When you arrive in Passau, one of your first priorities should be to check in with the Welcome Centre.
- We help you apply for your library card, your IT-access and a card to use for the refectory, cafeterias and campus printer-copiers
- We assist you with matriculation (for those enrolling as doctoral students)
- We organise tours of the city and the campus.
- We assist you with the necessary formalities, particularly registering with the immigration office ('Ausländerbehörde'), opening a bank account and obtaining insurances.
- We help you search for accommodation and integrate your family.
Please contact us to make an appointment.
You can find more detailed information about relevant topics upon arrival directly below.
If you are an international bachelor or master student, please refer to the International Office.
Registration – 'Anmeldung'
Germany has a system of compulsory resident registration. As soon as you have moved into your new accommodation, you have to register within two weeks. The same applies for change of address.
At the day of registration, you will be issued a registration certificate ('Anmeldebescheinigung'). The confirmation of registration is necessary to open a bank account, to apply for a residence permit and for many other bureaucratic steps. Late registration can have negative repercussions for you and you may have to pay an administrative fine ('Bußgeld').
How can I register my accommodation?
Registration, re-registration or deregistration can be done in person at the Citizens’ Service Offices or Immigration Office of the City of Passau. In exceptional cases, this is also possible by post. You need to bring the documents to register your accommodation with you.
Please take with you the following documents for all persons to be registered:
- Passport (and visa if you have one) or your personal identification card
- Civil status certificates (birth or marriage certificate, if applicable)
- Tenancy agreement
- Confirmation of residence from your landlord ('Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung')
- Registration form('Anmeldung')
Please be aware that the last two documents are only available in German.
You can also find information in German on this topic at the homepage of the City of Passau.
After you have registered your accommodation with the Citizens’ Service Office or Immigration Office, you will automatically receive a letter after one to three weeks with your Tax ID ('Steueridentifikationsnummer'). Keep it safe! You will need it when you get an employment contract in Germany. You will also automatically receive a letter from the 'Beitragsservice' with a bill for the licence fee ('Rundfunkbeitrag'). Click here for further information on how to proceed in English.
The German social security system is made up of several insurances, which will be presented in the following paragraphs.
Health insurance is compulsory in Germany. Without proof of health insurance cover for the duration of your stay in Passau, you will not obtain a visa. Thus, health insurance is a requirement if you wish to obtain a residence permit. Your options depend on your citizenship origin and your status at the university. There are private and state insurances. If you have a full-time job, your employer will generally pay a big part of your state insurance. There are different insurances with different tariffs for students, employees or unemployed people that you can check out on the websites of the different insurance companies (AOK, TK, DAK, BKK, HKK, Barmer etc.).
If you have a regular employment contract with the University of Passau, you are automatically insured and your contributions are automatically transferred to the AOK insurance company. Of course, you may switch to another insurer if you wish.
Citizens of EU and EEA member states
For citizens of EU/EEA countries, as well as for citizens from countries with bilateral social welfare agreements (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, North 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. 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, as the health insurance coverage in other countries is often inadequate.
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 that 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.
For more information and the addresses of health insurance companies, please consult our Welcome Guide.
German health insurance coverage starts on the first day of the semester: 1 October (winter semester) or 1 April (summer semester). If you arrive before those dates, you should make sure you have health insurance that covers you for the entire time from your date of arrival in Germany to the beginning of the semester.
Foreign health insurance (e.g. travel insurance) policies are deemed inadequate because they usually offer a limited number of benefits, have imposed financial limits (e.g. up to a maximum of USD 50,000) and/or a limited duration of coverage (e.g. repatriation after 90 days).
Pension Insurance & Unemployment Insurance
As an employee of the University of Passau, you and the university pay monthly contributions to the German pension office. In addition, the employer pays a portion of the VBL Pension Fund. If you work less than five years in the public service in Germany, you can apply for an exemption. If your employment exceeds the duration of five years, your employee share is automatically deducted from your salary.
Pension Insurance Scheme
It is generally compulsory for employees to be insured under the statutory pension fund. The pension insurance ensures that you are financially secure in your old age. The pension insurance fund also supports you before the statutory pension age in cases of incapacity. This means, for example, that you receive support if you have a serious illness or disability and can no longer work or can only work part-time.
The statutory pension is lower than your income during your working life. To maintain your standard of living during old age, you should supplement the statutory pension insurance with a private scheme.
Additional Pension Provision: VBL
If you receive an employment contract from the University of Passau, you are an employee in the public service and thus entitled to an additional pension provision. You will automatically be given an insurance policy with the 'Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder VBL'. The insurance is called 'VBLklassik'. However, you have to be employed within the public service in Germany for at least 60 months in order to acquire any entitlements for pension benefits. Since academics are often only employed for a short period of time, a special pension scheme is provided for them: 'VBLextra'. You can acquire pension entitlements without having to meet the qualifying period requirement. Read more: https://www.vbl.de/en/products/.
Social Security Contributions
The right to be insured against sickness, accidents, unemployment and for old age and nursing requirements is financed by the payment of social security contributions by employees and employers as well as through state subsidies. The money paid monthly for health, unemployment, pension and care insurance is called “social contributions” ('Sozialabgaben'). The amount of social security contributions depends on income; around half is paid by the employer and half by the employee. The employee’s part is automatically deducted from the salary; the employer must transfer the contributions to the relevant insurance companies.
If you are subject to social security at the University of Passau, you will have to pay unemployment insurance contributions. You are entitled to unemployment benefits if your contribution period is at least twelve months long. If you wish to use these services, you must register, at the latest, three months before the end of your employment contract with the employment agency. Read more: https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/en/financial-support.
Personal Public Liability Insurance
This type of insurance is useful for a longer stay in Germany and is sometimes required under the terms of your rental contract or lease. The cost for the insurance ranges from 35 to 100 Euro per year. It is an insurance that covers private accidents that you might cause, e.g. car accidents. There is a wide variety of companies offering this service. The extent of the service can vary, so inform yourself which company suits your needs best.
Social Security Number
Each employee also needs a national social insurance card and an electronic wage tax card. Employees must register once at an online portal for the electronic wage tax card. All the necessary data or personal changes for paying taxes will be saved digitally.
The social security number is issued by the pension insurance company. When an employee first enters employment, the employer generally registers the employee. A social security number and identity card is then awarded to the employee. Questions should be directed to your employer, your health insurance company or your state insurance institution or you can contact us.
In Germany, a current account, also known as 'Girokonto', is the most common form of account for payments that do not involve cash. There are also several bank branches that offer the entire range of services online, including the setting up of the current account for all necessary transactions. The process involved to open a current account is not too complicated. Terms, conditions and costs for a current account vary from bank to bank, so it is definitely worth comparing them. Most banks offer reduced fees for students. Ask for further details at the bank of your choice.
The automatic teller machines (ATMs) are called 'Geldautomat'. You can withdraw money free of charge from your 'Girokonto' at the cashier’s desk in the bank of your choice or from a 'Geldautomat'. You can set up a standing order, a so-called 'Dauerauftrag', to ensure that your financial transactions, such as payments for rent, electricity, health insurance, telephone bills etc., are on time every month.
You will definitely need to open a bank account if you are going to work or if you will be enrolled as a doctoral researcher at the University of Passau. The University of Passau does not transfer wages to foreign accounts. The same applies for German funding organisations with scholarship money.
Documents to open a current account:
- Passport or personal identification card
- Student ID or confirmation of enrolment or notification of admission from the University of Passau
- Confirmation of registration from the Resident Registration Office or Foreigners’ Office of the City of Passau
- Letter from the Foreigners’ Office of the City of Passau (in case you need a blocked account)
In Passau, the Immigration Office will issue you with a letter requesting the bank of your choice to open a blocked account: 'Antrag auf Eröffnung eines Sparkontos mit Verfügungsbeschränkung'. This letter is only necessary for Deutsche Bank and Sparkasse Passau. At Fintiba everything is processed online and you will not need this letter. To save time, make sure to ask for this letter, if needed, when registering your accommodation.
After you set up the blocked account, you must deposit about 10,500 Euro into it if your stay is up to one year. You are allowed to withdraw up to 861 Euro (as of November 2021) per month from your blocked account.
Most people in Germany pay by cash or debit card. You will get such a card when opening a current account. If you additionally want a credit card from your bank, you should note that banks usually charge an annual fee.
If you wish to withdraw money from your German bank account in your home country, please inquire whether there are subsidiaries or partner companies that provide free cash withdrawal. You should also know that some banks offer a free account management, but others do not. In any case, it is worthwhile comparing the offers of all banks, including online banks.
If you choose a bank that is part of the Cash Group, you can also withdraw free of charge at any ATM of the group’s member banks. The following banks are in the group: Berliner Bank, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HypoVereinsbank and Postbank.
Even with a foreign credit card, you can withdraw cash at ATMs, however, a fee will be charged for this service.
The CampusCard is a useful and relevant toolfor academics to have access to the university resources.
The CampusCard is the multi-functional chip card used by members of the University of Passau. To be able to eat at the refectory, copy and print, and use the library at the university you need to have a CampusCard. It is similar to a student ID and gives you access to all services at the university. There are stations on campus where you can load money onto the card – either using cash or a debit card – and then pay with it.
The CampusCard offers the following functions:
- electronic wallet for refectory and cafeteria meals
- electronic wallet for copying and printing on campus
- library card
- locker access
- access card for the Sports Centre
- access card for specific buildings (please apply separately to enable this function)
- access card for the underground student car park, Innstrasse 27/29 (please apply separately to enable this function)
- semester bus pass (only when validated at a card validation terminal; student version only)
Documents you need to get a CampusCard:
- Biometric photo
- Filled in form
There exist two different versions of the CampusCard, one for students and one for staff. If you are a doctoral student working at the university, you have to choose one option. More details to help you make your decision can be found on the help page for the CampusCard and in the Welcome Guide.
The ZIM Account is a university account which you need to be able to use the different platforms and the university internet. Students as well as staff will receive such an account and a connected email address. Doctoral students, who are enrolled at the University of Passau, receive their account with enrolment. Staff can contact us to get their ZIM Account.
Researchers have several options to study the German language:
- German courses organised by the Welcome Centre
- German courses at the language department
- Private tutors
- Language courses at the Volkshochschule Passau
The Welcome Centre, in cooperation with the Language Centre, offers DaF ('Deutsch als Fremdsprache' – German as a Foreign Language) courses for international researchers and doctoral students every semester. The courses are adapted to your language level. We additionally do our best to consider your time constraints while planning.
To overcome language barriers as fast as possible, the Welcome Centre offers small course groups, which allow for individual support. The semester course (in winter and summer semester) contains ten units with two blocks each. In contrast, the intensive course, which always takes place in October during Orientation Week, includes five days with each four course units.
Additionally, the regular course programme of the Language Centre can be taken into account. Furthermore, we can find private courses or you can visit the Volkshochschule in Passau.
Please feel free to contact us anytime and we will inform you about the different possibilities to participate in German courses.
The emergency number for police, fire brigade and emergency services (including ambulances) is 112. There is an additional number, 110, to call the police. These numbers apply nationwide and can be dialled free of charge from any landline or mobile phone.
112 Emergency services/ Fire brigade
19222 Patient transport by ambulance
116117 GP out-of-hours emergency hotline (doctor on call)
08919240 Poison emergency hotline (Bavaria)
Generally, if you have a health issue, you should first consult a general practitioner ('Hausarzt'). Only call an ambulance in emergencies.
For more information on Medical Issues please consult our Welcome Guide.