To help you feel at home in Germany as quickly as possible, there are Welcome Centers throughout Germany to help you and your family settle into your new place of residence. In Berlin the Welcome Centre offers a first orientation and support for new immigrants arriving here.

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You will receive comprehensive information and advice. The spectrum ranges from work to health and school – available in eleven languages. We would like to introduce you to some of the important topics of the Berlin Welcome Centre.



I. Work & Entry


If you are an EU citizen, you can look for and take up work here just like Germans. If you come from a non-EU country, you need permission from the State Immigration Office to work. If you want to come to Germany from abroad to work, you must apply for a work visa at the German embassy in your country. All information here.



II. Housing search & Registration


There are different ways to look for a flat in Berlin. In addition to common internet portals you can also use the flat search service of the city of Berlin. If you have arranged an appointment to view the flat, you will have the chance to introduce yourself to the landlord. It is important to be well prepared and, in the best case, to have all the necessary documents ready. Find out more here.

If you are the lucky new tenant of a Berlin flat, you will have to go to your district’s “Bürgeramt” (Citizens Registration Office) within two weeks of moving in. This is because in Germany there is a registration obligation. This also applies to moves within Berlin. Since you have to appear in person at the Bürgeramt, it is advisable to make an appointment online or by telephone. For more information click here.



III. Health & Care Insurance


Health insurance is for your own safety, as it covers the costs of medical treatment. It is compulsory for all people in Germany. You can choose between statutory and private health insurance. Employees with an employment contract are compulsorily insured by their employer. This means that the employer pays almost half of the health insurance contribution, and contributions to nursing care insurance, social insurance and unemployment insurance are automatically deducted from gross salary. More infos here.



IV. Day Care & School


You are coming to Berlin with your whole family? Then information about your children’s daycare and school attendance may be of interest to you. In Germany, many children are cared for in daycare centers which are called “Kindertagesstätten” (in short: KiTa) in Berlin. Children learn and play together there, they make new friends and learn the German language effortlessly.


When they reach the age of 6, children go to school. All children living in Germany must attend school for at least nine years; in Berlin it is even ten years. Attending school is free of charge. After the 6-year primary school period in Berlin, there are various secondary schools available. For example, those who attend a Gymnasium can obtain the “Abitur” after a total of 12 school years and are thus entitled to study at a university. More details here.



This is only a tiny part of the huge range of advice offered by the Welcome Centre. We hope we have been able to give you a small insight into your potential start in Germany’s capital – see you soon in Berlin!


As announced in our last newsletter, we would like to introduce you to four more exciting Berliner Zukunftsorte (Berlin’s future places). In total, there are eleven companies and institutions from science and industry that are united in this project by the Berlin Senate of Economics.

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At the Berlin’s future places, potential is bundled, synergies are created, and products “Made in Berlin” are generated from scientific findings. Established companies are writing a sustainable success story together with industry, universities and start-ups – and offer plenty of room for the ideas of talents from all over the world. Please feel addressed!



5. EUREF Campus – working and researching around the historic gasometer


At the EUREF-Campus, more than 3,500 people work, research and learn in more than 150 established companies, start-ups and research institutions on the topics of energy, mobility and sustainability. The campus covers an area of 5.5 hectares around the listed Gasometer, a landmark of Berlin-Schöneberg. Companies based here include Cisco, Deutsche Bahn and Schneider Electric. Through intensive collaboration and numerous partnerships, the EUREF community is jointly developing solutions for the smart city of the future. This ecologically and economically sustainable location has already been meeting the German government’s CO₂ climate targets for 2050 since 2014.



6. Berlin SÜDWEST – the “German Oxford” in the Southwest of Berlin


The term Berlin SÜDWEST refers to a science location that has existed for more than 100 years and is still one of the four largest science locations in Germany. The site is also known as the “German Oxford” and is located in the upscale Steglitz-Zehlendorf district. Many start-ups, especially in the life science and biotechnology sectors, have developed from the renowned scientific institutions, including Freie Universität Berlin, the Federal Institute of Material Research, and the Helmholtz Center for Materials and Energy. In the coming years, the Technology and Business Incubation Center FUBIC will be completed and provide space for start-ups, science institutions and established companies to synergize and grow.



7. Berlin-Buch – Green Health City for the future of medicine


Berlin-Buch is an internationally renowned science, medicine and technology location in the northeast of Berlin. Around 6,500 people work here in the healthcare industry. At its heart is the 32-hectare Berlin-Buch Campus, which houses excellent research institutes in the fields of molecular medicine and pharmacology as well as clinical research – and one of the largest biotech parks in Germany. With its clear focus on biomedicine and interdisciplinary collaborations, the campus has outstanding potential for innovation and growth. This profile is completed by the clinics at the site. From 2023, the BerlinBioCube in the BiotechPark Berlin-Buch will offer an additional 8,000 square meters of laboratory and office space and attractive services for start-ups in the life sciences.



Did you miss the last newsletter issue? Here you can read which of Berlin’s future locations we have already presented.


In the next newsletter, we will present the last four of the 11 Berlin Zukunftsorte:


Siemensstadt 2.0

Business and science location Berlin Schöneweide

Tempelhof Airport



No one can currently say when it will be possible to travel the world again without any worries – but of course it is always possible to travel in your mind. That’s why we would like to take you on a journey back in time to present-day Berlin with a hand-picked selection of books, series and documentaries – from the roaring twenties to the turn of the millennium.



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1. Crime, sex, politics – The tv series “Babylon Berlin”


Are you already addicted to “Babylon Berlin“? For the few who have not yet heard of the TV event: This is a complex, dark historical drama series about crime, sex and politics in Berlin in the late 1920s. The 3rd season alone has been sold to more than 35 countries – hopefully yours too!  By the way, the novels by Volker Kutscher, on which the series is based, are also highly recommended and available in English.



2. How Berlin became what it will be – The documentary “Berlin Babylon”


Not to be confused with the series is the exciting architecture documentary “Berlin Babylon“, which bears the subtitle “How Berlin became what it will be”. “A thriller between cranes” a Berlin daily newspaper wrote about this award-winning film. Filmmaker Hubertus Siegert profiles the Berlin’s radical reconstruction since 1989 with amazing images of construction and destruction accompanied by industrial music performed by “Einstürzende Neubauten”. The film focuses on the extensive rebuilding projects after the fall of the Wall and features internationally acclaimed architects such as Rem Koolhaas and Renzo Piano.



3. Obsessions and Ostalgie – The novel “Purity”


Jonathan Franzens novel “Purity” casts a very special spotlight on Berlin. As in “Die Korrekturen”, Jonathan Franzen’s successful novel from 2001, “Purity” is about the devastation of plutocracy and technocracy, sexual obsessions and a very special form of “Ostalgie” (nostalgia for the supposed delights of the GDR). Franzen, who studied in Berlin in the early 1980s, has written a brilliant American-German social novel which goes back to the time of divided Germany and the fall of the Wall.



4. Tragicomedy in the shadow of the Wall – The novel “Berlin Blues”


The cult novel “Berlin Blues” by Sven Regener takes place on the other side of the Berlin Wall. Back in 1989, the small Western district Kreuzberg is a biotope for dropouts, students, alternative, punks, junkies – and harmless daydreamers such as Herr Lehmann, who fritters away his time tapping beer and talking about everything under the sun. Written with a precise eye for the tragic comedy of life, singer/writer Sven Regener also provides a great soundtrack for the book with his melancholic rock band Element of Crime.



5. Race against time – The movie “Run Lola Run”


This thriller from 1998 is one of the most famous German films worldwide. Director Tom Tykwer sends Franka Potente and Moritz Bleibtreu on a fast-paced trip through Berlin. Bleibtreu plays a small-time criminal who loses money from his boss and asks his girlfriend Lola (Potente) for help – because he is threatened with death if he cannot deliver the agreed amount of money at a certain time. And so Lola starts to run… More tips on films that take place in Berlin can be found here.