Visa to research

Would you like to work as a researcher in Germany? In this case, you have to apply for a visa for research according to § 18d AufenthG.

You can find out whether you need a visa to enter Germany in the Who needs a visa?
What are the requirements for a research visa to be granted?

You have one Hosting agreement or concluded an employment contract with a research institution in Germany.

The research institution undertakes in writing to cover your living expenses and travel expenses, which public authorities may incur. This applies for up to six months after the end of the research activity. If public funds mainly finance your research, this provision does not apply.

Do you meet the requirements mentioned? Then find out more about the visa and immigration process.

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You are considered a “researcher” if you have a doctoral degree or a suitable university degree with access to postgraduate programs ( Art. 3 of Directive (EU) 2016/801 ).

Tip: Are you a highly qualified specialist in the field of science and research and do not meet the requirements for a visa for research according to § 18d AufenthG? In this case, the EU Blue Card can be an alternative.

What Perspectives Does The Research Visa Offer?

The visa or the residence permit for research is granted for at least one year and offers you many advantages:

With this residence permit, you can work at the research institution named in the employment contract and teaching.

An extension of the residence permit is possible, provided that the basic requirements still exist.

You can also research and teach in other EU countries for a limited time (except for the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark).

After four years, you can get a settlement permit in Germany as long as you meet the other requirements required.

After completing your research, you have up to nine months to find a new job in Germany that matches your qualifications. Apply for one following your current research work residence permit in Germany.

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Doctoral candidates from third countries can also apply for residence permits received for research purposes. The prerequisite is that the dissertation is drawn up within an employment contract with a scientific institution in Germany. Only the study visa can be issued if the research activity is part of a doctoral degree as a full-time study program.

Mobility Measures For International Researchers

International researchers from non-EU countries who are legally resident in other EU member states can carry out part of their research in Germany. If this is the case, you have two options:

  • No residence permit Necessary for short research stays: Should you already have one from another EU country residence permit for study and you would like to stay in Germany for a maximum of 180 days within 360 days as part of a research project, you do not need a visa, or none residence permit applies for Germany. The only requirement is that the receiving research institution in Germany has the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) report the intended activity. You can find out how to notify the BAMF and its content on the BAMF website.
  • Residence permit For mobile researchers: If you plan a research stay that will last more than 180 days and a maximum of one year, you will need one residence permit for mobile researchers according to § 18f AufenthG in Germany. The following requirements must be met for this:

*You must have a valid residence permit from another EU member state for research. This must be valid as long as it covers the period of the planned research stay in Germany.

* You must provide a copy of a valid passport or passport substitute.

* You have one Hosting agreement or concluded a corresponding contract with a research institution in Germany.

The residence permit applies to the person responsible for you at least 30 days before the start of your stay in Germany foreigners Authority. The application can also be submitted to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) be proposed.

Further information on career opportunities for international scientists can be found in the Research section.

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