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After Arrival

After your arrival in Dortmund, various organizational steps are necessary. On this page you will find information on the registration of residence and applying for a residence permit as well as on obtaining essential insurances and other bureaucratic matters

After you have arrived in Dortmund and moved into your apartment, you must register with the City of Dortmund. This residence registration must be done within 14 days after moving into your apartment.

After you have successfully registered your residence, you will receive various documents: a certificate of registration, your tax ID, the request to pay broadcasting fees and, if applicable, a letter of invitation to apply for a residence permit.

Important information: Some of these documents will be sent to you by mail. Therefore, please label your mailbox immediately after moving in. Please also note that registration is not usually required for stays of less than 90 days.

Further information on the obligation to register in Germany (bottom page section).

For assistance and further information please contact us.

Since a visa usually allows the holder to enter the country and stay only for a short period of time, non-EU citizens need a residence permit for long-term stays of more than 90 days. This does not apply to EU/EEA citizens: the registration of residence is sufficient.

We will be happy to assist you in applying for a residence permit in Dortmund. Please contact us for support and further information.

Further information on residence permit in Germany:

Information on entry visas and visas for the purpose of family reunification can be found on our page "Before arrival". Information on extending your residence permit can be found on our page "Living in Dortmund".

For your stay you need a health insurance recognized in Germany. Often you already need a health insurance when applying for a visa. 

In Germany there are private and statutory health insurances. Which health insurance you can (or must) obtain depends on several factors. For further information on this topic, please contact us.

Obtaining a private liability insurance (only in German) is highly recommended. In the event of damage caused by you, liability insurance provides compensation.

There are different insurance companies that you can easily find out about online. Since the insurance benefits and premiums can greatly vary, it is advisable to compare the different offers.

In addition, there are various other insurance companies that offer voluntary coverage for different areas of life:

After successfully registering your residence (see above) in Germany for the first time, you will receive a tax identification number ("Steuer-ID") by mail from the Federal Central Tax Office. It may take a few weeks for the tax ID to be sent to you.

The tax ID is required for various formalities, including opening a bank account, concluding an employment contract or applying for child benefit.

Important note: If you registered a residence in Germany in the past, you have already received a tax ID. If you do not remember your tax ID and need assistance and further information, please contact us.

The (police) certificate of conduct is a certificate issued by the authorities about previously registered criminal offenses of a person.

Important note: In order to be employed at TU Dortmund University, potential employees must, among other things, submit a current certificate of good conduct to the Corporate Center Human Resources.

To apply for a certificate of conduct, you will need to provide either a certificate of registration or a valid residence permit. Therefore, it is necessary to register your residence in advance.

Further information on how to apply:

Once you have successfully registered your residence in Germany for the first time (see above), you will receive a request by mail from the contribution service of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio for the normally obligatory payment of the so-called broadcasting fee.

Information on the broadcasting fee

For assistance and further information please contact us.

Opening a bank account in Germany is recommended for long-term stays and usually even mandatory for scholarship or salary payments.

In order to open a bank account you will generally need:

  • a valid document proving your identity (identity card or passport),
  • a registration certificate or residence permit
  • a tax identification number (tax ID)

Important note: You will receive a registration certificate and your tax ID only after you have successfully registered.

In principle, you can open an account at any German bank or online bank. Nevertheless, comparing the offers of different banks is recommended.

Further information on opening a bank account

If you would like to pursue a doctoral program at TU Dortmund University, you will find further information on admission requirements and enrollment as well as the contact details of the responsible persons at the Admissions & Enrollment Office of the International Office.

Please note that the Student Registration Office is responsible for you if you have completed your Master's degree in Germany.

In Germany, it is possible to use a smartphone via a contract or prepaid card (only in German). There are numerous mobile phone and internet providers, so comparing different companies and offers is recommended.

Important notes: Using a mobile phone contract previously concluded in another EU country may make sense under certain circumstances. A mobile phone contract previously concluded outside the EU may be associated with high charges if used further in Germany. Further information on roaming and using a smartphone in the EU can be found here.

Further information on mobile communications

If you are accompanied by family members (spouse and/or minor children) during your research stay at TU Dortmund University, usually the recognition of your marriage certificate and/or of the birth certificates of your children as well as the registration with the city of Dortmund is required.

In principle, for this purpose you will need:

  • original documents (marriage and/or birth certificates)
  • translations issued in Germany
  • if necessary, further documents*

For assistance with the recognition of your marriage certificate and/or the birth certificates of your children, please feel free to contact us.

*Additional documents required may vary depending on various factors, such as nationality and place of marriage and/or birth.

During your stay in Germany you will receive a number of important documents. You will find a selection below:

Residence permit: For long term stays of more than 90 days, non-EU citizens usually need a residence permit, which is issued in the form of an electronic residence title (eAT).

Identity document: Please note that your identity document (national or passport) must be valid at all times, possibly for a certain time beyond your planned duration of stay.

Payslip ("Bezuegemitteilung"): A payslip (only in German) is a letter sent by the employer to employees to provide key details about salary or wages.

Certificate of conduct: The certificate of conduct is a confirmation of previously registered criminal offenses of a person. This is needed, for example, if you intend to work at TU Dortmund University.

Health insurance card: A health insurance card is issued by a statutory or private health insurance company and serves as proof of insurance coverage. Insured persons can use this card to obtain medical services from doctors and other service providers, which are usually invoiced directly to the health insurance company.

Health insurance certificate: Members of German health insurance companies can obtain a health insurance certificate from their insurance company. Non-EU citizens need this proof, for example, to apply for a residence permit.

Confirmation of registration ("Meldebestaetigung"): After your registration of residence, you will receive your certificate of registration (only in German), which proves your residency in Germany (e.g. this is necessary in case of concluding a contract). In addition, if necessary, you can request a certificate of registration ("Meldebescheinigung"), which contains further information about you and your stay.

Tax identification number (Steuer-ID): Every person registered in Germany receives a tax ID that is valid for life. After your initial registration of residence, you will receive your tax ID by mail. You will need it, for example, to open a bank account or if you want to work in Germany.

Landlord's confirmation: A landlord's confirmation (only in German) is a document provided by the landlord confirming that you have moved into your apartment. You need this document to register or change your residence.

Supplementary sheet: You may receive a supplementary sheet to your residence permit which includes further information on your stay.  There is a note in the upper left-hand corner on the back of the electronic residence permit ("siehe Zusatzblatt").

Please note that the information provided by the Welcome Services cannot be considered as legally binding information, nor can it replace the advice of experts in the relevant field. Therefore, we always recommend seeking additional professional advice.

For further information on the first steps in Germany, please refer to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.