First Steps for Newcomers

To make your start as comfortable as possible, here is some information on what to do upon your arrival:

MDC Registration


Please ask the research group you will work in if you will get a contract of employment or a guest registration.

Andrea Salerno is available on Mondays between 08:30 am and 17:00, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 8:00 am and 02:00 pm. 


Tatjana Butzek is available form Monday to Friday.


Official Registration in Germany

You must go to the residents’ registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) to obtain a Berlin registration “Anmeldebestätigung” (proof of residence).

Ms Salerno or Ms Butzek will provide you with the necessary form and help you to find the nearest office.


Bank account


You will need your Berlin registration, your contract and your passport to open a bank account. You find a couple of banks on the internet under “Money / Bank account “.

Health insurance

During your stay in Germany, you are required to carry health insurance. You are free to choose an health insurance company yourself. You find a list of all health insurance companies in Berlin:  https://www.gkv-spitzenverband.de/service/krankenkassenliste/krankenkas…   

If you don’t choose a company, the MDC / HR department will register you automatically at the “Barmer”.

The Welcome and Family Office and the responsible personnel officer can assist you in finding the most suitable insurance company for you and your family immediately after arrival or after signing the contract. 

Residence Permit

Guests and employees who are going to stay longer than 3 months or who have a visa expiring before their return must obtain a residence permit.

To apply for a residence permit, you will need your passport, a copy of your health insurance, a biometric passport photograph, and a confirmation letter of the MDC. The Berlin Foreigners' Registration Office (Ausländerbehörde) provides information on their website. We can offer to arrange everything with the Foreigners’ Office for you, send your documents and book an appointment. Please contact welcome@mdc-berlin.de to get the application form and further assistance. 

Extension of your Residence Permit


Please, make sure to contact the Welcome Office at least 8 weeks before your current permit ends and keep in mind that if you want to travel the process at the Foreigners’ Registration Office might take some time.  For special permits, such as the Blue Card or Permanent Residence Permit, longer waiting times have always to be considered. Please, note that you must stop working at MDC if your current Residence Permit has already expired without new application submitted. For last minute matters, it will be possible to go to a spontaneous appointment to the Foreigners’ Registration Office. For this it is necessary to wait in the line until you get a number. In this way, you can obtain a temporary permit on the same day. 

Public Transportation


To reach the MDC, take the S-Bahn line S2 to “Buch” and then the Bus 353 to the last stop (Campus Buch). You can buy single-fare tickets for € 2.90 (one-way good for 2 hours). Day-Tickets (Tageskarte) are valid on Berlin local transportation services (e.g. buses, S-Bahn, U-Bahn, tram) until 3 a.m. the day after stamping and cost € 8.60. For more details, pleasse take a look at the website of the Berlin Transport Company (BVG).

Income Tax, accommodations, and other issues

All colleagues who are employed by contract will have to pay taxes.

Based on the Tax ID (will be sent to you after registration, see 2.) the tax offices submit all relevant data to MDC online. To change or update your tax details like child relief you have to contact the responsible tax office yourself. For further help with questions regarding accommodations, German authorities, schools, kindergartens, driving licences, etc. please do not hesitate to ask Andrea Salerno or Tanja Butzek via welcome@mdc-berlin.de.

Further information and help


The MDC homepage offers a detailed guide with a lot of useful information about the MDC and daily life in Berlin. You can find further information on the MDC Intranet. Additionally, the secretary of your research group is available to help address questions and problems that may arise.