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If all this seems a bit overwhelming you can contact Relocation Service move-in for assistance on a job-by-job basis.

Getting Started


Before you come to Germany, please consult a German Embassy or Consulate to make sure you have the correct paperwork and requirements for residency — sometimes this must be done before arrival. Once you get here, the paperwork doesn't end.

Caution! Before you sign up for any services or sign any contracts, be aware of the fine print, especially the time frame &/or payment schedules. If necessary, have a German read the contract through for you. If you are here for a short time, please do not sign-up for long-term contracts! It could make for legal difficulties if you leave before the contract has expired. Often long-term contracts are cheaper, but you are legally obligated to pay for the extent of the agreed upon time. In addition, many contracts have a clause automatically renewing said contract unless you cancel in writing within a specified time frame (often three months before the contract expires). Forewarned is forearmed.

Here are a few things you just need to get on and do:

1.  As soon as you get accommodation organized you must register at either a Town Hall (Rathaus) or Bürgerbüro (Citizens Bureau) — everyone must do this Germans and non-Germans alike;

2.  Open your bank account;

3.  Set up your utilities — this will depend upon your rental contract conditions;

4.  Get your television license organized (this includes all media so, yes, everyone needs one!);

5.  Arrange your insurance - both health (Krankenkasse) & personal liability insurance (Privathaftpflichtversicherung);

6.  Finalize your resident's permit (for non EU citizens);

7. Register your vehicle, get an emissions control sticker and make sure your driver's license is valid.


expat-karlsruhe does not endorse any specific insurance agent, financial advisor or insurance company.