At a glance
Whether you need a residence permit depends on your country of origin and the expiration date of your visa.
The local authority for foreigners is in charge for the residence permit.
If your visa expires before you get your residence permit you should request a fictional certificate.
You must apply for a residence permit if...
The application for the residence must be done at the local authority for foreigners ("Ausländerbehörde") immediately after your arrival in Germany. The application procedure differs from city to city. Please inform yourself about the procedure at your local authority for foreigners.
Requested documents for application
- Valid national passport
- A recent photograph (biometric photograph)
- Certificate of enrolment ("Immatrikulationsbescheinigung") from HSD
- Proof of financial means (evidence that you can finance your stay in Germany)
- Proof of health insurance
- Confirmation of registration with the city ("Meldebestätigung")
Unfortunately the authorities for foreigners in Germany are extremely overloaded and it therefore might take several months to get a residence permit.
If your visa ends before you receive your residence permit, please request a fictional certificate ("Fiktionsbescheinigung") at the local authority for foreigners.
Caution: There are two different types of fictional certificates!
If you entered Germany WITH a visa you may get a fictional certificate which allows you to travel around.
If you entered Germany WITHOUT a visa you may get a fictional certificate which allows you to stay in Germany, but does not permit you to re-enter Germany (i.e. you cannot travel around).