Internationale Hochschule (Image: Michael Schuff)

Living in Cologne

Registering your place of residence

If you intend to stay in Germany for more than three months, you are required to register your new place of residence with the residents’ registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) in the city where your new place of residence is located. We ask you to complete this registration within a week after your arrival. Should you change places during your stay, please make sure to inform the registration office as well.
You are required to present the following documents when registering with the city:

If you are unable to carry out the registration yourself, you can authorize someone else to do so in your place. In this case, please also submit a registration form and an authorization form. You can obtain both forms from your residents’ registration office.
As Cologne has a number of residents’ registration offices, you are free to choose which one to visit. If you have taken up residency outside of Cologne, please visit the respective residents' registration office within your municipality. The addresses of the most centrally located registration offices in Cologne, Gummersbach, Hürth and Leverkusen are listed here:

Kundenzentrum Köln Innenstadt
Laurenzplatz 1-3, 50667 Köln   
Phone.: +49 (0)221 / 221-0   
Office hours for both locations:
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 7:30 am – 12:00 noon
Tuesdays 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
Thursdays 7:30 am – 4:00 pm

Bezirksrathaus Kalk
Kalker Hauptstraße 247-273, 51103 Köln
Phone: +49 (0)221 / 221-0

Bürgerservice Stadt Gummersbach  
Rathausplatz 1, 51643 Gummersbach  
Phone.: +49 (0)2261 / 8720-0   
Office hours:     
Mondays 8:00 am – 4:00 pm   
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays 8:00 am – 12:30 pm
Thursdays 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Einwohnermeldeamt Stadt Hürth
Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 40, 50354 Hürth
Phone.: +49 (0)2233 / 5355-0
Office hours:
Mondays, Tuesdays 7:30 am – 4:00 pm
Wednesdays 7:30 am - 12:00  noon
Thursdays 7:30 am – 6:30 pm
Fridays 7:30 am - 12:00  noon

Bürgerbüro im Rathaus Leverkusen
Friedrich-Ebert-Platz 1, 51373 Leverkusen
Phone.: +49 (0)214 / 4063-301
Office hours:Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Tuesdays 8:00 am -  4:00 pm,
Thursdays 9:00 am -  6:00 pm

Obtaining a residence permit

All international students who do not hold an EU-citizenship and intend to stay in Germany for more than three months are required to obtain a residence permit at the immigration office upon arrival. Students must request this residence permit during the validity period of their entry visa. We recommend you do so immediately after your arrival. The residence permit is issued as a chip card and bears the official German title ‘elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel (eAT)’. It is usually valid for one year and therefore needs to be renewed every year.

Please present the following documents to the immigration office when you request your residence permit:

  • valid passport – including your visa, if appicable
  • biometric passport photograph (35x45 mm)
  • certificate of registration with the residents' registration office
  • certificate of enrollment of TH Köln
  • certificate of health insurance
  • proof of financial resources

In some cases, the immigration office may require you to hand in other documents as well. If required, your immigration officer will inform you accordingly.

A list of the immigration offices in Cologne, Gummersbach, Bergheim and Leverkusen can be found below. Please make sure to make an appointment in advance.

Ausländeramt Köln – Studierendenservice Kalk Karree
Ottmar-Pohl-Platz 1, 51103 Köln
Phone.: +49 (0)221 / 221-9345 0
Stadt Gummersbach Ausländeramt
Moltkestr. 42, 51643 Gummersbach
Phone.: +49 (0)2261 / 880
Stadt Leverkusen Ausländeramt
Fridrich-Ebert-Platz 1, 51373 Leverkusen
Phone.: +49 (0)214 / 4063344

For students living in Hürth:
Stadt Bergheim Ausländeramt
Willy-Brandt-Platz 1, 50126 Bergheim
Phone.: +49 (0)2271 / 830

Bank account

We recommend that you open up a bank account with a German bank. This is particularly convenient for having your rent debited directly and for transferring your semester fee. It is generally possible for you to open up a bank account with any bank in your city of residence.

Before opening up an account, please consult your bank on which documents you will need to bring, as this tends to vary from one bank to another. Most banks usually require you to present the following documents:

  • valid passport
  • certificate of enrollment of TH Köln
  • certificate of registration with the City of Cologne