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Visa for Doctoral Candidates

Visa and Entry

If you are planning to do research or to work at Bielefeld University, you should gather information regarding the visa regulations as early as possible.

All international citizens of countries that do not belong to the EU or the EEA require a visa if they wish to stay, study, and/or work in Germany. Exceptions are citizens of countries that have made special agreements with either the EU or Germany.
See ->here which terms apply to you.

In order to get a visa, you will need to contact the German Mission in your home country and apply for a visa to enter Germany.

+ Types of Visa

When applying for a visa, you must give precise and detailed information on the intended duration of your stay and the purpose of your visit (e.g. employment or studies). The type of visa granted depends on this information.

National Visa (D-Visa)

Staying in Germany as an international scholar usually requires a national visa if you stay longer than 90 days.

Schengen Visa (C-Visa)

If you come to Germany and stay a maximum of 90 days, you can also apply for a Schengen Visa (C-Visa). If you want to prolong keep in mind that it cannot be extended or converted into any other type of visa.
For more information please click ->here.
+ Visa-Application Procedure

You can apply for a visa at the German consulate in your home country representing the area in which you are registered or usually live. You have to present the following documents in person:

// Documents:

  • the application form obtained free of charge from the embassy or consulate
  • a valid passport
  • biometric passport photographs
  • confirmation of a scholarship or an invitation from a German higher education institute or research institute, giving detailed information on the purpose and duration of your stay, or a work contract specifying duration and income, or a declaration of intent from a research institute that they will employ you (preferably a German translation)
  • proof of travel health insurance

After receiving all the necessary documents, the German Embassy or Consulate will examine whether the visa you have applied for requires the consent of the foreigners' registration office in your future place of residence. The process of your visa application can vary depending on country and reason for your stay. It can take between 4 days and 9 months.
Please make sure that your passport is valid for your entire stay period.

You can find further and more detailed information on visas under:

->The Federal Foreign Office
->Euraxess - Germany
+ Being Employed at Bielefeld University

If you plan to work at Bielefeld University, you should gather information regarding the necessary work regulations as early as possible. Teaching staff, scientific personnel, and assistants at higher education institutes or public research institutes funded exclusively or predominantly by public funds are exempted from applying for a work permit. However, when applying for the visa you should indicate whether you will be financed by a scholarship or by a work contract. This exemption will be entered in your passport.

Please note that only teaching staff, scientific personnel, and assistants at higher education institutes are exempt from applying for a work permit. If your spouse is planning to take up employment in Germany outside academia, s/he will have to apply for this together with a visa at the German Embassy or a German Consulate in your home country. You will find more information about this in the section "Bringing your Family".

More information about employment permits in Germany can be found here:
->Federal Employment Agency
->Eures - The European Job Mobility Portal
->Germany for Researchers


English translations of employment documents

We provide English translations of the most important employment documents and forms.
Please note that these translations are for informational purposes only. Only German-language documents are legally binding, so please do not fill in the sample, only the original!

Upcoming events for international scientists