H1B: Things to Remember

I am trying to write down everything that I remembered to do before leaving for the US so that posterity can benefit from it. I will add what I forgot later on.

DMV Report, Car insurance report

I have requested a report from my file with the Germany equivalent of the DMV just in case. I also asked my car insurance provider to send a letter stating that I am in good standing with them and have not had them pay for anything in the last 11 years. Apparently, some auto insurance carriers in the US will give you a discount if you can provide such information but no matter if useful or not things like this are easier to do before leaving.

I wanted to register for Zipcar back when I was in Atlanta and needed the letter from the DMV which was excruciatingly hard to get since I had to mail things back and forth using USPS and my parents had to forward the letter back to the US.


We had to cancel our newspaper, the internet provider and lots of insurance. Many of these are tricky as there might be a mandatory term on the contract. In Germany, though, most contracts can be canceled at any point in time if you move, especially if the service you were subscribed to is not available at your new address. Debating availability of service when moving from Germany to the US is usually quick. The required documents, though, suck. You have to provide a confirmation from the government that you gave up your residence address (notice of departure confirmation). This document is only issued to you when or after you move so for us, my parents will probably have to mail it to everyone concerned by us leaving. Some people can be persuaded to accept a letter confirming cancellation of your lease but not everyone.

Luckily, car insurance automatically ends with selling a car in Germany so that’s taken care of.


I prepared my tax filing for last year as early as possible this year. First, I have all the documentation handy and second I received all returned documents at my home address. For next year, I have already scanned everything that might be important from 2014 and will leave the original documents with a friend. For the year you move you will have to prepare tax filings for every country you have earned money in. Germany has a double taxation agreement with the US so it will likely not be too bad.

Insurance companies

I opted for getting a prospective entitlement with many insurance carriers. You will be a small fee for keeping your contract running without any actual insurance coverage. This will allow you to reinstate your original contract with no questions asked should you return. In Germany, health insurance is very good and prospective entitlement is cheap. I literally asked my carrier if the entitlement contract means that “as long as I make it back across the border I can be unbelievably sick and will still be covered as soon as I return” and they agreed. Also, in Germany, you will not be able to get back into the mandatory insurance program if you earn more than a certain amount of money once you return. Although there are loopholes everywhere I prefer knowing that I could return at any time without a problem.

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