Formalities while living in Germany

Formalities after having started your residence in Germany, i.e. after your permit has been granted, is what will be introduced to you here.


When moving, I know that I have to tell my bank and suppliers of my new address. Any one else?

Indeed! You have to re-register at the registration office. Elderly persons still might call this registration "polizeiliche Anmeldung" but they are also just referring ro registering at the city hall with the registration office (Meldeamt). This has already been described in detail on another page – just click: General Requirements for Residence Permits to Germany

At which "police station" do I have to register?
What duties do I have concerning my ID-card or passport during my stay in Germany? What happens when I lose my passport?

You are required to

  • renew your passport or ID-card on time,
  • immediately apply for a new passport or ID-card if it becomes invalid or if you lose it,
  • report loss (a plain letter suffices) of your passport or ID-card to the foreigner’s office ASAP,
  • without undue delay present the new one to this authority in person, and now also present all former and especially any retrieved passports (§56 no. 6 AufenthaltsV),
  • present your new passport or new ID-card to the foreigner’s office without undue delay in person if entries have become invalid or if you have renewed the ID-card or passport.

Also check out following related article: Database on Lost Documents.

And what if I do not fulfill these requirements for identification?

Then you will be subject to a fine up to €1,000 (§17 OWiG). If the police realizes that you do not have your ID with you, the police might take you into custody. You will remain there until your identity is clarified. A practical tip: if you forget your ID at home: Keep calm, tell the police where you live, they might accompany you home where you can identify yourself. In any case, ask if they would like to follow you. Be sure not to arouse any suspicion by trying to flee. We suggest for persons who's anxiousness is higher that you at least have a copy of your passport with you. Admittingly, a copy is not the original but have an excuse why it makes sense for you to only have a copy with you. For example when you are out on the street jogging...

How long is my residence permit valid?

Read the stamp in your passport. If you have an electronic permit, then read the card.
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Lots of laughs. Okay, now how long is my permit supposed to be valid? You never know how the officers decide.

This depends on the kind of residence you applied for. Until you have a settlement permit, you can usually reckon that the first period will be for one or at most two years. Upon extension, you will usually get two years. This is decided at the discretion of the officer.

When do I apply to renew my residence permit?

Practice shows that it makes sense to apply for a renewal three months prior to expiration. You personally have to prepare the application, and then get an appointment at immigration where the decision needs to be made.

Just having turned 18 and proud as a teenie can be to have become a (wo)man, what about my residence permit? Am I still dependent on my parent’s status? Please, don’t be disturbed by my proudness!

Oh your proudness, we humbly thank you that you consider talking to us. No need to worry! No need to cry! Coming of age means you are now responsible for your own rights and duties. Supposing your parents were to jeopardize their permits for Germany, you may still remain – unless you yourself get into trouble with the law (§34 AufenthG).