Residence and Work Permits

For technical reasons, you must wait at least one day after registering your address at the city office before you are allowed to apply for a residence or work permit. 

Please note that from 01.03.2020 onwards it will no longer be possible to transfer from the Blue Card to a residence permit for researchers (or study) (further information).

The Foreigners’ Registration Office in Cottbus is located in the same building as the City Administration Office, but on the 2nd floor. Please visit the Foreigners’ Registration Office at least six weeks before your visa expires (this applies particularly for doctoral candidates who do not have an employment contract).

Book an appoinment: Please send an e-mail to the Foreigners' Registration Office Cottbus with your request (e.g. apply for a residence permit, extend a residence title) and your desired appointment time to: auslaenderbehoerde(at) You will then be notified of an appointment in a timely manner.

You can also use the online form to book an appointment. An automated email will then be sent to you. To confirm the appointment, please click on the confirmation link in the email within one hour.

Please keep in mind that depending on the purpose of your stay and which residence permit your qualify for, there may be different fees. 

If you wish to extend your residence permit, you should apply at least one month before it is set to expire.

If the purpose of your stay changes (i.e., at first you were studying, but now want to work), you must inform the Foreigners’ Registration Office.

When applying for a residence permit for the first time, you should bring the following items:

  • Completed application (available at the Welcome Centre)
  • Official proof of residence (Meldebescheinigung) (which you receive upon registering at the City Administration Office)
  • Valid passport or similar ID (must be valid for the entire period of intended stay)
  • Biometric passport photo (35 x 45mm)
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of purpose of stay (employment contract, hosting agreement, letter of award, certificate of enrolment)
  • Proof of financial support 
  • Proof from landlord of sufficient living space (at least 12m2 per person) (e.g. lease)
  • For family members: marriage and birth certificates translated into either German or English

Electronic Residence Permit (eAT)

Your residence permit is issued as an electronic residence permit (eAT) in the form of a card. After applying for your residence permit, it takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks for it to be issued. Upon receiving a letter by post with your secret PIN number included, you can go to the Foreigners’ Registration Office and pick up your residence permit card.


If you need assistance with any administrative procedures, you should contact the Welcome Centre. We can help to arrange your appointment and to translate if needed.