Preparing the Relocation

Organizing a stay in another country requires thorough preparation. Start planning early on, as some matters like visa application or finding accommodation may take some time. In the following, we have compiled the aspects that should be on the top of your priority list.

  • Preparing important documents

    In order to be fully prepared for your stay in Germany, you should take care of a number of documents that you might need during your time at the University of Mannheim while still in your home country. The team of the Welcome Center will let you know about the most important documents and, if necessary, ask you to send some documents in advance (for example degree certificate and personnel form). Which documents are required always depends on your individual status at the University of Mannheim and the duration of your stay. In the following, we have compiled a list of the most common documents. This list is not exhaustive.

    • Valid passport (also for spouses and children) – if your passport is due to expire soon, please renew it before coming to Germany.
    • Visa (also for spouses and children)
    • Birth certificate (also of spouses and children, if applicable)*
    • Marriage certificate*
    • Degree certificates starting from the university entrance qualification (secondary school, diploma/master's degree, doctorate), in German or English*
    • Vaccination records (also of spouses and children)
    • International driver’s license
    • If applicable, an ID card for the severely disabled recognized by German authorities*
    • Certificate of enrollment as a doctoral student at your home institution
    • Certificate of good conduct (in some cases, you will have to apply for this certificate in your home country. Please read the information provided here.)

    *For these documents, the original or a notarized copy has to be submitted. If the documents were issued in a language other than German or English, a notarized translation is required.

  • Visa and entry

    Citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland do not need a visa. They are permitted to enter Germany with a valid passport and take up employment right away.

    Citizens of so-called third countries (not EU, EEA or Switzerland) generally require a visa for their entry. For stays of more than 90 days they also require a residence permit. A visa can be obtained from German representations abroad.

    Please note: It may take four to six weeks for a visa application to be processed and approved and in case of visa for family reunification, even twelve weeks. Therefore, please apply for a visa early on, three months before your arrival at the latest.

    There are only a few countries for which exemptions apply. A list of countries and the respective visa regulations can be found on the website “Overview of visa requirements/exemptions for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany” of the Federal Foreign Office.

    If you are going to stay in Germany for more than 90 days and enter on a visa, you can take up employment right away, but have to apply for a residence permit at the local foreigners’ office before your visa expires. If you are going to stay in Germany for more than 90 days but do not require visa for entry (for example USA, Canada, Japan), you will have “tourist” status and are not permitted to take up employment right away. In order to start working, you first have to apply for a residence permit including a work permit.

    An overview of visa requirements/exemptions for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

    An overview of visa regulations can be found on the websites of the Federal Foreign Office and EURAXESS Germany. If you are planning on working in Germany, you can find information on the correct visa you need in the work permit section of the EURAXESS Germany website.

    The Welcome Center Team will be happy to advise you on the visa regulations applying to you. We will assist you in applying for the correct visa (tourism/business travel/working/studying/research) and will provide the documents required by the embassy in collaboration with your host and/or the Human Resources division.

    Information on the Schengen visa (Type C): Please note that a Schengen visa only covers short-term stays for touristic purposes. Holders of a Schengen visa are not permitted to take up employment. You are not permitted to change the purpose of your stay after entry or extend the Schengen visa to more than 90 days. Please be aware that the Schengen area is not equivalent to the EU!

    A list of the Schengen countries can be found in the Schengen Agreement section on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.  For example, a Schengen visa is not valid for Great Britain.

  • Finding accommodation

    For the first weeks and months of your stay, we recommend booking a room in the Guesthouse. More information can be found on the Guesthouse and International Meeting Center (IBZ) page.

    If there are no rooms available in the Guesthouse, you will have to find accommodation on the private rental market. The team of the Welcome Center can assist you with your search but unfortunately cannot find accommodation for you.

    We have compiled the ins and outs of the rental market in Germany and Mannheim in a short guide. It contains links to the usual search platforms as well as information on prices, deposits, the different city districts of Mannheim, utilities and other important details.

    Information on finding accommodation

  • Health insurance

    In Germany, health insurance is mandatory for all citizens. Please be aware that health insurance coverage is required as of the day of your arrival. Family members traveling with you also have to be insured. Proof of sufficient health insurance coverage is also required for the approval of your residence permit application. 

    If you are coming to Germany on a Schengen visa for a short-term research trip of up to 90 days, travel insurance valid for all Schengen countries with a coverage of at least EUR 30,000 is required. For longer stays with a residence permit, you will need more comprehensive health insurance coverage, equal to that of German statutory health insurance.

    Depending on your status at the University of Mannheim, there are different options regarding health insurance:

    • If you are enrolled at the University of Mannheim as a doctoral student and are completing your dissertation project here, your health insurance options depend on your individual status. Please research the specific conditions.
    • If you have signed a work contract with the University of Mannheim as an academic staff member or post-doc, you will have to take out a statutory health insurance policy. Please continue reading on the health insurance for employees page.
    • If you are being appointed to the University of Mannheim as a (junior) professor, you are required to enroll in private health insurance as you receive the status of a civil servant. Please continue reading on the private health insurance for civil servants page.
    • If you are a visiting scholar or visiting doctoral student involved in research at the University of Mannheim but are not employed by the University of Mannheim, you need to take out a private health insurance policy. Please continue reading on the private health insurance for visiting scholars and visiting doctoral students page.
    • If you are an EU citizen enrolled in statutory health insurance in your home country while staying in Germany and have no work contract with the University of Mannheim, please continue reading on the health insurance for EU citizens page.
  • Bank account

    You might need a German bank account in order to receive your salary or scholarship payments, pay bills or make regular payments such as rent. We therefore recommend opening up a checking account (Girokonto).

    If you already have a European bank account with IBAN and BIC, depending on your position at the University of Mannheim and the duration of your stay, it might be advisable not to open up an additional German bank account.

    The following documents are required for opening up a checking account:

  • Child care

    Is your family coming with you and you are looking for child care?

    Child care

    Department of Equal Opportunity and Social Diversity provides information on child care and various other offers for families.

    Schools

    Public schools are free in Germany. There are also private and international schools. These, however, will charge tuition fees. Public schools are usually chosen by proximity to the place of residence of the pupil. Private schools and secondary schools have their own admission criteria. In Germany, for children between the ages 6 and 15 school attendance is compulsory.

    All children attend primary school together until fourth grade. By the end of the fourth grade, the primary school teachers give a recommendation on the type of secondary school the child should attend.

    More information on primary and secondary schools in Mannheim can be found on the website of the city of Mannheim.

     

    International schools

    There are a number of schools in the region teaching in English or French.

Disclaimer: We are continuously checking the contents of the information materials published by the Welcome Center. However, we do not assume liability for these contents. All materials are for general information purposes only and cannot be binding for every individual case. The information provided is not necessarily complete, comprehensive or up-to-date. We do not give legal advice nor legally binding information. Neither can we substitute for information given by experts in individual cases.

 

The ultimate definition of luxury is having your needs taken care of before you even realize you have them. The Welcome Center fits that definition perfectly. The Welcome Center understands the needs of foreigners and solves them efficiently and correctly.

Marc Gabarro, Assistant Professor for Corporate Finance, Spain / Photo credit: Anna Logue

Contact:

Julia Potapov

Julia Potapov

Advisor for International Academics
University of Mannheim
Divison II – Student Affairs
International Office / Welcome Center
L 2, 2–4 – Room 117
68161 Mannheim
Consultation hour(s):
by appointment only
Office hours:
Working from home Wed and Thu
Solrun Graham-Parker

Solrun Graham-Parker

Team Coordinator Welcome Center & Advisor for International Academics
University of Mannheim
Divsion II – Student Affairs
International Office / Welcome Center
L 2, 2–4 – Room 117
68161 Mannheim
Consultation hour(s):
by appointment only
Office hours:
Working from home Mon and Fri