Arrival and orientation

Upon arriving in Darmstadt you will need to complete a number of interconnected bureaucratic processes. These processes enable you to apply for a residence permit and conduct research. Short term researchers conducting research with an entry visa may also find the information on opening a bank account, choosing health insurance and purchasing a mobile telephone package helpful. The Welcome Centre will invite you to an appointment to discuss the relevant topics with you and support you in accomplishing these tasks once you are in Darmstadt.

When you first move into new accommodation, you are required to register your new address at the registration office within two weeks. If you do not register within two weeks then it is possible that you will receive a fine. The following documents are needed for registration:

  • Passport(s) or ID card(s) for all relevant family members
  • A document from your landlord called Wohnungsgeberbestätigung
  • If applicable, your original marriage certificate
  • If applicable, your childrens’ birth certificates

On registration you will receive a registration confirmation (Anmeldebestätigung). You will need to present this document when you open a bank account.

Each time you move into new accommodation you need to register your new address with the relevant registration office within two weeks. The following documents are needed for reregistration:

  • Passport or ID card
  • A document from your landlord called Wohnungsgeberbestätigung

Your tax identification number will be sent to you by post within two weeks of your initial registration with the registration office. Employees of TU Darmstadt must submit this information to the human resources department quickly. It is possible to request this number directly from the tax office (Finanzamt) two days after the initial registration.

Health insurance is mandatory in Germany. Employees of TU Darmstadt are normally required to apply for statutory health insurance. Health insurance contributions are deducted directly from your salary. Here is a list of statutory health insurance providers.

Non-working family members (partners, children) can be co-insured free of charge on your statutory health insurance policy.

Researchers who are financed by a scholarship or who are self-financing are required to purchase a suitable private health insurance policy. Each non-working family member (partners, children) also need their own suitable private health insurance coverage. They are not co-insured on your personal private health insurance policy. Please directly if you need support finding suitable private health insurance providers.

In Germany you have the option of either a fixed monthly cost mobile phone tariff or a pay-as-you-go tariff.

Please be aware that many mobile phone contracts are for at least 24 months. There may be high cancellation fees if you wish to terminate the contract early. Please read any termination regulations and periods of notice in a contract carefully before signing.

To open a bank account in Germany you need to present the following documents:

Passport or ID card

Your registration confirmation (Anmeldebestätigung)

Your residence permit (some bank institutions only)

Your tax identification number (some bank institutions only)

Germany has both banks with branches nationwide and banks with only local branches.

Once you have opened a bank account, you will receive by post a debit card (EC-Karte) and a PIN number for the card.

Payment by bank transfer is very common in Germany. It is helpful to have a bank account with online access. If you have requested online banking you will also receive account information and initial passwords by post.

Employees of TU Darmstadt receive an employment contract. There are some formalities that need to be completed in association with this employment relationship. The Welcome Centre is able to support this process. If you have not yet done so, please register with us and we will contact you regarding support.

Employees of TU Darmstadt are automatically enrolled into an occupational pension scheme called VBL. International research employees who intend to work in Germany for less than 60 months may choose an alternative version of this pension scheme, VBLspezial. Further information to help you choose which scheme is right for you can be found on the VBL website. Here there is a video in English “Scientific Employees” which sets out the different options.

Doctoral candidates at TU Darmstadt apply for acceptance as a doctoral candidate to the relevant academic department (Annahme).

Enrollment at the University (Einschreibung) is optional for doctoral candidates. However, for doctoral candidates who are financed by a scholarship or are self-financing, there are advantages such as a Semester Ticket.

Further information on undertaking a doctorate degree at TU Darmstadt.

If you are not a European Union national (including Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) , you require an entry visa to begin your research. If you then conduct research for a longer period of time than stated on your entry visa, then you need to convert this entry visa into a residence permit in Germany.

A residence permit defines your legal status with regards to your right of residence and employment in Germany and how long you are allowed to stay in Germany under these terms and conditions. It can be extended.

The Resident Act (AufenthG) sets out which categories of residence permit are available depending on your circumstances and time already spent in Germany.

The Welcome Centre supports you in the preparation of your application for a residence permit, providing advice on what options are available to you, helping you collate the correct supporting documentation and filling out the German forms. We are also able to offer researchers living in Darmstadt direct support at the Foreigners Office at appointments.


The information on this website is not legally binding.