Upon arrival – first steps

Upon arrival – first steps

Registering with the Welcome Service

When you arrive in Passau, one of your first priorities should be to check in with the Welcome Service. We will:

  • assist you with the necessary formalities, particularly:

    • registering with the foreigners office ('Ausländerbehörde')
    • opening a bank account
    • obtaining / ensuring you have statutory health insurance coverage

  • provide you with access to Campus Services (IT, library)
  • give you a swipe card ('MensaCard') for use in the refectory, cafeterias and campus printer-copiers
  • help you with matriculation (for those enrolling as doctoral students)

If you like, we can also arrange guided tours of the city and campus.

Please contact us to make an appointment.

For mor detailed information, please check below.

Registering with the local authorities

Will your stay exceed 3 months? If so, you need to apply for a residence permit at least 6-8 weeks before your visa expires.

You are eligible for a residence permit if:

  • you are employed at the University on a regular contract
  • you provide evidence that you have the necessary financial means for the period of your stay

If you want to apply for a residence permit, we will assist you with formalities. The foreigners registration office, or Ausländeramt, is situated in the city hall in the Old Town.

More detailed information on residence permits is available at the EURAXESS website.

Social insurance

Health insurance

In Germany health insurance is compulsory. If you do have a regular working contract with the University of Passau you are automatically insured. Your dues are automatically transferred to the AOK insurance company. Of course you can change your insurance company if you like to.

In any other case and if your stay does not exceed 90 days, we can include you in our corporate health insurance policy with Hallesche Versicherung for €0.25 per day. Please contact us!

Health insurance is a requirement if you wish to obtain a residence permit. Your options depend on your origin and your status at the University.

Citizens of EU/EEA countries, as well as from countries with bilateral social welfare agreements (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia, Switzerland, Turkey and Tunisia):

If you are covered by statutory health insurance from one of the above countries you are exempt from the requirement to obtain German health insurance. However, you have to show your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), form E128 or form A/T 11 (Turkish citizens) to the AOK office in Passau (see below for address). You will then be issued a health insurance card, which you should present whenever you go to see a doctor.

If you are privately insured in your home country you will need written confirmation that your insurance coverage meets the German and European legal requirements. Travel health insurance policies are not accepted, as they do not provide sufficient coverage!

Citizens from all other countries:
We recommend that you take out health insurance with a statutory or state-recognised health insurance scheme in Germany (see 'State health insurance offices in Passau' below), as the health insurance coverage in other countries is often inadequate. German health insurers offer favourable rates for students (EUR 76.41 for students under the age of 23; EUR 77.90 for students aged 23 and above).

If you are covered by a foreign health insurance scheme, you should provide proof of insurance cover to the German health insurer. Your health insurance must include the following benefits:

  • medical and dental treatment
  • prescription drugs and materials
  • hospital in-patient treatment
  • rehabilitation treatment
  • pregnancy and childbirth

Only uncapped insurance contracts, i.e. those which do not have a limit on the sum paid per person and per incident, provide adequate health insurance cover according to this regulation. Hospital daily benefit or private medical liquidation costs do not have to be insured, nor do nursing care provisions have to be included.

Important: foreign health insurance (e.g. travel insurance) is deemed inadequate, because it is usually limited in terms of its benefits, applicable limits (e.g. up to a maximum of USD 50,000) and/or the duration of coverage (e.g. repatriation after 90 days)!

Please note: German health insurance coverage starts on the first day of the semester – 1 October (summer semester) or 1 April (winter semester). Please make sure that you have health insurance that covers you for the time between your arrival in Germany and the beginning of the semester.


Neuburger Strasse 92
Phone +49 851 5302 155 (Ms Stefanie Pelz)
AOK website

Opening hours:
Mon – Wed 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thurs 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Fridays 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Pension insurance 

As employee of the University of Passau you and the University pay a monthly due to the German pension office. In addition, the employer pays a portion of the VBL Pension Fund (Versorgungsanstalt federal and State Governments). If you are less than 5 years in the public service in Germany, you can apply for an exemption. If you employment exceeds the duration of 5 years, your employee share are automatically deducted from your salary.

Unemployment insurance

If you are subject to social insurance contribution at the Passau of University you pay in unemployment insurance. You are entitled to unemployment benefit if your contribution period is at least 12 months. If you like to use these services, you must register three months before the end of your employment contract with the Agency for work at the latest. Learn more at the employment agency.

Liability insurance

Insurance is useful for a longer stay in Germany, partly a such indemnity insurance by the lease is required. The cost for the insurance is between €35 and 100 in the year.

Bank account

A bank account is a prerequisite for gaining a residence permit. Ask us for help with opening an account.

German language skills

Even though English is widely spoken on campus and throughout the city, you will find life easier in Passau with some German language skills.

If you stay for longer than three months, you might want to try our 'on demand' German language courses, which are tailored to your existing language skills. For a small fee, you can improve your German skills in up to 40 learning units (90 minutes each), either with a personal teacher or in small groups.

There are several other options:

  • German courses offered by the University's language centre
  • German courses offered by Volkshochschule Passau (adult education centre)
  • As a doctoral student or employee of the University, you also have the option of enrolling in the regular German as a foreign language (DaF) courses

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