Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
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What to do first when arriving in Rostock?

Finding an apartment and registering

IOW offers guest rooms up to 4 months.
To check the availability of these rooms please contact your department.

The guest rooms are situated in the IOW villa building (see picture).

Please click on the picture to see more pictures of the rooms.

tl_files/staff/recklebe/Gaestezimmer/IOW - K. Beck.JPG
picture: IOW/K.Beck
If no guest room is available or latest after 4 months of staying there, you should find an apartment of your own.
You find some useful websites in here.

If you stay longer than three months in Germany, please register your German address at the citizens' registration office (Ortsamt) that is responsible for your area that you live in --> Information for Rostock citizens

The following documents are required before you go there:

1. fill out the "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" (landlord confirmation) and let it sign from your landlord
2. your passport or ID card
3. if you already have an address in Germany then bring the confirmation of your registration of that place
If you move to Germany with your family (spouse, children) make sure they are mentioned on the form as well and they will have to go to the Ortsamt with you personally.

Finances / tax classes

When having registered at the Ortsamt you will automatically receive a German tax ID number (Steueridentifikationsnummer) that will be sent to you within a couple of weeks to your registered address. The tax ID number is important for your salary. If you do not register, you will be put to "Steuerklasse VI" which is the highest tax class with the highest tax deduction. As soon as you receive the letter from the "Bundeszentralamt für Steuern" (BZSt) send a copy to IOW's human ressources.

Tax class I is reserved for all taxpayers who are not or no longer married. It is intended for people who are single, unmarried, divorced or widowed. Members of income tax class I have a restriction with regard to their options for choosing a tax class.

Tax class II is only intended for single parents. One of the prerequisites is that the single parent must live with at least one child to be considered for tax purposes.

The tax class with a married status is automatically tax class IV. Even if a spouse receives no salary, you are automatically classified in tax class 4. Tax class IV is useful for spouses who earn roughly the same amount. Married couples can change their tax classes to a III/V or IV/IV combination.

If you would like to have the tax class combination III/V, you must apply to the tax authority (Finanzamt).The change of the tax class cannot be done online. Therefore you must fill out this form ( and send it to the "Finanzamt Rostock" (Möllner Strasse 13, 18109 Rostock).

Tax class VI is intended for employees who have two or more jobs. The second job (if it exceeds the mini job limit) is always taxed according to income tax class VI. Deductions are particularly high in tax class VI.


Register at the Rostock immigration office (for non-EU citizens)
To get your electronic residence permit (eAT) you have to go the immigration office in Rostock.(online tool for making an appointment & Tutorial on "how to book an appointment")
To learn more about the eAT you can download the English flyer here.
Please bring the following documents when applying:
  1. your passport
  2. biometric photo
  3. your "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" - registration letter of your apartment
  4. source of living expenses, i.e. your working contract and/or (blocked) bank account information
  5. confirmation of German health insurance
  6. filled out request form

Also here your family has to accompany you and register. If they are arriving at a later time please make sure they also register at the immigration office personally.


Neuer Markt 3
18055 Rostock

Other important information

When staying in Germany please make sure you always have your passport and/or your eAT-card with you.

Opening a bank account

For receiving your salary as well as making contracts in Germany, i.e. mobile phone, renting an apartment, etc. it is necessary to have a so-called SEPA bank account. SEPA is short for "Single Euro Payments Area". Most European Union countries are part of the SEPA.

To check the member countries please have a look at the Website of the European Central Bank (ECB).

If you are not from a member country you must open a bank account in Germany. Therefore you need your passport, temporary visa and the document for the registration of your address.

If you do not have a working contract (student, scholarship holder, guest, etc.), you might even need to open a blocked bank account.

The Sparkasse and Deutsche Bank are two banks that open these kind of accounts.


Health Insurance

Most Germans are members of the government health system (GKV), and for all employees it is mandatory. It is a statutory regulation. You can choose one health insurance out of about 103 health insurances in Germany.

Read more about the statutory health insurance regulations:


VBL registration

The Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder (VBL) is an organisation that provides supplementary, occupational pensions for the public sector in Germany. This is addtional to the German state pension (Rentenversicherung).

You will receive information about the VBL products from the brochure (VBL Brochure for scientists).

For all questions related to VBL please contact them directly:

Kindergarten / School

Rostock offers a great amout of childcare possibilities for all ages.

The institutional differences depend on the child's age:

creche (Krippe) / daycare (Tagesmutter) --> until age 3
Kindergarten --> from age 3
daycare for pupils (Hort) --> children in school (grade 1-4)

For Kindergarten you can apply at your supervisor/head of department for a childcare possibility in Warnemünde. That is an intern IOW process that is decided about in the executive unit. Also it depends on free capacities in the kindergarten.

If there are no free capacities you can look for kindergarten online:

Additionally to the application on the online platform we recommend to contact the institutions directly and ask for capacities. All contacts of each institution is provided on the website, too.

If you have contacted a kindergarten/daycare/creche successfully then there are some administrative and organizational steps to follow:

  1. fill out the "Antrag auf Berechtigung" (claim for eligibility)
  2. fill out the "Arbeitszeitnachweis" (proof of working time) and let your head of department or administration/human ressources sign

With those two documents AND the confirmation of the Ortsamt, (and the documents you/your child receives from the immigration office) you can go to the Youth and Social office of the city of Rostock.



Amt für Jugend, Soziales und Asyl
Sachgebiet Kita/Tagespflege
St.-Georg-Str. 109/Haus II
18055 Rostock
Opening hours
09.00 - 12.00 h
13.30 - 18.00 h
09.00 - 12.00 h
13.30 - 16.00 h

Other important information


Full-time ~ up to 10 hours per day
Half-day ~ up to 6 hours per day
Part-time ~ up to 4 hours per day

Daycare for pupils (Hort):

Full-time ~ 30 hours per week
Part-time ~ 15 hours per week

All institutions have own opening hours that should be recognized, too.


Further information in and around Rostock


Welcome Center Region Rostock -

Welcome Center University of Rostock -