First steps in Jena
Here you will find important information for your start in Jena.
If you have any further questions or would like personal advice, please feel free to contact us – in person at the Welcome Center Jena, by e-mail or by phone.
Finding an affordable housing in Jena can be time-consuming and challenging. Therefore we recommend to start your search as early as possible.
You can find an overview of the districts here. Jena is a city of short distances. All districts are connected very well by local transport.
The rent in Germany consists of net rent excluding utilities (“Kaltmiete”) plus additional costs (“Nebenkosten”). Additional costs are costs for heating, water and operating costs. The rent with utilities included is called “Warmmiete“. Costs for electricity and telephone/internet are separate. You can choose freely from a variety of providers.
More information can be found here.
When you move to Jena, you have to register within two weeks at the Citizen Service (Bürgerservice). Therefore, you need to book an appointment. You will need the following documents:
- Valid identity card or passport
- Confirmation from your new landlord
- Minor child/ children: Proof of entitlement to custody
- Persons from outside Germany: all previous and current documents relating to civil status (certified copy/ apostille or stamped official birth certificates / marriage certificates)
When you register, you will receive your official confirmation of registration (Meldebescheinigung). This is an important document for verification of your currently registered address which you will need when dealing with local authorities or banks.
Following registration, you will also automatically receive your tax identification number (tax ID; Steueridentifikationsnummer) by post. This number is valid for life and does not change even if you change your name or relocate.
The City of Jena’s Immigration Authority has changed its processing workflows. To shorten waiting times for appointments and residence permits all applicants will be processed in the future without a personal appointment.
Therefore booking an appointment for a personal interview will not be possible any longer for this reason.
Accordingly, please send the corresponding application forms and all documents
required (see below) either by post or in an electronic format via email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do not send us any original document.
If the Immigration Authority has any additional question, you will be contacted directly.
The Immigration Authorities typically require the following documents:
- Completed application form
- Valid passport
- Biometric passport photograph
- Official confirmation of registration
- Rental contract
- Proof of health insurance cover
- Proof of means of support (bank account statements or other evidence)
- Residence title for work:
- Employment contract or specific job offer
- Company number of the future employer
- Residence title for studies:
- Student ID card
- Evidence of the duration of study
For a longer stay in Germany, you will need a German bank account for paying rent and getting paid. Banks charge a monthly account management fee.
To open a bank account, you will typically need the following:
- Official confirmation of registration
- Valid identity card, passport or residence permit
- Tax ID (this can be submitted later)
If you have children, you might be entitled to Child Benefit (Kindergeld).
You are entitled to receive Child Benefit if
- Your child has not yet reached the age of 18 (in certain circumstances up to 25)
- You regularly look after your child and the child lives in your household (this applies also to stepchildren, grandchildren or foster children)
- Your place of residence is in Germany, another EU state, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland.
Every, who lives in Germany must have a health insurance. There are many health insurance companies in Germany. You can choose the company you wish.
Personal liability insurance
Private liability insurance covers damage you have caused. Landlords usually want tenants to have private liability insurance.
Household contents insurance
Household contents insurance covers everything in your house or apartment.
Every flat in the city of Jena is automatically supplied with electricity and gas by Stadtwerke Jena-Pößneck. Initially, every flat is in the basic tariff (Grundversorgungstarif). We recommend to switch from the basic tariff. Please inform yourself at the service center of Stadtwerke Jena-Pößneck or online.
You need the following data to switch the energy supplier:
- The number/ID of the meters in the apartment and the meter readings
- Bank account details
The TV/ radio license finances the programs of public broadcasting. Each household has to pay the monthly fee.
There is a large number of cell phone providers. You can compare tariffs online.
To conclude the contracts you need:
- Valid identity card, passport (and residence permit)
- Registration certificate
- (bank account)
If you come from EU countries, Lichtenstein, Norway or Iceland, your driving license is also valid in Germany.
If you have a driver’s license from a third country, you can drive with it for six months after your registration at the Citizen Service. After that you need a German driver’s license. You can book an appointment at the driver’s license office to have your driver’s license converted into a German driver’s license.
Here you can find a checklist of the documents needed.