Entry and Living
Planning your stay? We compiled useful information and further links for you.
You are citizen of an EU or EEA country:
You can enter Germany without a visa. A valid ID or passport is sufficient.
You are NOT citizen of an EU or EEA country:
An overview of visa requirements and exemptions is given on the webiste of the Federal Foreign Office.
If you plan to stay more than 90 days, then you should apply for a national visa ("D-Visa", NOT a tourist visa!) at the German embassy in your home country at least four months before your departure to Cologne. You receive any further information and the necessary forms and documents at the German embassy of your home country.
Health insurance is mandatory in Germany. In order to get a residence permit and to conclude an employment contract you have to prove that you are sufficiently insured. Detailed information can be found here.
Guesthouse of the University of Cologne
The University of Cologne owns two guesthouses for scholars and their families. Due to the huge demand for accommodation, please make sure to apply at least 10 months in advance of your stay in Cologne. Please contact the Albert's International Assistance for more information on this topic.
You find further information on the website of Albert's International Assistance.
CAUTION: Do not make any payment in advance without lease contract or having seen the apartment!
Registration with the Local Residents' Registration Office
In Germany registration is mandatory. If you come to Cologne and plan to stay more than two months, you have to register your place of residence with the service center of the City of Cologne within 14 days after your moving in.
The following documents are required for you registration:
valid ID or passport with visa
registration form (available at the Local Residents' Registration Office)
for marital partners/children: certified German translation of marriage and birth certificate
Once you have registered you will receive a registration certificate. We recommend that you keep this document in a safe place with you, as you need to provide it for further administrative actions (e.g. opening a bank account). Should you need to move during your stay, you are required to give this information to the service centre of the City of Cologne!
If you are planning to stay more than 90 days you must apply for a residence permit at your local “Ausländerbehörde” (Immigration or Foreigners’ Office) before your entry visa runs out. Please find more information here.