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Insurances, City Registration, Bank Account


1) Insurances

The “Sozialversicherung” is the most important institution for social security in Germany. It is considered state-controlled care for potential risks and is a largely compulsory insurance for individuals and organizations.

It is divided into five areas:

2) City Registration

Registration at the Residents' Registration Office

When you move to Cologne from another German City, you have to get registered with the Resident’s Registration Office within seven days after your arrival. When you move to Cologne from a foreign Country you only need to register if you are staying longer than two months. At the Residents' Registration Office you will receive a "Meldebescheinigung". This is a paper conforming that you have registered. You will need this offical proof of registration if you wish to extend your visa or open a bank account. Once you have registered you will also be given a "Lohnsteuerkarte". This is an income tax card and you will need it if you have an employment contract and intend to draw a sala

3) Bank account

In Germany it is common to pay smaller sums in cash. Apart from cash, debit and credit cards are usually accepted. If you are staying in Germany for an extended period, are receiving a regular salary or fellowship and have to pay rent, it is a good idea to open a current account at a bank at the earliest opportunity. You can open a current account at any bank, the nearest ones are located at Zülpicher Straße, Dürener Straße and Luxemburger Straße.