What is Anmeldung and why is it important?

Anmeldung possible
Anmeldung KVR City registration

Some of you may be inexperienced with today’s subject, but it’s absolutely crucial for anyone residing in Germany. Anmeldung, one of the most important papers you’ll need when you relocate to Germany, is the topic we’ll be discussing. In English I’d translate it to “city registration”.

What is Anmeldung?

Perhaps you’re confused about the meaning of the word “Anmeldung.” Simply put, registering your permanent German residence is called “Anmeldung” here. Within two weeks of relocating to a new city, you must report your new location to the local government agency (Bürgeramt). Everyone knows that nobody likes to pay penalties, so everyone should comply with this mandatory procedure, known as Anmeldung. Government officials are aware of the backlog, but it’s still recommended that you register as soon as feasible. 

Why is it crucial to have an Anmeldung?

To begin with, it’s a mandatory part of German law (Bundesmeldegesetz). But there are plenty of other reasons why it’s crucial. Opening a bank account, signing up for a cell phone plan, getting health insurance,… (without the bank account you’ll not be able to join health clubs, pay for services with auto-debit, get hold of a Schufa report for loans etc) – all require proof of a local location. Simply put, Anmeldung is the first step towards gaining access to everything else.  cshow

What to do?

Let’s talk about how complicated Anmeldung really is. While registering isn’t difficult, all the necessary papers can be a headache. A passport, a letter from the landlord summarizing that you stay in one of his/her apartments (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung) , a visa, and a completed city registration form, are just some of the papers and forms you’ll need to fill out and submit.  It gets even more convoluted, though! It can be difficult to schedule a registration session in some larger cities. The delay time to get in could be weeks or even months. In order to guarantee your place, you may need to sleep overnight in front of the registration desk. Camping in front of a federal building? You read that correctly. You have arrived in Deutschland!  Now, let’s wrap up by discussing the lighter aspect of Anmeldung. You wouldn’t believe how seriously some Germans consider Anmeldung. It’s kind of like an initiation ceremony into German culture. They may enquire as to the specific location of your registration, how long the process took, and what evidence you submitted. It’s as if your proficiency in Anmeldung is a criterion for acceptance or rejection. Make sure you do well on your Anmeldung if you want to amaze your German peers.  Your workplace will need your Tax ID number, which you will obtain about two weeks after registering, so plan accordingly. When you’re done with your Anmeldung, you’ll receive a written paper (Meldebescheinigung) that can be used to open a bank account, get an internet connection, and sign up for other services. 


Therefore, in conclusion, Anmeldung may seem like a minor issue, but it is quite important when it comes to residing in Germany. So, do it as soon as you can after settling into your new German house. Thank you for reading; until next time, remember to relax and Keep Anmeldung on!!  If you would like to join our live community of Expats in Germany, then the links are below http://linktr.ee/expatguides  
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