After your arrival
Resident registration, bank account, health insurance and residence permit
When you finally arrived in Freiburg, there will be many administrative and legal tasks to accomplish. Here we list the most urgent ones such as health insurance, residence registration, residence permit, bank account. But no worries here is a route of orientation for you:
1. Sign and get your employment contract (if not done before or during your visa process)
2. Residence registration
You are required to register with the Residents Registration Office (Bürgeramt /Einwohnermeldeamt) within 14 days of arrival in Freiburg. The registration is free of charge and mandatory also for EU-citizens: “Wohnung anmelden” which basically means “Registration (of the address where you live)”. Without this official registration in Freiburg you cannot open a bank account.
Rathaus im Stühlinger
Book your appointment online. Choose “…einen Termin vereinbaren”, “Umzug und Wohnen” und “Wohnung anmelden”.
The registration requires the following documents
- Valid passport or personal identity card
- Your visa, if required to enter Germany
- Confirmation by the landlord (Bescheinigung des Wohnungsgebers or Wohnungsgeberbestätigung)
This is a confirmation of the landlord who owns the flat you live in. Your landlord is legally obligated to confirm the tenancy. Every time you move to a new flat with a new address, you have to inform the Resident’s Registration Office again, within 14 days! Please inform also the MPI-CSL about your new address.
After registration with the city you will receive your German tax identification number (“tax ID”) automatically.
3. Bank account
In order to receive your salary, you should submit your German IBAN and BIC within the first two weeks after your start at the Institute.
In general, German banks have fees around 5–15€ per month (“Kontoführungsgebühren”). For under 25 oder 28 there might be some banks that offer an account free of charge.
Some banks refuse to open bank accounts for some nationalities if you do not have a valid residence permit. The Max Planck Society has a framework agreement with Deutsche Bank, that will enable you to open a bank account even though the residence permit is not yet available.
If you enjoy online or mobile banking, online banks allow you in most cases to open a bank account even if you do not have a residency in Germany yet.
For details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Health insurance
Health insurance coverage is compulsory for all employees during their stay in Germany. For long-term stays requiring a residence permit, you need full health insurance coverage complying with the scope of benefits provided by the statutory health insurance.
With the health insurance of your choice you will receive your German pension insurance number (“Sozialversicherungsnummer”).
TIP: If you are looking for an English (or any other language) speaking physician, you can search for it here: arztsuche-bw.de. Click on “Erweiterte Suche” for selecting the languages you are looking for.
For details please contact email@example.com.
5. Residence permit
If you are in Germany for longer than your visa is valid for, you need to register with the immigration office („Amt für Migration und Integration“) and apply for a residence permit („Aufenthaltserlaubnis“). As soon as you are registered with your new address at the Bürgeramt (see above) and have therefore officially relocated your permanent residence to Germany, the local immigration office in Freiburg takes over the visa and residency procedure from the German embassy in your home country and issues a residence permit or a temporary equivalent to you.
Applying for a residence permit requires the following documents
- Valid passport
- Confirmation of registration with the city
- Your employment contract from the MPI-CLS (sent to you in the process of getting an entry visa or handed over during your liaison with Human Resources on your 1st day at the Institute)
- Rental agreement confirmation (stating that you have accommodation)
- Confirmation of health insurance coverage (The confirmation can be obtained from your health insurance provider. But usually your health insurance ID card is sufficient.)
- Copy of your last pay slips (if available)
- 1 biometric passport photo
(find here the official specifications for biometric photographs in Germany)
- Marriage certificate and corresponding Apostille (original and translation, if applicable)
- Birth certificate of child accompanied by Apostille/Legalization (if applicable)
- Payment of a handling fee (payable by cash, debit, Visa or MasterCard; valid up to one year: € 100 / valid over one year: € 110 / extension up to three months: € 65 / extension for more than three months: € 80)
- Application form for conferral of a residence permit (find here official application forms for conferral of a residence permit)
Please make sure you request an appointment with the Freiburg immigration office well before your visa expires.
If you are a national of an EU or of an EFTA Member State, you usually do not need a residence permit.
Good to know: If you live in the area surrounding Freiburg („Landkreis Breisgau-Hochwarzwald“) at the time of your application for a residence permit you need to file your application at the Department of Immigration of the rural district office („Fachbereich Ausländerbehörde des Landratsamt Freiburg“). The rural district office is located elsewhere in Freiburg and has different opening hours.
TIP: For those who need to renew, we would recommend 6 months in advance because of potential long wait times. If the office isn't able to finish it in time, it can give you a “fiction certificate” which extends the current permit time.