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Moving to Karlsruhe?

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Karslruhe at a Glance

Moving to Karlsruhe

If you’re an expat planning on moving to Karlsruhe, get to know the most relevant information about the city, the climate and also visas for Germany. Due to the proximity with the French border, Karlsruhe has a diverse culture perfect for expats. Find more information in our expat guide.

About the City

Located in south-west Germany near the Franco-German border, Karlsruhe is the second largest city in the state of Baden-Württemberg, with a total territory of 173.460 km2. Of its population of over 250,000, the vast majority are native Germans. However, due to its close proximity to France, there is a large French community located in the city, along with many other foreign communities, the largest of which include people from Turkey, Italy, Romania, Croatia, and Poland. In addition, the specialized technology industry and thriving energy sector attract many expatriates from the UK, America, and around the world. Although the official language is German, many people also speak French, again due to its close proximity to the Franco-German border, whilst English is also widely spoken. Karlsruhe is a major city in Germany, and in addition to its important energy and technology industries, it is also the seat of two of the country's highest courts, the Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Court of Justice.

The Climate in Karlsruhe

Like most of Germany and the nearby areas of France, Karlsruhe has an oceanic climate, which is characterized by hot summers and mild winters. Expatriates living in Karlsruhe will be pleased to learn that, due to its southern location, it is one the sunniest and warmest cities in Germany, with summer temperatures of between 20.9°C and 26.6°C (69.6°F and 79.9°F) on average. In the winter months the temperature drops to between 2.0°C and 5.8°C (35.6°F and 42.4°F) on average. Although Karlsruhe rarely gets snow or ice, rain is expected throughout the year, even in the summer months, with 783.4 mm falling on average every year.

Visas for Germany

As Germany is a member of the European Union, EU/EEA and Swiss citizens will not need a visa to move to Karlsruhe and stay for three months. After this time, however, they must register their presence with the local authorities, but this is merely a formality.

Non-EU citizens may need a visa to enter Germany, and will need a residence permit to move to Karlsruhe. These must be applied for through your local embassy or consulate before arriving in Germany, and are considered separate from your work permit. If your application is approved, you will usually be issued a temporary residence permit, which can be renewed when it expires. Permanent residence permits do exist, but are rarely issued to non-EU nationals.

You can also check our extended guide on German visas for more information.

InterNations Expat Magazine