First Steps for Students in Germany: Hannover

First steps in Germany

Before you can take up your course of study, you must comply with some formalities. In order to avoid making unnecessary moves, it is advisable to stick to the suggested order presented here. This is specific to the residents of Region Hannover. The order will likely remain same for other places too.

1. Registration (with aliens department/residents’ registration office)

You must register within seven days either at the aliens department or at the residents’ registration office. You must name a permanent address there. If you haven’t found a steady place to live yet, you must name a temporary address. When you move, you have to inform the department/office of your new address. If you live in the city of Hanover, please contact the

Ausländerbehörde der Landeshauptstadt Hannover
(Aliens Department of the Hanover City Council)
Leinstraße 14
30159 Hannover

Under certain conditions, it is already possible to comply with the formalities necessary for getting a residence permit. For this, you have to make an appointment. If you just want to register, there is no need to make an appointment. If you live outside the city of Hanover but within the Hanover region, please contact the corresponding Einwohnermeldeamt (residents’ registration office) of your local authority. The places within the region of Hanover, as well as the offices in question, can be found on the Hanover region website, on page Kommunen in der Region Hannover (cities and municipalities).

2. Opening a Bank Account

In Germany, (regular) payments are usually handled by bank transfer. Not only your semester fee but also rent, telephone etc. can be comfortably transferred from account to account. As spending non-cash is more and more popular in Germany, too, it is advantageous to own an EC bank card corresponding to your account, anyway.

Many banks offer students (or clients up to a certain age in general) a free giro bank account. Banks and their EC cash points are spread all over Hanover and Germany. Just look for a conveniently located bank and open an account there. If the account is free only for students, tell the bank that you are a student and produce a registration notice (Immatrikulationsbescheinigung or I-Bescheinigung) as soon as possible. In order to keep the free account, you must show a valid notice at the beginning of each semester.

In order to open an account, you need

  • passport
  • registration notice from the university
  • registration notice from the residents’ registration office, or the aliens department, respectively.

You can find further details on payment transactions on the “” website of the Deutscher Akademisches Austauschdienst (DAAD), on page Money & Bank Accounts.

3. Transferring the Semester Fee

Before registering at the university you must pay the semester fee. Please don’t do that from your home country! Foreign transactions are often liable to a charge and complicated. You can pay the semester fee cash at the bank, but this is not for free, either. It is advisable to transfer the money from your giro bank account. The transfer form is included with your registration notice or you can get it at the international office of your university.

4. Acquiring a Health Insurance

In order to register at university, you must have a health insurance coverage. For detailed information on this, go to the “Before the Studies” section, page Health Insurance. Further down you will find links to a selection of public health insurances. If the health insurances offer special Web portals or pages for students, we have put links to those. On these web pages, you can find out where the offices and/or special service points for students are located.

AOK – Die Gesundheitskasse
Kaufmännische Krankenkasse – KKH
Techniker Krankenkasse TK

5. Registering at the University

On the university’s admission notice, both the deadlines for registration (enrollment or immatriculation) and the place of registration are listed. The international office of your university can also give you this information.

Please bring the following documents:

  • passport
  • original reports (if need be with translation)
  • admission notice
  • transfer or payment receipt for the semester fee
  • proof of health insurance

6. Applying for a Residence Permit

For your study visit in Germany, you need a residence permit which you will receive at your local aliens department. This electronic “residence title for specific purposes” comes as a chip card. If you live in the city of Hanover, please contact the

Ausländerbehörde der Landeshauptstadt Hannover
Leinstraße 14
30159 Hannover

You have to make an appointment beforehand! If you live outside the city of Hanover, but within the Hanover region, please contact the

Ausländerbehörde der Region Hannover
Maschstraße 17
30169 Hannover

For the residence permit you must bring the following documents:

  • rental contract
  • passport
  • current, biometric passport photograph
  • registration notice from the university (“I-Bescheinigung”)
  • proof of health insurance
  • proof of financing
  • money for the charged fees