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First steps in Germany

There are only a few things that are absolutely indispensable when you‘re new in Germany. We will walk you through step by step and tell you where to get what you need.

Every country is unique, including Germany. For example, Germany has its own social security system. Health insurance, long-term care insurance, accident insurance, pension insurance and unemployment insurance are compulsory. On the other hand, as a patient, you can choose which doctor or therapist you want to be treated by.

Here's what you need for a perfect start:

The first thing you‘ll need is a place to live. Once you‘ve found somewhere, you have to register your new address with the Einwohnermeldeamt (residents’ registration office). You can normally do this at the Rathaus (town hall) or Bürgeramt (administrative office for citizens), where they will issue you an Anmeldebestätigung (confirmation of registration). In most areas, you can get in touch with your local office by dialling the General phone number 115. They‘ll be able to help you with any questions you may have regarding registration.

During your first registration at the Einwohnermeldeamt (Residents registration office), a notification is automatically sent to the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern (Federal Central Tax Office). Your steuerliche Identifikationsnummer (Tax ID Number) is then issued and sent via standard post to your registered address, usually within 2 weeks. The Tax ID Number never changes and is required when you open a German bank account or start working.

In Germany, you also need health insurance cover. BARMER is one of Germany‘s largest health insurance companies. Please get in touch with your BARMER representative for more information. He or she will be able to tell you the quickest and simplest way of joining. We‘ll then take care of informing your employer or university about your health insurance policy on your behalf.

Become a member now!

In addition to this, you‘ll need a social security number so that your employer can pay you and we can book your insurance premiums correctly. Your BARMER representative can apply for this number on your behalf and you‘ll receive it within a few days. You then just need to let your employer know.

Last but not least, you‘ll need to open a current account with a German bank. It‘s a good idea to compare offers, as some banks don‘t Charge account maintenance fees on current accounts.

Working and studying in Germany

Are you new in Germany? Watch our videos and share them!

Webcode of this page: e000084 Author: Barmer InternetredaktionLast update on: 18.03.2020
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