Visa and Residence Permit
In order to enter Germany you usually require a visa and, for longer stays, a residence permit.
You should apply to the German Embassy or Consulate in your own country for your visa as early as possible. Depending on the duration and purpose of your stay you will require a Schengen visa (for research visits lasting up to three months), or a National visa (for research visits with a duration of longer than three months).
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. It is important to remember that many visa application offices only accept applications if you have made an appointment in advance, and that processing these applications may take several weeks. With this kept in mind, please make your appointment as soon as possible and ínquire as to which documents you will have to bring with you.
Depending on your country of origin and the length of your stay the entry regulations will differ. 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.
EU, European Economic Area and Swiss Nationals
Australian, Canadian, Israeli, Japanese, New Zealand, Korean and USA Nationals
All other non-EU Nationals
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. Different regulations apply depending on your country of origin. In special cases an unlimited residence permit can be granted.