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First Steps in Germany

The first important bureaucratic steps in Berlin.

District Office (Bürgeramt)

 

The Welcome Service is happy to help you with:

  • Booking an appointment

  • Filling out the registration form

  • Applying for the certificate of conduct (Führungszeugnis) for official purposes


Registration (Anmeldung einer Wohnung)


Within two weeks of moving into a new place, you need to register at one of the 40 district offices in Berlin. You will need to make an appointment in advance. You can do so online or call 115 for the district office hotline (Bürgertelefon). Appointments fill up fast, so you should plan to schedule yours at least a month in advance.


*** Tip: It helps if you are willing to take an appointment anywhere in the city: Click on “Termin berlinweit suchen” when you go to schedule online.

 

You will need to present the following documents when you go in for your appointment to register:

  • Government issued identification (such as a national ID card) or passport, and/or supplementary passport documents for foreign nationals (e.g., residency permit)
  • A completed registration form

  • An official occupancy notice from the property manager/owner of your new place
  • rental agreement
  • Government identification or birth certificates of any children who are also moving in

You do not have to pay any fees to register.

At the end of your appointment, you will receive a certificate of registration ("Anmeldung"). Keep it in a safe place with your other personal records. You will need it again for various official purposes, e.g., when you apply for a residence permit or when you open a bank account.

 

Tax Identification Number (Steueridentifikationsnummer)


The first time you register in Germany, the Federal Central Tax Office will issue you a tax identification number and send it to you by mail within about two weeks. Your employer will need your tax identification number in order to share important tax information with financial administration offices.

 

*** Tip: Make sure that your name is on your mailbox at home so that you can receive the letter with your tax ID when it comes.

 

***Please note: You will be assigned to tax bracket 6 until you submit your tax ID number to your contact person in the personnel department. Bracket 6 means that you are liable for the highest maximum deductions. At the end of the year, when you file your taxes, you can get a tax refund if you overpaid due to being temporarily in the wrong tax bracket.

 

 

Certificate of Conduct for Official Purposes (Führungszeugnis zur Vorlage bei einer Behörde)


If the personnel office requests a certificate of conduct for official purposes, you can apply for one at the district office.
The certificate of conduct costs 13.00 euros (amount based on information available as of March 2020).

*** New: if you are already registered in Berlin it is also possible to apply for the certificate by mail. You can find further information here or ask us.
***Tip: Make a note of the full address of your personnel officer (including their administrative reference code), as the official certificate of conduct cannot be sent to your home address.


  


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Berlin Immigration Office (Landesamt für Einwanderung)

If you do not have a passport from an EU member state and you plan to stay in Germany for more than three months, you will need to apply for a residence permit at the local immigration office. You can schedule an appointment yourself or take advantage of support offered by the Division of International Affairs at Freie Universität Berlin. Their staff can advise you and help you with the application process. Further information can be found on the Berlin Immigration Office website, or you can contact Freie Universität’s International Affairs directly at pass-service@fu-berlin.de or academic-relations@international.fu-berlin.de 

Applications for a residence permit can only be submitted within the six weeks just before your prior permit expires.

 

If you would like Freie Universität’s passport support service to help, you will need to provide them with the following:

  • A completed application form (application for a temporary residence permit/granting a residence permit)
  • A valid passport
  • Employment agreement/statement of intent
  • A biometric passport photo
  • Certificate of registration from the district office (Bürgeramt)
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof that you are financially self-supporting e.g., employment contract)


In case you want to apply and schedule an appointment yourself, please note that the online appointments fill up months in advance. Please schedule an appointment as early as possible. To check current availability, please visit the Berlin Immigration Office website.

 

Contact Passport Service at Freie Universität Berlin

Herr Juhász
Studierenden-Service-Center
Iltisstr.4
14195 Berlin 

E-Mail: pass-service@fu-berlin.de
Tel.: 030 – 838 -57304        

Office hours
Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. and 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

 

 


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