Help for new employees
Escaping the loophole
If you start working in Germany, you will need a Lohnsteurnummer. But if you did not find housing yet (and hence no Anmeldebestätigung) you cannot apply for it. The trick is to find a temporary residence adres, sometimes a hostel address or Airbnb will suffice. With this address you can then register as a citizen, obtain your Anmeldebestätigung, and go with this to a Finanzamt to obtain your Lohnsteurnummer. When you have found a more permanent residence, you can simply change your residence address (by again paying a visit to a Bürgeramt).
More info about all this and more you will find below. It is also recommended to visit this website. There you can find info on A-Z indexed subjects. Note: you need to log-in with your three-letter ID and password.
Registering as citizen in Berlin
You can register as citizen in Berlin at the Bürgeramt closest to your home. For this you will a valid ID, and your rental agreement. It is also best to bring your contract (or proof of enrollment for students). Registering is free of charge and takes about half an hour (excluding waiting time which can easily take an hour).
You will receive an Anmeldebestätigung. This is an A4 print and for foreigners it is mandatory to have this with you all the time (as is your ID). You will often need to show this Anmeldebestätigung when opening a bank account, internet/phone connection, etc.
On this site you can find an overview of all the Bürgeramts in Berlin, for some you can also make an (on line) appointment.
While you are at the Bürgeramt, you can also apply for a police declaration
A Lohnsteurkarte is comparable to your social security number. You will need this when working at the HZB (or for any other employer). The amount of taxes you will have to pay will be determined on the basis of this Lohnsteurkarte.
You can get the Lohnsteuerkarte at the Finanzamt. You will have to bring your ID and Anmeldebestätigung. It is best to go to the Finanzamt of the district where you live. On this site you can find an overview of all the Finanzamts in Berlin.
Opening a German bank account
To open a German bank account you will need to bring your passport and Anmeldebestätigung. There are a lot of banks to choose from; you could look on this site to compare the different banks, including online as well as offline banks. One thing to consider when choosing a bank is the cost the bank charges when getting money from a money machine from a different bank, for some banks this can costs as much as €5,-.
Sometimes it is also not possible to obtain a creditcard; some banks state that you have to be resident in Germany for at least a year or have a certain amount of money on your bank account. An alternative option would be to opt for a Hauptstadtkarte visa card from Berliner Bank. This visa card can be coupled to your bank account. The main difference between a normal creditcard is that you need to transfer money onto the card before use.
Health insurance and Socialversicherungsnummer
In Germany it is mandatory to have a health insurance (Krankenversicherung). There are several insurance companies (Krankenkasse) to choose from. Here you can compare the different health insurance companies.
The fee will be paid from your bruto salary, and this is why HZB asks new employees for their Socialversicherungsnummer.