HRK Hochschulrektorenkonferenz Die Stimme der Hochschulen

Mobility of Researchers

Entry and residence of researchers from non-EU countries

The German Residence Act provides various possibilities for foreign researchers from countries outside the European Union to stay in Germany for research purposes, whether for a limited period, for example to complete a doctorate, or for a longer stay.

Depending on one's personal situation (family circumstances, desired length of stay, salary level etc.), several different residence permits are available (residence for the purpose of study, residence for the purpose of employment, permanent residence permit for highly-qualified individuals, research visa or the EU Blue Card). These are structured differently and are aimed at different target groups.

Information leaflet provides overview on residence permits

Due to the complex nature of the German Residence Act, choosing the most appropriate residence permit can often be difficult. For this reason, the HRK has produced an overview of the different residence permits available to academics from third-party countries. This overview is intended to make the process of choosing the correct residence permit easier both for foreign researchers and for those responsible for issuing the invitation and giving advice at the German university or research institution.

The overview provides information about the requirements for obtaining each particular residence permit, such as the minimum salary levels or any language skills required, and also gives information on topics including relocating with a family and access to social security benefits, such as child benefit or parental pay.

The overview is also available as leaflet in English and German and can be ordered at holgersson[at]