The foreigners' office in the city of Magdeburg helps to complete the formalities for foreigners wishing to stay in Magdeburg or Germany. The foreigners’ office undertakes a multitude of tasks, including issuing residence permits, substitute travel documents or residence permit extensions.

Visitor address

BürgerService, Ausländerbehörde (ABH)
Breiter Weg 222, 39104 Magdeburg
Phone: Hotline: +49 (0)391 115
Information: +49 (0)391 540 4347
Fax +49 (0)391 540 4350
Email: abh(at)ewo.magdeburg(dot)de

The foreigners’ office in Magdeburg is located on Breiter Weg, which can be accessed via tram lines 2, 5, 9 and 10. Get off at the “Domplatz” stop.

Opening hours

Monday 8 am to 12 noon
Tuesday 9 am to 12 noon | 2 to 5.30 pm
Wednesday closed
Thursday 9 am to 12 noon
Friday 8 am to 12 noon

Dealing with the authorities without having to wait

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As a general rule you must make an appointment if you wish to visit the foreigners’ office. Appointments can be made online or by phone on 115 for the ABH-Immigration Law department. At the beginning of each semester, the foreigners’ office often has special opening hours, for which you may register in the residents’ registration offices and in the International Office.

Provisions under immigration law

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Depending on their country of origin, different immigration rules apply to international students from different countries.

A distinction is made between:

  1. students from the EU (European Union), the EEA (European Economic Area) and Switzerland,
  2. students who require a student visa for entry or for conferral of a doctorate in accordance with §16 (1) of the German Residency Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz) and
  3. students who may enter the country without a visa, such as people from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the USA (may always enter without a visa). Equally, citizens of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino may enter the country without a visa, provided that they do not intend to take up paid employment.

Information on entry formalities can be found on the website of the German Foreign Ministry.

When they register in the residents’ registration office, students in category 1 will be given a form in which they must enter certain data about themselves. This must be completed and returned to the foreigners’ office with a copy of their certificate of enrolment. Students in category 2 must apply for a study residence permit from the foreigners’ office in their place of residence within the validity period of their visa. Students in category 3 must apply for a study residence permit from the foreigners’ office in their place of residence within the first three months of their stay.

Residence of citizens of third countries / study residence permit

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Your study visa or student applicant visa must be converted into a study residence permit by the foreigners’ office in your place of residence. This visa conversion must be undertaken after you arrive in Germany and before your entry visa expires. If you have entered the country without a visa, you must apply for a residence permit before the end of the first three months of your stay.

Originals and simple copies of the following documents must be presented:

  • passport with a valid visa
  • a biometric photograph
  • certificate of enrolment and student identity card (UniCard),
  • health insurance certificate
  • proof of adequate financial means for the first year
  • confirmation of registration
  • rental agreement
  • application for (extension of) a residence permit
  • money for fees: first application / extension for 1 year: 50 euros, electronic residence permit (eAT): 80 to 110 euros. This fee is waived for recipients of a scholarship who are sponsored by a German university or academic organisation).

Applications for the foreigners’ office can be downloaded online here.

In accordance with §82 para. 1 of the German Residency Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz), both the original and a translation of all foreign language documents (except for passports) must be submitted. Official documents (such as birth and marriage certificates etc.) must be translated by a sworn translator. In the case of other documents, including formal letters of commitment, it is sufficient if the documents are translated and the University of Magdeburg confirms the accuracy of the translation.

Proof of financing

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In order to obtain a visa and residency permit, foreign students must be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to finance their first year’s stay. At present the amount required is set at 720 euros per month or 8,640 euros per year. Such proof may be documented in one of the following ways:

  • account with notice of restriction
  • a formal letter of commitment with credit check in accordance with §68 of the Residency Act (this is submitted by a third party to a foreigner's office or a representation abroad and must last for the entire duration of the course of studies.)
  • proof of a scholarship from a recognised organisation
  • bank guarantee
  • statement of income and assets of the student’s parents with proof of creditworthiness through notarisation (in the case of a notarial declaration of income and assets of the student’s parents, it must be ensured that all information can be verified in the Federal Republic of Germany. Contradictory information or lack of proof of creditworthiness will mean that the statements given will be deemed implausible.)
  • university or academic research facility contract for research employees (only in the case of doctoral students)

A study residence permit is only valid for studying in Germany and does not entitle the holder to take up paid employment. Foreign students do, however, have the right to work for 120 days or 240 half days per year without a work permit and to work part time in connection with their course of studies or within the university. The basis of calculation for employment on half days is the regular working hours of other employees within the organisation. For example, a half working day shall be considered to be employment of up to a maximum duration of four hours, if the regular working hours of the other employees is eight hours. The maximum duration is five hours if the normal regular working hours amount to ten hours. Students on German language courses may only undertake this paid employment (120 days or 240 half days) during the semester holidays.

The residence permit is issued for a particular purpose (study on a particular course, German language course, doctoral studies in the faculty) and is limited to the duration of the course of study. Provided that sufficient funding is confirmed, the foreigners’ office may issue the residence permit for two years. The study resident permit and duration of studies (including conferral of doctorate) may not generally exceed a maximum of ten years.

It is possible to change the subject that you are studying within the first 3 semesters, or later in exceptional cases. You must notify the foreigners’ office in good time (and in advance) of your change of course. If you change your course of study, university, location or take a leave of absence, your residence permit must be amended accordingly.

Residence permit for EU / EEA citizens

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EU and EEA citizens who meet the requirements of EU freedom of movement legislation, have, by law, a right of residence in the Federal Republic of Germany. To fulfil the requirements students must have:

EU/EEA students must present themselves in person to the residents’ registration office and provide the following proofs:

In some cases, you may also need to provide additional documentation such as

  • a certificate of enrolment or letter of admission
  • European health insurance card and
  • proof of adequate means of subsistence.

Proof of adequate finance for EU/EEA citizens may include

  • written confirmation of a scholarship/grant award
  • a university or academic research facility contract for research employees
  • a written declaration from the student him or herself or his/her parents, which attests that adequate financial means are available
  • a bank statement showing adequate means of subsistence

EU/EEA citizens who have resided in the Federal Republic for more than five years may apply for a certificate of permanent residency.