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I have recently moved to Germany from Norway to conduct a paid, 6 month internship. I am looking for housing intensively, which has proven to be extremely difficult. I have to this day sent 90 applications for various flats, shared flats and sublets without any luck. Not being a registered student in Germany means that I cannot either apply for student accommodation services.

My option until now (1 month so far) has been to live in an AirBnB. However, this does not allow me to get a wohnungsbestätigung and therefore I cannot register it with the registration office. Not doing so means I will not get a tax number, which in turn results in the highest taxes being deducted.

There is a very difficult housing situation in the area I am in, and not knowing fluent German in my (social) age group (early 20s) as well as the short duration (now 5 months) puts me at weak spot when attempting to find housing.

I am trying to walk through the various websites of the German websites for foreigners, foreign workforce and registration sites, and have been on the phone with the registration office, public administration office and Finanzamt, most of who only speak German, without any concrete solution. They all reply with that it is a difficult situation and that I must find housing.

Due to my intermediate level in German, I am not sure I understand the various offices correctly.

Therefore, do anyone on this site have experience with this situation and any ideas for solution? As of now, the situation is extremely hopeless. Continuing to live in an AirBnB is not only extremely expensive, but also does not allow me to get nearly my full pay.

Norway is not a member of the EU, however it is a member of the EEA and Schengen Area.

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  • Even though your question should be moved to Expatriates SE, it might be of help if you tell where in Germany your are living.
    – jarnbjo
    Jan 24 at 22:04

2 Answers 2

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I take the registration issue to be the core of your question, although of course solving the accommodation issue would ultimately solve everything. You may want to ask a separate question regarding finding medium-term accommodation in Germany as a foreigner, focusing on the pertinent information (including where in Germany you are based).

In Germany you are required to register with the Einwohnermeldeamt if you are moving to a new commune (and to update your address, and deregister when you are moving away from that commune). That requirement is independent of your nationality, and I believe that you being Norwegian is irrelevant to the problem (speaking German would make it easier to communicate with the German buerocracy though).

The expected way to do the registration is that includes giving the address of your permanant residence along with evidence that this is indeed your permanent residence. If you are renting, this would be the Wohnungsbestätigung your Air B&B folks don't provide.

The situation you seem to be finding yourself in is that are indeed a resident of the German commune you've moved to (you are intending to stay longer than 3 months), however, you do not have a proper residence inside that commune. That is not a situation "as intended", however, not a too rare one. This usually affects the homeless, and as odd as it might feel to you, you essentially are homeless as far as the Einwohnermeldeamt is concerned. As such, you should register at the Einwohnermeldeamt with ohne festen Wohnsitz in place of an address (meaning "without permanent residence").

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  • This won't work. The OP has a place to stay. All the OP needs to do is to register and inform them of the refusal to supply the Wohnungsbestätigung. Jan 27 at 16:42
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My option until now (1 month so far) has been to live in an AirBnB. However, this does not allow me to get a wohnungsbestätigung and therefore I cannot register it with the registration office.

Not only can you register, but are even required to do so, in your case, at the latest 2 weeks after the 3rd month (Section 29 (1)).

Since you need this earlier, you can do it now. The law itsself only defines the latest point in time. It does not prohibit any earlier registration.

Should the 'person supplying the residence' refuse to issue a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung, then you are required to report this without delay (Section 19 (2)) when you register (take any booking confirmation with you).

The result will be that the person supplying the residence will be informed of their legal obligation to comply (failing to do could result in a fine of up to € 1000 (Section 54 (2)(3)).

One reason why AirBnB supplyers are reluctant to issue a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung is (supposedly) because of the Television Tax (Rundfunkbeitrag), which every household must pay once (independent on how many peaple are in the household).

If their guest, after they have registered as resident, forget to apply for the exemption properly, then the supplyer will be plagued until the kingdom comes for payment.

Ask them to give your their Rundfunkbeitrag Nummer, if the room you are staying in is already covered.

Informationen on how to register, can be found here: Der Rundfunkbeitrag - Students and Apprentices

At some point you will be asked for an existing number: enter the given number at that point.


Section 19 - Cooperation by the supplier of the residence - Federal Act on Registration
(1) The person supplying the residence shall be obligated to cooperate with registration. The person supplying the residence or someone authorized by him or her shall confirm in writing or pursuant to subsection 4 electronically within the period given in Section 17 (1) that the person required to register has moved in. He or she may contact the registration authority to find out whether the person required to register has done so. The person required to register shall provide the person supplying the residence with the information necessary to confirm that the former has moved in. Confirmation pursuant to the second sentence may be provided only by the person supplying the residence or someone authorized by him or her.

(2) If the person supplying the residence or the person authorized by him or her refuses to provide confirmation, or if the person required to register does not receive confirmation on time for other reasons, the person required to register shall inform the registration authorities of this without delay.

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