Reporting to the Authorities

Once you have found accommodation and registered at university, you have to fulfil a number of other formalities.

First stop: the registration authorities

As soon as you have found a room or an apartment, you are required to report to the registration authorities within the period of one week. Reporting to the registration authorities is a compulsory procedure for everyone who has a place of residence in Germany. You can find out the address of your registration authority from the International Office. To register, you must present

• your passport, if necessary with a visa,

• your rental agreement or confirmation from your landlord that you have moved into his/her accommodation,

• possibly other documents such as the registration certificate from your university. It's best to inquire at your International Office beforehand to find out exactly what papers you need.

Important: The registration authorities will provide you with confirmation of registration. Make sure you keep this in a safe place.

Are you an EU national or a citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway?

If so, you will have already received confirmation of your right of residence from the registration authorities. Under certain circumstances, you may be required to prove you have sufficient financial resources and health insurance coverage. It's best to inquire beforehand at your International Office.

Residence permit and foreigners' authorities

If you do not come from the above countries, you need a so-called residence permit for the purpose of studying from the foreigners' authorities. You must report to this office in person within three months of your arrival.

You can find out the address of the foreigners' authorities from the International Office. International Office staff will also tell you which documents you need to take with you.

As a rule, the following documents are required:

  • confirmation of registration from the registration authorities (see above),
  • proof of health insurance
  • registration certificate from your German university,
  • possibly proof of financial resources,
  • your passport, possibly with visa
  • possibly a health certificate. You can obtain more details about this from the German diplomatic agency in your country when you apply for your visa, or from the foreigners' authorities in your university town.
  • possibly your rental agreement,
  • sufficient cash to pay fees,
  • biometric passport photos.

The first time you apply for a residence permit, you will be required to pay a fee of up to 110 euro, and up to 80 euro for an extension. You can find out the exact rates from your university's International Office.

After four to six weeks, you can collect your residence permit personally from the foreigners' authorities. It is initially issued for a year but may be extended.

he residence permit has been issued in the form of an electronic residence permit. You receive a chip card which stores certain data, including a passport photo and fingerprints.

Do you have more questions about the residence permit?

More detailed information is contained in theDAAD leaflet "Information on the Statutory Frameworks Applicable to Entry and Residence of Foreign Students and Academics".

More information also can be found on the website of the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

You have successfully fulfilled all bureaucratic obligations at the registration authorities and foreigners' authorities? If so, now is the time to start organising your course of study.