International Researcher

Visa and Entry

The visa requirements for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany vary depending on the nationality and duration of your stay. Below you can find an overview.

1. Nationals of EU Member States, the European Economic Area and Switzerland

You do not usually need a visa if you are an EU national or from the countries Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. You may enter Germany using your national identity card. If you intend to stay in Germany for more than three months you must register with the Resident Registration Office (“Einwohnermeldeamt”) and submit proof that you fulfil the Freedom of Movement criteria or a residence permit if you are a national of the Swiss Confederation.

You can find more information about the Freedom of Movement Certificate here.

2. Nationals of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and the USA

You do not need a visa to enter Germany if you are a national of one of these countries. However, you will require a residence permit if you will be staying for more than three months or you will be taking up paid employment. You can apply for this once you have entered Germany.

3. Nationals of all other non-EU Member States

3.1 Short visits lasting up to three months

You can find more information about a short visit lasting up to three months here.

3.2 Visits lasting more than three months

If you are planning to stay in Germany for more than three months you must apply for a National Visa for Germany (D Visa) while you are still in your home country or current country of residence. Please note that this applies even if you are already staying in another EU country. Do not, under any circumstances, enter Germany on a “Visitor or Tourist Visa” (Schengen Visa, category C). This type of visa cannot be extended and only entitles you to stay in Germany for a maximum of three months. You would then have to return to your own country at your own expense and apply for the right visa there. The same applies to family members.

The National Visa (category D) also entitles you to a short stay in other Schengen States. National Visas are usually issued for periods of three months. You must present this visa to your local Foreign Citizens’ Office (“Ausländerbüro”) once you have entered Germany to apply for a residence permit.

You can find more information about extending a visa here.

Source: passages taken from EURAXESS, partly translated by: Dr. Lynda Lich-Knight, ResearchComm Ltd.

Please find further information in chapter 6 of our guide:

Guide for International Researchers (PDF)   (9.7 MB)


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