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Formal Preparations of your Relocation

Formalitäten SteveP

Here we have collected an overview of topics you will have to deal with when preparing your relocation to Dresden. You will find basic information on formalities, whom to contact and where you will find further information.

You might also want to have a look at our Welcome Guide, where we have summarized a lot of useful information in a comprehensive way.

Please do not hesitate to contact us in case of any questions!


Before first entering Germany, most non-EU citizens need to apply for a visa, while EU citizens can enter on their national ID card. Organize your visa application well ahead and make sure you apply for the correct type of visa from the very start, if you are planning to stay for longer than 3 months.

Note that as a researcher – whether employed, on a scholarship or on your own expense – your occupation is considered employment (i.e. work requiring a work permit), unless you meet certain criteria. Not all types of visa include a work permit. Even if you can enter without visa in principle, you do not automatically hold a work permit, but must either apply for a visa with a work permit before you enter Germany or apply for a work permit immediately upon arrival, before you may legally start your research work at a Dresden host institution.

For the essential information on this topic for incoming researchers, such as who needs a visa (and who does not) and which type of visa to apply for (or not) please read the corresponding section of our Welcome Guide carefully first and please do not hesitate to contact us. We will support you to the best of our knowledge.

On the following websites you can find further information:
General information about: Entry regulations for Germany and Immigrants from third countries


Anyone intending to stay in Germany for longer than 2 months must register with their address in person at the local Citizen’s Office – Bürgerbüro. The same applies to any subsequent change of address within Dresden or Germany or when you move abroad. We can assist you with city registration. You can find more information about the process here.


In contrast to visa applications, applications for a residence & work permit and their extensions are processed by the responsible local Immigration Office in Germany.
In Dresden the “Dresden Welcome Center” is responsible for highly skilled workers, e.g. scientists and PhD-students.
Before you can apply for a residence title, you need to be registered in the city. As soon as you have an appointment for the registration in the city, you can contact the Dresden Welcome Center for an appointment. The residence title needs to be obtained before the visa expires or when you do not need a visa to enter Germany, before you start working.



A variety of documents are required before and during your research stay.

Please read our checklist for important documents and the corresponding section of our Welcome Guide carefully first.

In addition, certain documents must be officially verified before they can be accepted by German authorities. Find out more below.


Verifying German documents for use in another country:

If you would like to use a German public document (e.g. a degree certificate) in another country, you can have its authenticity verified as described above. First you may need a certified one-sided copy of your original, especially if the original is a two-sided document (see above for certification/authentication). You can then have an Apostille issued for this certified copy by the Competent Authority in Germany. If the target country where the verified document is to be used is not a partner of the Hague Convention, please talk to us about how to get a legalisation of your German document.



The Immigration office or other authorities may ask you for authorised translations of certain documents, e.g. birth, marriage or degree certificates.
A frequently asked question is what is the difference between an authorised translation and a translation done by yourself or a friend: Authorised translations are required to be made by translaters under an official oath. Use the databases in the box below to find an authorised translater near you.As long as you are not a very confident German speaker, you may sometimes wish to be accompanied (to a doctor or another important appointment) by an interpreter who is fluent in your native language or English and German, to simplify communication and avoid misunderstandings. However, as long as it is not a trial at a court of justice, an authorised interpreter (under oath) is not required. The alternative for this support in your everyday life is the Community Interpreters Service, a volunteer organization by Dresden locals of various mother tongues, who will be happy to assist you for a small fee to cover their expenses.


Comprehensive health insurance cover is mandatory for anyone living in Germany. It is therefore a requirement during your entire stay (for you and each joining family member) and for applying for your entry visa and residence permit after arrival.

Note that specific conditions apply for what is considered an acceptable comprehensive cover by the German authorities. That is why it is important that you only sign a contract with a German health insurance, which meets certain criteria. Different target groups are eligible for different kinds and providers of German health insurance, depending on various factors.

The German consulates and embassies provide information on their websites about which travel health insurances are acceptable for your initial journey to Germany. Apart from a travel health insurance for your initial journey (and at the very most for the first 3 months of your stay), do not sign a contract for a health insurance while still abroad as it may not be accepted by the German authorities later! Don’t hesitate to ask us for assistance if your are unsure.

For the essential information on this topic for incoming researchers, such as differences between private and public health insurance (coverage, procedures)
different target groups (EU/Non-EU nationals, employees, scholarship holders, family members, age groups), please see the corresponding section of our Welcome Guide carefully first.



A German bank account is needed for many recurring transactions of everyday life, from receiving your salary or scholarship payout to paying your health insurance, rent, utilities or your semester fee as an enrolled student. We therefore recommend to open a bank account as the first thing after a successful registration in the city.

Note that cash and debit cards are the prevailing means of payment in shops in Germany. Credit cards and cheques are uncommon and rarely accepted. Cash machines/ATMs are marked with the eurocash (“ec”) sign.

For the essential information on this topic for incoming researchers, such as required documents, please read the corresponding section of our Welcome Guide carefully first.

Where to find us
Einsteinstraße 9
01069 Dresden
Opening hours
Monday to Friday
10 a.m. till 3 p.m. (please make an appointment in advance)