Photography of Dresden’s historic city center

Moving & Getting Started

Moving to a new city or even country usually involves a number of bureaucratic steps which have to be completed prior and after moving. The PhD Program Office provides individual and expert support for international DIPP students. Most of the formalities will be dealt with individually after arrival in Dresden, including visa issues, accommodation, bank accounts and insurances. An overview about formalities related to a move is given below.

Prior to moving


Please make sure that the passport is valid for the duration of your stay in Germany.

Visa for entering Germany

Non-EU citizens need to obtain a visa for entering Germany. Exempt from this regulation are currently citizens from Andorra, Australia, Canada, Honduras, Island, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, South Corea, Switzerland and the United States. Following admission to official acceptance of the offer to join the DIGS-BB, the PhD Program Office will send an official invitation letter, which must be presented to the German embassy or German consular representative in the home country in order to obtain a visa. Under any circumstances, new PhD students must not travel to Germany on a tourist visa.

Accommodation upon arrival

Rooms in guest houses are available for newly arrived PhD students upon request. Guest rooms are provided at a reasonable rate and for up to one month. During the first weeks in Dresden, the PhD Program Office will assist non-German students with all formalities related to moving, as visa and registration procedures, accommodation, insurances, and other obligatory formalities.

After moving

Residence permit

Persons who need a Visa for entering Germany, need to apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) in order to be entitled to stay in Germany for more than three months. Necessary help will be provided by the PhD Office.


After moving to Dresden, all international students must register at the Residents Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt). For registration, a valid passport or identity card must be presented. In case of moving within a city or across the country, the German registration regulations require that any change of address is registered again.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is obligatory in Germany. The PhD Program Office provides advice and assistance to all students of the International PhD Program to obtain appropriate coverage upon arrival. Health insurance arrangements are individual arrangements, and might thus vary according to personal circumstances. Proof of health insurance must be provided upon enrolment as PhD student at the TUD.

Other Insurances

Third party liability Insurance. This insurance is one of the most important insurances in Germany and therefore highly recommended to all students. It covers cases of liability for injury or damage to other persons or their property. It protects the person against any claims of a third party resulting from accidents or accidental property damage the person may cause. People who fail to obtain liability insurance assume full financial responsibility for any claims resulting from damage they cause.

Accident and Disability Insurance. In the event of an occupational accident or occupational illness this insurance provides: Payment for full medical treatment, Occupational integration assistance (including retraining if necessary), Social integration assistance and supplementary assistance, Cash benefits to the insured and their surviving dependants.

Household Insurance. This insurance covers costs incurred in the case of burglary or other incidents. The insurance cover should correspond to the actual cost of the items insured in the household.

Bank account

After registration at the local residence registration office it is possible to open an bank account. The most common form of account in Germany is a “Girokonto” (checking or current account). Most financial transactions are completed using this type of account, such as receiving wages or paying rent. More information about different banks and assistance in opening an account is provided by the PhD Program Office.


A wide variety of flats are available in Dresden. PhD students may choose between living at a dormitory, a shared flat or an apartment/small flat. The PhD Office will provide help with finding an appropriate housing for each foreign PhD student accepted to the program. Depending on individual requirements and arrangements, the expenses for housing might range between 150 € (e.g. for a single room in a dormitory) and 500 € (e.g. for a 2 to 3 room flat). The following websites provide advertisements for accommodation:

For apartments/flats (only in German):

For shared flats:

(shared flats are called “Wohngemeinschaften” in German, or “WG” for short)

For furnitured apartments: (only in German)
Uninest Albia building

For student halls:

Driver’s licence

Driving licenses from other member states of the European Union are usually valid in Germany. All other licenses including international driving licenses are normally only valid for 6 months. After this time, you will need to exchange it for a German license, which can be applied for at the local authorities. For all driving licenses, it is important to remember to apply for the exchange of your license for a German one within the validity period of your existing license. The PhD Program Office will help you to find out about according regulations.