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Settling in Hildesheim

The Welcome Center for the Hildesheim Region is a first point of contact for all people who have come to Hildesheim to take up employment or are planning to do so soon. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about arriving and integration. We advise newcomers, skilled workers from Germany and abroad, students, trainees and companies on all topics related to “living and working in our region”.

We have a well-established network to other offices and the staff departments of the city of Hildesheim, to welfare organizations, language course providers, the Employment Agency and the chambers. Thanks to this extensive network, we are able to provide you as a new citizen with individual advice in order to give you the best possible support on your way here in Hildesheim.

In a personal conversation we will individually address your questions and try to give you the best possible support. We look forward to hearing from you.

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First steps in Hildesheim for new citizens and immigrants

As a citizen of a member state of the European Union, another member state of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you enjoy freedom of movement. You can enter Germany and stay here at any time. For a stay of up to three months, you only need a valid identity card or passport; you do not need to meet any other requirements. A visa is not necessary.

If you want to enter Germany from a third or non-member country, you are in need of a residence permit. This depends on the purpose of your stay in Germany. Regardless of the purpose of stay, a visa is always required for entry into Germany. You can obtain the visa from the diplomatic mission abroad (embassy or consulate general) in your home country and you can enter Germany with the help of this visa. After arrival in Germany, a residence permit must be applied for in good time at the foreigners’ registration office at the place of residence if the stay is planned beyond the visa validity.

The extension of your residence permit is to be applied for at the foreigners’ registration office responsible for your place of residence. If you have a temporary residence title, you usually need a valid passport document, a current biometric passport photo, proof of your secure livelihood, a housing certificate from the landlord and proof of health insurance coverage for the extension.

Whether or not your professional qualification can be recognized in Germany is examined in a recognition procedure. In this procedure, the competent authority responsible compares your professional qualification with the appropriate German reference profession.

The following conditions apply to a recognition procedure:

After having performed the recognition procedure, you will receive an official notification of recognition.

You are a new arrival in Germany and would like to learn the German language? To do so, you have the possibility to attend an integration course. If you do not speak German or only very little, there is an obligation for you to attend such a course. The German Foreigners’ Office will provide you with a certificate of regular attendance and a list of course providers, i.e. language schools. With the help of these documents, you can look for a language school near you and register for an appropriate course.


Apartment and house offers can be found easily on real estate platforms on the Internet. Further offers can also be found in regional newspapers (e.g. Hildesheimer Allgemeine, Kehrwieder am Sonntag). In addition, a real estate agent can support you in looking for an accommodation: If he/she finds an accommodation, a brokerage fee of about 2 – 3 monthly rents is charged.

All information relating to rent and deposit can be found in the rental agreement. This usually shows the basic rent, i.e. the rent for the use of the accommodation. The gross rent includes the ancillary costs, such as water supply, heating, waste disposal and janitor services

Electric energy and gas supply usually have to be applied for independently and separately and are not included in the gross rent. Each month, the gross rent is to be paid through bank transfer to the landlord or landlady.

In addition, the landlord or landlady may require a security deposit of a maximum of three basic months’ rents when the contract is signed. This sum is paid back when you move out, unless some kind of damage can be found in the apartment or the rent has not been paid.

At the latest two weeks after moving in, you should register at the residents’ registration office or the citizens’ offices of the Hildesheim municipalities. To do so, you need a valid identity card/passport and – as a tenant of an apartment or house – also a completed confirmation from the landlord/landlady, a so called “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung”. This confirmation from the landlord/landlady, also called housing provider certificate or landlord certificate, is used by the landlord to confirm that the tenant has actually moved into or moved out of the specified accommodation.

Setting up the telephone, TV and Internet connection can take several weeks. Thus – as far as possible – you should preferably contact one of the providers before moving in.

Throughout Germany you are obliged to pay a fee (approx. 18 Euros per month) as a broadcasting fee for radio, television and Internet supply to the mostly fee-financed public broadcasting services of ARD ZDF und Deutschlandradio (Beitragsservice ARD, ZDF und Deutschlandradio). This fee is charged per accommodation and is independent of the number of persons living here.

Settling in Hildesheim

Hildesheim has numerous shopping facilities. Whether shopping centers or retail in the city center, you will find everything for your daily needs. Most stores are open from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, open stores can be found near the railway stations. A restricted choice of food and drinks are also available at kiosks or filling stations. Furthermore, you can order delivery services for furnishing prepared meals even on Sundays and in the evenings.

If you are looking for specific stores, it is best to use the “Gelbe Seiten – Yellow Pages” which is a kind of business directory. You can access these either through the Internet at www.gelbeseiten.de or simply use the mobile phone app. In the window “Was – “What”, simply enter here what you are looking for like “Supermarkt – supermarket”, “Fleischerei – butcher store”, “Bäcker – bakery” or “Kaufhaus – department store” (preferably in German). Use the window “Wo – Where” to enter your place of residence, e.g. “Hildesheim” and click “Finden – Search”. A list of stores matching your search run will then be indicated.

Various means of payment are accepted (cash in €, EC card, credit card) in Germany. However, you can pay everywhere in cash. The individual stores usually indicate on the entrance door whether or not EC cards or credit cards are accepted. Otherwise, you can ask directly in the store.

When you live and work in Germany, you need a bank account. You can open your account with a bank, savings bank or online banking provider. Usually you have to pay account management fees or bank charges for this account. Pupils and students often benefit from a free account. To open a bank account, you usually need the following documents: Valid passport, (residence permit), registration certificate, wage statement (depending on the type of account).


For visiting a doctor, you are in need of the health card of a German health insurance company. If you have this card, the health insurance will cover the costs of the visit to the doctor and the costs of any required examinations and medication. However, you have to pay yourself for any private additional services.

Emergency call at 112: In acute life-threatening conditions, i.e. in an emergency, e.g. suspected heart attack, stroke, always call 112.

Medical on-call service at 116 117: If you need urgent medical assistance outside of office hours and do not know where an on-call practice is located in your area, dial 116117. Your call will be forwarded to the on-call service responsible for you.

Emergency dental service: 01805/986700
You will get direct phone numbers of the dental practices through this number and then call them directly.

Pharmacy emergency service finder at 0800 0022833: You can find your nearest emergency pharmacy by calling this toll-free landline number or simply 22833 on your mobile phone (69 cents/minute).

Police: dial number 112

Helpline for children and young people: 0800/1110333
For problems of children and adolescents, worries about Internet use and sexual abuse.

Parents’ phone: 0800/1110550
For parenting issues, worries about Internet use, sexual abuse of children and all other problems parents may have around their children.

Violence against women helpline: 08000/116016
Germany-wide counseling service for women affected by violence, their social environment and professionals. Free of charge, anonymous, available 24/7 on 365 days a year.

Helpline for pregnant women in distress (anonymous and secure): 0800/4040020

Phone counselling: 0800/1110111
In case of problems and crises, e.g. problems with your partner, bullying at school and at work, loss of job, addiction, illness, loneliness, crises of meaning and spiritual questions, please call here.

Blocking emergency call: 116116
For blocking EC and credit cards as well as ID cards, e.g. if they have been stolen or lost.


Anyone living in Germany must take out certain compulsory insurances. This insurance cover includes a health insurance, a pension insurance and the unemployment insurance. A health insurance provides cover against the economic risks associated with an illness or injury. The health insurance company will fully or partially reimburse the insured person with the costs incurred for medical treatment in case of illness, maternity and, in most cases, accidents.

If you lose your job, are thus unemployed and have not yet found a new one, you can receive financial support from the unemployment insurance.

If you have a car or motorcycle, you are also in need of a motor vehicle insurance.

On tour in Hildesheim and the region

Ticket vending machines are available for this purpose at the bus station or at the Deutsche Bahn train station in Hildesheim. In the railway station of Hildesheim you will also find a ticket sales counter of Deutsche Bahn.

In addition, there is the possibility to purchase tickets directly on the bus.

If you use public transportation more often, there is furthermore the opportunity to purchase a weekly, monthly or annual pass. Children, pupils, students, disabled persons and senior citizens can benefit from a discount under certain conditions.

You must always carry your ticket with you, these are checked now and then during regular inspections. If you have forgotten your ticket or do not have one, you may face a fine.

For further information on price rates, tariffs and timetable information, please refer to the

time table info at: SVHI Stadtverkehr Hildesheim – Fahrplanauskunft (svhi-hildesheim.de)

If you already have a driver’s license from your home country, different rules apply depending on the country.

Citizens of the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland: 
Your driver’s license is valid to the same extent as in your home country. You do not need to have anything changed or rewritten.

Citizens from another country: 
You are allowed to drive in Germany for six months with your driver’s license. This period applies from the day on which you registered your residence in Germany. Afterwards you will be in need of a German driver’s license. Whether or not you have to pass another driving test in Germany for this depends on the country in which you acquired your driver’s license.

You need to register your car at a vehicle registration office. To do this, you will need your vehicle registration document and your motor vehicle insurance policy. If you are bringing along your car from abroad, you should ask at the registration office if you need any other papers.

Apart from being registered, every car in Germany has to pass a general technical inspection every two years. During this inspection, the TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein), which is the German technical control board, checks the technical safety and the exhaust emission values of the car. However, you have to pay yourself for this inspection.

The motor vehicle insurance is a compulsory insurance. If you own a car or motorcycle, you have to take out this insurance. The insurance compensates for possible damages if you cause an accident with the car yourself or if you injure another person.

Comprehensive insurances on hull: You can voluntarily take out additional comprehensive insurance on hull for your own vehicle. This can cover, for example, theft or damage to your vehicle due to accidents.

Motor travel assistance cover: Thanks to a motor travel assistance cover, the insurance provider covers the costs if you have a breakdown or an accident, for example, and therefore need a towing service or a rental car. You can obtain this motor travel assistance cover from car insurance companies and automobile clubs.

There are several ways to use the telephone network in Germany.

Use of the landline network: For this, you need the proof of residence, a valid identity card or passport and an existing bank account with a German credit institution. Registration takes place through various providers. You can easily find a variety of offers on the Internet.

Another option is to use the mobile network. In this case, you can opt to conclude a mobile communications contract that is usually valid for 24 months. Information on possible providers and rates are again available on the Internet.

Another option is the use of a prepaid sim card. These cards can be bought in supermarkets, gas stations or kiosks. A contract is not required to buy these cards, but you will need a valid passport or identity card or other official identification document with an official photo for activating the card.

Living with family

If you have a permanent employment relationship, you have the option to go on maternity leave before the birth of your child (at the earliest 6 weeks before the expected date of birth). This leave lasts a total of 14 weeks at least. If necessary, this period can be extended. After maternity leave, you can take parental leave. During the first 12 months after your child’s birth, you receive parental allowance. If both parents intend to take parental leave, the total duration is limited to 14 months. The amount of the parental allowance paid depends on your net salary. An application is required for benefiting from this parental allowance. However, this is also paid if you do not have any job. In addition, you can apply for child benefit which is usually paid until your child’s eighteenth birthday. If your earnings are below the subsistence level applicable in Germany, you can apply for supplements to child benefit under certain conditions.


You can find job ads on the Internet, in various newspaper or through the employment agency or job center. Furthermore, Internet is helpful for finding many job ads on job portals or directly on the companies’ websites.

Salary: When working in Germany, various taxes are deducted directly from your gross salary before you receive your salary (the so called net salary). A distinction is made here between taxes and social security contributions. For the amount of deductions reduced from your salary, please refer to your pay slip. To get an idea of the amounts deducted beforehand, you can also use a gross-net calculator on the Internet.

Kindergarten, school, education, studies

Early promotion of children

Day nursery: Children under the age of 3 have the option of attending a daycare center. Places must be requested at an early stage from the respective communities or from the city.

Kindergarten: The aim of the kindergarten is to prepare children for school. Every child from the age of 3 is entitled to a kindergarten place. However, it is advisable to register your child in good time for a kindergarten place.


Grundschule – elementary school: Schooling usually begins for 6-year-olds in elementary school which the children attend from grades 1 through 4. In the German States of Berlin and Brandenburg, elementary school extends through grade 6. Depending on your child’s performance level and academic ability in elementary school, you can then make a decision together with the teachers on the type of school which your child will attend starting in fifth grade. The following breakdown is most common among secondary schools:

Hauptschule (grades 5-9/10)

Realschule (grades 5-10)

Gesamtschule – comprehensive school (grades 5-12/13)

Gymnasium (grades 5-12/13)

Hauptschule and Realschule: Young people who have successfully completed the Hauptschule or Realschule have afterwards the possibility to go on to vocational training or transfer to a Gymnasium or comprehensive school.
Gesamtschule – comprehensive school: Is an alternative to the three-tier school system (Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium).
Gymnasium: When attending this school, pupils can obtain their Abitur or Fachabitur at the end of the twelfth or thirteenth grade by successfully passing an examination. Thanks to this qualification, they are entitled to subsequently study at a university or university of applied sciences. However, graduates of the Gymnasium can also choose direct entry into practice via vocational training.


Vocational education in Germany is largely carried out through the dual system. This means that the necessary skills and knowledge are acquired in a apprenticing company on the one hand and in a vocational school on the other. The two training providers, i.e. the apprenticing company and the vocational school, work closely together in this process – with the aim of optimally preparing the trainee for his or her future career. An apprenticeship lasts between 2 and 3.5 years. You can find apprenticeships via job portals on the Internet, the German Federal Employment Agency, the respective Chambers of Crafts, or the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.


With the so called Abitur/school leaving examination or another higher education entrance qualification, you are allowed to study at a university (Uni for short). The Fachabitur entitles you to visit a so called Fachhochschule (FH) or university of applied sciences.
Universities and universities of applied sciences charge a semester fee. The amount to be paid depends on the German federal state in which you are studying. Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are for free at state universities. However, some costs may incur per semester for administration, student services and the semester ticket. For obtaining a bachelor’s degree, 6 – 8 semesters are usually required. Another 2 – 4 semesters are necessary for completing your master’s degree.

In Hildesheim you will find the University of Hildesheim, Universität Hildesheim | homepage (uni-hildesheim.de) and the University of Applied Arts and Sciences  HAWK Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst which both will be happy to provide you with any further information.

For any further information please contact us.

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We would like to point out to the fact that the information herein only provides a general overview. It does not constitute legally binding advice. No guarantee is given that the information is always up to date. Please obtain information on the respective legal and individual statutory requirements from the respective points of contact.