Life in Darmstadt
With over 150,000 inhabitants, the city of science, Darmstadt offers something for everyone. For information on cultural events, nightlife, and life in Darmstadt in general, check out the links on the right side. And of course, if you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact the Welcome Center!
First few days in Darmstadt
The Welcome Center provides you with a welcome folder that includes useful information about Darmstadt and the h_da. For new guests at the h_da, we also like to schedule an official welcome in the first few days, so you can get to know us and the university better. Throughout the rest of your stay, we are here to help with any organisational questions.
For guests planning a visit longer than 3 months, the first few days are for getting settled into your new life in Darmstadt. This includes slowly getting to know your way around the city and h_da as well as taking care of some bureaucratic business. The Welcome Center is here to assist you or accompany you in any of the following steps:
All international guests planning to stay longer than three months are required to register with the city of residence at the residents’ registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) within two weeks of their arrival. For more information, required documents, and opening hours, please see the flyer “Registration in Darmstadt” on the right.
We highly recommend opening a bank account if you plan to stay for a longer visit. Bank transfers and standing order is the most common way to pay bills in Germany. Transferring money from your home country is generally very expensive and inconvenient.
The largest banks in Germany are Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, and Postbank. Smaller banks such as Sparkasse, Volksbank, and Raiffeisenbank are located in most towns and cities in Germany. Additionally, many online banks, such as comdirect, DKB, or Ing-DiBa, offer accounts with no or low fees. It is a good idea to compare fees and conditions as they can vary drastically from bank to bank.
In Darmstadt, branches of most of these banks are located at or near Luisenplatz in the city-centre. Check the website of the bank for exact requirements, but in general, you will need to bring your passport and a confirmation from the residents’ registration office that you have registered with them.
Once you register with the city, they automatically send your information to the immigration office who will then send you a letter with an appointment for you to get your resident permit. Normally you will receive this within 90 days or before your visa expires. If this is not the case, or if you are unable to make that date, contact them as soon as possible. Please notify the Welcome Center well in advance, if you would like us to accompany you.
They will also send you a list of documents they require. These can differ from person to person, but generally include the following (please check your letter for specific requirements, though!)
- National identification document or passport valid for the duration of your stay (including visa and entry stamp, where applicable)
- Proof of employment or invitation letter from h_da
- Two biometric passport pictures
- Proof of financing or income
- Proof of health insurance
- Registration confirmation from the residents’ registration office
- Rental contract
- If any members of your family will accompany you, you will need your marriage certificate as well as the birth certificates of your children. These should have an apostille certification
- Filled-in application form (this should be included in the letter from them, if not, it will be available at the immigration office)
- Processing fee
Please bring the originals as well as copies of all the requested documents. Please note, you must submit all documents in English or German. If your documents are in any other language, you will need to get them translated by a certified translator in Germany.
In Germany, public television and radio are financed through a monthly fee of approx. 18€, the “Rundfunkbeitrag,” which every household is required to pay. After you register at the residents’ registration office, they will forward your information to the responsible authorities. Shortly thereafter, you will receive a letter in the mail with details regarding payment. For more information, check out their flyer “The licence fee for citizens” on the right.
How to find us
You can find directions to the International Office here.