First steps in Leipzig

Please check our First Steps flyer to find out about what you need to do after arriving in Leipzig. As the flyer explains, to start all the necessary processes after you arrive (such as opening a German bank account, getting German statutory health insurance, receiving a tax ID and social security number, applying for a residence permit) you will first need to register at the Resident Services Office (Bürgerbüro). You can book an appointment online. Please read the advice in the flyer for booking an appointment at relatively short notice. Alternatively, it is also possible to register without making an appointment within certain timeframes in the morning – please read our flyer for more details.

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. You can apply electronically with the help of, and via, your institution’s welcome centre or international office. Please note that some of the documents  will have to be legalised/apostilled and accompanied by a German translation by an official translator sworn in the EU or listed on your country’s official German embassy website.

Welcome Centre Leipzig

The City of Leipzig’s Welcome Centre is a central, easy-access contact point for new Leipzig residents from abroad who are looking to find their feet. Staff from various institutions can advise you during its 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 our guide (p.16-18). Here you will 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 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 public health insurance if their residence permit is still valid for more than twelve 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 advisable to take out civil liability insurance.

Further information

The welcome centre or international office at your host 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.