Links and Downloads


Which visa to apply for? Here are some information about the Researchers Directive.

Flyer about how to prepare your arrival.

A general overview about IMPRS and living in Heidelberg is provided by the IMPRS manual produced and updated by the IMPRS students and the coordination office (updated yearly).

At the following link, the HD University has some useful information about regulations for entering and living in Germany.

Information provided by the Federal Government of Germany on how to work, study and live in Germany.

A general overview about how to arrive and settle down in Germany is also provided by the broschure How to Germany

To-do after arrival

What to do after arrival

Below you find some information on formatlities that you have to deal with shortly after your arrival in Heidelberg, Germany. We have listed them in order of priority which is only a suggestion from our side.

1. Work contract

Get your work contract, ask your supervisor where to get it from.

2. Bank account

Usually you need to open a bank account for the length of your stay in Germany as rent, utilities, and insurances are paid by direct debit from your bank account, your salary/ fellowship payment will be remitted monthly to your account as well. You could ask your fellow students about an inexpensive or free student bank tariff. To open a bank account, you will usually need the following:

  • Your passport
  • A mailing address (if you do not have a private address, you can use your institute’s address)
  • Verification of employment (a letter from your institute which confirms that you are a PhD student for the next 3-4 years with a net income of about 1100 Euro per month).
  • A German phone number is usually need to do only banking.

After a few days, your Bank Card and PIN will be sent separately by mail. Most of the banks are located close to the Bismarckplatz. Before you go, please check the opening hours as most of them close early in afternoon.

3. Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt)

Every person living in Germany must register within one week at the registration office of the city in which she/he is living within, regardless of the length of her or his stay.

  • Please take your identity card/ passport, visa, marriage certificates with you.
  • Once registered, you will receive your registration card which you have to keep safely.
  • Please inform the registration office when changing your address within your stay in Germany.

4. Auslaenderbehoerde (foreigner’s authority)

As you intend to stay longer than 90 days in Germany, you have to apply for an electronic residence permit at the foreigner’s authority (this applies to ALL foreigner students).

To apply for an electronic residence permit, you need the originals and copies of the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Two biometric passport photos that should be taken in Germany as they meet the biometric requirements.
  • Registration card
  • Verification of employment (or a letter from your institute which confirms that you are a PhD student for the next three years with a net income of 1000 Euro per month/ fellowship, contract, etc.).
  • Proof of health insurance for the whole of your stay.
  • about 110 Euro for the registration fee

Further information on the electronic residence permit (erp) can be found in this broschure.

5. Health Insurance

Health insurance is a MUST-HAVE during your whole stay in Germany as it is a legal requirement. Please check in good time with the insurance company in your own country whether your national health insurance is valid or sufficient for Germany (e.g. Italy) or whether you need to buy a new one.

If you have a work contract, health insurance is automatically taken from your salary. You will then have a compulsary health insurance with a company of your choise.

If you are under 30 years old, and do NOT have a work contract, but e.g. a stipend,  you get a student rate on your health insurance, or an inexpensive privat health insurance if you are foreigner.

Please refer to the personnel department at your institute to get a registration form for the insurance.

After registration at the health insurance, you will receive your EUROPÄISCHE KRANKENVERSICHERUNGSKARTE (European insurance card) by postal mail a few days later. The card is similar to a credit card. Take it with you when visiting the doctor as they need it for registration.

6. Admission/ Registration at the University of Heidelberg

Admission/enrollment at Heidelberg university goes in two steps: First step is to register at the Department. By the signature of the Dean, students become accepted as Ph.D. student at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The second step is to register for admission at Heidelberg University and enroll as student.

Please, check the IMPRS webpage about the admission procedures.

7. Accommodation

As mentioned above, looking for accommodation in Heidelberg could be painful. However, we did not experience any substantial problem in the past years for the IMPRS students.

Rents usually go down if you go out from downtown Heidelberg to suburbs (e.g. to Kirchheim, Rohrbach, Leimen, Ziegelhausen, Wieblingen, or Dossenheim). Public transport is available usually every ten minutes to downtown Heidelberg during normal working hours. Another alternative is bicycling

There are two main options: either you look for a room in a shared flat, which in German is called Wohngemeinschaft (WG), or for a flat of your own, which is usually more expensive.
This is all on the private market, however, there are also dorms for students in several areas of the city.
1.)  Apartment search
2.) Room search

Support for accomodation search is  also given by the secretary office of your new institute. Of course, IMPRS will also provide help and contacts. You should avoid involving professional dealers as they ask for a transaction fee of 3x the monthly rent (that money you will not get back).

You can find some more links for room and apartment search on the MPIA Homepage:

8. Travel Reimbursement

Please clarify (in advance) with your institute/supervisor, whether they reimburse travel expenses that are connected to your first trip to your new institution. If this is the case, please provide all your receipts (boarding passes, train tickets, receipts of taxi/ shuttle, bus tickets, etc.) to the relevant department of your institute.

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