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When I first arrived here in Düsseldorf, like many of you, I felt unsettled and overwhelmed at how much there was still left on my to-do list in order to settle into my new home. There was a serious lack of English content on the web and I had no idea where to start. Oh, what I would have given to have a service like the Expat Service Desk available for me when I first arrived here in Düsseldorf. 


Today, we are so lucky to live in a city where a service like this is available. The Expat Service Desk offers a significant amount of information regarding living and working in the city of Düsseldorf and the County of Mettmann, not only online, but in their face-to-face consultation and interactive and engaging seminars each month.

The icing on the cake? It’s completely free.

Unlike Life in Düsseldorf, the Expat Service Desk is an official institution geared to providing professional advice and support. They are also able to refer you to governmental offices, and various organizations which will help you settle in quicker.

This article was sponsored by the Expat Service Desk in order to share with our readers all the amazing services they have to offer you. The Expat Service Desk is currently funded by the European Union (funds of the regional development) and is run by the City of Düsseldorf, the County of Mettmann, and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Düsseldorf (IHK).


What is the Expat Service Desk?

The institution “Expat Service Desk” was founded in 2017 by the Office of Economic Development of Düsseldorf, the County of Mettmann and the IHK. The purpose of the Expat Service Desk is to be the first official point of contact for international employees and expats. You shouldn’t confuse this service with a typical “welcome center”, they are a governmentally funded official institution that targets highly-qualified international and working professionals, their families, and newly arrived expats.

Here are a few facts that may interest you:

  • Since the Expat Service Desk has launched (in 2017), they’ve already consulted more than 2,000 international companies and expats
  • The most commonly asked questions often relate to immigration law (19%), job search/further education (17%), insurances/taxes (10%)
  • Out of 71 different countries, expats from Greater China (13%), USA (9%) and the UK (8%) interact with the Expat Service Desk the most


Meet the team at the Expat Service Desk

Johannes Grünhage
manages the Expat Service Desk. He studied East Asian Studies with a focus on politics and economics. After graduation, he gained several years of professional work experience in Shanghai, China, as well as in Germany. He speaks English, German, and Chinese.

Svitlana Bayer is an expat herself. She has been living in Düsseldorf for more than ten years. She studied linguistics – German and Romance studies and business administration. She has intensive work experience in the international field. Svitlana speaks English, German, Russian, and Italian.

The Expat Service Desk team will be happy to answer any questions you may have about living and working in the region of Düsseldorf-Mettmann County.


The Expat Service Desk is for:

International professionals & their families

If you’re new to Düsseldorf and looking for a helping hand getting started in your new job and settling down with your family, the Expat Service Desk offers just that. They share helpful topics on their website regarding immigration law, childcare, schooling, career opportunities, and other topics including taxes, starting a business, and registering in the city.

Small/medium-sized enterprises

It’s not just individuals looking for a little support when getting started, and that’s exactly why the Expat Service Desk offers small and medium-sized enterprises support to their international employees. Much of their focus is related to immigration law (visas, work permits, residence permits, relocation, global mobility management, etc.) They are able to offer employee support like where to learn German, how to find further educational courses, helping spouses find employment opportunities, and how to better integrate oneself in the community.


Expat Service Desk – FREE One-on-one Support

When you’re stumped and need a little help, the Expat Service Desk offers an amazing service, providing one-on-one support via e-mail or in-person free of charge. You are also welcome to give them a call.

You may be interested in hiring a relocation agent or finding inspiring things to do around the city on a blog, but if you’re looking for a place to start, a place to find more great support and more awesome content, this is where the Expat Service Desk one-on-one support will help you.

Do you have any questions about settling in here in Düsseldorf? Send a quick email to the Expat Service Desk team and ask a simple question, or even set up an appointment to meet in person if you have more questions and/or concerns about moving to Düsseldorf-Mettmann and settling in.


Expat Service Desk – Events & Seminars

The Expat Service Desk hosts a number of different events, both fun and informative. Their informative events are often featuring official speakers from various authorities and institutions around the region and present numerous different topics including child care, employment law, setting up a business, and tips for those affected by the Brexit.

For example, the Expat Service Desk recently hosted an event with the UK-Consulate General regarding the Brexit and the current skills shortage. This was certainly a successful event and topic of interest for many expats in Düsseldorf and Mettmann.

To top it off, they also offer some fun networking events and small day trips around the region to get you better acquainted with our beautiful city. Their networking events and day trips are tailor-made for expats and hosted in the English language. The guides provide tons of helpful information not just about the tour/event, but also about the local economy and customs. They’ve invited international expats within the city of Düsseldorf and the county of Mettmann on cool field trips to Christmas Markets and different museums. You can stay updated on their events page for more upcoming explorations.


Expat Service Desk – Online Information

Whether you’re a professional individual or part of a small or medium-sized enterprise, you’ll find a ton more information online on the Expat Service Desk website. Here, you’ll find various local networks, educational institutions, government agencies that may support your move, international schools and associations, and investment promotion agencies.


Additional Information:

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