Officialization 5: Registration

Officialization TOC


The church in front of das Rathaus (town hall) in Saarbrücken

Das Bürgeramt (citizen’s office) is the place that you go to register your address with the city. This is the lynchpin of the entire operation. You spend every waking hour searching for an apartment so that you can get this step done. After this, you can do everything — get a bank account to get paid, get health insurance (or in my case, report back to your health insurance that you didn’t lie to them earlier), and yes, get a visa.

All that build up… but the process itself is quite easy here. Just bring your required documents, wait in line, give everything to the guy at the desk so he can fill everything in, and you’re done!

Required documents:

  • Passport
  • Wohnungsgeberbestätigung (proof of address from your landlord)
  • Marriage certificate, if you are married (even if your spouse isn’t with you)

Once you are done with this you get die Meldebescheinigung (confirmation of registration) letter from them, and you can make an appointment at die Ausländerbehörde (foreign authority) to get your visa.


A week or so after registering, I got a letter in the mail from the ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio. It turns out that each household, whether they watch TV or not has to pay a broadcasting service fee. In my case, since I am living in a house with my landlord, I took this form to my landlord and she filled out her details, stating that I am already covered by this household.

I was also sent a letter from the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern (federal central tax office) with my Identifikationsnummer (tax ID number). Presumably I will need this if I want to find work.


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