Have you just arrived in Germany, are you planning to study here, start training in the dual system (company / vocational school), start a new job or look for a job? Then these are the 5 most important steps for your first time in Germany.
Step 1 - Registration at the registration office
For every person who intends to stay in Germany for a longer period, it is mandatory to register with the residents' registration office after entering the country. This can be done at the respective office on site (town hall). All you need to do is visit the town hall and present a recognized identification document (passport, residence permit, visa) and a rental agreement signed by both parties (landlord/tenant).
Step 2 - Opening a German bank account
In most cases (studies, training, job search), a bank account must be opened in Germany before a residence permit, or a visa can be issued. In the case of studies, training, or intend to look for a job in Germany, a so-called blocked account is required by the immigration authorities. There must be enough in this account to cover the cost of living (rent, food, etc.) during the stay. To take up a job with a previously signed employment contract, all you need is a normal German bank account.
You can find a small selection of the banks that are common in Germany here:
Step 3 - Mobile phone contract / prepaid card
For your stay in Germany, especially if it is planned for a long time, you need to be able to be reached on the move. Here Germany and its many mobile phone providers offer a wide range of offers and services. To simplify this, we make do with the mobile phone contract and the prepaid card. These differ only slightly in terms of payment method and application. We'll go into that here.
Mobile phone contract
The mobile phone contract is usually concluded for 1 to 2 years. Many of the larger providers in Germany are also offering more mobile phone contracts that can be canceled monthly. Here you usually pay a little more, but you are free to decide monthly whether you still want the contract or want to terminate it. With normal contracts (1-2 years term). A German address and bank account are required to conclude a mobile phone contract. Mobile phone contracts are automatically extended by the contractual term if they are not terminated within the deadline.
The prepaid card, also known as prepaid SIM, can be obtained by anyone, regardless of an existing German current account. These are particularly suitable for the first time in Germany, in which one would like to be available to others and use the Internet in Germany at their expense. These can be obtained from any large or small mobile provider for a fee. The deposited amount, minus any fees for the card, is then available on these cards for a period of one or more months (depending on the provider). Unused data volume or free minutes (calls to landline or mobile network) expire after this time.
You can find a small selection of the mobile phone providers common in Germany here:
Step 4 - German health insurance
The topic of German health insurance is especially important for people who are planning a longer stay in Germany. Where travel health insurance is sufficient for short visits, membership in the German health insurance (private or statutory) is required by the German legal system for longer stays. Where in the past you usually had to do it locally or through an agent in your own country, this can now be applied digitally. The required documents are then sent to the health insurance company in advance and checked by them. If you want to enter the country with travel health insurance, you can of course do so first. In this case, you can also register directly on-site and present the documents to a branch of the health insurance company (agent). This usually shortens the time a lot.
You can find a small selection of the common health insurance companies in Germany here:
Step 5 - Family doctor/Gynecologist
In Germany, it is still very normal that when you have a complaint, like in many other countries, you go to the family doctor instead of the hospital. This is the first point of contact in Germany if you have minor complaints or health problems. This makes an initial diagnosis and issues referrals to other specialized doctors or the hospital. The family doctor usually offers appointments as well as open consultation hours. Finding a suitable family doctor is a matter of trust. You can get help here from the hotline of your private or statutory health insurance company or by doing a quick search on Google.
In the event of severe or very acute complaints (emergencies), it is always safer to go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. These are also open on Sundays and public holidays. If you can't make it yourself or if nobody can get you there, you can also call the emergency services on speed dial 112.
Many women (also in Germany) find it difficult to find a gynecologist, as this is even more intimate than the family doctor. Here we recommend contacting friends, acquaintances, or forums to find the right gynecologist. It is also often helpful to arrange a first appointment where you can get to know the doctor and get a first impression of him/her.
In Germany, the pill (contraception for women) is available free of charge.
All statements without guarantee
Liongate Consulting's company philosophy is to be there for our fellow people. We have an open ear for each of our customers and are happy to help you with your problems with advice from us.