindu, Christian and Sikh faiths. Religion is the last thing that comes to my mind when I interact with people. I don’t judge people on the basis of their sexual orientation or their background, if you are my friend, you are my friend and that’s what counts in the end. Gay or straight, religion or no religion, atheist or agnostic, alles ist egal!! These blatant rampages against innocent people in the name of religion is far beyond my understanding. I am fully aware it’s not religion that is involved it is a much deeper menace that is breeding at an uncontrollable rate. Whatever be the foul play, all I know is bombing and killing innocent lives can never ever be justified, under no circumstances. No dictionary can ever provide words strong enough to describe an untimely loss of innocent life, there were never any words nor are there any words. It’s the sickening, gory and appallingly disturbed mind-set that aims to harm those who are not even in the least at fault. It feels even more wretched to read every single time it happens. The year 2016 has been exceptionally dark till now, wish I had a magical wand to give it a fresh start. The worst of all forms of helplessness is the spectacle of loss of innocent lives, to see these Goddamned lunatics, who in reality have not even a single iota of religion in them, drag faith into some misconstrued justification for their madness. In reality, their actions are in every way and every aspect contrary to the ways of religion. That’s primarily one reason why I never judge any religion by its followers, because followers could be misguided and brain washed any time. Religion is always pure, and no religion on earth preaches hatred. The essence of every religion is to promote peace, love and forgiveness. Violence is not related to any religion and in no form should it be condoned; else the blood shed will never stop.

 

If we talk about Germany, it is essentially a pluralistic society, progressive and independent of religious diktats. Freedom of religion in Germany is guaranteed by Article 4 of the Basic Law or Grundgesetz. Article 4 talks about freedom of faith and of conscience, and freedom of creed religious or ideological, are inviolable. It guarantees undisturbed practice of religion. Together the Roman Catholic church and Protestant church, account for slightly more than 60% of the total population in Germany. Roughly 33 % of the Germans are nonreligious, claiming membership in no church or religion at all. The Muslim population is somewhere around 5%. Other religious groups in smaller percentages include Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Jehovah’s witnesses etc. The General Act on Equal treatment prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, ethnic origin, race, religion, disability, age and sexual identity. The criminal code prohibits inciting or instigating disturbances of the public order by insulting faiths, religious societies, and ideological groups. Violation of criminal code is punishable by up to three years in prison plus fine. However, in my study on different religions residing in Germany I came to know that Germany is quite restrictive when it comes to Scientology.  In fact, there is an Anti-scientology sentiment apparent in the society. The reason I found most convincing is due to its bad experience with Nazism in the past, Germany is very cautious not to let extremism of any sort dwell on its soil. Germans feel a strong sense of responsibility to uproot any practice that could any day turn catastrophic. Majority of Germans feel that scientology is nothing short of a cult with authoritarian designs which jeopardize democracy. Both the Catholic and Protestant Churches have voiced unanimously against Scientology, and characterized it as a prototypical new age cult. The church of scientology in Germany has no claim over the church tax money, and is officially despised as a mere conspiracy that drives its followers to both spiritual and financial bankruptcy.

 

What amazes me the most about Germany is the rational and unbiased manner in which it handles crime. They don’t jump to conclusions without thorough checks and investigation. In the wake of latest untoward incidents in Munich, had it been some other country it would have out rightly labelled the perpetrator as a ‘terrorist’ but Germany conducted proper investigation and based upon enquiry ruled out any connection of the criminal with any terrorist organization, and called him a man with violent inclination instead. Ironically, if a person from any other religious background commits any heinous crime, he is labelled as psychologically impaired or a psychopath, whereas, if the same crime is committed by a Muslim, he becomes a terrorist, by default. That’s nothing but hypocrisy. At least, this country relies on a system of fair trial. I won’t say that the system is completely honest without lacunae, but I can say with full assurance, it is far better than many other nations.

 

Another thing that I much appreciate about Germany is, it does not mix religion with governance. For the secular status of any progressive society it is absolutely essential that it remains free of religious domination, else, the society disintegrates which is conspicuous in so many of the democratic countries of the world today. They are secular only in name but their minorities are manhandled, suppressed and live in constant fear. Religion should be given its due importance, but it should not be turned into a weapon for attacking people who belong to different faiths.  Religion came to unite people against all odds, don’t misinterpret and misuse it to divide people. I grew up adhering firmly to the teachings of my religion that emphasise greatly on mercy, random acts of kindness, respect to mankind irrespective of the social, religious or ethnic backgrounds. My religion has taught me that to kill an innocent life is as though you have killed the entire humanity, and to save even a single life is like saving the entire humanity. No matter what madness in unleashed in the world today in the name of religion, and no matter what religion these murders claim to associate themselves with. No religion associates itself with murderers of humanity. They are a lost cause not even worth being called as humans. The underlying principle of each religion is service to humanity and not slaying humanity. I don’t believe in partial humanity, I empathise with the sufferings of people in totality, no matter who they are or where they live. If I can change my profile picture on Facebook to show solidarity with France in the wake of recent shootings, I will not shy away from doing the same in support of the millions who are being ruthlessly killed and bombed in middle east. Every life is precious, no life is superior and no life is subservient to the other.

 

I would like to finish this blog with a sincere prayer that may unity, peace and most importantly, common sense prevail in the world. Let the beauty of a multicultural society grow and not erode it by religious intolerance.

Welcome on board to Germany

That moment when your spouse comes home and breaks the news, they have found a lucrative job offer in Germany. What is the most expected reaction of the other spouse; delighted or ambivalent or down right anxiety or a flat rejection? We all witness such situations at some point in our lives. Moving to a foreign land is not everyone’s cup of tea. There is a marked difference between visiting a new country as an explorer, and actually living in a foreign country as an expatriate. But, what if the above two combine together? Still don’t get it? Be an expat explorer, the mantra for a most productive stay abroad. Explore the new land, its culture, its language, its societal norms, the local cuisine, the local music and the local beverages, while you work your way there. The crux of the matter, however remains, that most expatriates inadvertently build a wall around themselves by not opening up. This is where the problem lies. As expats we tend to get too wary of the new land and its natives.

Before embarking on a journey to any foreign country with regards to employment (in our case, Germany), it is advised that you understand, and also make your family realize, the possible challenges which might come along following the move. This is something very common and natural. The decision of relocating to a foreign land, and its implications on your future life should be pondered.

Living abroad is like rose picking. With its many advantages come sizeable trials as well. After all, the roses come with thorns too. As an expatriate, one has to be prepared to face the daunting hurdles which keep brewing up, more frequently in the initial years. For example, all the sweating and running around the foreign office and hell lot of bureaucratic complications. However tough it may be for you to adjust to the local surroundings, do not live in the expat bubble of familiarity and comfort. Every day should dawn with more positivity in you. You might trip a few times or feel unsettled or think that all has gone awry in Germany.  It’s not so, what you are experiencing is something very usual, most expats face it. Every expatriate living abroad goes through phases of acceptance and rejection by the host country. It is not anything only you are subjected to. Off course, if its Germany, the ways of business dealings, work ethics and socializing, would all be German and different from what we are used to. As an expat you are supposed to learn all the nuances of the culture of the host country.

When we step into foreign countries we try to build our own familiar group with familiar faces, in order to remain close to what we can easily relate to, thereby, further alienating ourselves from the local environment. This familiarity seeking tactic hinders the transition of an expatriate into a comrade. Thus, they will forever feel out of place, and the host country will forever seem like a ‘foreign country’.

Indeed, there is an element of culture shock, but the sooner we get over it, the better it is for our own good. It is best not to carry the baggage of our own culture to a foreign land, and expect others to comprehend and respect it. Instead, be more open minded and accept the change. Let yourself be accommodative and open to newer friendships.

For a healthy and a steady integration into German society, first you need to cleanse yourself of all the false impressions and stereotypes you have created in your mind. Believe me, this alone is a big leap towards successfully assimilating into a foreign country, which can turn out to be a life rewarding experience. One thing that has to be understood well is, ‘any transformation takes time.’ You can’t sleep one night, and wake up the next morning behaving like a German. A few years have to be invested before you start embracing the new land as your new abode. The trick is, to not let the fear of mingling up with the locals take the better of you. We often feel, ‘what would others think if I speak wrong German, or what would they think, if I behave differently than them in any situation, God! I would be so awkward.’ Friends, go easy. Nobody gives a damn! That’s the best part of being in Germany. Also, blunders are a guide to learning. Patience and perseverance, are the keys to unlocking the art of adaption. The best thing you could do is, say goodbye to all these diabolical thoughts that obstruct your integration process.

Once the integration part has been handled, half the battle is won except that there still remains a catch. The big question is ‘what about the trailing spouses’? Mostly, the women follow their husbands on their projects/work abroad. Hence, they quit their existing jobs. Though, usually the trailing spouses manage to get jobs in the new land sooner or later, but there have also been cases of failure to do so which leads to frustration. Many spouses who were actively involved in jobs in their respective home countries, ever since they have made a move to Germany, they complain of crisis in their lives in terms of career and identity. Their dream of a prospective career in a new land is slowly wearing off, and life has become plainly mundane. Under such circumstances, even the strongest, and the must adjusting of spouses, would fall into pits of depression and frustration, which are born due to constant comparison between their current unemployed state and their past productive state.

To all those, who hate the tag of being labelled as ‘a trailing or accopanying or an expat spouse’ trust7 provides you a breather from all your mounted frustrations due to lack of a proper job. Yes! You heard it right. If you are an engineer, and are still struggling to find a job apt for you, give trust7 a chance to help you in job hunting. In the words of Mr Detlef von Hellfeld, founder of trust7, “trust7 offers a chance on a freelance/success basis to assist you in your career as a consultant in HR business.” All you need to do is, forward your updated CV as per German standards to Mr Detlef and wait to hear some good news. As for professionals in other fields like me, there is a plethora of options to choose from, but, I would suggest that you begin with learning German first. Even if you have the knack for creating your own future job, you still require the native language for growth.

Moving past the language hurdle allows free access to the heart of any land and its culture. By learning the new language, you gain an insight and understanding of the ways of functioning of a particular culture. Language unlocks all distances and discomforts; you may have as an expat in Germany. It makes you, and others around you, more at ease with one another. The more hesitant you are in approaching the locals, the locals are even more hesitant to open up with you, because you are a foreigner who speaks an alien language. Friendship breeds on familiarity, that’s why German is pivotal. After all, you are in their land, you should take the initiative of learning their native language and remove the disquiet around you. 

Funny enough, in every non English speaking country I have visited so far, I have come across a group of expats who mumble-grumble about the toughness of the language they are supposed to learn. So, basically every non English speaking country, with its own language, somehow gets labelled as the country with the most difficult language and very unwelcoming.This is the most common statement by which we try to gain public sympathy, and conceal our own lazy to learn attitude. The ‘I will do it tomorrow attitude’ is to be held responsible for distancing us from the host country, and we have to get away with as soon as possible, if we want steady settlement in Germany. ‘I will do it tomorrow’ gets postponed so far that eventually it becomes impossible. We all know tomorrow never comes, so do it today. It is sad but true that the vast majority of expats, despite living in a foreign country for years learn close to nothing with regards to the local language, and thus the feeling of loneliness and isolation. Then, we blame the locals for being unfriendly and practicing discrimination. In reality, it is clearly failure on our part to integrate. But it is always easy to accuse the natives of behaving differently towards us.

I would summarize by saying that don’t let the charisma of a new land fade away.  Let the fire of fascination remain ignited in you. Come out of the comfort zone, and explore the newness around you. You know the best part about being an expat is that our early struggles in adapting ourselves to the new environment make us stronger than ever. We gradually learn to overcome our worst fears and appreciate the good times. An expat’s life is a true adventure. How thrilling you make your adventure is up to you.

Tune into local radio, hear German music, read German newspapers, listen to German news…. all this even if you don’t know a word of German. That’s how you will slowly start picking up the language and develop a flair for it. You don’t have to become Friedrich Schiller or Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in holding conversations with fellow Germans, just a normal expat who is learning a new language and struggling with accusative, dativ and genetiv.

Dream Job

Isn’t it a good feeling if somebody asks you for an advice and you can help? It is an even better feeling if you get paid for this advice! This is in short words the description of the job of a consultant!

 

Being the manager of trust7 for 16 years I have given many advices, free ones and paid ones and I am very happy with this. I found my Dream Job.

 

 

Meanwhile trust7 is not only a Consultancy for Human Resources, work permits and visa for Germany, but also for foreign Companies to establish their business in Europe and for individuals to get the German Citizenship.

 

We are ahead of the rush of firms who want to take part in the businesses with Iran after lifting the Sanctions and we offer a very fair Franchise System to our Community Members for all the mentioned services.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franchising

 

As a trust7 Franchisee you can start any kind of business with an excellent reputation and a big basis of readers in case you want to provide some information related to your business.

 

Especially for HR Consultants we have ideal conceptions to make your start up successful!

 

Do not hesitate to contact me directly at fr@trust7.com

 

Thanks

 

Detlef

Iran, Sanctions, Business

In January the sanctions against the Iran, which lastet more than 10 years, had been lifted.

 

While most US sanctions will remain in place, the lifting of EU sanctions will benefit a large number of industries. As financial transactions are the basis of almost all businesses, the readmittance to SWIFT - the global payment system - will open up many new opportunities!

 

In Iran as well as in Germany many companies are ready to take the chance for long hoped for businesses in Export, Import and for new projects. Because of the long lasting break of business activities, there is a lack of experiences and reliable connections! Not least because of the language and cultural differences it will be very difficult to build trustfully business relations.

 

 

trust7 Consulting provides support! Our Country Manager for the Near- and Middle East is a native Iranian speaks German, Farsi and Arabian, has many years of trade experiences in Iran as well as in Germany and other countries of the Near- and Middle East.

 

He has excellent contacts to Iranian and German Companies and Institutions and can support and develop any kind of business!

 

There are many chances, but as always in the world of business, there are big risks too. So you need a reliable consultant and all of you know.. TRUST is the basis for our services.

 

Contact us via mail: iran@trust7.com

 

Via phone in German or English: +49 30 49862400

 

Via phone in Persian (Farsi): +49 176 20351141

To be or not to be

As we come to the end of 2015, and eagerly await 2016, let's take a quick look at all the pleasant, not so pleasant and rather harsh chapters read explicitly aloud this year. Since, we are in Germany I would focus primarily on the German side of even and odd developments and touch on a few global issues here and there. Controversy, crisis and commendation are the three C's Germany garnered this year.

 

Controversy- The Volkswagen 'name and shame' scandal, which needs no briefing, has put Germany not just in an embarrassing position on the international front but has also tarnished the 'made in Germany' image. This tag which the country has carried for so long as an indisputable trademark of quality and efficiency has suffered a serious blow as Germany's leading car maker faces deep probes for compromising with the environment. Has an auto maker ever been so dramatically caught red handed cheating on diesel engine emissions? Audi engines, the luxurious Volkswagen car too have been implicated. To come out clean and win back the lost trust will be an excruciating task for Volkswagen group, which saw a period of unprecedented growth and now seeing its unprecedented fall. The scandal has not only hit VW shares but also dented its reputation globally. I fail to understand why would a brand of this repute and immense fan following could ever imagine manipulating with environment, and leave aside environment, what about the trust of its huge clientele? What were they thinking when they installed an engine managed software to alter emissions to pass US emissions test, that they would never be caught? After all, who expected Volkswagen; the group that had surpassed Toyota in the first half of 2015 as the world's largest auto maker to be convicted of an offence of this magnitude. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, who has built a reputation of an environment good Samaritan during a decade as chancellor by pitching in renewable resources in place of nuclear energy now suffers blemishes caused by Volkswagen scam. Her drive 'to go green' may have sounded a little hypocritical in recent Global climate summit in Paris in Dec. Her vision to outpace other EU members in seeking to cut carbon emissions by 40% of 1990 levels by year 2020 may have been temporarily blurred by the grim reality she now faces. Clearly, a big disappointment followed by an even bigger criticism. Lesson to learn -Volkswagen go clean, go green; earn back your lost sheen but without cheating.

 

Crisis- Ahh!! die Flüchtlingskrise or the worrisome refugee crisis. It's not just any crisis but a catastrophe that has taken into its grip many nations and has indirectly affected the world at large. With IS making headlines in media and inflicting most barbaric atrocities in the history of mankind which has led to mass migration from countries like Syria and Iraq, all we can as humans do is to empathize with those fleeing their homelands in quest for survival. Undoubtedly, the soaring emotions, the heart wrenching stories of survival, the dilapidated state in which immigrants have somehow managed to cross over to Europe only to meet the hostility of European countries which are unwilling and unrelenting to welcome them bruise our conscience. Drenched, sick, tired and stranded, they were homeless with nowhere to go. Under such gruelling conditions, when other EU countries where still debating on what to do with this fresh trouble, Germany opened its gateways to the time afflicted refugees, an outstanding gesture least expected from a country that has always been criticised for its ugly past. Overnight Germany became a saviour of refugees, and the master stroke played by Angela Merkel won her global praise. But lets go deeper into the problem. Though Merkel was lauded internationally for her refugee welcoming stand but back home her 'open the doors' policy met with mixed response. Though, many openly acknowledged her but many also rebuked her decision including some in her own party. The latter believe that this refugee policy has gone too far on the humanity index and it's very likely going to backfire if its not controlled in time. The resentment against refugees is simmering and might explode any day. The anti refugee camp within Germany feels that the uncontrolled migration can lead to system collapse and that Germany can't cope with the unrestricted entry. I think to an extent their fears are valid, but at the same time as humans we can't let these war torn, unfortunate people die; many among them are young children. But from practical point of view, Germany is indeed amid a big crisis. The assimilation of such a vast number of refugees requires logistics more than emotions. More houses, more hospitals, more schools, more teachers and more jobs have to be procured and off course, to settle them more space is required. The government doesn't have a magical wand to expand Germany's geographical area. According to Merkel, “we are willing to tackle the responsibility of integration and I appeal for us not to reject it. There's no point in that but for us to take it on board and then to shape it so that it grows into something that is of benefit to us all.” The ulterior motive behind welcoming refugees seems quite clear that the government is betting on migrants for a steady supply of skilled workers in the wake of growing deficit in this area owing to its ageing population and ridiculously low birth rate. The average immigrant in Germany is a surprisingly 29 years younger than the average German, who is 46. The question of refugees has sparked up quite a stir between the good guys who want to embrace refugees with open arms against the xenophobes who are spreading hatred among people against refugees and want them expelled from German territory at any cost. However, the legitimate questions that German government needs to ponder over are-how many refugees are coming next year? Is Germany prepared to handle such a mass immigration? And can Germany cope up with it? Lesson to learn- the key to success lies in not biting off more than you can chew.

 

Commendation- All is well that ends well. This looks straight out of some fairytale. Germany may have faced some tough challenges knocking on its doors in 2015 but what a surprise it unrolled towards the end. Time Magazine has named Angela Merkel as the 'Person of the Year'. She has become the first woman to be awarded the prestigious title by herself since 1986. Merkel is only the fourth woman to be ever named Person of the Year, after Time magazine decided to include women in 1936. No one has stood the test of time more than Merkel in 2015, her resolve in leading Europe through Greek debt crisis, encouragement to open borders to migrants and refugees, firm handling of Vladimir Putin-Ukraine conflict, the carnage in Paris and the backlash she faced for letting in refugees, only a person of immense character and exceptional mettle could stand firm and tall under such adversities. She deserved this rank like nobody else. In the words of Nancy Gibbs, The Time editor “For asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply, Angela Merkel is Times Person of the Year.” Her transition from a young girl who grew up in East Germany to the most powerful woman in the world is nothing short of an inspiration for all the women in the world. She has changed the course of history by becoming the Chancellor of the free world; the de facto leader of the entire continent. The true spirit of Germany lies in owning up its mistakes, rectifying them and learning from them to emerge as an even better and bigger name. “ The heart and soul of Europe is tolerance. It has taken us centuries to understand this. We have persecuted and annihilated one another. We have laid our own country to waste. The worst period of hatred, devastation and destruction happened not even a generation ago. It was done in the name of my people.” Perhaps Merkel knows the definition of pain and sufferings better than anyone in the modern and greedy world. Her action to allow refugees in Germany when the rest of the continent was slamming doors on them, leaving them dying, wandering and homeless, has restored our faith in humanity. Whatever be the hidden agenda, at least she took them in when they were denied entry everywhere else. Her move could be amends for the gory crimes committed by Germany in the past, which had deeply stained its image in the world. By opening borders to refugees Germany has signalled generosity in the current tyrannical times. As a well wisher, I hope someday a new chapter in history be written where Germany would be remembered for its generous role in saving the lives of so many fleeing persecution in their homelands. Lesson to learn- no matter how high the waves are, if you are resolute to sail through them, you will reach your destination. The rise of Merkel is one such reminder.

 

The year 2015 has overall been an uneasy year plagued by the widespread epidemic of Ebola, incidents of floods, earthquakes, aeroplane crashes and much more casualty being reported daily in some part or the other. At the same time, it also witnessed some remarkable moments like coming to power of Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Canadian Prime Minister who has become an epitome of ideal man, someone who is modern, kind and very relatable and whose popularity graph is growing by leaps and bounds. By personally greeting refugees at the airport he has also shown that he is man with a golden heart. Our world needs many more Justin Trudeaus. In the end, I would wrap up by saying I sincerely hope the remaining days of 2015 be peaceful, and may the coming year bring much more stability in the world, may the rain of joy,prosperity and unity wet our earth. May peace prevail. To be or not to be is not the question, we should collectively strive to serve humanity, to be tolerable to one another, and to do away with all the social evils and injustice that divide us.

 

Wishing all my readers 'Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year' in advance. Stay healthy, wealthy and wise. Cheers. 

German Embassies/Consulates - Performance

 

Dear trust7 members,

 

within the last 15 years I had to do with many different German Embassies and Consulate worldwide. Not directly but because of visa/work permit applications of my own employees and of applicants from my clients.

 

In the first days of the so called ‚Green Card‘ in 2000 this was a kind of game of luck if the involved parts ever heard about the German programs for highly skilled people or not, but over the years it got better and better.

 

With the start of the Blue Card we got relatively clear rules, that one could check his chances to get a work permit ahead of planning his career and the whole process is quite simple as soon as one gets a job offer by a German company.

 

Now it is possible to take the whole family from the beginning and the permissions to work for a spouse are very liberally.

 

Nevertheless it is still a matter of good luck or bad luck how long it takes to get the visa and much depends on the competency, efficiency and the willingness to help of the Authorities.

 

At the moment I am experiencing the worst case of this in 15 years! I have two active applications for new employees at the German Embassy in Tehran, Iran and I am really angry, because we are waiting for the work permit approval since June! One we got in October, the second one is still pending!

 

Justice for everybody!

 

My lawyer told me, that she never faced such a case before, too.

 

Please share your own experiences, good or bad, that we can get an overview of the current situation.

 

Thanks

 

Detlef

trust7 - meeting your highest aspirations

 

It is my trust, your trust, trust for all!

 

What happens when a team of global experts comes face to face on the same platform to deliver a service? That's when a trust is formed. Without dramatising any further, lets take a quick overview of the resulting company which is not just any service but a brand that unveils a whole new job market to you with its unlimited potential. With immense pleasure I would like to reintroduce trust7 with its underlying principle of trust built over years; not through tricks, techniques or tools but by character. So when you say trust, you have said it all.

 

Being number 1 is extremely overrated, trust7 aspires not to be influenced by any number games but to strive hard to be the most bankable player in the market . To provide value services in order to open new doors of opportunity to our esteemed customers, and to increase their visibility are some of the rudimentary goals of our business.

 

trust7 has been at your service for many years now. Over time, it has developed into a bigger and better enterprise. We take pride in announcing that our community Website has now over 6000 registered users, and our online community is amplifying with each passing day. Our forum members are steadfast in responding to the posted queries in the most genuine manner. Each day we get queries from professionals and job enthusiasts regarding the prospective job avenues in Germany or about the newer and more promising job roles. The profiles of the candidates short listed are thoroughly reviewed by our expert panel to ensure right job to the right candidate. We value trust in us and guarantee 100% customer satisfaction. trust7 believes in delivering results within the stipulated time to win over our clientele thereby encouraging brand loyalty. After all, your belief in us is what keeps us going.

 

Before elaborating on our services and programs, lets take a quick look at what makes Germany one of the most attractive destinations not just from a career perspective but also from a living perspective. We live in a world where evils of tyranny, terrorism, social stigmas, intolerance and much more are being unleashed daily in some form or the other. The dark clouds of wars looming in the skies are displacing millions from their homelands to far-flung areas in search of safety of life, security for their kith and kin, and prospects of earning their daily bread. Despite, its ugly past, Germany has managed to reconfigure itself, in order to become one of the safest, harmonious and peace loving countries of the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is worth mentioning that Germany has become one of the first nations to welcome refugees with open arms. An unprecedented move by Chancellor Angela Merkel which has won not just global accolades but also boosted Germany's image internationally. In fact, the Time magazine has ranked Merkel as the second most powerful person in the world in its 2015 rankings. This shows how well Germany has arrived and is seen on the world stage. It no longer remains a claustrophobic and xenophobic society. Today, many countries are curbing the freedom of religion, freedom of expression, perpetually violating human rights, in short making survival a big challenge. Under such circumstances, Germany offers a ray of hope to build and resurrect your crumbling life. It provides a placid abode to you and your loved ones. As it goes- 'you should leave something worth for the posterity from which they may profit'.

 

Nothing is more lucrative than a lucid economy and an ageing population. Germany at present is a lottery ticket to all the meritorious professionals. According to Reuters, 'German unemployment is running at 6.4 percent, the lowest since reunification in 1990, and strong economic growth allowed the government to make a record 21 billion Euro ($24 billion) budget surplus in the first half of the year.' In order to lure high talent from across the non-European zone, the EU came up with the idea of Blue Card and Germany was one of the first countries to implement it. The Blue card has caught the attention of professionals from around the world, as it enables them to easily move to Germany along with their families.

 

Living as a foreigner and living as a local are two different things. For a brighter future in Germany, it is utile to learn German language. It is not a prerequisite but definitely a requisite as it definitely widens your horizon in Germany. The choice is yours.

 

An insight into our business plan

 

Foreign companies trying to set up a subsidiary in Germany require a local representative to assist and familiarise them with the nuances of German market. Here at trust7, we have at your disposal complete strategies which you could offer as a franchise taker. Irrespective of the nature of your trade, by availing our services you could secure a firm ground for your business plan. You may be a tax consultant, a lawyer, a relocation specialist or a restaurateur, if you have a business proposal, you have us right here! We serve emerging entrepreneurs.

 

Core competence

 

Once an ace, always an ace. Placement of meritorious professionals is our core job. As a consultant, you will benefit from the strong networking of our community members who are experts in themselves. No matter which professional field your customers belong to, you will always find the right employees for your clients through trust7. This is not just our promise but our business to bring prospective hirers at your doorsteps. As a trust7 consultant you enjoy an undisputed repute and trust in the market. In fact, you can even promote trust7 business model in your home countries.

 

Why do you require trust7 franchise?

 

Don't be intrigued by the question, rather think about the already existing and ever increasing trust7 membership. Won't it be profitable to your new start up? After all, intelligence, individualism and pragmatic business ethics are the key to a flourishing enterprise. Be it a new business idea or the thought of expanding your current business, a franchise with trust7 will definitely make your task simpler thanks to the instant publicity. trust7 is not just a mere name, it is a title we have earned for our remarkable services over the years owing to customer satisfaction, and we hope to take this legacy forward, and live up to it in all the coming years. Here at trust7, we reserve the right to reject any franchise application, if it fails to meet our work standards.

 

About trust7

 

Our aim is to carry trust across seven seas. Here at trust7 we are continuously working to ensure that your talent gets in the right hands. This has been our primary motive for the past 15 years. We not just serve you but we win you over through our quality services. There are many types of people who come to Germany with varied dreams, some are expatriates and others are those who acquire German citizenship, our purpose is to help them to assimilate to the German surroundings as regards the day-to-day living challenges, query about visas, work permits, life in Germany and so on. trust7 continues to woo leading companies and gets copious requests from them which in turn lead to new contracts. trust7 has been proactively helping people in shaping their careers and their lives.

 

Recommend us and reap benefit.

 

Have you ever heard of the term symbiosis? No matter how thriving and globally networked a business is, it will run into some limitations or the other in today's highly competitive and dynamic world. To make a business prosperous and well placed in the mercantile environment, one needs to push through these barriers by a force called symbiosis which lends adaptability vital for survival. Although symbiosis is a biological term, it is a driving force in business too. trust7 employs this reward based challenge to anyone who gets us a contract. Meaning thereby, you recommend us to the hiring management of your company when there are job vacancies, or to the company that wants to set up a base in German market. You just have to refer the contact to us and trust7 will communicate directly. With every new contract that trust7 gets through you, it will pay you a fair commission in return.

 

In brief, get us recommended and we get you rewarded...fair play!

 

In the end, I would just like to sum up by saying- 'Discover brighter future by having your trust in us. So, have you had your trust today?'

Berlin is Top

There is a new Ranking List of the 30 biggest cities in Germany and Berlin is again on the way to the top!

Only Munich has a higher Ranking, Berlin is now number 2 and left other cities like Frankfurt or Hamburg far behind.

For Start Ups, young people from all over the world, artists and other creative and modern people, Berlin is already number 1!

Fotographer Anke Hübner

Read an article in German about the content of this Ranking.

http://www.n24.de/n24/Nachrichten/

See you in Berlin

Detlef cool

Social support and benefits to the parents.

Germany is known to be quite benevolent in allocating provisions to the parents on the birth of their children. Much to the delight of the latter, a special consideration is meted out to the families under the German constitution or Basic Law (Grundgesetz). The German government provides remittances of EUR 184 per month for each of the first two children, and EUR 190 every month for the third child. It pays EUR 215 per month for every additional child. Foreigners can avail the child benefit allowance (Kindergeld) as soon as they acquire a valid settlement permit.

Lets focus on the following areas which are an integral part of social support in Germany in detail:

  • Employment Protection- The German law clearly states that an employer can't dismiss employment during pregnancy and the four months following the birth. However, it is strictly advised that you inform your employer about your pregnancy in advance. Before and after the birth, there is a phase of protected maternity leave referred to as mutterschutzfrist during which you have a right to maternity payments or mutterschutzgeld. Even if an expecting employee doesn't have legal health insurance, still the employer is bound to let you off for any prenatal appointments if they occur during work hours without any financial snag. To know more about the employment protection of working mothers you may refer to the detailed publication of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in English.
  • Maternity leave- Pregnant employees have the right to claim maternity leave in Germany, which is a protected period of 14 weeks; six weeks before and eight weeks after the birth of the child. For the six weeks preceding the birth, the employed women receive a statutory maternity pay ( Mutterschaftsgeld) paid jointly by the health insurance company (Krankenkasse)and and the employer ( Arbeitsgeberzuschuss). Privately insured and self employed women can claim maternity leave and employer contribution. In such cases, maternity pay is limited to maximum sum and is paid by the Federal Office for Insurance (Bundesversicherungsamt). Interestingly, the maternity leave was established during the 1920's as a female worker's right and a social obligation to protect the life of unborn and that of newly born.
  • Parental leave (Elternzeit)- Since 2007, parents have been able to apply for parental leave as a social provision, and still continue to receive a certain percentage of their total income. The parental leave maybe taken until the child becomes three years old. Parental leave must be filed in writing no later than seven weeks before the beginning of the leave, and has to be taken for at least two months. The parental leave rights are applicable to everyone irrespective of full time or part time employment. It guarantees that your employer is legally obliged to keep your job reserved for you till the period of parental leave. The parental leave can either be taken jointly or by either parent. It allows parents to work part time for up to 30 hours a week without violating the terms of parental leave or employment protection rights.
  • Parent allowance (Elterngeld)- On Jan 1, 2007 came into force the new parent allowances law or Elterngeldgesetz. As per this law, parents of children born on or after this date are eligible to receive parent allowance to help them meet the costs of raising their children. All parents are eligible for Elterngeld, if they personally decide to look after their newborn during the first 14 months, and hence, unable to continue their full time job. Elterngeld is paid upto a maximum of 14 months after the birth of the child. Both parents can claim Elterngeld, and can freely divide the Elterngeld among themselves. The amount of money, a parent is entitled to, depends on their average monthly salary of the year preceding the birth of their child. The maximum a parent is permitted to receive is 67% of their monthly income, upto a cap of 1800 Euros irrespective of income. But in certain cases, when the average income is above EUR 1220, it gets reduced to 66% and further 65%, if the average income is over EUR 1240. The minimum Elterngeld is EUR 300, even if the parent was unemployed before the child birth. A parent may work part-time up to 30 hours a week, and still be eligible for Elterngeld. As of July 2015, the Elterngeldplus system has come into action which allows parents to receive half the regular amount of Elterngeld over twice the period, i.e., parents can decide to receive half the regular amount of Elterngeld payment over a maximum of 28 months. The Elterngeldplus system has been introduced for parents who would like to continue working part-time for an extended duration, to take care of their child at home.
  • Child allowance (Kindergeld)- To register for the child benefit, you are required to send a copy of the birth certificate (Geburtsurkunde) to the Families Office at the Department of Employment (Familienkasse beim Arbeitsamt). Any taxpayer with children can seek Kindergeld whether employed, self employed or unemployed. The child allowance is paid until the child reaches 18 or 21 if unemployed or until 27 if in some educational training. There is no limit set for the differently challenged children who can never financially support themselves. Kindergeld is paid irrespective of the parents' annual earnings. Adopted or Foster children too qualify for Kindergeld. Some people living outside Germany can also file for Kindergeld, if they fulfil certain German income tax criteria. Generally, the Kindergeld is directly paid to the parents, and not the children except for orphans or the children whose parents are missing. If your employment gets suddenly terminated or you choose to leave the country along with your children, you are expected to notify the concerned authority that pays you kindergeld, failure to do so can make you severely penalised.

 

Thus, we see that in Germany the maintenance of children has become highly regulated, increasingly standardised and legally enforced, to ensure that each child enjoys a healthy upbringing. After all, children are the future of every nation, and as you nurture them now, they will nurture the country back in future. It's all about smart planning for a smarter future.

Planning a family in Germany

Are you thinking of starting a family in Germany? If yes, then congratulations, you have made the right decision at the place. Germany provides many sound socialist facilities to its residents, and offers every care to ensure all its people lead not just a happy but also a healthy life . Some of my friends who recently had babies had nothing but praises for the medical facilities bestowed here, thankfully most of which are covered by your insurance. Another big relief to many (non German speakers) is, most of the doctors (with the exception of a few) can easily communicate in English, though the staff at the hospital may or may not.

 

One difference that we observe in Germany is the reliance on holistic or homeopathic medicines. Homeopathy traces its roots to the German physician Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). In fact, the German homeopathic drugs are exported all over the world and are very popular. But the level of endorsement of homeopathy by the medical fraternity in Germany is incredible. Not only the doctors, but the midwives too, recommend and perform acupuncture, acupressure and massage therapies for various medical conditions, particularly during labour. Herbal teas and homeopathic medicines are generously prescribed for you and for your newborn. The use of antibiotics is discouraged unless, absolutely necessary.

 

The main areas, to familiarize yourself with, when planning a family, are listed below-

 

  • Choosing your Gynaecologist- Before you choose any gynaecologist ask yourself, whether you would like the same doctor who handled your pregnancy to be the one to deliver your baby? Or you are open to accepting any other medical professional provided by the hospital? If you have picked a doctor who doesn't work outside the clinic (Klinik) at the hospital (Krankenhaus), then he/she won't be the one delivering your baby. They will perform all your routine check ups, and supervise you all through your pregnancy, but once you go in labour, then the hospital takes charge of you.

 

  • Deciding on the hospital- When picking up a hospital do a thorough research on what all facilities you would require at the time of your labour and delivery. You might be surprised to know that the maternity hospitals offer regular guided tours and hold information sessions. This provision is really informative for the would be parents, as they can see the facilities available at the hospital. One specific area where you need to give maximum attention is the paediatric care given by the hospital. While most hospitals have some paediatric care facility, not all of them have a full fledged paediatric ward in the hospital. If God forbid your baby is born with some ailment or is born premature, and requires extra care, your baby will be transferred to the nearest childcare clinic (Kinderklinik) while, you are still recovering in the same hospital after delivery. So make sure, you choose a hospital that has a proper childcare ward.

 

  • The Mutterpass- Once your pregnancy is confirmed, your doctor will issue you a booklet called a mutterpass (mother's pass). The purpose is to keep track of the progress of your pregnancy, and to write down the results of the all the tests undergone by you during pregnancy, and your medical history for future reference. You are expected to bring it along, each time you come for any medical examination or to the hospital. The doctor delivering your child may or may not be the doctor who supervised you during pregnancy and hence, will require your mutterpass to study all the medical tests conducted on you, and information documented in it. It is very important so please carry it with you at all times during pregnancy.

 

  • Midwives- In Germany, the main responsibility for delivering your child rests on a midwife, commonly called a Hebamme. Doctors only step in when there is some complication. It is recommended that you book a Hebamme in advance, as they remain very busy throughout the year. Websites like hebammensuche.de etc, provide a list of available midwives, you can specify the preferred language, location and services. She will assist you all during your pregnancy, and post delivery. If you don't choose a Hebamme in advance, the hospital concerned will provide you one. Hebammen are well trained medical professionals, both in traditional and modern medical techniques. They are on call 24 hours, and answer all your questions from breastfeeding to baby proofing your house, formula milk, bathing etc. Your Hebamme may take over your check-ups around week 35 or you may meet them in addition to your doctor. Your medical insurance or Krankenkasse covers 12 advice sessions with the Hebamme, along with the post delivery care for up to eight weeks. This includes daily visits until your baby is 10 days old.

 

  • Medical examination during pregnancy- There are usually a maximum of 12 medical examinations that would be done on you before the baby's due date (Termin Date). Generally, it is one medical test per month up to the 32nd week and then, after every two weeks. You may expect as many as six sonograms during a normal pregnancy followed by routine pelvic exams. During the routine medical exam, the doctor will check your blood pressure, periodic blood and urine tests and weight. The suggested weight gain per pregnancy is somewhere around 10-11 kilograms. With the nearing of your due date, the baby's heart rate and any contractions are closely monitored.

 

  • Delivery- At the hospital, in addition to the delivery room, (called Keissaal in German) there is a maternity ward, doctors on duty around the clock, easy access to epidural or PDA (as it is commonly called in German) and emergency services in case of Caesarian or C section ( Kaiserscnitt). If your delivery is normal, you will stay for at least three nights, but if its through C-section, then at least up to five nights in the hospital.

 

  • Childbirth Preparatory classes- These pre natal classes generally include exercises which lead to relaxation, what to expect during birth, how to handle the newborn etc. Lamaze classes are also provided by the hospital. Such classes are usually led by a Hebamme and include, a few intensive courses in a variety of languages. Register in these classes as early as possible, they are very beneficial. Also, make sure to complete them at least 3-4 weeks before your due date. This will mentally prepare you for the upcoming task of delivering your baby.

 

These are some of the areas you need to focus on well when starting your family. Knowing that you are pregnant is the most beautiful feeling in the world. And if you happen to be in Germany then it is an icing on the cake; a double celebration. You have every reason to feel fortunate, because here you have easy accessibility to the extensive maternity care options guiding you at every step during your pregnancy. The German health insurance covers almost all of your maternity care costs. Germany is indeed, one of the best places to be a new mother, as it proffers generous social benefits and work leave to both the parents after the birth of your baby. What all support and benefits you enjoy while you are looking after your baby will be dealt with elaborately in my next blog.

 

 

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