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During your stay

  1. Registering as resident of Berlin
  2. Residence permit
  3. Opening a bank account
  4. Registering with ZEDAT
  5. Library use
  6. Contact

1. Registering as a resident of Berlin

If you plan to stay in Berlin for more than two months, you are required to register your home address with one of the more than 40 offices maintained in Berlin for this purpose. To do this, you will need to make an appointment. When you go, you will have to take your passport with you, and if you are accompanied by any family members, you will also need their passports and marital and family status documents (marriage certificate, birth certificate). You will also need a completed registration form and confirmation of occupancy signed by your landlord. You will receive confirmation of registration at no charge at your appointment.

Note: Service staff members at the residents’ registration office (Bürgeramt) frequently speak little to no English. It is recommended that foreign guests be accompanied by someone who speaks German if they do not speak German themselves. 

2. Residence permit

For stays lasting more than 90 days, non-EU citizens are typically required to apply to the Berlin Foreigners Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) for a residence permit after entering the country. To receive your permit, you will need the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • 1 current biometric photo
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of financing (grant letter, employment contract, other documentation)
  • Application form
  •  Certificate of registration (see “registration” above)

For your family members who are also listed in the application form, all that is required is a passport, photo, and proof of health insurance for each person.

Because Berlin is a highly appealing destination for international visitors, you should be sure to make an appointment as soon as possible. For detailed information from the Foreigners Registration Office about this, please click here.

Alternatively, you can also use the Passport Service of Freie Universität Berlin. When you use this service, you give all of the necessary documents to the Passport Service, which then applies for your residence permit on your behalf with the corporate passport office of the Foreigners Registration Office. You can then pick up your passport, complete with your residence permit inserted inside, from the Passport Service after six to eight weeks. However, this process only works if you do not wish to travel to any other country in the meantime. For more detailed information and advice, please contact pass-service@fu-berlin.de directly.

3. Opening a bank account

In principle, you can open a giro account at any bank or Sparkasse savings institution branch. Services and prices can vary widely. To open a bank account, it is important to have your confirmation of registration (see “registration” above) and your passport. Proof of income in the form of an employment contract or grant letter is necessary if you also wish to apply for overdraft protection.

4. Registering with Zedat

Computing Services – abbreviated ZEDAT, for “Zentraleinrichtung für Datenverarbeitung” – is the university computing center of Freie Universität. A ZEDAT account gives you access to the campus-wide Wi-Fi network and various online libraries.
To apply for a guest account, please fill out the application form for guests and have your supervisor sign it. After that, submit your application to the user service. Your account and login information will typically be provided right away.
For more information on this, please visit the ZEDAT website.

5. Library use

Freie Universität has 15 department libraries and one University Library (UB, for “Universitätsbibliothek”). Any registered Berlin resident is permitted to use the holdings of all public libraries in Berlin and make copies. No special registration is required for this. For information on how to check out materials and what materials are available to check out, please contact the relevant library directly, as different requirements may apply. For further information and an overview of the libraries at Freie Universität, please visit www.fu-berlin.de/bibliotheken.