Registering in Aachen
If you come to Germany for work or study, you have to register your new term-time address with the local Residents' Registration Office. You will have to register within two weeks after your arrival in Aachen. Depending on the location of your new home, you have to contact one of the following offices:
- For residents of the City of Aachen and residents of the Aachen districts Haaren, Richterich, Brand, Eilendorf, Kornelimünster/Wahlheim, and Laurensberg: The Citizens' Services Office ("Bürgerservice") of the City of Aachen located near the Main Railway Station (Hackländerstr. 1) or near Katschof (Johannes-Paul-II.-Straße 1).
- Residents of the Aachen districts (see above) can also go to the relevant District Office (Bezirksamt (de)).
- Residents of the cities and communities belonging to the so-called StädteRegion Aachen please refer to the relevant Citizen's Service Office or Residents' Registration Office.
In order to register with the authorities, you have to complete a registration application form (Meldeschein) and present it to the Citizens' Service Office / Residents' Registration Office, together with your passport. The FAQ page of the Info Service Center provides a detailed information sheet for the registration for international students.
If you have any problems while registering in Aachen, please contact the Info Service Center, whose staff members will be glad to assist you. Please note that the Registration Office needs to be notified of each change of address within one week.
After registering your address a registration certificate will be issued and handed out to you. Such a document is required, e.g., for applying for the residence permit and for opening a bank account.
Please note that it is very important to be registered without interruption in Germany. You may not cancel the registration if you are leaving Germany for a short time (e.g. for a short term study or research stay in a foreign country or for a short term return journey home). Such an interruption automatically involves the expiration of the residence title.
If you are not a national of a member state of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, the Bürgerservice/ Residents' Registration Office will forward your documents to the Immigration Office, where you then can apply for your residence permit.
Basically, you can apply for the residence permit two days after having registered your address.
Please note, however, that from the end of August to the beginning of November, a large number of international students and researchers come to Aachen, which results in long queues and waiting times at the above named offices.
In this time you should apply for your residence permit immediately after having registered your address only if this is necessary for urgent reasons (e.g. if you are a researcher and you have to present your residence permit very soon to the Department of Human Resources for completing your employment procedure).
Your visa is generally valid for several weeks when you enter Germany. For this reason, you should take time with applying for your residence permit - you have time to do so until about six weeks before your visa expires.
Please also note that without a valid residence permit for Germany, you are not entitled to travel to any of Germany's neighbouring countries.
If you are a national of a member state of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, you do not need to obtain a residence permit. You only need a valid passport or ID card as well as the registration certificate issued by the Citizens' Services Office.
Mandatory License Fee
Once you are registered in Germany, the ARD, ZDF, and German Radio Beitragsservice will be notified. In Germany, each household or apartment must pay a total license fee to the public service providers, no matter how many people in the apartment are registered. Please make sure you are well informed about this obligation.
Change of Address
Please note that your registration details must be kept up to date - do not forget to notify the Citizen's Service Office or Residents' Registration Office in person if you move to another place and there are changes to your address.
If you are enrolled at RWTH Aachen University, the same applies to your personal data kept at the International Office, for which it is essential to keep accurate, up-to-date records of all international students. Please keep the Info Service Center informed of changes to personal circumstances such as changes of address, name and status. Keep in mind that the university might send important documents such as your semester package and therefore it is very important that they have your correct address. If you have a new address, please write an email to the ISC or fill in the respective form at the International office. Alternatively, you can change your registered address by editing your data in the RWTHonline system. Your data kept at the International Office will then be automatically updated.
Please remember to deregister after you have completed your program and before you leave Germany.