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Things to do after arrival

Local Residents' Registration Office

Having arrived in Germany, you should try to find a long term accommodation as soon as possible. Find information on how to find accommodation here. 

Anyone who moves into a residence in Germany is obliged to register at the registration authorithy of the municipality. To register, you need to present your passport or ID and a certificate issued by your landlord (the required form can be found here).  If you have moved to Düsseldorf, you need to register at the one of the Düsseldorfer Bürgerbüros. You can book an appointment online or over the phone.

Application for a residence permit

Citizens of EU or EEA member states neither require a visa to enter Germany nor a residence or work permit. They are only obliged to register their place of residence at the local Residents' Registration Office. Within the first three months after entering Germany they have the right of unrestricted residence. After this, they must meet certain criteria ("Freizügigkeitsvoraussetzungen"). Freedom of movement applies to:

  • individuals in employment (employed or self-employed),
  • individuals not in employment (e.g. PhD students),
  • family members (also from non-EU/-EWR states)
  • long-term residents (more than 5 years of residence).

If the criteria for freedom of movement are met, the right of residence is granted by law. No specific certificate from the immigration authorities is required. Find further information at the Immigration office.

Citizens of all other countries must apply for a residence permit at the Immigration Office in their place of residence in Germany, even if they entered without a visa. For Düsseldorf, the Immigration Office at Erkratherstrasse 377 is responsible. As a rule, the following residence titles come into question for academics::

  • for students (§16b AufenthaltsG): for doctoral students without work contract
  • für researchers (§18d AufenthaltsG): for doctoral students with an employment contract and all postdocs regardless of funding
  • EU Blue Card (§18b AufenthaltsG): for researchers with a yearly gross salary of at least 56.800€. The EU Blue Card is especially beneficial, if you are planing to apply for permanent settlement in Germany.

Further information on residence permits can be found in the HRK information sheet.

If you live in Düsseldorf, please contact the Immigration Office of the City of Düsseldorf directly after your arrival through the contact form. If you need assistance in arranging an appointment or applying for a visa, simply register for our Tutor Service forinternational researchers.

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