Welcome to Berlin!

Welcome to Berlin!

Your first steps after arrival

Your first steps in a new country

Berliner Sparkasse will be your partner during your arrival. To make it easier for you to get to know your new home, we have compiled some important information for you. The first steps are the essentials to ease you into your new home.

Step #1: Visa & Apartment

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

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 and „Your first to-do in Berlin“.

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. 

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

Step #2: Registration

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

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.

Step #3: Residence permit
  • 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).

Step #4: Open an account

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

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

Further down you will find tips and information to help you to open your account.

An important question: What documents are required to open an account? Find out further down below.

Step #5: Family & Support

Remember  is to register your children for school or kindergarten in good time. Often there are long waiting lists or a longer waiting period is to be expected. Another important point is the application for child benefits.

Step #6: Basic steps

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

Remember to register:

Step #7: Get in touch with Berlin

Berlin is offering more than jobs and a place to live. It is an historic city with many stories to tell. Berlin is also known for its unique shops like special coffee shops and its never ending night life.

If you want to get in touch with these sides of Berlin, Berliner Sparkasse can offer you insights into what to know about Berlin and where you could spend your time.

You might be interested in:

Guide & Magazine: Relocation guide

All you need to know about registration and residency permit, apartment or real estate purchase and account, banking and insurance.

Getting started with your bank account

Sending and saving money has never been easier. Keep your money safe with online banking and the Sparkasse app. Enjoy excellent conditions, a wide variety of services and even expert advice at your Berliner Sparkasse. 

Relocations A – Z

This list of terms in German and English might come in handy, when dealing with bureaucracy, contracts and so on… Let the games begin!

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