Visa for research stay (Section 18d Residence Act)

17.02.2021 - Article

This page provides you with a checklist of the requirements for a Visa for research stay

Researchers are ...

 third-country nationals who

  1. have a doctoral degree or a suitable university degree that allows access to doctorate programmes and
  2. have been selected by a research institute and are allowed in the national territory of a member state
  3.  in order to engage in research for which such a qualification is normally required.

Basic information

  • Basic Information can be found on our website here.
  • Documents not in the German, English or French language must be submitted with a certified translation. A translation of the personal data page of the passport is, however, not required.
  • Certificates, diplomas, etc. must be presented in the original with apostille/legalisation. Your original documents will be returned to you once your application has been processed.
  • The visa must be approved by the Federal Employment Agency in Germany or the competent foreigners authority. The visa can only be issued when this approval has been received.

  • Processing time is as a rule ca. 8-10 weeks but can take longer in individual cases.
  • Flight reservations are not required to apply for a visa – please only book when you have received your visa.
  • The mission abroad reserves the right to request further documents.
  • Missing documentation delays the procedure and can result in your application being rejected.
  •  Please do not contact the mission abroad to check the status of your application during the normal processing period. Such inquiries are extremely time-consuming for the visa section and can thus not be answered.


Use the following checklist to make sure your application documents are complete. All documents listed here are to be submitted in full in the requested form and order with every application!

Provide the copies in two identical piles.

  • Two (2) fully completed and signed applications including declarations pursuant to Section 54 Residence Act
  • Where applicable, two (2) declarations fully completed and signed regarding contact details and power of attorney
  • Two (2) recent biometric passport photos
  • Valid passport (personally signed and with at least two (2) completely empty pages)
  • Two (2) uncertified copies of the data page of your valid passport
  • Signed research agreement or relevant contract with a German research institute (original and two (2) copies). The research agreement/relevant contract needs to contain certain information. You can find a specimen here.
  • Proof of qualification: Proof of doctoral degree or university degree that allows access to doctorate programmes (all pages, original and two (2) copies)
  • Written commitment to cover costs emerging for public agencies up to six months after the end of the admission agreement (original and two (2) copies) – this is not required if the work of the research institute is primarily public funded or if there is a specific public interest

  • Proof of adequate financial means
    • To stay in Germany the applicant must have at their disposal at least 939 € per month. if they are not entering into a contract of employment. Proof of these financial means can be provided through the admission agreement/relevant contract. If a contract of employment is planned, proof of the statutory minimum wage of 1621 € must be provided. When submitting an application, proof must be provided of financial means for the entire duration of the stay.
    • In the case of financing in the form of a blocked account: Open the blocked account in good time BEFORE you apply for a visa. When applying for a visa, only the official confirmation of the opening of the account including information on the amount paid in and the amount available per month will be accepted. A confirmation which does not include this information is not sufficient.
  • Proof of adequate health insurance cover
    • If as an employee you are subject to mandatory statutory health insurance, you must bear in mind that this insurance can only begin when you take up residence in Germany and enter into employment. If you enter Germany beforehand, private health insurance must be taken out for the period prior to employment beginning and prior to being eligible for statutory health insurance. In its terms and conditions, travel health insurance can exclude protection if a long-term or permanent stay is planned. So-called incoming travel insurance can also contain such exclusions.
  • Applicant of a nationality other than Rwandan

    • Proof of habitual abode by “residence permit/visa
  • Processing fee of 75 €. Payable cash in RWF.

Further information

Additional content

Please fill this form out till the end.

application form for a national visa (category D)

Due to organizational reasons, the waiting time for visa appointments is expected to be longer than usual until the end of October. Inquiries that reach us in this regard will not be answered. Special appointments are not available.

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