Visa regulations/ residence permit
If you are a EU citizen you do not need a visa to enter Germany. Additionally you do not need a residence permit.
Non-EU citizens of "associated" countries
Citizens of "associated" countries do not need a visa to enter Germany. However, you need to get a residence permit from the foreigner's office within 90 days after entering Germany. The MPI CBS's international office will help you make an appointment at the foreigner's office to apply for the permit.
To see whether your country is an "associated" country, see the following link:
Non-EU citizens of all other countries
Prior to entering Germany you need to apply for a visa at an embassy or consulate in your home country. Please take into consideration that processing your visa application can take up to three months. You also need to make sure that you apply for the correct visa. There are different types of visa. Applying for the appropriate visa is essential. The visa type always depends on the purpose of the stay in Germany, e.g. student visa (§ 16), work visa (§ 18), skilled specialist visa (§ 19), research visa (§ 20). When you apply for a visa, please indicate clearly the purpose of your stay.
- As a PhD student you should not enter the country with a tourist visa because this cannot be converted into a residence permit after your arrival.
- We strongly advise against entering Germany with a Schengen Visa. Once in Germany you will not be able to apply for a residence permit allowing for employment.
- If you have spouse and he/she wishes to work in Germany, you should state this in your visa application. Once in Germany it is not possible to apply for a work permit.
See the website of the German Federal Foreign Office for more information on visa regulations: