Immigration and registration


To obtain work in Germany you must possess a 10 year UK/EU passport.

UK/EU citizens may enter Germany freely for up to three months to look for work, or to set themselves up in business. They may however be required to prove they have sufficient means to support themselves their return journey to the UK. If they intend to stay longer than 3 months they will have to register.

For this registration please contact the local Einwohnermeldeamt (Residence Registration Office).

Two different types of registration are necessary:

1. Registration of your residence

For this registration please contact the local Einwohnermeldeamt (Residence Registration Office).
Within a week of finding permanent accommodation, i.e. not a hotel, you will need to register your address at the local Residence Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt), usually located in the town hall. Each subsequent change of address must also be registered with the relevant local authority. This rule applies to everyone, including German nationals.
To register you need to present your passport, a copy of the lease or rental agreement and a completed registration form, which is usually available at the registry office.

2. Application / Request for a certificate of your right of residence
Depending on the law of the Länder the application will be processed either by the Einwohnermeldeamt (Residence Registration Office) or the Ausländerbehörde (Foreign National's Authority) in your place of residence.
This certificate is solely declaratory and not constitutive. As a UK / EU citizen you have the right of residence already by EU-Law. Nonetheless you are obliged to apply for this certificate within the first three months. Requirements to receive this certificate have to be met (see further down the page).

People working in Germany and residing outside the country (“Frontier workers”) must contact the local authority in their place of employment about their residence status.
The town hall in your area will be able to tell you where to apply. Failure to comply can result in a fine.

When applying for a certificate regarding your residence status you must produce the following:

  • a valid Identity card or passport
  • 2 passport photos
  • depending on the Länder, you may be asked for a medical certificate.

In addition to the above, and depending on your status during your stay in Germany i.e. employee, job-seeker, self-employed, student, retired, you may also be required to produce one or more of the following documents:

  • Employees must produce proof of employment or offer or employment;
  • Persons setting up in a self-employed capacity must provide evidence of their status, such as membership of a professional or trade body, a VAT number or registration on a trade register;
  • Students must produce proof of their registration at university;
  • Service providers must produce supporting evidence;
  • Frontier workers (i.e. persons working in Germany who live in another EU Member State and return there at least once a week) must produce, together with evidence of their employment status, proof that they are resident in that member state.

Non-working residents have to prove sufficient health insurance coverage and evidence of their financial situation. Students and other residents in formation only have to substantiate those two requirements, special written proof is not required.

The application for a certificate regarding your residence status will usually be processed within one or two weeks and is issued free of charge. Whilst waiting for the certificate to be issued you will be covered by a temporary certificate. The certificate may be restricted to the period of your employment, but can be extended at a later point in time. The certificate is only valid when displayed together with your national identity document.
If you have obtained a residence status initially as an employee, this does not prevent you from changing status during its period of validity, e.g. if you wished to set up in a self-employed capacity.
The Einwohnermeldeamt and Ausländerbehörde are normally found in the local town hall and will be listed in the local telephone directory under Stadtverwaltung (local municipal authority).

For further general information on immigration and registration, contact the Bundesverwaltungsamt (Federal Administration Office) here.

Top of page