First steps in Germany

Fequently-asked questions – First steps in Germany

Which countries belong to the European Union?

You can find a list on the European Union website.

Which countries belong to the European Economic Area?

All EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Can I drive in Germany with my driving licence?

If you come from an EU country or from within the European Economic Area, then yes. If you come from another country, then you can drive on it for 6 months. Then you have to take a German driving test. But driving licences from certain other countries are accepted, refer to: ADAC: foreign driving licences.

Do you have any more questions on the subject of visas and immigration?

You can find information on many aspects of this here: Federal Foreign Office

When can my relatives (spouse / child) join me?

I do not understand this important letter. Who can help me with complicated documents in bureaucratic German / official German?

Please contact Migration Advice or local integration councils in your area. An overview can be found under “Mein Weg nach Deutschland” in the “Help” section.

Additional information for asylum seekers

You can also find help at Refugee Law Clinics, for example: Refugee Law Clinic: Counselling hours and support in the areas of asylum and laws concerning foreigners, which can help in particular with legal wording. Refugee Law Clinics can also be found in many different cities.

You can also contact refugee initiatives or support networks. These can be found in the “Help” section under “Adressen für Flüchtlinge: Helferkreise und Initiativen”.

What services are available to me as an asylum seeker?

There is no clear and simple answer to this question. This is laid out in German social welfare law concerning asylum seekers as follows: According to Section 1, beneficiaries are entitled to “benefits including services to meet needs such as nutrition, accommodation, heating, clothing, healthcare and provision of household goods (necessities). The necessary requirements will be met with non-cash benefits.” Additionally you will receive benefits “to meet the personal needs of your daily life (necessary personal needs)”. These will also be covered by benefits in kind.

If benefits in kind, for certain reasons, are not possible in all cases, federal states and local authorities can decide whether these services will be covered in the form of vouchers or cash benefits. For more information please contact your local city administration.

My advisor at the social services/employment agency is treating me badly. What can I do?

You can contact a counselling centre. In the “Help” section you can find information on consultation such as: Migration Advice for adults as well as youth migration services. In the “Wichtige Adressen” section you can find Migration Advice in your area. There you can receive advice about your options and the best way to proceed.


More questions? Contact the advisors at the Youth Migration Services.