If you've secured a hosting agreement or a work contract with a research institute in Germany, particularly if you're applying for a Research visa at the German Embassy in Islamabad, here's what you need to know:

  • You must have a hosting agreement or a work contract with a research institute in Germany.
  • You should demonstrate sufficient financial means to cover your living expenses in Germany, amounting to €1,027 per month.

Interested in pursuing research work in Germany? To do so, you'll need to apply for a research visa under Section 18d of the Residence Act - AufenthG.

What are the requirements for obtaining a research visa?

  • You must have concluded a hosting agreement or a work contract with a research institute in Germany.
  • The research institute must provide written commitment to cover your living and travel expenses back to your home country for up to six months after the research position ends, unless your research is primarily funded by public funds.

A "researcher" is defined as someone with at least a PhD/doctorate or a suitable university degree enabling access to PhD degree programs (Article 3 of Directive (EU) 2016/801). If you're a highly qualified professional in the fields of science or research and don't meet the requirements for a research visa under Section 18d of the Residence Act (AufenthG), consider the EU Blue Card as an alternative.


What does the research visa offer?

The research visa or residence permit is valid for at least one year and offers numerous advantages:

Once your research position concludes, you have up to nine months to secure another position in Germany aligned with your qualifications. You must then apply for a residence permit for job seekers under Section 20 (3) no. 2 of the Residence Act (AufenthG) at the nearest foreigners authority. Doctoral students from third countries can obtain a residence permit for research if they complete their doctoral thesis as part of a work contract with a research facility in Germany. If the research position is part of a full-time PhD program, only a visa for studying can be issued.

Mobility arrangements for international researchers:

International researchers from non-EU member states legally residing in EU Member States may conduct research in Germany. In such cases, two options allow you to stay in Germany:

  • No residence permit for short-term research stays required: If you already hold a residence title from another EU Member State for research purposes and wish to stay in Germany for a maximum of 180 days within 360 days as part of a research project, you do not need to apply for a German visa or residence permit. The research institute in Germany must inform the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) about the planned research.
  • Residence permit for mobile researchers: Planning a research stay lasting longer than 180 days but no more than a year? You'll need a residence permit for mobile researchers under Section 18f of the Residence Act (AufenthG). Requirements include holding a valid residence title of another EU Member State for research purposes, a valid passport or travel document, and a concluded hosting agreement or contract with a research facility in Germany. Apply for the residence permit at the local foreigners authority at least 30 days before starting your stay in Germany, or submit the application to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).
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