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GERMANY – New Residency Registration Procedure

Effective 1 November 2015, a new, nationwide registration and deregistration law requires all residents in Germany, including foreign nationals, to obtain written confirmation of their moving-in or moving-out date (a document called Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung) from their landlord or the management of their hotel or serviced apartment.

What has Changed?

Documents

A Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung, stating exact moving-in or moving-out dates, is now required in support of both the registration and the deregistration process, along with the original lease, hotel or rental contract. The lease dates stated in the lease contract are no longer relevant for registration or deregistration.

Time limits

Anyone living in Germany must now register with their local municipal authorities within 14 days of moving in or out of an address in the region. This deadline has been extended from seven days.

The landlord or hotel manager must provide the Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung within 14 days of letting the accommodation, to allow the resident to register or deregister in time.

Penalties

The penalties for infringement of these new regulations are more specific and significant than previously:

  • If the resident does not register their new address within the time limit, or if the landlord does not issue the confirmation in time, then both parties can be fined up to 1000 euros each.
  • It is illegal to offer or provide a residency address to a person who neither moves into this home nor intends to. Violation of this regulation is a regulatory offence and can lead to a fine of up to 50,000 euros.
  • If the landlord or his representative refuses to provide the relevant confirmation or if the person obliged to register does not receive the required confirmation in time for other reasons, then the person obliged to register must notify the registration authority immediately.

Red Flags

  • It is expected to be especially difficult to obtain the Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung from hotels, which may make registration with a temporary address impossible in the future.
  • Each city in Germany has its own version of the Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung, which is the only valid version for registrations and deregistrations in that city.

Action Items

  • Allow for expected delays in the registration process due to the new requirement to obtain a Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung from the landlord or hotel manager;
  • Allow for subsequent down-stream delays in applications for tax ID and the electronic work permit, which require proof of registration;
  • Allow extra time to obtain the Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung from a hotel.

This alert was drafted using information provided by Palladium Mobility Group.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.