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Applying for a residence permit for the purpose of research

Are you a foreign national and would like a residence permit to carry out research?

This authorises you to

  • carry out research at the research institution specified in the admission agreement and
  • Carry out teaching activities.

Please note: The term "research institution" also includes companies that carry out research.

Prerequisite

  • You fulfil the passport and visa requirements.
    To fulfil the passport requirement, it is sufficient if you have a replacement identity document.
  • Your livelihood is considered secure.
  • There are no grounds for deportation against you.
  • Your stay does not jeopardise or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • You are a scientist and wish to work at a German research institution.
  • You have concluded a hosting agreement or a corresponding contract with a research institution in order to participate in a research project. This research institution is either
    • recognised by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) for the special admission procedure for researchers in Germany or
    • it conducts research and issues a declaration of assumption of costs.


Recognised research institutions can undertake to cover the costs of living on a case-by-case or general basis. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) publishes general declarations of assumption of costs on the Internet on a daily basis. This is not necessary if the activities of the research institution are predominantly financed from public funds or if there is a particular public interest in the research project.

You will not receive a residence permit if the host research institution was founded primarily for the purpose of facilitating the entry and residence of foreigners, if certain insolvency situations exist, if you are in possession of an EU Blue Card or if the research activity is part of a full-time doctoral programme.

Responsible department

  • for the hosting agreement and the obligation to pay the costs: the research institution where you want to work scientifically
  • for the issue of a national visa before entry: the German diplomatic mission abroad (embassy, consulate)
  • for the issue of a residence permit after entry: the foreigners authority
    The foreigners authority is
    • if you live in an urban district or a large district town: the municipal administration
    • if you live in a district town or municipality: the district administration office

Procedure

The research institution recognised by the BAMF will conclude a hosting agreement or a corresponding contract with you. This must contain the following information in addition to details of the research organisation and the researcher:

  • exact details of the research institution
  • exact description of your research project
  • Your commitment to realise the research project
  • The research institution's commitment to employ you for this purpose
  • Details of the contract between you and the institution (e.g. salary, holidays, working hours)
  • Provision that the hosting agreement will become invalid if you do not receive a residence permit for the purpose of research

The research institution forwards the signed agreement to the competent authority.

You can find out about the rest of the procedure from the responsible office. Enquire there.

If the project changes during the research period, this has no effect as long as you remain employed at the same research institution.

Do you already hold a residence permit as a researcher from another EU member state? Then you have the following options:

  • Short-term mobility for researchers
    • A residence permit is not required for a stay for the purpose of research that does not exceed 180 days within a period of 360 days. The prerequisite is that the host research institution has notified the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees that the foreign national intends to carry out part of his/her research activities in Germany and that the following was submitted with the notification:
    • Proof that the foreigner holds a valid residence title as a researcher in an EU member state
    • the hosting agreement or the corresponding contract with the hosting research institution
    • A copy of the foreigner's passport and
    • proof that the foreigner's livelihood is assured.
  • Residence permit for mobile researchers
    • For a stay for the purpose of research lasting more than 180 days and a maximum of one year, a foreigner will be granted a residence permit if
    • they hold a valid residence permit as a researcher in another EU Member State for the duration of the research stay in Germany,
    • a copy of his/her passport is presented and
    • a corresponding hosting agreement or a corresponding contract with the hosting research institution is presented.

Deadlines

The residence permit for the purpose of research is issued for a minimum of one year.
If you are taking part in a Union or multilateral programme with mobility measures, you will receive a residence permit for at least two years.
You can apply to have your residence permit extended.

If you have completed your research project earlier, your residence permit will end at the same time

Required documents

  • Proof of fulfilment of passport and visa requirements
  • Proof of secure means of subsistence
  • Proof that there is no interest in deporting you
  • Proof that you do not jeopardise or impair the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Proof of your academic activity
  • Proof that you have concluded a hosting agreement
  • Proof of the research institution's declaration of assumption of costs

Costs

  • First residence permit: EUR 100.00
  • Extension for up to three months: EUR 96.00
  • Extension for more than three months: EUR 93.00

Detailed information

You can find a Directory of Diplomatic Missions of the Federal Republic of Germany Abroad on the internet pages of the Federal Foreign Office.

As of September 1st, 2011 the residence title is the size of a credit card and it incorporates additional electronic functions. For more detailed information, see "Electronic residence title (eAT) - application".

Miscellaneous

Once you have successfully completed your research work, the competent authority will extend your residence permit by up to 9 months under certain conditions.

During this time you can

  • look for a job appropriate to your degree and
  • may work without restriction.

In the following cases, the immigration authority may revoke your residence permit for the purpose of research:

  • Your research institution has lost its recognition and you were involved in the loss of recognition.
  • You are no longer conducting research.
  • You can no longer fulfil one of the conditions under which the research institution concluded the admission agreement with you.

Appeal

- Objection

- Action before the administrative court

Legal basis

Aufenthaltsgesetz (AufenthG)

  • § 2 Absatz 3 (AufenthG) Begriffsbestimmungen
  • § 3 (AufenthG) Passpflicht
  • § 4 (AufenthG) Erfordernis eines Aufenthaltstitels
  • § 5 (AufenthG) Lebensunterhalt, Krankenversicherung, Allgemeine Erteilungsvoraussetzungen
  • § 18d (AufenthG) Forschung
  • § 18e (AufenthG) Kurzfristige Mobilität für Forscher
  • § 18f (AufenthG) Aufenthaltserlaubnis für mobile Forscher
  • § 19f (AufenthG) Ablehnungsgründe bei Forschern u.a.
  • § 52(AufenthG)Widerruf

Aufenthaltsverordnung (AufenthV)

  • §§ 38a - 38f (AufenthV) Anerkennung von Forschungseinrichtungen und Abschluss von Aufnahmevereinbarungen
  • § 45 (AufenthV) Gebühr

Release note

Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.

In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.

19.02.2024 Justizministerium Baden-Württemberg