5 steps to doing research in Germany



Okay, there are more exciting things about moving to Germany than doing the administrative rounds. But look at it this way: it won’t be long now before you’re going to be able to pursue your research project in Germany. Your visa application is the first major step towards achieving this. To enter Germany, you will usually need a visa, which you will subsequently have to have converted to the Residence permit that corresponds to your circumstances. The regulations differ according to your country of origin.

Who does not need a visa

Are you a national of an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland? In that case, you can enter Germany without a visa. Once you have a job, you can start your research straight away.

If you are a citizen of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand or the USA, you may enter Germany without a visa. You can collect your stay permit from your local foreign nationals' registration authority once you have entered the country.

Who needs a visa

Qualified professionals from all other states need a visa to enter Germany. As a researcher, you should apply for a visa for research purposes (section 20 of the German Residence Act), with which you automatically receive a Residence permit. For this, you have to meet the following conditions:

  • Have a university degree from Germany or abroad.
  • Have the means to support yourself in Germany. This condition will be fulfilled if you can provide proof of a signed work contract or confirmation of a research grant.

The Residence permit for research purposes is issued for at least one year, unless the research project is shorter.

Further possibilities for international researchers

Other possibilities for doing research in Germany are also open to you, as a number of different types of visa are available for international researchers from non-EU countries. You’ll find a list of these here.

Information on this portal

Skills that are especially sought after

Adjusting to your new environment

Information on the Web

Dual Career Netzwerk Deutschland

Do research in Germany with your spouse (German, English)

Federal Office for Migration and Refugees

Visa information for researchers from non-EU countries (German, English)

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