Welcome and Family Office

Let us give you a warm welcome to Berlin and the Max-Delbrueck-Center for Molecular Medicine in Buch. We wish your stay to be pleasant and successful and would like to offer our help and assistance in all issues of life and work in Germany.

Please, find some brochures for the very first steps after arrival and for settling down in Berlin and at the MDC in detail.

We cordially invite you to contact us for any request or call on for help, and would appreciate comments and suggestions to improve our service.


Covid-19: Due to the pandemic spread of the corona virus, the Berlin Immigration Office is currently not in service for the public. Even appointments have already been cancelled and they advise to click at their website for new information. The office has has constantly updated  the FAQs and issued General Decrees on 24 March, 27 March, and April 3, 2020 on that web page. If there are any questions you cannot find sufficient information, feel free to contact us for getting a hotline number of the Immigration office.    

You have already made an appointment or your residence permit document is about to expire? Please, get in touch with the MDC Welcome & Family Office (sibilak@mdc-berlin.de) to discuss your options. The Immigration Office has been open to submit online applications again and we shall be glad to give assistance. 

People abroad: Any person who lived in, visited or traveled through a risk area at any point 14 days prior to entering the Federal Republic of Germany, has to obey the respective quarantine regulations of the responsible federal states and stay in complete self-isolation until a negative test result has been obtained. The Welcome & Family Office can guide you to the latest rules and regulations before arrival. 

On March 26, 2020, the Immigration Office has informed about some arrangements for international employees due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Also, in cases where Schengen visas expire, a general extended exit limit of 3 months from the expiry of the visa will be granted. These regulations only apply for Berlin citizens. On request, we were told that if residence permits will expire while people are abroad will have to apply for a new visa. Other than published by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, it will not be possible to obtain a Fiktionsbescheinigung from Berlin. We would recommend to contact the closest German Embassy for assistance and include MDC in the process and offer assistance if a so called "Vorabzustimmung" is required. 

Most of the Inhabitants' Offices (Bürgeramt) restricted their services until further notice as well. We are going to keep you up to date about the latest developments. Please, contact us in urgent cases, so that we can try to contact the Inhabitants' Offices online.

New Immigration Act: The Berlin Foreigners’ Office is currently reorganizing its structure and will develop a new Berlin Office of Immigration. In the context of the renewed Immigration Act by 01 March, 2020 they will offer new services for skilled personnel. As of 01 November, 2019, the procedure for obtaining or extending the residence permits has changed already. Usually, now a card (elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel "eAT") is produced instead of sticking a label into the passports. This will make necessary to visit the Foreigners’ Office in person for biometric data. MDC Welcome & Family Office shall be glad to organize this for you. 

The Federal Foreign Office has updated the FAQs regarding internships in Germany. Basically, all internships are looked on as employments and need the agreement by the Central Office for International Exchange (ZAV) of the Federal Employment Agency. As of now not only internships funded by EU training programs (like ERASMUS) are exempted from this rule. Also, all internships less than 90 days can be done without applying for the agreement. Details, unfortunately only in German at the FAQs section of the Federal Foreign Office.

The federal state government Senat of Berlin has published a brochure "New in Germany" with information and helpful advice on schools in our city. It is available in nine languages on the website of the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family. Please, click at their website and scroll down to the brochure "Neu in Deutschland?" for international newcomers and refugees.

Brexit: Because the UK has left the EU under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, for the purposes of residency law British citizens and their family members will continue to be treated during the transitional phase (scheduled to last until 31.12.2020) as though the United Kingdom were still a member of the EU. You will therefore retain all your existing rights under free movement, for example the unlimited right to economic activity, and the right to draw child benefit,etc.  British citizens who are either already living in Germany or who transfer their place of residency to Germany during the transitional period (by 31.12.2020) are to be issued with a document to prove their right of residency. This arrangement also applies to family members who are not British citizens. It is not yet clear what form this document will take. Neither is it clear whether a charge will be levied to obtain one (and if so, the level of the charge). On this point we are awaiting clarification from the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI). Since June 2017 the British Embassy has run over 40 information events for UK nationals living and working in Germany. Please, check the UK Embassy's website for details of the next British Citizens Outreach Meeting in Berlin. 

The German Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community also has published a list of FAQs. In Berlin you will be invited to the Immigration Office and will obtain the best possible residence permit for Germany. E.g. if you have already been staying in Germany for 5 years you will automatically get a permanent residence permit, or if you are married to a German or EU member you will obtain a residence permit according to principle of freedom of movement (Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung). Please, check the information of the Berlin Immigration Office and feel free to contact our Welcome Office directly for questions and assistance. 

Yours sincerely,

Sylvia Sibilak & Andrea Salerno-Schwarz

last update: 26.10.2020