Your first steps in a new country


Welcome to Berlin!

To make it easier for you to get to know your new home, we have compiled some important information for you.
The first steps you should take in Berlin can be found in the PDF on the right or in the section below.

Welcome to Berlin!

To make it easier for you to get to know your new home, we have compiled some important information for you.


Visa & Apartment

Step #1

In the very first step it is essential to check if you need a visa and to find the right accommodation.

Learn more about Step #1


Check if you need a visa to come to Germany:

Foreign nationals who intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days or for gainful employment require a German visa for entry. Therefore, it is mandatory to apply for a visa.

Here you can find more information about the visa procedure.

Find an apartment/ accommodation:
ImmobilienScout24 and the real estate service of Berliner Sparkasse can be helpful here.
Rental prices depend on the district and location. The Rental Map of Berlin (Miet-Map Berlin) gives you an idea of the amount you can expect rental prices to be.

Also interesting:
Map of residential areas Berlin (Wohnlagenkarte Berlin)



Step #2

The address of your accommodation will be used to register at the ‘Bürgeramt’ (citizen`s office) in Berlin.

Learn more about Step #2

Once you have found your accommodation in Berlin, it is particularly important that you register in person at a ‘Bürgeramt’ in Berlin (a district branch of the city hall). You must register with the registration office there within 14 days of moving into your new home. It isn’t possible to register remotely.

Here you will find additional information on registering your apartment in Berlin.
Important information: You cannot register yourself as resident at an Airbnb or a hotel.


Important for non-EU citizens:

Foreigners who wish to stay in Germany for longer than 90 days or in order to work must always acquire a national visa in order to enter the country. It is therefore essential to apply for a visa.

Here you can find additional information on the visa application process.

Open an account

Step #3

Opening a current account is an important task for your everyday life.

Learn more about Step #3

In order to open your current account with Berliner Sparkasse, you can book an appointment by telephone or email at your preferred branch.

Here you will find tips and information to help you prepare to open your account.

An important question: What documents are required to open an account?

Residence permit

Step #4

  • You have entered Germany and are now living in Berlin?
  • Do you plan to stay longer than three months?
  • Are you from outside the EU or from Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway?

Then you need a residence title (Aufenthaltstitel) for your extended residence in Berlin.

Here you can find more information about the residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis).

Family & Support

Step #5

Think about registering your children in time for school or kindergarten.

Often there are long waiting lists or a longer waiting period is to be expected.

Another important point is the application for child benefits.

Basic services

Step #6

There are many utility providers and it is worth comparing them.


Remember to register: