Living in Germany Visa

Address Basics and Anmeldung

by Anurag Bhattacharjee

Germany is notorious for its neverending bureaucracy – any international student going through the visa procedures knows that struggle by heart. The German bureaucracy mainly relies on letters and if it’s a letter from the Ausländerbehörde or the tax office you don’t want to miss it, do you? So let’s go over some basics surrounding your residential address and the registration (Anmeldung). 

1. Address Format

Every country uses a different format for addresses. Therefore, I’ll lay out Germany’s format for you. This way your letters arrive at the intended recipient. 

Name of Recipient

If the letter is adressed to a specific person (e.g. Maxine Mustermann) you can write it in the second line

Streetname and -number (make sure to adhere to this order)

Zip Code and City Name


z. Hdn. Maxine Mustermann 

Examplealley 44

12345 Examplecity

Should you write a letter to someone outside of Germany, add state and country underneath the zip code and city name. 

The addresses should be written on the letters like this: 

Orjan Menschli

Examplestreet 13

67890 Exampleton



z. Hdn. Maxine Mustermann 

Examplealley 44

12345 Examplecity

2. Anmeldung

So you signed your rental contract, you know how to format letters and now comes the city registration (Anmeldung). After you’ve received your rental contract, your landlord will issue a proof of residence certificate (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung / Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung). With this document you can go to the citizen’s centre (Bürgeramt). 

All residents in Germany, including German nationals, must register (“Anmeldung”) their address within two weeks of moving into an apartment at Bürgeramt. Without it you won’t be able to get an internet or phone contract, a bank account, your tax ID, or your residence permit.

Next to the Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung from your landlord you will need the following documents for your Anmeldung: 

  • Your Passport
  • Completed and Signed Registration Form (check with Bürgeramt)
  • Temporary Visa or Residence Permit (if applicable)
  • Marriage Certificates and Documents of Spouse (if applicable)

The mandatory radio fee (Rundfunkgebühr) is also linked to your residential address, so you will likely receive a letter from the Deutschlandradio/ARD/ZDF office about a month or two after your city registration date.

For more information around the Anmeldung you can also check the DEGIS Starterpack. 

Anurag Bhattacharjee (he/him) is a Master’s student at Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg. He was the City Chapter president at DEGIS Magdeburg and is a DEGIS alumnus. 

Favorites Living in Germany Visa

Extending your Residence Permit

by Anurag Bhattacharjee

Let’s begin with the obvious. The application to extend your residence permit needs to be submitted before your visa expires. Ideally, the required documents are sent to the Ausländerbehörde (eng. “Foreigner’s Office”) about a month before expiration. Here you can find a list of the documents you will need to send in: 

  1. Existing Visa Stamp Page
  2. One Biometric Photo (detailed requirements here)
  3. Blocked Account Confirmation or Declaration Page for one year
  4. Proof of City Registration (Anmeldung)
  5. University Enrollment Document
  6. Course History Certificate (only applicable in some cases)
  7. Correctly Completed Application for Extension of Residence Permit
  8. Passport Front & Back Pages Signed Copy
  9. Rental Contract (needs to show signature of all parties)
  10. Health Insurance Certificate (needs to show insurance starting date and social security number)

After sending these documents to the respective city’s Ausländerbehörde, one can expect a response within 7-15 working days depending upon the city’s population and whether any documents are still missing. After successful verification of all documents, the Ausländerbehörde will schedule you in for an appointment in their office. There they will record your biometrics, signature and verify your passport. You will also need these following things for the appointment: 

  1. Email with Appointment Confirmation
  2. Passport
  3. One Biometric Picture
  4. Cash or Giro Card

After your appointment, you’ll receive letters from the city’s Ausländerbehörde within a few weeks. These letters will provide details about when to collect your residence permit card and include a virtual residence permit letter with two confidential pin-codes. Be sure to treat the virtual residence permit letter with extreme caution, as it’s highly confidential. In the meantime, your appointment letter for residence permit card collection serves as a temporary permit to stay in Germany if your visa has expired.

On the day of your card collection appointment, visit the Ausländerbehörde at the scheduled time with your passport and the appointment letter. Authorized officials will verify the letter, process your original passport, and request some declarations. Once this is complete, they will issue your new residence permit card, along with declaration letters in case of card loss, and associated work permit letters.

It’s a bit of a lengthy and slightly complicated process but once it’s done, you’re once again set and ready to enjoy your time in Germany!

Anurag Bhattacharjee (he/him) is a Master’s student at Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg. He was the City Chapter president at DEGIS Magdeburg and is a DEGIS alumnus.