First steps in Leipzig

Please check our flyer “First Steps” to find out about what has to be done after arriving in Leipzig. As described in this above-mentioned flyer, to start all necessary processes after arrival (such as opening a German bank account, getting a German statutory health insurance, receiving a tax ID and a social security number, applying for a residence permit) you need to register at the Resident Services Office (“Bürgeramt”). It is possible to book an appointment online. Please read the advice given in the flyer above, when it comes to booking an available appointment time within the next weeks (which can be difficult).

You can also book appointments online for the

Residence permit application

If you are not an EU-citizen and you do not come with a valid research/work visa for your entire stay, you will need a residence permit issued by Leipzig Foreigners Authority (“Ausländerbehörde”). Please read here about the documents needed for this application which can be done digitally with the help of and via your institution’s Welcome Centre or International Office. Please note that some of the documents must be legalised/apostilled and contain a German translation by an official translator sworn in the EU or listed at your countries official German embassy website.

If you do not have an inviting research institution with an International Office or a Welcome Centre and want to make an appointment with the Foreigners’ Authority, make an appointment yourself by contacting Leipzig Foreigners’ Authority.

Welcome Centre Leipzig

The City of Leipzig’s Welcome Centre is a central, low-threshold contact point for first orientation for new Leipzig residents with a migration background. Employees from various institutions are available for advice during opening hours. For more information and the opening hours, see the Welcome Centre Leipzig website.


If you need a school or kindergarten, please also check the guide (p.16-18).  Here you can find a detailed description of how to apply for a childcare place.


A number of different types of insurance are very important. Health insurance is compulsory in Germany, although you are free to choose your own health insurance provider. Check our guide to find out more about health insurance requirements and a list of potential providers (p.13).

Everyone who has an employment contract with a German employer or in the public sector has the option of taking out public health insurance. Scholars as well as guest researchers who finance their stay themselves have the option of taking out a public health insurance if their residence permit is still valid for more than 12 months. Everybody else would need to choose private health insurance (p.14). The EURAXESS network offers a great overview of the German health insurance system. 

It may also be useful to take out civil liability insurance.

Further information

The Welcome Centre or International Office of your inviting institution can also help you if you have any questions or problems concerning things like opening a bank account (p.11). We can also give you further information about child, maternity and parental benefits (p.19f)  and childcare allowance (p.23).

For all questions concerning daily life, please look at our FAQ section.