Registration at the municipality office – why is it that important?
You are legally required to register your place of residence in Berlin. That is one important reason. The second reason is that as you are coming from a third country and want to apply for a residence permit as well as a working permit, it is essential to register. The national registration authority “LABO” in Berlin is only responsible for you once you are registered in Berlin. Your application cannot be processed without registration in Berlin.
The next very important reason for registration is: once you start your employment, your employer needs your tax id “steuerliche Identifikationsnummer” otherwise he is not able to do your monthly play slip. This tax id is organized by the municipality office once you are registered. After a few days your tax id will be sent to your address.
Lastly, if you want to apply for child benefit in Germany you need to be registered as well. You have to provide, in order to fill in the form, your name, address etc. you have to fill in your tax id as well.
You can do your registration in every municipality office in any district hence, in entire Berlin regardless in which district you live. It is better to arrange an appointment at the office, but sometimes it is hard to get one.
If you go there directly without having an appointment for registering, often this implies long waiting times. Another possibility is to make an appointment beforehand, this is possible via internet or by phone.
For the registration procedure you have to take the completed form and your identity card or passport with you. If you want to register your family as well, you have to take your marriage certificate and your children’s birth certificates with you (only first registration in Berlin). If you want to register someone moving in the flat together with you, you need a letter of attorney and the identity card or passport of her/
In order to get an appointment at the municipal registration office you had to wait up to two months last year. The new year started with good news concerning appointments at the registration office. Now your get an appointment on a short term notice which means you will get your appointment within TWO WEEKS instead of waiting two months!! You should keep that in mind when making an appointment with the foreign department to apply for residence permit or work permit.
Recommendation: Employers should be proactive in relocating employees to Germany and should initiate the process as soon as possible to not cause unwanted delays. Due to a lack of resources in the German Immigration authorities authorities and an unexpected high volume of resident/work permit applications the current adjudication times are between 8 and 12 weeks.
The problems include the inability of offering appointments on short notice or answering phone calls relating to applications. Especially affected are complex application which require special consultations and often additional training for staff. In order to address the current capacity problems new people are hired, nevertheless regularizing the lack of resources will take some time as the new staff needs specific and adequate training as well as job experience.
Immigration will remain unchanged for companies, which relocate employees to Germany, however guidance cannot be provided by the authorities to do so at the moment. Further additional requests by the authorities asking for provision of additional documents could be experienced by foreigners and their employers. Additionally, inquiries in relation to qualifications, salary rates, benefits and employment conditions could be requested.