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Robert Heldt

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Employment Law Information for Scientists:Work and Research Visas

Employment Law Information for Scientists

Work and Research Visas

In order to carry out any work in Germany you are required to have a residence permit, as long as you are not a citizen of the European Union.  In general, a work visa is therefore required.  Up-to-date information on labor law can be found on the website of the DAAD.  It is recommended that postgraduate students and researchers apply for an EU research visa (residence permit for the purpose of research).   This visa facilitates the recruitment of researchers from non-EU countries as well as providing legal residency benefits for family and children.  

In order to obtain a research visa, there must be a hosting agreement with the TU Ilmenau in the relevant area of research.   It is ultimately your decision, whether you wish to obtain a work or a research visa.

Overview of possible residence permits for scientists from third countries

Information concerning the entry and residence of researchers of non-EU countries

Information for the employment of foreign workers in Germany

Information for the purpose of entry, stay and employment

Overview of possible residence permits for scientists from third countries according to the Residence Act.

The HRK German Rectors’ Conference provides general information and a comparative overview of possible residence permits for scientists from third countries according to the Residence Act.

The following link provides information which will help in choosing the appropriate residence permit  (§§ 16, 18, 19, 19a, 20 AufenthG). Residence permits differ depending on occupation (e.g. student, employee) however, they may also depend on any grant conditions as well as any other criteria.

Information concerning the entry and residence of researchers of non-EU countries, in accordance with § 20 of the Residence Act

For the purpose of research a researcher from any non-EU country may be granted a residence permit in accordance with § 20 of the Residence Act, provided there is a suitable hosting agreement and the respective research facility is approvced by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Application forms for approval of research institutions as well as sample hosting agreements can be found at ww.bamf.de/forschungsaufenthalte.

In this brochure the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees provides detailed information on the entry of non-European citizens and necessary documents for the residence permit as well as mobility in the European Union. It also outlines the different features of each type of residence permit.

Information for the employment of foreign workers in Germany

Foreign nationals require a permit by the appropriate authority for the purpose of paid employement in the Federal Republic of Germany. There are different processes for approval in the German labor market for nationals from the new EU Member States (work permit procedure) and nationals from so-called third countries (approval process).

The followingleaflet  from the Federal Employment Agency provides information on key statutory provisions which should be considered in the employment of foreign nationals as well as the employment of female workers. More information can be found at www.zav.de.

Information for the purpose of entry, stay and employment (DAAD)

The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)  provides detailed information in the following Brochure on the legal conditions of entry and residence for foreign students and scientists.  It outlines the many different types of visas and explains reunification of spouses and children in closer detail.

In their other Publication employment possibilities for foreign students, graduates, scientists and academics are explained.