Residence Permit

Since a visa only entitles you to enter the country and remain for short-term stays, you will require a residence permit if you wish to stay for more than 90 days. Citizens of EU/EEA countries are exempted: You do not require a residence permit but instead, should simply inform the Bürgeramt in Berlin of your place of residence.  
The International Scholar Services offer all PhD Candidates and research assistants a "visa service": we assume responsibility for the application of their residence permit at the Immigration Office. All of the information about the application itself can be found on our website.  
Please see below the necessary documents when applying for a residence permit.

What are the different types of residence permit?

Residence permits are granted for a specific purpose. International scholars at HU can be issued a residence permit under the following provisions of the German Residence Act (AufenthG):

Residence for educational purposes (section 16b AufenthG)

Doctoral students, researchers and prospective students  are generally granted a residence permit for educational purposes under section 16b of the Residence Act.

In principle, all doctoral candidates receive the residence title according to §16b, unless the focus is on the employment relationship associated with the doctorate.

Residence for research purposes (section 18d AufenthG)
A residence permit under section 18d can also be issued for employment in science and research. An employment contract at Humboldt-Universität is needed in this case.
Foreigners may be granted a residence permit for research purposes if they have concluded an effective hosting agreement with a recognised research institution to conduct a research project.

→ The ISS work on behalf of the HU to sign an effective hosting agreement.


Residence for highly qualified foreigners (section 18c (3) AufenthG)

The term "highly qualified foreigners" includes academics with specialised expertise, and teaching and academic staff in specialist roles. You may immigrate once you have employment and you can immediately obtain a settlement permit (with no limit on duration). This automatically entitles you to work. Spouses are generally granted the same residence permit.

→ A residence permit in accordance with section 18c (3) is automatically a settlement permit. It can be granted to academics who are working in prominent positions (for example professors).
EU Blue Card (section 18b (2) AufenthG)

This residence permit is designed for qualified foreign professionals. To receive an EU Blue Card, you must hold a university degree and have an employment contract with a gross annual salary of at least €56,400. In some occupations with a shortage of personnel (including scientists, mathematicians, engineers, academic and comparable professionals in information and communications technology, and doctors), this threshold is reduced to €43,992.

→ The EU Blue Card can be issued to international academics who have an employment contract with HU for at least the required gross annual salary amount.

The following individuals may NOT apply for a residence permit:

  • Individuals who have entered the country on a Schengen visa (C visa) cannot apply for a residence permit. You must leave the country before the expiration of 90 days and must be in your home country to apply for a national visa to re-enter (generally after a waiting period).
  • Citizens of countries which are exempt from visa for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany are allowed to stay up to 90 days. Before the expiration of this period, they need to leave Germany and are not enabled to apply for residence permit in Germany directly. Please find an overview of the states here:
Exceptions, § 41 AufenthV:
  • Nationals of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the United States of America may also enter into the Federal territory and stay in the said territory for a period which does not constitute a short stay without requiring a visa. A required residence title may be obtained in the Federal territory.
  • Nationals of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino can apply for a residence permit in Germany if they do not plan to work
  • Further information can be found here:

Necessary Documents for an appointment with us:

  • Valid passport
  • A biometric passport picture which complies with German regulations for passport pictures (ideally you should have this picture taken in Germany and let the photographer know that it is required for a passport):
  • Proof of financial support – how you are funded, e.g. a payslip or a scholarship certificate
  • Documentation relating to the purpose of your stay – depending on your status, this may be: certificate of study (Studienbescheinigung), employment contract or a written acceptance of employment, or for visiting scholars an invitation letter from the relevant Chair
  • Proof of German health insurance
How we can help:
  • You can apply online on the Landesamt für Einwanderung (Immigration Office) website.

Do you have other questions?

If so please contact the International Scholar Services.