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Registration with Local Authorities

In Germany, every resident (any German and anybody staying for more than three months) must register with the local authority within two weeks after arrival in Berlin. This registration is made at the local registration office usually in the town hall (Einwohnermeldeamt or Bürgeramt). You can ask your landlord which registration office you should go to.The registration form (only in German) can be downloaded here.

Please note: Proof of residence registration is needed to open a bank account.

Here you will find a list of the registration offices.

In order to register you need the following documents:

  • Passport or identity card
  • Application form (has to be countersigned by your landlord)

For nationals from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland: please ask for a certificate of free movement (Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung).

When you register, you will be asked about your church affiliation. If you state one, you will automatically be obliged to pay German church tax, which amounts to eight percent of your payable income tax.

Welcome Money (Begrüßungsgeld)

The city of Berlin greets every student and doctoral candidate with a one-time welcome money gift of 100 EUR called "Begrüßungsgeld". You have to fulfill the following criteria in order to receive it:

  • Be enrolled at one of Berlin’s universities and have a student's registration number (Matrikelnummer)
  • Be registered with the local authorities (Berlin must be your permanent place of residence)
  • Come from another German city or from a foreign country
  • Have a local bank account

To apply for the welcome money, please fill out and sign the application form (available only in German) which you will receive at the student administration office (Studierendenverwaltung) of Freie Universität Berlin. It can also be downloaded here.

Important note: you will have to get the form stamped at the local registration office before submitting it to the student administration office.


The Berlin Office of the Integration and Migration Commissioner is also a contact point if you need assistance with matters pertaining to foreigners and integration or with legal or social questions. These counselling services are free of cost. The counsellor provides immediate clarification of cases in which there are doubts, as well as assistance with problems and emergency situations.

For more information:

District Integration Commissioners

Each District Office ("Bezirksamt") of Berlin has its own Integration Commissioner who is available to you for advice and assistance.