Martina Müller
Tel. +49 6221 54-3612

Nicole Tsuda
Tel. +49 6221 54-2134

Related Information

Researchers Directive (Forscherrichtlinie)

Since 1.August 2017 residence permits for scholars from  Non-EU counties have been limited to two types: Residence permit for researcher (§20 Residence Act) and Blue Card EU (§19a Residence Act). The Blue Card is only available for researcher with employment and minimun salary.


The researcher residence permit allows scholars to work within a particular research or teaching project either with an employment contract or with a fellowship. Any visiting scholar from a non-European Union country who wishes to stay in Germany for longer than three months can apply for a residence permit according to §20 of the Residence Act. Doctoral students can also obtain a residence permit according to §20 of the Residence Act under special conditions.

The researcher directive offers several advantages, such as:

  • The residence permit as a “researcher” includes mobility privileges within the EU. This means that a researcher with a residence permit for Germany can carry out parts of his or her research project (up to a max. of six months) in another EU country, with the exception of Great Britain and Denmark, without applying for a separate visa. Additionally, a researcher with a similar residence permit in another EU country can carry out research for up to six months in Germany.
  • A researcher’s spouse who accompanies the researcher to Germany is entitled to take up gainful employment. No work permit is required. There is no German language requirement for the spouse.
  • After your research project ends it is possible to prolong your residence permit up to 9 month for job search.

Therefore, a residence permit according to §20 of the Residence Act is of particular interest to international scholars

  • who would like to work for a limited period in another EU country within the framework of the research project.
  • who are looking for a job in Germany after their research project ends

In order to apply for a residence permit according to §20 of the Residence Act, the research organization must sign a hosting agreement with the visiting scholar. Please discuss this with your host institute as soon as possible. You will need to submit the hosting agreement with your visa application to the German embassy in your home country. Please note: An invitation letter of your host won´t be accepted any more.

Please ask your host institute to contact the Welcome Centre for International Scholars in order to learn about the necessary procedures.

E-Mail: Seitenbearbeiter
Letzte Änderung: 2017-09-07
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