Visa and entry
Advisor for international doctoral candidates and researchers
Service for international researchers
- Online application for a short-term Schengen-Visa with VIDEX (provided by the Federal Republic of Germany): videx.diplo.de
- Information on the use of the web-based visa-application form at: German Missions in the United States
- The Federal Foreign Office: auswaertiges-amt.de/EN
- Foreign nationals who may enter Germany without a visa and plan to stay here for up to three months: auswaertiges-amt.de/EN > Entry and Residence > Visa Regulations > Overview of visa requirements/exemptions for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany > List of countries and territorial communities
- EURAXESS www.euraxess.de/EN > Services > Incoming researchers > Visa and entry
International doctoral candidates and researchers please register at the University's guest portal to receive current information and support. Current information on entry regulations can be found at
As a general rule, foreign nationals must hold a valid visa to enter Germany. We recommend that you apply for a visa at the German embassy/German mission in your home country/your current country of residence as early as possible and well ahead of your intended date of travel. The embassy/mission will inform you about entry requirements and about the duration of the application process.
In order to simplify the procedure for visa applications you have the option of downloading and filling in visa application forms online for free, and then taking the completed form to the interview at the visa section of the German embassy/mission. In addition, many German embassies and missions have introduced an electronic appointments system to shorten waiting times. For more information, please see the websites of the German mission in your home country/current country of residence.
Entry requirements vary depending on your home country and the duration and purpose of your stay. If you are coming to Germany for employment or research purposes you must apply for a national visa (long-term stay visa or D visa). A national visa may be granted for up to twelve months.
EU and EEA citizens do not need a visa to enter Germany, and they also do not need a residence permit for an extended stay. A valid passport or identity document will suffice for entering Germany. For an extended stay of more than two months, you need to register with the Bürgerbüro in Oldenburg as it is compulsory in Germany to report your current place of residence/address to the local authorities. Swiss citizens and their family members do not need a visa to enter Germany, but they do need to apply for a residence permit upon entry as it certifies the right to freedom of movement that also applies to them.
Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States do not need a visa to enter Germany and may apply for a residence permit upon arrival, though we recommend doing so well in advance as you will not be allowed to work in Germany until your residence title allows you to. For further information, please see employment regulations.
Citizens of countries with a visa exemption agreement (also known as visa waiver agreement) with Germany must obtain a national visa/D visa if they plan to pursue an economic activity here. You need to submit your application to the German embassy in your home country prior to your arrival. The visa exemption only applies to visits of up to three months (90 days) and does not allow employment or research.
To obtain a national visa, you will have to provide proof of financial support (employment contract, fellowship, proof of own resources), of adequate health insurance coverage, details of your accommodation, proof of your intended activity, and your passport. A national visa may be granted for up to twelve months and/or converted into a residence permit. Upon arrival in Germany you must register with the Oldenburg Residents´ Registration Office (Bürgerbüro) to obtain a residence permit at the Foreign Residents’ Office (Ausländerbüro).
It is not possible to apply for a national visa/D visa upon entry. Under no circumstances should you overstay your visit of 90 days maximum, as the Schengen law is very strict about entry and exit. If you entered Germany without a visa, but decide to stay longer than three months, you have to return to your home country first and apply for a visa again.
All other nationals of third countries must apply for a visa at the German embassy or German mission in their home country/current country of residence prior to their arrival in Germany. The visa type depends on the purpose and the duration of your stay in Germany.
Visits up to three months
If you plan to stay in Germany for up to three months, you need to apply for a Schengen visa (short-term stay visa/C visa). Please note that a Schengen visa will not be extended and does not allow employment. To be granted a Schengen visa, a proof of financial resources and of health insurance coverage is required. Both must cover the entire duration of your stay in Germany.
Visits lasting more than three months
If your stay in Germany exceeds three months, you must apply for a national visa (long-term stay visa/D visa). To obtain a national visa, you will have to provide proof of financial support (employment contract, fellowship, proof of own resources), of adequate health insurance coverage, details of accommodation, proof of your intended activity, and your passport. A national visa may be granted for up to twelve months and/or converted into a residence permit. Upon arrival in Germany you must register with the Oldenburg Residents´ Registration Office (Bürgerbüro) to obtain a residence permit at the Foreign Residents' Office in Oldenburg (Ausländerbüro).
Please note that if you intend to stay longer than three months, under no circumstances should you enter Germany on a Schengen Visa as you will not be able to convert this type of visa into a national visa. Do not under any circumstances overstay your visit, as the Schengen law is very strict about entry and exit.
Highly qualified employees with specialised knowledge and skills who can provide proof of employment may be granted an EU Blue Card, which is a temporary residence title (permit) that entitles the holder to take up gainful employment. It is issued for the duration of the employment contract with a maximum validity of 4 years, though it can be extended or replaced by an unlimited settlement permit after 5 years. If you enter Germany with a national visa that allows employment, you may submit the application for an EU Blue Card to the Foreign Residents’ Office (Ausländerbüro) in Oldenburg. Highly qualified employees may be academics with expertise, teaching staff or research assistants in prominent positions.
As of 2008, the visa application fee is 60 EUR (for all types of visas), though a reduction or exemption from visa application fees may be granted. Holders of a publicly-funded fellowship from a German funding organisation (AvH, DAAD) do not have to pay visa application fees or fees for a residence permit. The same applies to researchers travelling for the purpose of carrying out scientific research.
Both the Schengen visa/C visa and the national visa/D visa allow you to travel to the 26 countries of the Schengen Area for up to three months within a six-month period. However, a separate visa will be required if you intend to travel to EU member states which are not Schengen states (except for Bulgaria), namely the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania.