Logo Welcome Center Potsdam Banner Welcome Center Potsdam
Preparation
NavigationGeneral Information
NavigationGrants and Fellowships
NavigationVisa
NavigationDocuments
Formalities upon Arrival
Life in Potsdam
Family and Children
Departure
Doctoral Students
Hosting a Guest
Buddy Program
News
Imprint
Home | Service | Contact | Travelling to Potsdam | Academic Institutions deutsche Version
Visa
Entry Requirements | A visa is sometimes required to enter German territory. This visa is applied to a page of your passport. When a visa is required, you must apply for it while still in your home country. Please take note that the correct purpose of stay must be listed on the visa.

Doctoral students should apply for a visa as either a guest scholar (Gastwissenschaftler) or an academic employee (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) when employment with the university or a research institution is planned (item 20 on the application). With a visa for study purposes (Visum für Studienzwecke), one is not allowed to pursue academic employment.


Entry without a Visa | Citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, and the United States are not required to have a visa upon entry into Germany. Please refer to the website of the German Federal Foreign Office for more information.
If you are planning to stay in Germany for longer than three months, you must apply for either a certificate of freedom of movement (Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung) if you are a citizen of the EU or a residency permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) for citizens of Switzerland, Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, and the USA. These are to be applied for at the Foreigners’ Office in your area of residency.

Entry with a Visa | If you need a visa to enter Germany, you must apply for one in a timely manner from the German embassy or consular service in your home country (for addresses, please refer to the website of the German Federal Foreign Office). Processing your application can take six to eight weeks.
If you are planning to stay for a longer period of time, you must visit the Foreigners’ Office (Ausländerbehörde) in your area of residency after entering Germany. This office will issue you the appropriate residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis).
All persons entering into Germany with you must have their own individual visas. If you would like to travel to another member state of the EU during your stay in Germany (for example, to visit a conference), then you should apply for a visa for this country before leaving your home country as well.

images/textlink.gifThe Federal Foreign Ministry
offers detailed information

In order to apply for a visa, you need the following:
  • application form (to be obtained in your home country from the German embassy or consular service or via the respective website)
  • valid passport
  • an invitation from the guest institution with detailed information on the reason for, and length of, your stay
  • a copy of a grant, fellowship, or stipend commitment
  • at least three passport-sized pictures
  • confirmation of a valid health insurance policy
Your spouse also needs to provide a marriage certificate and a declaration of common residency.

Schengen Visa | The Schengen visa is a tourist visa for the purposes of a short visit. It does not allow for employment. It can neither be extended nor converted into a visa with another purpose of stay. In all cases, you should not apply for a Schengen visa, but instead a visa as a guest scholar (Gastwissenschaftler).