In many cases, a visa will be required to gain entry to Germany, which you can get from the German embassy or Consulate General in your home country or country of residence. The application process may take about two to six months and you will need to plan for this.
You should apply for visas for any accompanying family members at the same time. The addresses of the respective German consulates, information on visa requirements for your country and more detailed information on visa regulations can all be found on the Federal Foreign Office website:
Federal Foreign Office Website
Please note: if a visa is required, entry without a visa is not allowed and therefore illegal and a tourist visa (Schengen-Visa) is not adequate to work in Germany.
Please make sure that your passport is valid for the entire duration of your stay in Germany.
Different Typ of Visas
Basically, there are different possibilities for a residence title. Which residence title is suitable for you depends on your status at the institute:
You are a research associate (Phd/Postdoc) and have a temporary employment contract with the institute: in this case, you are considered gainfully employed and receive a residence permit according to § 18b (professionals with academic training) or § 18d (researchers) of the Residence Act (AufenthG).
You are a guest researcher at the institute and are financed by a scholarship or receive emoluments from your home country. In this case, you will conclude a hosting agreement with the institute and receive a residence permit according to § 18d AufenthG.
A detailed list of the different residence titles can be found in the leaflet of the German Rectors' Conference:
Documents required to apply for
From experience, German Embassies require the following documents for visa applications:
- Invitation Letter from the Institute
- Hosting agreement
These documents are provided by the Human Resources Department. If further documents are required, the Human Resources Department will be happy to assist you. Please contact the Human Resources Department in good time before the appointment at the German Embassy if further documents or assistance are required, as there may be a delay in processing due to time postponement.
The responsible foreigners authority depends on the current place of residence. We have listed the 3 most common foreigners authorities with the current contact details.
Make an appointment
There is an online appointment registration to apply for a visa. This must be done 4-5 months in advance so that a visa can be provided on time:
Europaplatz, 61169 Friedberg
Phone: +49 (0) 6031 83 2566
Monday – Friday 08:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Make an appointment
Approximately two months before the expiration of your residence permit, you will receive a letter from the Foreigners' Registration Office. This letter contains a list of the documents required for the extension as well as an application form. They can send the documents within the required period of two weeks to the Foreigners' Registration Office, Berliner Platz 1, 35390 Giessen or post them in the letterbox at the town hall. Once a decision has been made, they will receive an appointment to hand in the biometric data and pay the fees.
Berliner Platz 1, 35390 Gießen
Phone: +49 (0) 641 306 2280
Monday – Thursday 08:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 02:00 p.m. – 03:00 p.m.
Friday 08:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Make an appointment
For residence permits of the following nationalities: Australia, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Great Britain, Honduras, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Rep. Korea, USA and their family members Appointment online at:
All other nationalities can make an appointment by mail, indicating the personal data (name, surname, date of birth, home address) and the reason of your request.
Stadt Frankfurt am Main
Kleyerstraße 86, 60326 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 (0) 69 212 42485
Monday 08:00 a.m. - 01:00 p.m.
Wednesday 07:30 a.m. – 03:00 p.m.
Thursday 01:00 p.m. – 06:00 p.m.
Friday 07:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.