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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.

For a registration at the citizens registration office you need your passport or ID card and a “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung”, i.e. the confirmation of your tenancy by your landlord which you usually receive upon move-in (the required form can be found here). 

Appointments at the registration office are often booked out, but free appointments are allotted anew daily between 7:00 and 8:00 am in the morning.  Therefore, please book an appointment between 7:00 and 8:00 am for later the same day. 

Information on booking an appointment at the Residents' Registration Office:

  • Online booking of appointments
  • You have to click „Meldeangelegenheiten“ and the „+“ at „Anmeldung in Düsseldorf (pro Person)“. Please chose here how many people are going to register. You then click „Weiter“ and tick the box „Bestätigung der Fachinformationen“ (it says you took note on the information about registering in Germany; you can see these by clicking „Fachinformationen hier abrufen“). 
  • When clicking „OK“ you´re redirected to the appointment board. If it says „Kein freier Termin verfügbar“ you´ll have to try anew later. 
  • We recommend registering at the office at „Dienstleistungszentrum“ at Willi-Becker-Allee at the main station, since they normally have English speaking service available. You can chose this one in the box below the map. But generally you can register at any of the Düsseldorfer Bürgerbüros.
  • You’ll receive a confirmation e-mail with all the details after booking an appointment. 

After registration you will automatically receive your tax ID with 10-14 days by post. Please make sure your name is clearly written on your postbox, otherwise the letter will not get delivered.

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 58.400€. 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 Welcome Service for international researchers.

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