Einwohnermeldeamt (Residents' Registration Office)

You will have to register at the residents' registration office within two weeks after taking up residence in Germany.

You will need the following documents:
- Your ID card / passport
- Your visa, if applicable
- A confirmation of your landlord (Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung)
If you are moving to Germany together with your family, all family members have to be registered. In order to do this, you will need the documents listed above for each family member. In addition, you will need your children's birth certificates and, if you are married, your marriage certificate.
You will receive a confirmation of your registration. This is an important document you will need for many other formalities - please treat it accordingly.

Should you move during your time in Göttingen, you will need to inform the registration office of your change of address. If you move to another city within Germany, you will have to register at the registration office of your new city. Just before you leave Germany, please de-register at the registration office.

Ausländerbehörde (Foreigners' Office)

You will need to apply for a residence permit if you stay in Germany for more than 90 days or before your visa expires. Your application will be processed by the "Ausländerbehörde" (Foreigners' Office). Since the application process can take a few weeks, we recommend that you contact the Ausländerbehörde shortly after arrival in Germany. If you are not an EU citizen, you will need a residence permit for your stay in Germany.

When you apply for a residence permit, you will need the originals and a copy of these documents:

- Application
- Passport
- 2 biometric passport photos
- Confirmation of registration by the registration office
- Proof of employment (work contract or confirmation of stipend - if you do not yet have them, you will receive a confirmation letter from MPS)
- Proof of health insurance for (at least) the duration of your entire stay. A travel insurance is not sufficient.

We will inform you in advance about the process and co-ordinate appointments at the relevant offices.

Finanzamt (Tax and Revenue Office)

Your registration at the Einwohnermeldeamt automatically triggers the generation of a tax ID for you. The competent Finanzamt (Tax and Revenue Office) will store certain personal data such as your name, address, gender and date of birth under this number. You will receive a letter informing you of your tax ID. This ID will be valid during your entire stay in Germany, regardless of which city you live in and how long you will stay.

Do I have to pay taxes in Germany?

Whether or not you will need to pay taxes while you work for a Max Planck Institute depends on your type of employment:

  • Stipend holders usually do not pay taxes.
  • If you hold a work contract, you have to pay income tax and social security contributions. Both will automatically be deducted from your salary.

Agentur für Arbeit (Employment Office)

Do I need a separate work permit?

The following groups of people do not require a separate work permit:

  • Foreign scientists do not require a seperate work permit. In some cases they need to present their work contract, a work description and their diploma or certificate of doctorate in order to be excempt from this requirement. This privilgege applies only to the scientist, not to the spouse (unless he or she is also a scientist).
  • Foreign stipend holders do not need a seperate work permit because they are not considered employees.
  • Students do not need a seperate work permit as long as they work at most 90 days per year.

If none of these categories apply to you (e. g. if you are an engineer), you will need a separate work permit. Please contact us in advance to discuss the process.

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