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How easy is it to move to Cologne?

One of the top destinations for emigrating citizens is Cologne, in Germany. Known as Köln in German, it boasts a stunning cathedral, vibrant old town and rich history, so it’s not surprising that so many are choosing to make it their home. If you’re thinking of moving to Cologne, there are a few things to consider before making the move.

Visa requirements

Let’s start with visa requirements. If you’re currently a resident of an EU or EEA country, you won’t need a visa to move anywhere in Germany. Anyone who is usually a resident outside of Europe will need to make an application for a German visa, or residency permit, before making the move.

Kundenzentrum Innenstadt

EU and EEA residents have the right to live and work in Germany as long as they have an ID card or valid passport from their home country. Germany does ask that within three months of your arrival, you register your details with a special registration office (Kundenzentrum Innenstadt) in Cologne, or a regional Meldehalle in the outlying areas. You should be able to locate this office on the city’s website, and they’ll want to see your passport and proof of residence, such as a property rental contract, to validate your application.

Getting a job in Germany is pretty straightforward for EU and EEA citizens as well. You can apply for and take on work in Germany without any restrictions at all, just as you would in your country of origin.

A permanent residence permit

If you love living in Cologne, and can’t see yourself moving away, you can apply for a permanent residence permit, usually after five years of living there. There are some exceptions, such as those people who marry a German citizen, or German university graduates who hold a temporary work visa. Do bear in mind that while this means you can stay in Germany indefinitely, you still won’t have the same rights as a German citizen, such as the right to vote. If you want to apply for permanent citizenship, this will give you the same rights and responsibilities as a German citizen. Viel Glück with your future in Cologne!

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