Phase 1: Preparing your move to Munich

Relocating to another country or city can be overwhelming. Before you set off on your journey to Munich, there are a few things to be taken care of. Remember – we are here to support you along the way!

In this checklist (PDF, 147 KB) you can find the most important steps to prepare your move to Munich. In addition, feel free to ask for a list of specific vocabulary (German and English) containing the most important terms in the different fields.

Visa and entry requirements

  • Your visa must be issued before entering Germany.
  • The individual requiring the visa must apply in person with all necessary documents.
  • There are different visa types depending on the purpose of your stay (with/without a working permit).
  • Allow enough time (minimum 2-3 months) for the visa to be issued.
  • Inform yourself directly at the German Embassy/Consulate in your country of residence as requirements may differ from country to country.

EU citizens and citizens of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein

EU citizens and citizens of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein do not need a visa to enter Germany and do not need to apply for a residence & work permit. You will, however, have to register your new address within two weeks of your arrival to Munich.

Citizens of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland

Citizens of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland do not need a visa to enter Germany, but must apply for their residence permits after entering the country.

If you plan on working from the first day after your arrival to Munich, you might consider applying for a Type D entry visa beforehand in your country of residence. The application for a residence and work permit is then included in the visa application process. Your working contract will only be given to you with proof of a residence permit and this procedure can otherwise take several days after your arrival.

Citizens of all other countries

Citizens of all other countries must apply for a Type D entry visa before entering Germany and will need to apply for a residence permit that expressly allows them to work.

A Type C "Tourist visa or Schengen visa" cannot be converted into a residence permit!

Your visa must be issued before entering Germany. Therefore, you should apply in good time prior to your entry into Germany. The responsible body is the German Embassy or Consulate General in your country of residence, which can also provide you with further information on the application process.

Please note that it can take a few weeks up to several months for the visa to be issued. As a rule, the individual requiring the visa must apply in person with all necessary documents.

Types of visas

Even though there are different visa types with which you can enter Germany, you are obliged to apply for a Type D visa prior to your entry into the Federal Republic of Germany as you are planning to work during your stay. Please see below the different visa classifications to give you an overview.

Visa classifications:

  • Type A: transit visa through international airports (no entry into Germany permitted)
  • Type B: transit visa for transits through German territory, maximum stay 5 days
  • Type C: short term stay for a maximum of 90 days within any six-month period after first entry, also known as a Schengen or Tourist visa. A Tourist visa or Schengen visa cannot be converted into a residence permit!
  • Type D: National visa or visa for research purposes. You are required to stay in Germany longer than three months within the six-month period after your first entry. Any person in possession of a National visa and valid travel documents is permitted to move freely in the Schengen area for up to three months in any six-month period.

A Type D National visa can be converted into a residence permit after entry into Germany. However, you must still actively apply for your residence permit after entering the country.

It is advisable to contact the German Embassy or Consulate General in your country of residence to find out what documents are required. Generally, you will have to submit the following:

  • Antrag auf Erteilung eines Visums für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Application for a visa for the Federal Republic of Germany, available at your German agency abroad or on the website of the Federal Foreign Office)
  • Confirmation from LMU Munich on intended employment, including the commensurate salary
  • CV and copies of your university degree(s)
  • The address of the residence where you will be staying upon arrival
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Valid passport and biometric picture

It is highly recommended that you provide German translations of all original foreign documents.

If you are a holder of a residence title such as an EU blue card or a residence title under the REST-Directive, special regulations regarding your entry and stay in Germany might apply. Please contact us for further information.

If your partner or other family members are accompanying you or joining you at a later date, you will additionally require the following documents:

  • Proof of health insurance
  • Marriage certificate (with apostil)
  • Children’s birth certificates (with apostil)

It is highly recommended that you provide German translations of all original foreign documents.

LMU Gateway is here to support you with any questions you may have related to your visa application. Please contact us as early as possible to make sure there is enough time for the application procedure.

We can help you with issues such as:

  • In my specific situation, do I even need a visa?
  • Which visa is the right one for me?
  • What entry requirements are there if I bring along my partner/family?
  • I am having trouble with my/my partner's current visa application and I don't speak German.

Information for families

  • Demand for childcare in Munich has increased over the past few years. We therefore recommend to start your search as early as possible.
  • Childcare in Germany is provided in either a nursery (Krippe) for 0-3 year olds, a kindergarten for 3-6 year olds or an after-school facility (Hort) for 6-10 year olds.
  • Possible childcare facilities: services for LMU staff, public or private institutions.
  • School is compulsory in Germany from the age of 6 or 7. The vast majority of children in Germany attend public schools.

Childcare services for LMU staff

  • LMU Munich childcare facilities - LMU Munich cooperates with a number of childcare facilities in place to help support the families of its faculties and staff. They are located throughout the city and vary in the services they offer. Please refer to the following link for a complete list of these nurseries and kindergartens .
  • LMU Family Service - The LMU Family Service is a cooperation between LMU Munich and the external service provider pme Familienservice. The LMU Family Service is free of charge for LMU employees and offers partial advice on finding childcare in your area to suit your individual situation and is well equipped with information on all types of childcare options in Munich. If you are interested in gaining access to the LMU Family Service, please contact LMU Gateway and we can help you with the registration process.

Childcare: 0 - 6 years

  • Childcare in Germany is provided either in a nursery (Krippe - 0-3 years), or a kindergarten (3-6 years).
  • Nurseries and kindergartens are either public or private. Among the private facilities there are also parent initiatives (Elterninitiativen) which imply a certain amount of personal involvement by the parents.
  • Attending a kindergarten is voluntary in Germany, however, about 80% of the children in Germany do attend.
  • In Munich, the application process for public childcare facilities is managed by an online platform called Kita Finder Plus (DE). You must register your child on this platform for the chosen facilities. Every year, there is a certain cut-off date (Stichtag) which is normally published on the city of Munich's website (DE). Nevertheless, it is highly recommended to pay an in-person visit to the nursery or kindergarten you want to apply for as well.
  • Privately run facilities and parent initiatives (Elterninitiativen) have different application procedures. It is advisable to contact these directly. Fees for private childcare facilities tend to be higher.
  • Please also see this comprehensive list (DE) of childcare options in Munich sorted by city district.

Registration on the Kita Finder Plus does not automatically guarantee a slot within a childcare facility. Additionally, places in nurseries are even more limited than in kindergartens, therefore it is advisable to begin your search as early as possible.

International & alternative childcare options

An overview of bilingual and international childcare facilities can be found on the website of the Bildungsberatung International (DE).

It can be challenging to find a place for your child at a kindergarten or nursery. Parents therefore often resort to one of the following alternatives:

  • Tagesmutter (person who looks after several children in her/his home during regular working hours)
  • Kinderfrau (person who cares for your child/children in your home during the day)
  • Leihoma (person over the age of 50 who cares for your child/children in your home during the day)
  • Au Pair
  • Babysitter

The Bavarian public school system is known for producing high-performing pupils. It is run and funded by the federal government, but organized at state level. Though private schools exist, the vast majority of children in Munich attend public schools.

Elementary school (Grundschule)

  • Comprises grades 1-4 starting at the age of 6 or 7 years
  • Public school districts exist and as a rule, your child must attend the school assigned to your residential area (Schulsprengelprinzip - DE).
Secondary school (Weiterführende Schulen)
  • After elementary school, pupils go on to attend either Mittelschule, Realschule or Gymnasium.
  • Each school implies a different school-leaving qualification, therefore which type of secondary school a child can attend is determined by their scholastic achievement.

If you have questions regarding which public school would best suit your child, you can contact either the Bavarian Ministry of Education (Kultusministerium) or the Public School Counselling Office in Munich (Staatliche Schulberatungsstelle München - DE).

International/Bilingual schools

If your child has no or little knowledge of the German language, an alternative can be to attend an international or a bilingual school. For queries concerning the language level of your child or international/bilingual schools in Munich, the office of the Bildungsberatung International (DE) is prepared to help. Open the PDF document called "Beratungszeiten und Sprachkompetenzen unseres Teams" to view a list of contact persons and their respective language competencies.

Afternoon care for school children

  • Not all elementary schools in Munich offer all-day classes, so lessons usually end at lunchtime.
  • To register for a public after-school facility (Hort), please use the Kita Finder Plus (DE). This kind of facility is usually open until 5 or 6 pm and also during school holidays (except for two weeks during the summer holidays).

In Germany, parents are entitled to (financial) benefits, if certain conditions are fulfilled. Below, you can find a quick overview of some of these benefits:

Child Benefit (Kindergeld)

Generally, all parents are entitled to child benefit from the child's birth until the age of 18. Child benefit is paid regardless of the parents’ income, but only one parent can receive the money paid out on behalf of the child. To claim child benefit, you must apply for it at the family benefits office called the Familienkasse (DE).

Parental allowance (Elterngeld)

In Germany, parental allowance is a state benefit compensating parents who choose to look after their child at home after birth instead of going to work. This is normally paid for the duration of one year after birth.

Aid during maternity leave (Mutterschaftsgeld)

Employed mothers-to-be are entitled to maternity leave, which means they do not have to work six weeks prior to giving birth and eight weeks after. However, during this time they are entitled to receiving their normal salary, which is paid in part by their employer and in part by their health insurance provider.

LMU Gateway is here to support you with questions you may have related to your individual family situation. We can help you with queries such as:

  • Information and assistance in finding childcare facilities or schools in and around Munich
  • What kind of childcare services does LMU Munich provide?
  • Information and advice on the Bavarian school system
  • Information on registration deadlines
  • What kind of financial support exists for families and which requirements have to be met?
  • Tips on leisure activities for families

Please contact us at LMU Gateway for more information. In addition, feel free to ask for a list of specific vocabulary (German and English) containing the most important terms in this field.

Accommodation

  • Munich is one of the most attractive and therefore most expensive cities in Germany with rental prices ranging from 15-23 € per m² for unfurnished flats.
  • The housing market is very dynamic. Available flats enter the market and are successfully rented out at a fast pace.
  • A two-room flat in Germany doesn't mean the same as a two-bedroom flat in other countries. A two-room flat will simply have two rooms, plus a bathroom and kitchen. Bathrooms and kitchens are not included in the number of rooms advertised.
  • When invited to a viewing, be prepared to compete with many other potential renters. Be punctual, dress smart and bring all relevant documents with you to leave a good first impression. Feel free to contact us to find out which documents you should bring along.

Rental price and deposit

  • Typically, the rental price will be described as either cold rent (Kaltmiete) or warm/entire rent (Warmmiete). The difference between these two is that the Kaltmiete typically does not include operating or utility costs (Nebenkosten).
  • Operating or utility costs generally comprise costs for heating and water, as well as sewage and refuse collection charges.
  • Electricity and telecommunication costs are usually not yet included in the Warmmiete and these services must be arranged by the renter separately.
  • Another part of the rental agreement is the deposit (Kaution) which the tenant pays to the landlord when moving in. This typically amounts to two or three months' cold rent and will be paid back to the tenant at the end of the rental period if the accommodation is handed over undamaged.

Cold rent (Kaltmiete) + utility costs (Nebenkosten) = Warm rent (Warmmiete)
Warm rent (Warmmiete) + electricity and telecommunication costs = total rental price
The Warmmiete is to be paid to the landlord, whereas electricity and telecommunication costs are paid directly to the respective providers.

  • LMU Munich Flats: LMU Munich sometimes has a very limited number of flats available for rent. LMU Gateway has more information available on how to apply for these properties when vacant.
  • Civil Servants' Flats (Staatsbedienstetenwohnungen): All employees of the Free State of Bavaria have the opportunity to apply for a civil servants' flats from the Wohnungsfürsorgestelle des Landesamtes für Finanzen. For more information on this option, please refer to their website or contact LMU Gateway.
  • If you are a visiting fellow or a postdoc staying in Munich for a set period of time you can additionally get support in finding accommodation through Anja Morris. She is also the contact person if you are interested in an apartment at the IBZ (Internationales Begegnungszentrum der Wissenschaft). In order to register for this service please fill out the application form and get in contact with her.

When starting your search for accommodation, give some thought to your individual search criteria. Are you looking for an apartment or a house, furnished or unfurnished, temporary or long-term or a room within a shared flat? What is your maximum price range, your desired location and what other additional aspects are important to you?

Each city district in Munich has its own set of distinct characteristics which you will get to know when visiting the city or moving here. We can give you more detailed information about the individual districts upon request and give recommendations on which area may be suitable for you (and your family) in regards to your working place.

During your search for accommodation, please always make sure that the offer is reliable as scams do unfortunately happen. When in doubt, please contact us. Also remember never to send a scanned copy of your passport or ID and don't transfer any deposit or rent money prior to signing a legitimate rental contract.

Where to search for accommodation

  • Online search portals - most commonly used source when searching for a flat (see the City's website for a list of search portals or contact us). Most of these portals offer the possibility to register and set up a search profile, so potential landlords or real estate agents can also contact you. Since the majority of these sites are in German, feel free to contact us for a list of helpful abbreviations and vocabulary.
  • Newspaper advertisements - various newspapers publish available flats twice a week. Most of them publish listings online as well, although these may not be the same as in the actual newspaper. Please contact us for more details.

We highly recommend posting a search advertisement in the local newspapers as well as online. Please note that fees apply. We can help you with the phrasing of your ad.

  • Accommodation agencies - helpful for finding short-term accommodation which is usually furnished. If the agencies succeed in finding suitable accommodation, they charge a non-recurring fee determined by the service provider, which is usually based on the length of your stay.

Contact us for support with finding unfurnished flats or check the links listed below for more information.

If you need a furnished apartment for a limited period of time, one option is to check into a serviced apartment. There are also a number of agencies and online portals specializing in furnished apartments for short-term accommodation. Please contact us for support with finding furnished flats for a short-term stay in Munich.

If you are a visiting fellow or a postdoc staying in Munich for a set period of time you can additionally get support in finding accommodation through Anja Morris. She is also the contact person if you are interested in an apartment at the IBZ (Internationales Begegnungszentrum der Wissenschaft). In order to register for this service, please fill out the application form and get in contact with her.

For families or people who prefer living a bit outside of the city, a good option is to look for accommodation in the so-called Landkreis München. Please see this interactive map to get an overview of the Greater Munich area.

LMU Gateway is here to support you with any questions you may have related to your search for accommodation. Please send us your individual search criteria and we will support you the best we can.

We can offer assistance with the following:

  • Information on different city districts and recommend suitable areas that match your search criteria
  • Apartment listings when available
  • Understanding specific abbreviations and vocabulary related to finding accommodation
  • Phrasing of a newspaper search ad and how to publish this
  • Further information on viewings and what documents you are required to bring with you
  • Further support if you are planning to buy a house/a flat
  • Information on shared flats

Please contact us at LMU Gateway for more information. In addition, feel free to ask for a list of specific vocabulary (German and English) containing the most important terms in this field.

Dual Career Service

The Dual Career Service provided by LMU Munich is designed to support the partners of professors and postdocs who intend to take up positions at the university for a minimum of three years in finding suitable career opportunities in Munich.

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