Zwei internationale Studentinnen sitzen auf dem Ehrenhof vor dem Schloss und blicken auf einen Laptopbildschirm

Upon Your Arrival

Within the first weeks after your arrival, you will have to go through a number of formalities before starting research and teaching.

  • Registering your place of residence

    You have to register your new place of residence within one week after your arrival in Germany. Registration is compulsory for all German citizens and for all international guests who stay in Germany for more than 90 days. The Welcome Center of the University of Mannheim can provide you with all relevant forms. Depending on your respective place of residence, you can visit one of the citizens’ service offices of the city of Mannheim. If you do not live in Mannheim, please inquire about the responsible residents’ registration office at your place of residence.

    Appointments
    In order to avoid long waiting times, we recommend making an appointment online with the citizens’ service offices of the city of Mannheim. The Welcome Center is happy to provide support.

    Required documents

  • Applying for a certificate of good conduct

    In the following cases a certificate of good conduct is required:

    • Employment as academic staff member
    • Appointment as civil servant (e.g. junior professor or Akademischer Rat (senior instructor with tenure))
    • Admission as doctoral candidate by a school

    In case you already have a registered residence in Germany, please contact the respective citizens’ service office to apply for a certificate of good conduct. The certificate of good conduct can be requested at one of the citizens’ service offices. The fee for the certificate is EUR 13. It usually takes up to two weeks for the certificate to arrive in your or your employer's mailbox.

    There are two types of certificates of good conduct:

    • The Private Certificate of Conduct will be sent to your private address. This type of certificate is sufficient for admission as a doctoral candidate.
    • The Certificate of Conduct for Official Purposes is required if you will be employed as an academic staff member or appointed as a civil servant at the University of Mannheim, e.g. as junior professor or Akademischer Rat (senior instructor with tenure). This type of certificate needs to be directly sent to the address of the employer. Please indicate the address of the Human Resources division when applying for this type of certificate:

      Universität Mannheim
      Personalabteilung
      L1, 1
      68161 Mannheim
      Germany

    Applications from abroad (especially important for new junior professors)
    For reasons of time, it might be necessary, in individual cases, to apply for the certificate of good conduct before arriving in Mannheim. For example, as long as you do not posses a certificate of good conduct, you cannot be appointed as civil servant. The same applies if you are planning a short-term employment (less then 90 days) at the University of Mannheim and, therefore, do not need to register your new place of residence in Germany. On the website of the Federal Office of Justice you can apply for a certificate of good conduct from abroad without having to have your registered residence in Germany.

  • Tax identification number

    About two weeks following the registration of your place of residence in Germany, you will receive a letter from the Federal Central Tax Office. This letter contains your tax identification number that you will need for many formal processes in Germany (e.g. receiving your salary, applying for child benefit, opening a bank account, etc.) Please keep this number carefully.

    If you need to receive your tax identification number urgently and cannot wait for the letter of the Federal Central Tax Office, please contact the tax office of the city of Mannheim directly. You only need your passport or ID. You can ask for your tax identification number one workday after the registration of your new place of residence, at the earliest.

  • Opening a bank account

    Find helpful information on opening a bank account on the page “Bank Account”.

  • Taking out statutory health insurance

    We recommend reading about the various possibilities of taking out health insurance during your stay in Germany already prior to your arrival.

  • Taking out liability insurance

    In Germany, everyone can be held responsible and charged for accidental damages inflicted upon a third party. Therefore, it is usual to take out private liability insurance in order to insure oneself (and one’s family) against compensation claims for damages that were caused unintentionally. The private liability insurance is one of the most important and at the same time cheapest voluntary insurances in Germany that will defend you from having to pay compensation for damages. This kind of insurance covers damages that were caused unintentionally, e.g. through inattentiveness in traffic, as a pedestrian, or in case you damaged the property of someone else.

    Please note that, during your stay at the University of Mannheim, you will not be insured with the university.

    In case you have taken out private liability insurance in your home country, please check if it is equally valid during your stay in Germany. A liability insurance should at least cover all cases of private liability and, if possible, also cases of liability on official business.

  • Applying for a residence permit

    For persons who entered Germany on a visa: If you are going to stay in Germany for more than 90 days, you do not only have to register at the citizens’ service office, but also to apply for a residence permit at the local foreigners’ office before your visa expires. Where you have to apply depends on your new place of residence. If you have your main residence in Mannheim, the foreigners’ office of the city of Mannheim will be competent.

    Please note:

    Citizens from non-EU countries who can first enter Germany without a visa and will stay at the University of Mannheim for more than 90 days, also have to apply for a residence permit after their entry.

    Citizens from EU or EEA countries do not need a residence permit.


    The Welcome Center is happy to advise you on the choice of the correct residence permit and will assist you with the preparation of any required documents. As a rule, submission of the following documents is required:

    1. Proof of the purpose of your stay
    2. Proof of financial resources
    3. Proof of valid health insurance
    4. Tenancy agreement for your apartment
    5. Biometric passport picture

    For an overview of applying regulations please refer to the website EURAXESS Germany.

    Please note: The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees provides information on the electronic residence permit on its website.

  • Formalities of the Human Resources division

    Everyone who enters into an employment relationship with the University of Mannheim will be supported by the Welcome Center with all required formalities. In collaboration with the Human Resources division and your Chair or institute, we will let you know about all necessary steps as early on as possible.

    Usually, we need a so-called personnel form as well as a copy of your latest university degree in advance.

    It is important that you come to the Human Resources division to sign your employment contract prior to the beginning of your employment relationship with the University of Mannheim. This is why we recommend that you come to Mannheim at least 3–5 business days before the envisaged beginning of your employment contract in Mannheim in order to ensure that you have enough time to go through all formalities related to the signature of your employment contract.

    As a rule, you have to submit the following documents:

    • Hiring documents (forms of the Human Resources devision and the Landesamt für Besoldung und Versorgung Baden-Württemberg (LBV))
    • Valid ID
    • Birth certificate
    • Proofs of qualifications and degree certificates starting with the university entrance qualification (secondary school, diploma/master's degree, doctorate), in German or English
    • Certificate of membership of the health insurance provider
    • Certificate of good conduct for official purposes
    • Birth certificates of your children, if applicable
    • Marriage certificate, if applicable
    • ID card for the severely disabled recognized by the German authorities, if applicable
    • Visa or residence permit including a work permit, if applicable

    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.

    Please note:

    If you are not an EU/EEA citizen, you can only be employed for the period for which you have a valid visa or residence permit including the permit to take up employment at the University of Mannheim.

    Example: It is envisaged that you are employed at a chair or institute of the University of Mannheim for a period of three years. As a citizen who requires visa you will first receive a short-term visa that is valid for 3 months. Therefore, the Human Resources division has to limit the duration of the employment contract to the expiration date of the visa. However, as soon as you have obtained a residence permit with help of the Welcome Center within the validity term of your visa, your employment contract will be extended.

  • Enrollment

    You can find important enrollment information for international doctoral students on the “Enrollment” page.

  • User ID and ecUM

    For information on user IDs and the ecUM membership card, please visit the following page “User ID and ecUM”.

  • German language courses

    You can find information about German courses on the page “German language courses”.

  • Social security, pension, and occupational pension

    The German social security system governs all statutory provisions regarding health, pension, unemployment, accident, and long-term care insurance.

    Scholarships are usually exempt from social security regulations and/or payments.

    Further information can be found on the website of EURAXESS Germany – please consult the following web pages for more details:

    1. Social security
    2. Pension scheme
    3. FAQ on social security in general

    For more information on the pension system in Germany and other countries please see the categories “Pension Landscapes” and/or “Pension ABCs” on the website Find Your Pension.

     

  • Taxes

    Whether you have to pay taxes in Germany depends on your status at the University of Mannheim, the duration of your stay in Germany and other factors. The website of EURAXESS Germany provides detailed information about regulations and double taxation agreements.

    In case you are employed at the University of Mannheim, the wage tax will usually be directly deducted from your gross salary. This means that your employer has to pay the wage tax to the appropriate tax office. Therefore, you have to report your tax identification number to your employer.

    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 public broadcasting fee in Germany

    For more information about the broadcasting fee for public television in Germany, please visit the “Public broadcasting fee" page.

  • Moving to your own apartment

    During the first months of your stay in Germany, you will lodge in the Guesthouse of the University of Mannheim or another short-term accommodation as you will be occupied looking for an apartment during the first weeks after your arrival. We have compiled useful information to help you find accommodation.

    Following your move, you will have to inform various authorities about your change of address: your employer, bank institution, health care provider, the residents’ registration office, the Beitragsservice for the public broadcasting license fee and many more. Please also read the information on changing or extending your stay. The Welcome Center Team will be happy to help you.

  • Driver’s license

    If you are a non-European citizen, your driver's license will be valid for half a year in Germany. After six months of residency in Germany, however, you will need to re-register your driver's license. In order to have your driver’s license re-registered, you have to pass a written and a practical driving test at a driving school.

    This regulation does not apply for European citizens. Their driver’s licenses continue to be valid even after six months of residency in Germany.

    For more information on the driver’s license in Germany please see the website of EURAXESS.

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.

I feel privileged to be the part of University of Mannheim. As a diversified university, it provides a unique platform to enhance learning and develop key skills. It offers many great opportunities to excel in one's career. Relocating to a new country means relocating to a totally new bureaucracy. I am very happy to rely on the Welcome Center to assist me with all necessary steps relating to such important things like social security, pension scheme, health insurance, and many more.

Naeem Zakir, doctoral candidate in Personnel Management, from Pakistan / Photo credit: Ye Fung Tchen

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
Sayuri Drengemann

Sayuri Drengemann

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
Dr. Johanna Fernández Castro

Dr. Johanna Fernández Castro (she/her)

Team Lead 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