Germany, the land of invention and innovation, has become an attractive opportunity for researchers of different fields, among other professionals. The Western European country has opened its gates for all those wishing to carry researches and have all types of means to do so.
Because of German visa policies, depending on your nationality you may need a Researcher visa to enter the country.
Who needs a Germany Researcher and Guest Scientist Visa?
If you are a scientist wishing to carry a research in Germany you may need a visa to do so according to you nationality.
You will not need to apply for a Germany Researcher and Guest Scientist Visa if you are a:
- Citizen of one of the member countries of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the European Free Trade Area
- National of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of South Korea, or the United States of America.
On the other hand, if you are a national of any of the rest of the world countries not mentioned above, you must obtain a visa in order to be able to enter Germany and develop your research.
In order for a researcher to be eligible for a Germany visa, there is a perquisite for a hosting agreement to be drawn up and signed by the international researcher and a research institute in Germany.
Germany Researcher Visa Requirements
When applying for a Germany long-stay Researcher Visa you must meet several requirements, in order to prove you are eligible to enter the country and develop your research. The required documents for a Germany long-stay Researcher Visa are as follows:
- Germany national visa Application Form.
- Your passport that is valid for at least six months.
- Two identical photographs in line with guidelines.
- Proof of accommodation in Germany.
- Personal covering letter explaining the purpose of your stay in Germany, period of stay and other details. Must be very convincing.
- No-objection letter of your local university / research institute, which states that you have contractual obligations in your home country which you have to and will return to.
- Invitation letter from German university / research institute confirming conditions of your stay in Germany, including payment (scholarship).
- Proof of academic qualification (academic Degree Certificate, or mark sheets) – in original.
- Proof of purchased health insurance for researchers.
*Note that each original document has to be offered with 2 (two) photocopies. Do not staple any of the documents!
The German embassy or consulate on your home country, may also ask you to provide proof that you do not have any criminal record. You shall obtain the document at the authorities in your country of residence. The visa officer may require extra documents, upon the visa interview. Take care to submit them all or your visa may be denied.
How to Apply for a Germany Researcher Visa
There are some steps that you must follow, to apply for a long-stay Researcher Visa. Find these steps listed and explained below in order:
- Complete the application form for a Germany long-stay Researcher Visa. The application form should be filled online, and then printed twice. Sign both copies at the end.
- Collect the required documents, according to their specifications listed and elaborated above in this article.
- After you have collected all the required documents, including the application form, take care to photocopy each original document twice.
- Make an appointment through the website of the German mission in your country, embassy or consulate. In some countries, you will need to appoint the interview in person.
- Attend the interview. On the day of the appointment, be there on time with all of the required documents. Do not be late since if you are late even for a few minutes they will probably cancel your appointment.
- Pay the visa fee. After you pay the visa fee, you will be issued a receipt which you have to keep in order to collect your processed application.
The submission process takes around 10 minutes to complete. Please make sure that the official person at the application center will check and verify all of your documents.
After you receive your passport with the visa sticker, check it data for possible mistakes. Pay particular attention to the visa start and end dates, the correct spelling of your name, as well as the number of entries you were granted.
Extending Your Researcher Visa
The extension of the Long-Term Researcher Visa is possible, but you must follow some step in order to complete the visa extension application process. These steps are as listed below:
- Make an appointment with the foreigners’ registration office of the city you are staying in Germany, at least two months before your visa expiration.
- Attend the appointment. On the day of the appointment, bring the documents that show why you wish to extend your visa, including:
- A cover letter why you wish to extend your stay
- A letter from the research university/institution stating that they would like you to carry on for a few more months with your research would a huge plus
- Pay the renewal fee, which is about 80 euro.
Bringing Spouse and Children to Germany on a German Researcher Visa
After you obtain your Researcher Long Term Visa and come to Germany, you have the possibility to bring your children and spouse with you. Note that it is required for your children to be underage and not married. You also must fulfill other requirements as:
- Prove that you have enough living space for the family members you want to bring in Germany (as judged by the German authorities).
- Show you can financially support yourself and the family members that are going to join you.
- Submit proof that these family members have at least basic German knowledge.
- Your spouse is also eligible to work in Germany during his or her stay. However, the approval of the Federal Employment Agency to take up employment is necessary.
After You Arrive in Germany With a Researcher Visa
Once you reach Germany with your Researcher visa, you need to complete some other steps, as follows:
- Go to the Registration Office to register your address in Germany. Find the closest office to your home, and go there within two weeks of being in Germany. Have some documents with you, as your passport with the German researcher visa on it, and documents proving where you are living in Germany.
- Make an Appointment for a Researcher Residence Permit. You should also get a German residence permit in order for your stay in Germany to be legal. To do so, you shall first make an appointment with the German immigration authorities in the city where you are living.
- Attend an interview for a Germany researcher residence permit. You will have to attend an interview with the immigration authorities as a part of your application. You will also need to submit several documents, which are pretty much the same ones with which you applied for your long-stay visa to Germany.