Before Arrival

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Citizens of European Union (EU) countries, countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

Citizens of EU countries and those of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland do not need a visa. A personal identification card is sufficient to enter Germany.

*Please note: Citizens from Switzerland intending to stay for more than 3 months must apply for a Aufenthaltskarte (residence card) at the Foreigners´Registration Office in Berlin.

The Welcome Center Team will support you with the application process after your arrival in Berlin.

Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States of America

If you are a citizen of one of these countries you do not require an entry visa for Germany and can apply directly in Berlin for a residence and work permit. If it is your first entry into a Schengen country in the last 180 days, you have 90 days to get a residence permit.
Within this time you can also work without a visa or a residence permit but only if you do not exceed 90 days in one year.

The same applies to citizens of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino, provided that no employment is planned.

The Welcome Center is ready to assist you in this matter.

Please note that not all countries which do not require a visa are listed here. Further more, some countries have special entry visa regulations. Please check with the German consulate or embassy nearest you.

Countries with visa requirement

National Visa (D-Visa)

Staying in Germany as an international scholar (researcher or lecturer) generally requires a national visa (D-Visa). The national visa allows you to enter, stay and also work or research in Germany. To travel within the first three months of your stay to another Schengen country (e.g. to a conference) is possible, if you have a visa with multiple entries. This applies even if you already have a EU-residence permit from another European Union Country.

The D-Visa is usually issued for a three-month period. Before it runs out, you have to convert it into a residence permit at the Foreigners' Registration Office in Berlin or visit us.

Please note,

  • If your purpose of stay is to work (holding a work contract as a scientist) at the Charité you´ll be given a work entry visa according to article §18d right of residence or a BlueCard (income based).
  • If you want to graduate you´ll be given a student entry visa according to article §16 right of residence.

*Please be aware that it´s very difficult to change the status of your visa when applying for a residence permit in Berlin (i.e. If your given a student visa you´ll be receiving a student residence permit).

If you have any questions regarding the matter, we will be happy to advise you!

Family reunification visa

If you are travelling to Germany with your family/spouse, you must apply for a separate visa for this purpose, which is called Familiennachzug (family reunification) for each family member.

Family members should apply for a visa together even if your spouse and children arrive in Germany at a later time point but still with a valid visa.

Please check with a German embassy or a German consulate in your country of residence what you require for your family.

After arrival you´ll be given a residence permit for spouses, parents and children of foreign citizens.