International Office

Residence permits for researchers

Depending on how you spend your stay in Germany, you may be eligible for different residence titles.

Residence permit for the purpose of study (§16b AufenthG)

This paragraph is aimed at students and can therefore also apply to doctoral students who are enrolled in a doctoral program. The main purpose of the stay is therefore the doctorate. Alternatively, doctoral students may also be eligible for a §18d AufenthG titel.

Blue Card EU (§18b AufenthG)

This residence title is aimed at qualified foreign professionals. The prerequisite for the issuance of the EU Blue Card is a university degree as well as an employment relationship with a gross annual salary of €56,800, or, as of 2021, €44,304 for highly qualified persons in certain bottleneck professions (including natural scientists, mathematicians, engineers, computer scientists and medical doctors).

Residence permit for the purpose of research (§ 18d AufenthG)

This residence title is issued for the purpose of carrying out a research activity. Planned mobility measures within the EU in the context of the research activity can already be taken into account in advance, so that subsequent visa applications can be waived (§§ 18e, 18f AufenthG). As a rule, you must have signed a hosting agreement with your host research institution.

Settlement permit for professionals (§ 18c AufenthG)

A settlement permit can be applied for if one

  • has been in possession of a residence title according to §§ 18a, 18b or 18d for at least four years (or after 24 months with a domestic university degree)
  • has been a holder of an EU Blue Card for 33 months (or after 21 months with proof of sufficient knowledge of the German language)
  • is considered a "highly qualified" specialist. This applies to scientists with special technical knowledge or teachers and scientific employees in a prominent position

In addition, further evidence must be provided regarding the securing of subsistence, pension insurance periods completed, German language skills, and basic knowledge of the legal and social order (Leben in Deutschland test).

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