After arrival

1st step: Registration (at the “Meldebehörde”)

You have to register your residence at the “Meldebehörde” within 2 weeks of your arrival in Germany.

Bring your passport, a rental contract or a confirmation from the MPI guest house and, if you are married, the marriage certificate and a copy of the passport of your spouse (even if the spouse lives abroad).

2nd step: Residence Permit

If you intend to work in Germany and stay longer than three months, you need to have an electronic residence permit ("elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel"). This is an official document confirming permission to stay and legally work in Germany. In order to get one you have to apply for it at the local immigration office ("Ausländerbehörde") soon after your arrival.

Although you only have to apply for a residence permit within 3 months we recommend you do this as soon as possible after your arrival. The application process differs depending on your registered address. We can guide you through the process. 

Depending on the type of residence permit you have to provide the following documents to the local Immigration Office:

  • Registration document ("Meldebescheinigung")
  • Application form for a residence permit, completed in advance
  • Passport, which must be valid for at least 12 months
  • One biometric passport photo
  • Copy of your scholarship confirmation or your contract of employment.
  • Certified copies of your academic degrees with translation
  • A birth certificate with a verified German translation
  • A marriage certificate (if applicable) with verified German translation
  • Birth certificates of children (if applicable) with a verified German translation
  • Recent health insurance contract (which must satisfy the conditions to be accepted in Germany). Please contact your insurance company to find out whether your health insurance is acceptable. Without health insurance you won’t get a residence permit. Travel insurance is not accepted.
  • Methods of payment: Payment is either in cash or via EC-Card. If you have a contract with the Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence, the costs for your residence permit will be: for 1 year 100 Euro, for more than 1 year 110 Euro, extension 65 to 80 Euro. If you hold a scholarship there will be nothing to pay.
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