Residence Permits

This page deals with residence permits, i.e., documents needed to legally reside in Germany.

This can only be taken care of after you have registered your residence with the city, i.e., provided documents for the city stating where you are living, how many are living with you etc.

Residency and visa requirements depend on your country of origin and length and purpose of your visit.

Where to take care of this depends on your current location — Karlsruhe or Landkreis Karlsruhe (towns surrounding Karlsruhe).

Disclaimer:  This information is provided as a guideline. Please consult the appropriate Aliens' Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) for specific information concerning your residence status.


Non-EU Citizens Living in the City of Karlsruhe

If you require a visa (non-EU citizens), please take care of this before coming to Germany by contacting the local German Embassy or Consulate. Within three months (maximum!) of arriving in Germany, you will need to apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis). This should be done sooner rather than later, because paperwork takes time to process. Those who do not require a visa to enter Germany (e.g. USA) must also apply for a residence permit as soon as possible.

The requirements for the residence permit will depend on the purpose of your visit:  work, studies, accompanying family member etc. In general, you will need to prove that you have enough money to live in Germany and support yourself and your family and that all persons with you in Germany have sufficient health insurance coverage. Consult the Ausländerbehörde to find out which documents you will need. They may include any/all of the following:

  • Valid Passport
  • Biometric Passport Photograph
  • Proof of Activity (Employment Contract, Fellowship Award Letter etc.)
  • Proof of sufficient health insurance coverage in Germany
  • For marital partners / children: certified German or English translations of marriage and birth certificates
  • Proof of Registration with the Residents´ Registration Office

The paperwork is handled by the Ausländerbehörde (Aliens Registration Office). They are located at:

Kaiserallee 8
76124 Karlsruhe

The procedure is as follows:

After registering your address (see Residence Registration), a form (in German) will automatically be sent to you. It is important that the name you gave upon registration is the same as on your mailbox, so that the postal service can properly deliver this important letter. Fill out the form and make an appointment with the Aliens Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde). At the appointment, you will give them this form, have your electronic fingerprints taken etc. Then the office determines if everything is ok and you should receive a letter stating so. At the same time, the Ausländerbehörde will order your eAT. Once you have received the second letter, it will take 4 to 5 weeks until the eAT card is available to pick up at the Ausländerbehörde. If you receive a letter with a PIN, it is a good indication that the eAT is at the Aliens Registration Office.


Non-EU Citizens Living in the Karlsruhe Region

If you require a visa (non-EU citizens), please take care of this before coming to Germany by contacting the local German Embassy or Consulate. Within three months (maximum!) of arriving in Germany, you will need to apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis). This should be done sooner rather than later, because paperwork takes time to process. Those who do not require a visa to enter Germany (e.g. USA) must also apply for a residence permit as soon as possible.

The requirements for the residence permit will depend on the purpose of your visit:  work, studies, accompanying family member etc. In general, you will need to prove that you have enough money to live in Germany and support yourself and your family and that all persons with you in Germany have sufficient health insurance coverage. Consult the Ausländerbehörde to find out which documents you will need. They may include any/all of the following:

  • Valid Passport
  • Biometric Passport Picture
  • Proof of Activity (Employment Contract, Fellowship Award Letter etc.)
  • Proof of sufficient health insurance coverage in Germany
  • For marital partners / children: certified German or English translations of marriage and birth certificates
  • Proof of Registration with the Residents´ Registration Office

You will need to take care of your paperwork at the Landratsamt in Karlsruhe. This is located at:

Beiertheimer Allee 2
76137 Karlsruhe
Opening Hours:  Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday -  8 a.m. to noon
Thursday - 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed on Tuesday!

The procedure is as follows:

It is important to first register at the city hall so that your name is in the system. The Landratsamt will then send you the paperwork to fill out and tell you what other documents you will need. It is important that the name you gave upon registration is the same as on your mailbox, so that the postal service can properly deliver this important letter.

Once you have filled out the documents and organized the paperwork, you must go to the Landratsamt during opening hours (see above) - it is not possible to make an appointment. You must take a number and wait. At this time, your fingerprints for the eAT will be taken. The eAT will be ready a few weeks later. When picking up your eAT, you need to bring your passport, the old eAT (if you have one) and the letter sent to you with a PIN number.