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Visa and Residence Permit

In order to enter Germany you usually require a visa and, for longer stays, a residence permit


Apply for a visa as early as possible at

  • the German Embassy or

  • Consulate

in your own country or the country you are currently residing in.

Different visas are required depending on the duration and purpose of your stay.

  • for research visits lasting up to three months: Schengen visa

  • for research visits with a duration of longer than three months: National visa

If your marital partner or children intend to accompany you, it is recommendable to apply for everyone’s visa at the same time, even if they will be joining you in Germany at a later date.

Many visa application offices only accept applications if you have made an appointment in advance and processing these applications may take several weeks. Please make your appointment as soon as possible and inquire as to which documents you will have to bring with you.


Entry regulations will differ depending on

  • your country of origin and

  • the length of your stay 

Be sure to approach your local German diplomatic representation to find out whether you need a visa or not. This is the only place you will be able to obtain legally binding information.

Residence Permit

If your stay exceeds a duration of 90 days you must apply for a residence permit at your local “Ausländerbehörde” (Immigration or Foreigners’ Office) before your entry visa runs out.

Please note that it can take up to 8 weeks to allocate an appointment for the extension of the residence permit at the immigration office.