Living in Germany
The Australian Government provides 24-hour consular assistance:
Overseas: +61 26261 3305
Within Australia: 1300 555 135
SMS: +61 421 269 080
The Consular Services Charter outlines how we may assist Australian nationals overseas.
If you are interested in the volume and types of assistance we provide to Australian nationals overseas, take a look at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade annual State of Play report which provides a great level of detail on consular statistics, particular case types and trends in consular caseload.
We encourage all Australians living and travelling overseas to register on www.smartraveller.gov.au. Providing DFAT with your trip itinerary and contact details will help us contact you or your family in the event of an emergency. You can also subscribe to the latest updates to our travel advices. You can subscribe to one or more countries or to our official bulletins for information about topics such as voting in Australian elections, large sporting events, or widespread health or security issues. We encourage you to subscribe to this service as soon as you are thinking about holidaying, working, studying or living overseas.
The Australian Embassy Berlin cannot provide visa advice for Germany/the Schengen area. You can find general information on entry and exit requirements on: https://smartraveller.gov.au/bulletins/Pages/europe_schengen.aspx.
For more information, please contact the Foreigners’ Office in the city where you are located or the Germany Embassy in Canberra: https://australien.diplo.de/au-en/service/01-visa.
Citizenship is a complex matter and we are unable to provide a one-size-fits-all answer.
Generally, both Australia and Germany recognise the concept of multiple nationality. However, there may be exceptions under present law and there may have been exceptions in the past. You should contact the Department of Home Affairs in Australia, the German Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community and/or seek legal advice if you have specific questions. The consular section of the Australian Embassy Berlin cannot advise on, or determine, citizenship.
You should always have appropriate travel insurance when you travel: https://smartraveller.gov.au/guide/pages/dual-nationals.aspx#the-importance-of-travel-insurance.
You may wish to bring gifts for your friends and family, take your pet, or take prescription medication with you when you travel home. But can your bring it?
Australians, including dual nationals, should leave and enter Australia on their Australian passport. If you have a passport from another country, you can use that for travel once you have left Australia.
People trying to enter Australia as an Australian citizen but without an Australian passport will face difficulties and delays. An Australian passport is the preferred and most conclusive proof of Australian citizenship when travelling.
International airlines have an obligation to carry only appropriately documented passengers to Australia. Appropriate documentation for Australian nationals is an Australian passport. Appropriate documentation for a foreign national is a visa to enter Australia. If an Australian national attempts to board a flight to Australia without an Australian passport, airlines will likely be unable to verify their claim to Australian citizenship at the time of check-in and may refuse boarding. See the Department of Home Affairs website for further information on citizenship and travel.
If you intend to stay in Germany for more than three months, you must register at your local Einwohnermeldeamt (register office) within 14 days. The Einwohnermeldeamt may also be called Bürgeramt, Kreisverwaltungsreferat or Bürgerbüro. If you move within Germany, you will have to deregister from your old address and register at your new one. You will have to attend the office in person and will likely need to make an appointment.
Check the registration and appointment requirements with your local Einwohnermeldeamt, but you may need to provide the following documents:
· personal identification or a passport
· a registration form
· a rental agreement
· children’s identification documents or birth certificates of children also moving in
· marriage certificates as required
· non-EU citizens, with the exception of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, also require a residency permit
Generally, you must register with a health insurance company (Krankenkasse) when you are a resident in Germany. The type of health insurance required and your monthly contribution may depend on your income, the type of employment and your visa/residency and work permit.
You can find a comprehensive overview of the Social Security system in Germany on this website: https://www.bmas.de/EN/Services/Publications/a998-social-security-at-a-glance.html.
If you are in receipt of payments by Centrelink in Australia, you need to advise Centrelink before you travel. There are rules covering how travelling outside Australia may affect your payment or concession card. These depend on the payment or concession card you get. When you leave Australia Centrelink may adjust or stop your payment or concession card based on these rules. You can find more information here: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/payments-while-outside-australia/31226.
Please note that the Australian Embassy Berlin cannot assist with the application of your pension or correspondence with Centrelink
There is an international social security agreement between Germany and Australia allowing you to lodge a claim for payment from either Germany or Australia. You can find more information about the agreement here:
Please note that the Australian Embassy Berlin cannot assist with the application of your pension or correspondence with Centrelink or the Deutsche Rentenversicherung (German Pension Fund).
You can contact Centrelink from Germany free of charge: 0800 1802 482 from Monday to Friday 8am – 5pm AEST.
If you are in Germany as a tourist (less than 185 days), you are permitted to drive in Germany if you have a valid Australian driving licence plus an official translation into German or an international driving permit (IDP). IDPs are issued through state and territory motoring clubs. You can find a list of IDP authorities here: https://smartraveller.gov.au/guide/all-travellers/getting-around/pages/road-safety-and-driving.aspx#international-driving-permits.
If you reside in Germany for more than six months, you are considered to have established normal residence in Germany and your Australian licence (plus IDP) will no longer be recognised. To convert your Australian licence to a German driver’s licence, contact your local Führerscheinstelle (driver licensing agency).
You can find more information on the website of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure: https://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/EN/Articles/StV/validity-foreign-driving-licences-in-germany.html?nn=188334
Please note you are not normally permitted to keep your Australian licence when you receive your German licence.
Please visit our Marriage in Germany page:
Before the birth
In order to obtain a birth certificate for your baby, you will have to provide certain documents to the register office. A list of documents that may be required is below and, if you do not have them in Germany, may wish to have them sent from Australia before the birth.
Documents required for birth certificate of baby (additional documents may be requested):
· ID card of passport of parents
· Mother’s and father’s birth certificate
If you do not have a copy of your Australian birth certificate, you can order a new copy from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) in the state in which you were born
· Marriage certificate if applicable
· Acknowledgement of paternity (if parents are not married)
· Custody declaration
· Divorce decree or death certificate of father if applicable
If your documents are not in German, they will have to be translated by a certified translator and be legalised. You can find certified translators on: www.bdue.de and find more information on legalisation on documents (apostilles) on our notarial services page.
When the child is born
International birth certificate
When you collect your child’s birth certificate, you will get additional German-language copies of the birth certificate for administrative purposes (i.e. to apply for Kindergeld, Elterngeld and health insurance) and they will be marked accordingly. In addition to those copies, you should also ask for an international version of the birth certificate, as you will need an English-language copy of the birth certificate for the child’s citizenship and passport application.
Applying for Australian citizenship
Your child is not automatically an Australian citizen when they are born overseas. You must lodge a citizenship by descent application with the Department of Home Affairs if you wish your child to become an Australian citizen. You can find all the relevant information here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/become-a-citizen/by-descent.
A child born to German/Australian parents in Germany can hold both German and Australian citizenship according to German and Australian law.
Applying for an Australian passport
There is no legal requirement for your child to hold a valid Australian passport. However, Australian citizens need to use their Australian passport to enter and leave Australia. A passport is the best way to show that you are an Australian citizen. You may still be able to enter Australia if you are a citizen without a passport, but it will be more difficult. The airline may stop you from boarding a plane to Australia. Please find more information about this on smartraveller.
We therefore recommend that you apply for your child’s passport once you have received the citizenship certificate and keep their passports valid. You can apply for an Australian passport at the Australian Embassy Berlin or the Consulate-General Frankfurt. Please find all the relevant information on our passports page.
Please contact the Australian Embassy Berlin on +49 30 88 00 88 0 or the Australian Consulate-General Frankfurt on +49 69 90558 0 to report the death of a loved one in Germany. If you are in Australia, please contact the Consular Emergency Centre: +61 26261 3305
To learn more about how we can assist you when a loved one has passed away overseas, please visit: https://smartraveller.gov.au/brochures/Documents/Death%20overseas.PDF
If you intend to leave Germany permanently, you should notify the German and Australian authorities before you move. You will have to deregister with your local Einwohnermeldeamt and advise your health insurance, bank, the Deutsche Rentenversicherung if you are in receipt of a pension, and other relevant authorities. You may also be required to fill in a tax return for that year in both Germany and Australia.
You should contact the Department of Human Services to discuss access to medicare and other benefit payments or concession cards you may be entitled to.
Information on upcoming elections will be posted here as they become available.
For up-to-date information on Australian elections, enrolment and voting while overseas, visit the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) website or contact the AEC via email (email@example.com) or by calling +61 2 6160 2600 or +61 2 6113 4777 (charges may apply).
To obtain a certificate of conduct/police national police check (polizeiliches Führungszeugnis) from Australia, please visit: www.afp.gov.au. The Australian Embassy Berlin cannot assist in this matter.
To obtain a certificate of conduct in Germany, you can apply for it at your local Bürgeramt or with the Federal Office of Justice. You can find more information here: https://www.bundesjustizamt.de/EN/Topics/citizen_services/BZR/BZR_node.html
Immigration, visas, citizenship, customs: www.homeaffairs.gov.au
Government information and services: www.australia.gov.au
Centrelink and medicare: www.humanservices.gov.au
German Embassy Canberra: https://australien.diplo.de/au-en
Translators and interpreters: www.bdue.de
Berlin Welcome Guide: https://www.berlin.de/lb/intmig/veroeffentlichungen/willkommen-in-berlin/