This website is intended for researchers. For students, we recommend the we4you arrival website.

Do I need a visa to enter Germany?

The questions regarding the entry and residence of foreign students, academics, visiting academics and researchers are primarily determined by the Residence Act - AufenthG (for foreigners who are not EU citizens) and the Freedom of Movement Act/EU (for EU citizens).

In principle, the following applies: EU citizens and nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) enjoy freedom of movement and may enter Germany without a visa. In addition, citizens of the following countries are exempt from the visa requirement: USA, Canada, Brazil, Japan and Korea.

Citizens of third countries, countries that do not belong to the EU or the EEA, first need a purpose-bound entry visa and then a purpose-bound residence permit to enter and stay in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Which documents are required for an entry visa for the purpose of studying, working or researching varies slightly from country to country. It is best to ask the German Embassy in your home country or visit their website. There is usually an information sheet in your native language. Detailed, official information on visa regulations can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office. For researchers from non-EU countries, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees offers further information.

Please note: If you require a visa, do not travel to Germany on a tourist visa! It cannot be converted into a residence permit!


Do I need proof of funds?

In order to get a visa, you have to prove that you have a permit to study or do a doctorate and that the financing of your life in Germany is secured by your own capital. There are various options for this proof. Which option is the most favourable also depends on your home country. Please contact the German Embassy in your home country. There you will receive an information sheet that takes into account the particularities of your country.

If you have a confirmation from the university that you will be employed as a research assistant, this also serves as proof of funding. Since you will be employed as an employee with compulsory insurance, this also counts as proof of the necessary, valid health insurance.


Where can I get help?

As long as you are still in your home country, contact the German mission abroad. If you are already in Germany and have a concern about your visa or residence title, the Foreigners' Registration Office in your place of residence will help you. As a rule, your entry visa expires after 3 - 6 months. Therefore, you must now apply for a suitable residence title for your further stay. In this case, please contact the foreigners authority of the Ilmkreis in Arnstadt (please select language on the very top of their page).


What else do I need to enter Germany?

In order to enter Germany, a valid ID card or passport is required. At the time of applying for a visa, your passport must not be older than 10 years. The passport should still be valid for at least three months at the time of your subsequent journey home, i.e. at the end of your stay in Germany.


What do I have to consider if my family wants to join me?

The prerequisites for your partner to join you are a residence permit (for a stay of more than 3 months in Germany) or a settlement permit and a permanent place of residence of the foreigner in Germany. The person joining you must be at least 18 years old and be able to communicate in basic German. Further requirements for the partner and children can be obtained from the Aliens' Registration Office. Laws on spouses and family reunification are laid down in the Residence Act.