On Monday I have been invited to the Dresden Welcome Center. We met at the Bürgeramt in the middle of Dresden, together with other businesses that support expats and arriving foreigners to Dresden.

This initiative is unique in consolidating lines of services and processes in order to speed up administration for foreign professionals as well as making their life easier by offering one point of support.

Planning for the Center started in 2011, the final stages of development have been decided in February 2012. Another 16 months later, on July 4th 2013, it will open its door for the first time, on which occasion the Minister for Internal Affairs of Saxony as well as the mayor of Dresden will be present.

The mission of the Center is to show the international spirit of Dresden and establish a welcoming atmosphere. The main areas that will be served are:

  • Pre- and post arrival information
  • Consolidation of administrative processes like registration and legal questions
  • Funnel into other institutions
  • Support and consulting for Dresden-based businesses in recruiting qualified foreign employees

In 2012, 6’600 foreigners registered in the city of Dresden. 700 of those are highly qualified and will mainly be treated at the Welcome Center. Those 700 include:

  • Qualified employees and scientists (§ 18 IV, § 18b, § 18c,19a AufenthG) Dresden_center_Berlin
  • Highly qualified employees ( § 19 AufenthG)
  • Research scientist (§ 20 AufenthG)
  • Freelance Businesses (§ 21 AufenthG)
  • PhD Candidates (§ 16 I AufenthG)
  • Artists and athletes
  • Doctors
  • & family of all of the above-mentioned

The portfolio of services includes, a.o., the following:

  • VISA registration
  • City registration
  • Issuing passport substitute documents
  • Accreditation of foreign documents
  • Providing a first welcome package of information, e.g. free public transportation ticket
  • Address change of car registration certificate
  • Consolidated access to kindergarten availabilities
  • Consulting in integration and intercultural questions

The services will be provided by a total of six employees and will be open to the public on three days a week. The other days will be filled with back office administration, working on applications and for individual appointments.

All necessary documents etc. can soon be found at, and


In addition to the services offered by the Welcome Center, service personnel has already reached out to service providers in relocation, intercultural training as well as local businesses in order to further connect foreigners. The solutions ofGLOBALS will be a nice complementary service to help out here.

Overall, a great move in a city so much smaller than Berlin (300’000 vs. 4’000’000 inhabitants) and therefore with a lesser potential number of customers served (6’600 vs. 50’000).

Quite impressive, taking into consideration that Berlin has not yet worked or communicated on

I am open to support any effort, beyond, towards pointing Berlin into the same direction.

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