Home Visas & Permits Germany Visa Types German VISA for Research Purposes

German VISA for Research Purposes

If you are a third-country national within the field of research, you can apply for a VISA designated to provide entry into Germany for research purposes. Furthermore, those that are classified as international researchers from non-EU countries, will also be able to enter the country in order to conduct a portion of their research in Germany.

Researchers from EU countries have the freedom of movement and do not need to apply for a VISA.

Requirements for a German VISA for Research Purposes

The requirements to obtain this type of VISA are:

  1. You have a hosting agreement with a recognised research institution in Germany and an international researcher. The hosting agreement serves as the basis for granting a residence title for research purposes.
  2. A written commitment from the research institute to cover the cost of living for the duration of your hosting agreement and the travel back to your country within 6-months. If your research is funded primarily by public funds, this requirement goers not apply.

Criteria For Being Considered a Researcher

You can be considered a researcher, according to Article 3 of Directive (EU) 2016/801) if you have a Ph.D. or a suitable university degree that enables you to access Ph.D. degree programs.

Highly Qualified Professionals In Science Or Research

If you do not have a hosting agreement or qualify for the other requirement to obtain a VISA for research purposes, you may qualify for an EU Blue Card or a VISA for highly qualified professionals.

Benefits and Duration of a German VISA for Research

The residence permit is issued for a duration of one year and is possible to extend as long as you fulfil the same requirements. During your hosting agreement, you can also take up work as a teacher.

Once your research position has ended, you will have up to nine (9) months to find another research position in Germany suitable to your qualifications. In this case, you will need to apply for a residence permit for job seekers. After four (4) years you are eligible to apply for a settlement permit as long as you fulfill the requirements.

The VISA for research purposes also provides the opportunity to conduct research and teaching for a limited amount of time in other EU states (except Denmark, United Kingdom, and Ireland).

VISA and Residence Permit For Doctoral Students

If you are a third-country national doctoral student, you can also obtain the same VISA and residence permit for research purposes. The only requirement is that you must complete your doctoral thesis as part of the contract with a German research facility.

If the research position is a full-time program and only part of your Ph.D., only a VISA for studying purposes can be issued.

Freedom of Mobility For International Researchers

International researchers who are non-EU nationals but are frequently in EU member states can perform part of their research in Germany. There are mainly two (2) ways you can enter Germany without a VISA and if you already hold a residence permit in another EU-member state.

  1. A residence permit is not required for short-stay research projects. If you stay for a maximum of 180 days during a 360 days period and already hold a residence permit form another EU-member state, it is not required to apply for a VISA in Germany. Your stay must be part of a research project and the German research institute needs to inform the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) of the planned research and your stay.
  2. A residence permit for mobile researchers can be issued for short-stays between 180 days and one (1) year. The requirement for this is that you hold a residence permit in another EU-member state and hold a hosting agreement with a research facility in Germany.

Applications for residence permits must be made at least 30 days before you enter the country and your research starts.

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