Germany opens borders for programmers

Have you read today’s German version of Financial Times? I did. Not that I can read German, but you don’t have to – just copy/paste the text of this article to Google Translate’s left box. It’s smart enough to recognize that it’s in German. Pick your language in the “To:” dropdown and enjoy the news.

From now on, if you are software developer, your perspective employer doesn’t have to pay you 66 thousand Euros a year, but “only” 45 thousand. Given their tax laws, it’ll translate into two thousand euros a month after taxes. Who can Germany attract with this amount? India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China. Russia and Ukraine won’t bother. They can take home this much cash either officially after paying from 5 to 13% tax, or using what they call grey salary, where part of the pay is given in an envelope stuffed with long and green bills.

Some people will get excited by the fact that you can enter the country and spend 6 months there just looking for a job, but again, this won’t attract software developers from the Eastern Europe. Overall, Germany tries to take a step in the right direction, but five years down the road the may not be happy with the results.


7 thoughts on “Germany opens borders for programmers

  1. Thank you, Yakov, for this helpful post. (It also reminds me how hard I worked to get a visa for a job in Germany, 10 years ago. And the effort was useless, because I finally decided to stay in Romania.)

    By the way, I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of Google Translate’s translation from Russian to English. I used it recently to understand how to fill in the speaker form for a conference. I remember when I first used this kind of software, about 15 years ago, to translate from Japanese to English, the results were hilarious.

  2. A salary of 45000€ in Germany would mean 2700€ after taxes, but includes health insurance, unemployment insurance and a pension scheme.
    The plus in Germany is that you have a excellent quality of life, excellent public transportation, very safe cities etc. And compared to France, UK etc. the costs for rent, food etc. are definitely much lower.

    1. Sure, maybe, one percent of programmers would prefer living in Germany even is the net pay would be the same as in Moscow. But this law won’t cause any major movements in the community of Russian software developers. Many of them are afraid to relocate to large cities in their own countries let alone moving abroad.

  3. As I heard 45k for employee in Germany isn’t a small salary (ok maybe 50k). Especially if we’re talking about foreigners without german high education (in IT it’s not so important now, but anyway) , without language. At least in our kingdom 45-50k doesn’t look bad in comparison to market salaries.
    I absolutely agree that it won’t cause “migration” from Ukraine/Russia to German, just for me Europe doesn’t look like a place where you can make money at all(maybe except London) (If we compare it to Kiev or especially Moscow and talking only about SW developers in case of Kiev). So, I think, any law won’t make dramatic changes in SW developers migration from Kiev/Moscow to Germany just because market salaries are relatively the same.
    Actually, I have feeling that good Indians are not willing to relocate either(especially to Europe), they have good salaries and much better opportunities at home. Even if they are moving , they usually move to US.
    The only people left – average indians and even worse pakistanis. (haven’t really seen Chinese people in Europe enterprise IT).

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