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Frequently asked questions

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When is the WelcomeCenter the place to go to for my registration and my residence title?

If you have or would like to apply for a residence title according to paragraphs 19 – 21 of German residency law (Aufenthaltsgesetz), the WSC is responsible for your first registration in Essen and for everything concerning your residence status.

I am not a member of the above group. Can I still ask my questions at the WelcomeCenter?

Yes, our general advisory services are open to all new residents of Essen. We will happily answer any questions you have about your new life in Essen.

Which documents are needed in order to apply for a residence title?

Your individual situation defines the documents necessary for your residence title application. We will be glad to answer any specific question personally. However, some documents are necessary in every case. Those are, a valid passport, proof of your financial situation and health care insurance. Here is an overview (in German). Furthermore you need a biometric photo. You can either bring it to the appointment or buy one at our premises for a fee of 3 Euros.

Can my family come to Germany, too?

Family reunification as well as the later entry of spouses are possible under certain conditions. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees provides specific information on its website: Family reunification and subsequent entry of spouses.

Which documents do I need to register in Essen?

Are you coming alone? Then you need a valid passport, proof of your civil state (marriage certificate, divorce decree…) as well as a tenancy confirmation. Usually the latter is issued by the landlord together with the tenancy contract. In the case that you did not receive a tenancy confirmation, you can download a blank sample (pdf, 760 kB) here.

How can I register my family?

How can I register my family?

Are foreign certificates accepted?

All certificates have to be either international or translated by a translator who is officially recognized by a German Higher Regional Court. Furthermore you need an apostil or legalization. You can check here (in German) whether an apostil is sufficient.

I have children who are under six years of age. Is there a daycare system?

In Germany there is no such thing as a compulsory kindergarten attendance. The children’s pre-school education is their parents’ choice. The family point (Familienpunkt) will happily answer your questions on this topic.

I have children. What is the school system like in Germany?

General information on the school system

Special information concerning schooling in Essen is provided by the school office.

Which type of school would best suit your children can be answered by the advisory service for externals (pdf, 41 kB) (Seiteneinsteigerberatung).

Which jobs are available in Germany / in Essen?

There is a a job market on the employment agency homepage. Detailed search for specific job offers is possible there: Jobboerse
General information on the economic area of Essen

I would like to learn or improve my German. Where can I find classes on offer?

The Delie network can help you of find an appropriate and reasonable German class to match your needs. It is part of the Communal Integration Center.

Do I need a permit to work on my field of occupation?

this depends on your desired job. Further information (in German)

What is the minimum income to apply for a Blue Card EU?

This and many more questions concerning the Blue Card EU are answered on a special section of the website of the Federal Ministry in charge.

Will my foreign degrees be accepted in Germany? How can I get them to be recognized?

Which countries can I visit visa-free with my residence title?

You can travel with your residence title (combined with your passport) and return to Germany at any time, as long as you do not leave Germany for more than 180 days in a row. Visa-free travel within the Schengen Area is possible for up to 90 days per year for each state. If you have not received an electronic residence title yet, travelling still might be possible. Please feel free to ask us your individual questions.
Attention: after successfully applying for a residence title it will take up to a month until you will physically receive it. You will need a special residence title issued directly into your passport if you have to travel while waiting for the electronic residence title. The special residence title can be asked for at the WelcomeCenter.

Does my residence expire when I leave Germany temporarily, for example when I travel?

According to German law a residence title expires when you leave Germany and do not return into the country within six months. In some separately ruled cases – i.e. holders of the Blue Card EU – you can leave Germany for 12 months without expiration of the residence title.

Which taxes and / or fees do I have to pay as an employee?

Income tax: iincome is taxed in Germany. The tax is automatically transferred to the tax office (Finanzamt) by the employer.
Further information

Social insurance: employees in Germany are socially insured by law. The monthly charge is partially paid by employer and employee.
Detailed information

Is my driver’s license accepted in Germany?

Please take your questions to the local traffic authority (Kfz-Zulassungsbehörde).

I am looking for a place to live. How can I find an apartment?

There are various ways of finding an apartment in Essen. Offers are to be found in any common regional newspaper. Further offers can be found online. In addition, many commercial real estate proprietors have their headquarters or branches in the city of Essen.

I am planning on using the public transport system. Are there special offers for employees of certain companies?

Apart from the usual monthly subscription tickets there is the so called Firmenticket (enterprise ticket), which is offered at a discount. The exact price is dependent on the price level of the ticket’s validity. Applications for this ticket can only be filed by enterprises. If your (potential) employer is entitled to do so, this can be requested by e- mail at the EVAG (local traffic company):

How can I bring my personal belongings to Germany? Which customs charges do I have to pay?

The German customs agency provides information on customs for travel within and without the EU on its website.

What can I do in case of emergency?

What’s going on in Essen right now?

Recent events are listed in a specific calendar (in German).

I like doing sports. What can I do here in Essen?

Essen has a lot of sports and recreational activities on offer.
Further information (in German)

I would like to learn more about Germany. Where can I find information?

The information-based website Facts about Germany provides information on various topics related to life in Germany. Those are available in numerous languages.