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Scientific Visa

The so-called “Scientific Visa” or the residence permit entitled “Researcher” (§ 20 Residence Act/Aufenthaltsgesetz) entitles researchers to pursue the research activity at the research institute stated in the hosting agreement and carry out teaching activities.

The new residence permit makes it easier for researchers from non-EU countries, who are planning to stay in Germany for more than three months, to enter the country and reside there. It speeds up the whole process and facilitates mobility within the EU. You can find further information on the Euraxess website: Euraxess

Hosting Agreements

Before the Scientific Visa can be issued, a hosting agreement needs to be drawn up and signed by the international researcher and a research institute in Germany (§ 20 Residence Act). Ruhr-Universität Bochum has also been authorised to enter into hosting agreements with researchers since December 2010.

Upon presentation of this hosting agreement, the researcher is able to apply for a Scientific Visa from the diplomatic mission responsible for their area, or the residence permit entitled “Researcher” from the Foreign Citizens’ Office.


A valid hosting agreement can only be drawn up if:

  1. It has been confirmed that the research project is going to be carried out.

  2. It has been confirmed that the researcher is suitably qualified to pursue the research project as set out in the hosting agreement. The researcher generally needs to have completed a degree which enables them access to doctoral programmes.

  3. Living costs are covered.

Concerning point 3: If you can prove you have more money than the minimum net amount of €1,843.33 per month, you are considered to be able to support yourself financially as a non-German citizen and no further inspection will be necessary. In this case, a residence permit can be issued in accordance with § 20 of the Residence Act.

(Source: Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, status: March 2014)


  • The hosting agreement qualifies as sufficient proof of employment at the university when applying for the residence permit. This means you will not need to present a letter of invitation or an employment contract at the Foreign Citizens’ Office.

  • The residence permit for researchers (§ 20) has many advantages for international guests such as special status in immigration law (e.g. quicker application processes, mobility within Europe, no pre-employment checks, no need for approval from the Foreign Citizens’ Office in the visa acquisition process, advantages in cases of subsequent arrival of family members and employment taken up by spouses).

Hosting agreements at RUB

Research departments wishing to take on an international researcher need to have the hosting agreement signed by Administrative Department 3/Dezernat 3 (for researchers with a contract) or the Welcome Centre/International Office (for fellowship holders). The hosting agreement will be double-checked, signed and sent back to the international researcher’s address stated on the form. If a fax number has been included, we will also fax the guest a copy of the hosting agreement in advance.

Welcome Centre


"Your Europe - Advice"

Advice service from the European Commisson on issues concerning EU law in the areas of everyday life, work and travel in the EU.


International Office

Pamela Domke
SSC 1/260
Tel: +49 (0) 234 32-27452

Claudia Feisel
Contact from Dezernat 3,
personnel matters
UV 2/0272
Tel: +49 (0) 234 32-27907