Visa and entry reg­u­la­tions

Please note: Currently, some special regulations apply in order to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. More information can be found here.

Whether you need to apply for a visa depends on your country of origin and the length and purpose of your stay.

Nationals from EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland generally do not require a visa. However, for longer stays of more than three months you must register with the Residents' Registration Office.

The Foreigners' Office may demand proof that your are entitled to freedom of movement ("Freizügigkeitsberechtigung").

Nationals of Switzerland and their family members also enjoy freedom of movement within the EU, but must obtain a residence permit for nationals of the Swiss Confederation.

Citizens of these countries do not need a visa to enter the country. For longer stays of more than three months, however, you must apply for a residence permit at the  Foreigners' Office after entering the country.

In some cases, however, it may be useful to apply for a visa before entering the country. For example, Humboldt Foundation Research Award winners may only begin their academic activities in Germany once a residence permit has been issued. This may take several weeks. If you receive a fellowship, please contact your scholarship provider directly to find out which regulations apply to you.

3.1 Short stays of up to three months

If your stay in Germany is not scheduled to last longer than 90 days in a period of six months, you will usually need a Schengen visa to enter the country (C Visa). However, you should bear in mind that a Schengen visa cannot be extended beyond the three months period, nor can it be reassigned for other purposes.

In order to obtain a Schengen visa, you must prove, among other things, that you can finance your living and travel expenses from your own assets or income during your stay in Germany. In addition, you need a travel health insurance valid for the entire duration of your stay and for the entire Schengen area with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros. Make sure that you state "scientific activity" or "research" as the purpose of your stay in the application for the Schengen visa. The Schengen visa entitles you to travel freely and to stay in all countries that have acceded to the Schengen Agreement.

3.2 Stays of more than three months

For stays of more than three months or stays that lead to taking up employment, you must already apply for a national visa for Germany (D visa) in your home country or country of residence.  This also applies if you are already staying in another country of the European Union. Please do not enter Germany with a "visiting or tourist visa" (Schengen visa category C), if you plan to stay longer than three months in Germany. With a national visa category D, you can also move freely within the Schengen area for up to three months over a period of six months. The national visa is usually issued for a period of three months. Once you have entered the country, you must apply for a residence permit at the relevant foreigners authority.

Usually,  the following documents are required to apply for a D visa:

  • Passport (which should be valid for at least three months after the end of your planned stay)
  • Proof of the intended employment (please contact the HR department of Paderborn University)
  • Proof that you can finance your stay
  • Sufficient health insurance
  • Information on planned accommodation in Germany
  • For family members: marriage and birth certificates
  • Application form

Please inquire in good time with the respective diplomatic mission or consular post which documents you will need for your visa application, as the documents may vary depending on the country of application.

Sources: Federal Foreign Office, Euraxess Germany, Website of Paderborn's Foreigners' Office

The entry and visa regulations for Germany may change. Please check all visa details on the website of the Federal Foreign Office before entering Germany.

Please note: This information does not constitute legally binding information. The information provided on this website cannot replace the information offered by experts. Please contact the German Missions abroad  for advice.