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Karlsruhe: Bildung und Wissenschaft

Information for International Students and Apprentices

Welcome package for new inhabi­tants of Karlsruhe 

So you‘re studying or doing an appren­ti­ceship in Karlsruhe? Welcome! This youthful, vibrant city is not only a great place to study, but also to live. Reason enough, surely, to strike roots – and make it your primary place of residence. Parti­cu­larly seeing as Karlsruhe city council has come up with one or two very special ideas to help you settle in: 


You will receive a one-off voucher for a "Studi- oder Azubi­kar­te" - the student or appren­ti­ce season ticket for public transport in Karls­ru­he ("KV­V"), shopping vouchers worth 50 Euros that you can cash in in over 850 retail outlets and restau­rants. You will also be given the chance to win one of the Drais­ler ­bikes that have been specially designed for new in­ha­bi­tants of Karlsruhe.

Your relocation to Karlsruhe and its Welco­me Package brings you a financial relief of over 200 Euros.

You can spot them everywhere, they are ferrari-red, and they are called Draisler

When you register to make Karlsruhe your primary place of re­si­dence you will find a draw ticket in your welcoming package. With this ticket and just a little bit of luck you could win one of those exclusive red bicycles, that were specially designe­d ­for new inhabi­tants of Karlsruhe - the birthplace of Freiherr von Drais, inventor of the bicycle and who also lent his name to those high-quality bikes that are part of your welcome package: the Draisler. Over 5000 Draisler bikes have already been raffled. They shape the cityscape and the bike racks of Karls­ruhe can hardly be imagined without them.

Relocate now and receive gifts!


You are enrolled at a university of Karlsruhe and recently moved here? Then you should register within two weeks with the local regis­tra­tion authority (“Ein­woh­ner­mel­de­am­t”).

These are the basic rules:

  • Karlsruhe has to be your primary place of residence
  • You have to be matri­cu­la­ted at an approved university of Karlsruhe. As valid proof only your certi­fi­cate of enrollment is accepted - never your student card
  • There has to be a time-related connection between your relocation and the start of your studies (a maximum of three months)



You are apprentice or vocational student and recently moved to Karlsruhe? Then you should register within two weeks with the local regis­tra­tion authority (“Ein­woh­ner­mel­de­am­t”).

These are the basic rules:

  • Karlsruhe has to be your primary place of residence
  • Your appren­ti­ceship has to take at least one year
  • Your appren­ti­ceship has to be a recognized trade (with final exami­na­tion by IHK, HWK or the added title “natio­nally certi­fie­d…”
  • One of the two – your appren­ti­cing company or your vocational school – must be located in Karlsruhe




How to receive my Welcome Package

Due to the Corona Pandemic, the regis­tra­tion is possible only on­line.

You will need this to apply for your Welco­me Package:

completed and signed registration form

power of attorney for the bicycle courier (PDF, 105 KB)

completed and signed application for the Welcome Package (PDF, 154 KB)

copy of your identity card (or passport)

elec­tro­nic residence permit (good quality copy)

certificate of your accommodation (PDF, 285 KB)

and your matri­cu­la­tion certi­fi­cate, training contract or vo­ca­tio­nal school certi­fi­ca­te

All documents collected by mail with the subjec­t "Re­quest Welcome Package" to: buerger­diens­te@oa.karlsruhe.de

After exami­na­tion of your documents, you will receive by e-mail a notifi­ca­tion with the request to make an appoint­ment at Bür­ger­büro Karlsruhe. At the appoint­ment you will receive a written confir­ma­tion of your regis­tra­tion and a new address la­bel for your identity documents. The Welcome Package will then be sent to you by a commis­sio­ned bicycle courier delivered.

At the beginning of each academic and training year, there is also a student and trainee counter where Wel­come Packages are handed out. You will find all infor­ma­tion a­bout this on our website in autumn.

What does primary place of residence mean?

Officially, the definition is “main place of residence”. Anyone moving into a flat is obliged to register within two weeks with the local regis­tra­tion authority (“Ein­woh­ner­mel­de­am­t”). If those who are obliged to register have places of residence elsewhere in Germany, they must declare upon regis­te­ring which of their homes is their primary place of residence. Their primary place of residence is the place at which they spend the majority of their time – the main focus of their lives.

Let's be honest - in the course of your education, do you not spend most of your time in Karlsruhe? There are all sorts of ad­van­ta­ges to be had by declaring Karlsruhe to be your prima­ry ­place of residence.

A lot of things can only be done or dealt with at your "main place of residence":

  • Identi­fi­ca­tion cards can only be issued or changed at your pri­mary place of residence; German passports are also issued at the holder's primary place of residence.
  • You are only eligible for a residents' parking permit if Karls­ruhe is your primary place of residence.
  • For the GEZ (TV/radio licensing authority) the question of primary or secondary place of residence is irrelevant.
  • If you have your own car it must be registered at your pri­mary place of residence.
  • The entit­le­ment of parents to child benefit is unaffected by the location of your primary place of residence.
  • Health insurance, nursing care insurance, German pension ins­urance and life insurance policies are indepen­dent of the pri­mary place of residence. In the case of personal liabi­li­ty­ ins­urance, domestic students or appren­ti­ces are general­ly ­co­vered by their parents' insurance up to the age of 25 years (in some cases to the age of 27), even when their primary place of residence is where they are in education. What prevails for ins­urance policies is the General Terms and Conditions. In the case of vehicle insurance, there may be diffe­rences in the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of regions.
  • Income tax cards always come from your principal place of re­si­dence. Tax returns are dealt with by the tax office at your prin­ci­pal place of residence.
  • As far as tax conces­si­ons for parents are concerned, it is not a requi­re­ment for children to have their parental home re­cor­ded as their primary place of residence.
  • The right to vote can only be exercised at the voter's pri­mary place of residence.

Find further details in the campaign flyer! (PDF, 209 KB)

Do you meet with the criteria?

Then make Karlsruhe your primary place of residence and recei­ve lots of exclusive gifts at the citizens' office (Bürger­bü­ro) at Kai­se­r­al­lee 8.

Benefits for the city and its new in­ha­bi­tants

You are not the only one to benefit if you decide to make Karlsruhe your primary place of residence, of course - the city itself also benefits. Every person regis­te­ring their primary place of residence in Karlsruhe is one more for the city's total number of inhabi­tants, and this increases the funds the city receives from central and state government under the munici­pa­li­ties' fiscal equali­za­tion system. It needs these ­funds in order to maintain and develop the city's in­fra­struc­ture, and of course the sports, social and cultu­ral e­vents and activities it offers. The city uses the funding not least to provide and improve the favorable conditions you and your fellow citizens need to live. The goals of our "Inte­gra­te­d ­city develop­ment concept 2020" include the provision of low-cost hou­sing and the promotion of a lively urban culture and good re­se­arch facilities. So by regis­te­ring your primary place of re­si­dence here, you are actively contri­bu­ting to the develop­ment and design of Karlsruhe as a "student and science city".

City of Karlsruhe
Science Bureau
Clas Meyer
Manager Science Bureau
Tel.: 0721 / 133 7380

E-Mail to Clas Meyer