Arriving in the Heidekreis

Important to know

You are planing to come or you already arrived to Germany by car, plane or train from another country and you thought everything had been considered. Everything looked easy but now… you have some questions you did not have before. No problem.

We want you to feel at home in the Heidekreis as soon as possible. Use our service point in Soltau. Our office is located in Soltau on the grounds of the Alte Reithalle in Winsener Straße 34b.  You are most welcome!

Good to know

Do I need a visa to work in Germany? What are the visa requirements to attend a higher education institution or receive vocational training in Germany? These are just some of the questions asked by people considering moving to Germany for a job and who are looking to plan their next career move. In short, the right visa for you is determined by your country of origin and your professional qualifications. 


Nationals of EU and EFTA member states


Persons entitled to freedom of movement have unrestricted access to the German labour market. Such persons do not require a visa or a residence permit to enter and obtain employment in Germany. This also applicable to nationals of EFTA states, such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.


Third country nationals (non-EU/non-EFTA states)


Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand or the United States of America can also enter Germany without a visa, however they are required to apply for a residence permit prior to obtaining employment. Citizens of these countries can contact their local Foreigners’ Authority directly and may also do so after arriving in Germany. Persons looking to obtain employment shortly after entering Germany are advised to submit an application for the relevant visa prior to entering the country.  


All other third country nationals must submit a visa application to the nearest German Embassy or Consulate prior to entering Germany.  


Apartment and registration

The decision to work or learn in Germany brings a lot of new things with it. Perhaps you will rent a holiday apartment, a furnished room or a hotel room in the first few weeks. In time you can then search for a suitable dwelling or real estate. Please feel free to contact our service point from home.

Once you have found the right apartment, you must sign a lease before moving in. In Germany it must be completed in writing. The rental agreement usually specifies the cold rent per month. In addition, there are costs such as gas, electricity and water. We are happy to support you!

Any new residence in the Heidekreis must be registered personally at the Bürgerbüro (citizens' office) within two weeks. There are citizens' offices in every major town. Please bring your identity card or passport as well as the confirmation of your accommodation provider with you to the Bürgerbüro. You will then receive a confirmation of registration showing since when you have been living in Germany. We are happy to help you – WelcomeCenter Heidekreis!

Bank account or current account

In Germany, everyone should have a current account to handle their financial affairs. You can freely choose your bank or savings bank. Every financial institution has different costs and offers. A comparison of several banks and savings banks in your area pays off. You will need your ID or passport to open an account.

You will receive a cashline card with your current account. It offers many practical possibilities in everyday life. For example, you can check your account balance, print account statements or top up your card with money at any time. You can easily pay with the card where you see the cashline card symbol.


After your registration in the Heidekreis you can still drive with your foreign driving licence for 6 months. You will then need a domestic driving licence. If necessary, examinations must still be taken or certain proof must be provided. The driving licence office will be happy to answer any further questions you may have.

Holders of a valid driving licence from a member state of the European Union (EU) do not need a domestic driving licence, even if they live in Germany. However, an exchange is recommended for various reasons. You also have the option of obtaining a European driving licence. You can do this by contacting the Vehicle Registration and Driving Licence Office or by going to the European Commission’s website.

We are there for you

We are happy to assist you with any questions you may have when you arrive. Get in touch with us.