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Residency permit for the purposes of research 

  • Überblick


    If, as a scientist, you want to work at a German research institute, you may obtain under certain circumstances a residency permit for the purposes of research.

    The residency permit entitles you to undertake employment for the research project described in the acceptance agreement and to teach.

    Note: The term “research institute” also includes companies that conduct research.

    Who do I have to contact?
    Please contact the foreigners’ registration authorities (district administrations and mayors’ offices)




    The research institute recognised by BAMF will conclude with you an acceptance agreement, which must include the following information:

    - an exact description of your research project

    - obligation by you to implement the research project as well as by the research institution to employ you for this purpose

    - information on the contract between you and the institute (e.g. salary, holiday, working times)

    - a provision that the acceptance agreement becomes void if you should not be issued with a residency permit for the purposes of research

    The research institute forwards the concluded acceptance agreement to the responsible foreigners’ registration authorities (for the issue of the residency permit) or German embassy/ consulate (for the issue of a visa).

    If the project should change during the course of the research, this is inconsequential, provided that you remain employed by the same research facility.

    If you already have a residency permit for another EU member state, you have the following options:

    - the EU member state is also a Schengen state

    - If your residency is for no longer than three months, you can enter Germany with this residency permit and work as a researcher without having to apply for a German residency permit. If, however, you have already worked in Germany within the previous 12 months, you will require a Schengen visa permitting the research activities for the new residency.

    - If your residency for the purposes of research is for longer than three months, you must apply for a German residency permit with the foreigners’ registration authorities within three months of your arrival in Germany. If you have already worked in Germany within the previous 12 months, you will need to apply for a national visa expressly permitting activities as a researcher before entering.

    - the EU member state is not a Schengen state
    In this case, you will require a residency permit in every case, even for the first three months. This residency permit may be, for example, a visa, for which you can apply to the responsible German embassy or consulate abroad. Depending on the period of time for which you require it, you will be issued with a Schengen or national visa which permits research activities.


    For residency for the purposes of research ,too, you must fulfil the general requirements for the issue of a residency permit. Thus, it is essential that

    - you fulfil the passport and via obligations,

    - you are able to support yourself (subsistence is considered secure in the case of researchers when income is in an amount consistent with two-thirds of social assistance rate within the meaning of Section 18 of Vol. IV of the Social Insurance Code (SGB).)

    - no reasons for deportation exists and

    - your residency poses no threat nor risk to the interests of the Federal republic of Germany for any other reasons.

    In addition, special requirements apply for residency for the purposes of research:

    - You are a scientist and wish to work in a German research facility.

    - The research facility must be recognised by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

    - You have concluded an acceptance agreement with the research facility.

    - The research facility has presented a declaration of financial responsibility.

    Recognised research facilities may in individual cases or in general undertake to absorb the costs of subsistence. General declarations of financial responsibility are published online on a daily basis by BAMF.


    Evidence that you fulfil the requirements


    The fee amount depends on the validity period of the residency permit:

    - up to one year: €100

    - longer than one year: €110

    For an extension for continued residency:

    - Extensions of up to three months: €65

    - Extensions of more than three months: €80

    Legal foundations

    - Section 20 Residence act (AufenthG) (Research)

    - Sections 38a - 38f Residency ordinance (AufenthV) (Recognition of research facilities and conclusion of acceptance agreement)

    - Section 52 Residence act (AufenthG) (Revocation)

    - Section 2 para. 3 Residence act (AufenthG)


    The residency permit for the purposes of research may be revoked in the following cases:

    ·         Your research facility has lost its status of recognition due to your conduct,

    ·         You no longer conduct research or

    ·         You can no longer fulfil one of the requirements, based on which the acceptance agreement with you was concluded.


    Processing time

    A few weeks

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