I visited Denmark and Germany on a Schengen visa issued by the Danish consulate. My visit to Germany was for six days and I entered from Denmark. This was mentioned in my visa application.

Hotel bookings were provided for my stay in Germany in the visa application. However, upon visiting Germany, I met a friend and stayed at his residence.

After leaving the Schengen area, I noticed that part (d) of Article 23 from 2016/399 in the Schengen Borders Code states this:

The absence of border control at internal borders shall not affect:....

(d) the possibility for a Member State to provide by law for an obligation on third-country nationals to report their presence on its territory pursuant to the provisions of Article 22 of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders (‘the Schengen Convention’).

Question 1: Was I supposed to report to the German authorities about my stay when I entered from Denmark?

Question 2: In case I was supposed to report, but I did not, what are the consequences? Is there anyway to fix this? (e.g. ex post facto notification of stay?)

Thanks in advance!

3 Answers 3


No, foreigners staying temporarily in Germany are not required to report or register their whereabouts.

Had you stayed in a hotel or another kind of commercially operated lodging, the accomodation would have been required to collect and keep records of your personal data, but these records are also only handed out to the authorities on request and not by default.

  • § 30(4) BMG This data must be retained 1 year after departure and destroyed within 3 months after that year. Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 19:54

In Germany, all residents have to register their place of residence with the municipal authorities. A special rule applies to hotels and hostels.

Tourists with extremely long stays might come under this regulation, but not for less than a week.

  • 2
    The general rule seems to be 8 weeks as a visitor. Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 7:16
  • @I'mwithMonica The 2 weeks rule is for moving to or taking a new residence and not for visiting or staying with others temporarily. I just looked again and I think 3 months is correct based on: § 27(2) Für Personen, die sonst im Ausland wohnen und im Inland nicht nach § 17 Absatz 1 gemeldet sind, besteht diese Pflicht nach Ablauf von drei Monaten. Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 18:04
  • @I'mwithMonica The 8 weeks were found on sites giving advise to hotels and gave no source. § 27(2) is only for those not registered elsewhere in Germany. Unless hidded somewhere in the complicated text, there may be no need for German residents to register while visiting others. I have never heard of it at least. Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 18:14
  • @MarkJohnson, it is relevant for tax purposes (and others) where your primary site of residence is. §22 BMG cannot be evaded by calling the stay an "extended visit." §27(2)1 applies to people resident elsewhere in Germany, §27(2)2 applies to people not resident in Germany.
    – o.m.
    Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 18:42
  • @o.m. Yes, §27(2)2 is the portion (sentence 2) that I quoted. When peaple are not physically at their primary residence, they are still required to react ro any official notices sent there. This may be the reason that no further, temporary, registration is required. Note this federal law is relatively new (2015) and replaces former state laws. Some sites may still be based on the older state laws. (many don't give a source at all) Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 19:12

I will take the liberty to write a general answer of the entire EU and for any length of stay, as I think it might be useful for other people with this question:

Stays under 3 months

Some EU countries require you to report your presence to the relevant authorities (often the town hall or local police station) within a reasonable period of time after arrival and may impose a penalty, such as a fine if you fail to do so.

Source (Emphasis mine): europa.eu

Now, in all cases I am aware of if you go to a hotel or other official accomodation this has to be handled by the accommodation. The exception is when you - often illegally - stay at a couchsurfing or airbnb accommodation, as a lot of those function without the proper paperwork. Also worth noting that in addition to the town hall or local police station, in some countries you have to register with the foreign police.

To find out the specific rules for your specific country go to this page and click the Choose Country button which gives a full list of all EU member states with the relevant rules. For Germany this is:

If you are moving into an apartment or a house, for up to 3 months, there is no obligation to notify the registration authority.

Stays over 3 months

After 3 months in your new country, you may be required to register your residence with the relevant authority (often the town hall or local police station), and to be issued with a registration certificate.

Source: europa.eu

Once again you can find the full list of countries on this page when you click the Choose Country button. For Germany this is:

EU citizens do not need to apply for a residence certificate (Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung). You must nevertheless register at the competent residents' registration office when moving into accommodation in Germany.

  • @I'mwithMonica The EU legislation is completely focused on the right of EU citizens going to another EU country, so my guess is that that german law will exempt non-Germans. The EU legislation does specifically state "The deadline for registration may not be less than three months from the date of arrival.", so there's that. Here is a link (article 8 and chapter III in general): eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/… Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 14:30
  • The exception is when you - often illegally - stay at a couchsurfing or airbnb accommodation (...). You can also stay at a friend's place, or family. There are plenty of cases where you can legally stay not in a hotel.
    – WoJ
    Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 15:57
  • @WoJ That line is describing what 'official accommodation' includes to highlight that this doesn't apply to certain things the reader might believe it could apply to. I sincerely thought that 'staying at a friend's place' is fairly obviously not 'official accommodation', but if you believe that to be unclear, feel free to edit 👍 Commented Mar 21, 2020 at 17:09
  • OK, I missed the fact that you were first mentioning that this applied to something like "paid accomodation" (hotel, AirBnB, ...) and that some of them may not do their work correctly (AirBnB essentially).
    – WoJ
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 10:43
  • As @MarkJohnson pointed out in another comment, the law I cited actually has an exemption for foreigners not registered in Germany: It is three months after taking a residence.(§27 II sentence 3 Bundesmeldegesetz) Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 10:23

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