Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg


Checklist - Before arrival
Checklist 1 - before arrival.pdf (235.2 KB)  vom 19.02.2013

Checklist - important documents
Checklist 2 - important documents.pdf (218.5 KB)  vom 19.02.2013

Residence permit for international scientists
Overview on potential residence permits for scientists_HRK_engl.pdf (70.3 KB)  vom 19.06.2013

Research stays in Germany
Research stays in Germany.pdf (2.3 MB)  vom 19.06.2013


Petra Lohse
Referentin Internationales Servicebüro - Wissenschaftler

phone: +49 345 55 21536
fax: +49 345 55 27427

Universitätsring 19/20
D-06108 Halle

postal address:
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
International Office
D-06099 Halle

Further settings

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Before arrival

Before you start your journey to the University of Halle-Wittenberg there are important steps to be taken to prepare and plan for your stay abroad.

Here you will find important information to plan your trip so that a worry-free and stress-free start for you can be ensured. Of course, we will also support you with any further questions at any time.

Contacting the host institution

The first step in order for you to make plans is to contact the host institution at our university. The arrangements regarding content and time frame of your research tasks, which will be secured in a contract, determine the legal framework of your stay.

It is  in any case recommended, to make contact the host institution as soon as possible.

Important documents

Both for your visa application, but also for your stay in Germany, you should have gathered the following documents:

  • A valid passport
  • Visa (for yourself and accompanying family members)
  • Passport photos for various identity cards and documents
  • If applicable, letter of invitation or hosting agreement from the university
  • Scholarship Award (e.g. DAAD, Humboldt Foundation, etc.)
  • Birth certificate (Marriage certificate and children's birth certificates)
  • If necessary (certified) copies of the doctoral diploma / certificate or certificates of academic qualifications as well as other insurance documents, preferably translated in German and English.
  • Proof of health insurance (possibly with translation - if your insurance from home is not enough, you have to take out an additional insurance in Germany)
  • Vaccination Certificate
  • EC-Debit/Credit Card (or enough cash for the first few days in Germany)
  • If needed (an international driving license including insurance)

Visa for Germany

EU Citizens

EU citizens    do not need a visa for entering Germany. If their stay is of more than 3 months they need to register at the Residents' Registration Office ("Einwohnermeldeamt").

Exeptions exist for citizens of following countries:

  • Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Austria, South Korea, USA: Visa-free entry to EU possible, even for long-term stays. Residence permit affairs must be settled with the Foreigners' Registration Office after max. 3 months.
  • above-named countries, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Serbia: visa-free short-stays possible, but only if no gainful activities are carried out.

Non-EU Citizens

All other foreigners must be in posession of a visa for their stay in Germany.

Depending on the time and the kind of your stay different visa categories are required.

  • Schengen visa

o short stay: max 3 months
o stays in the entire Schengen Zone area    possible
o hinged half-year
o can not be extended beyond 3 months
o cannot be rewritten into a different Residence Permit
o must leave the country after expiration of the visa
o possible for stays for employment purposes

  • National visa

o long-term stay: more than 3 months
o inter alia for stays for employment purposes
o stay only in the Federal Republic of Germany
o Travels in the Schengen area for a period of up to max. 3 months in a half year
o legal bases in the residence
o purpose of residence / employment allowed is specified in the visa
o must be rewritten after entry to a national visa with electronic residence permit (eAT)   

International researcher

As international scientist you should apply for a "European Researcher Visa". With this you will receive the permit for research purposes.


  • Agreement or hosting agreement with Univeristy
  • Minimum net income of 1700 Euro/month

Visa application

The Foreign Office is responsible for the issuance of visas. Authorized German missions    (usually embassy or consulate) can be found in your country of origin. The following documents should be made available to the authorities at the time of the visa application:

  • confirmation of support for research activities (e.g. invitation letter from the university), and labor supply (at work)
  • proof of secure livelihood, e.g. by presenting an award or scholarship letter (DAAD, Humboldt Foundation, etc.) or an employment contract
  • health insurance coverage

Please consult with the competent authority in your country just prior to the respective visa requirements   , procedures and required documents / forms, as these may vary according to country of origin. In some countries, for example, a visa fee may be required.

Employment / Entry into the German labor market

Do you plan to pursue an occupation in Germany (see § 18 AufenthG   ) , for example, as a researcher or as a guest lecturer at the University? You may need a permit.

The respective residence permit depends on your nationality, your research project and the duration of your stay.

Researchers from EU countries

EU citizens and members of the European Economic Area (EEA) do not need a residence permit for entering Germany.You only need to register with the Registration Office ("Einwohnermeldeamt") at your place of residence. Then you'll enjoy employees' freedom of movement, i.e. you won't require a permit to take up employment.

Citizens of Romania and Bulgaria: please contact the Federal Employment Agency    (Arbeitsagentur) for further information as the employees' freedom of movement is currently still restricted by transitional arrangements.

You can find more information related to "working and living in Germany" here:

Researchers from non-EU countries

Scientific Visa (§ 20 AufenthG)

If you intend to come to Germany for more than 3 months you'll receive a residence permit if you apply for a so called "scientific visa   ". This visa allows you to work as a researcher. The residence permit for researchers is granted for at least 1 year, unless the research project is of shorter duration.


  • hosting agreement with a recognised research institution

Blue Card (§19a AufenthG)

You'll receive the so called "Blue Card" for highly qualified personnel if you can present a contract of employment and proof a gross annual income of about 44,800 Euros. The Blue Card allows you to work in Germany up to 4 years. Besides this holders of a Blue Card can receive a settlement permit after 2 to 3 years.

More information:

Jobs for partners

If your partner comes to Germany with you, the scientific visa also entitels him or her to work in Germany.

If you enter Germany with a national visa your spouse will require the approval of the Federal Employment Agency    to take up employment.


  • residence document that entitels partner to take up gainful employment
  • presentation of a concrete offer of employment to the Foreigners' Authority ("Ausländeramt")

Funding opportunities


The city of Halle has lots of housing options at reasonable prices. As the demand for housing, in particular at the beginning of the semester (September/ October, March/ April) is very high, it is advisable to start searching for a place to live in Halle as soon as possible.

The links below should help you in your search.

Internationales Begegnungszentrum (IBZ)

The "Georg-Forster-House" offers comfortable accommodation for scholars and researchers from many countries who want to spend a period of research in Halle and is at the same time a place for intercultural and scientific exchange. We invite you to familiarize yourself with the Georg-Forster-House, its rooms, and the events that are staged here: all these information can be found here.

Private accommodation / Hotels & Inns

Do you prefer to individually search for a suitable living space?

In this case we recommend the city's catalogue of hostelries    (only in german!) and following providers of the private housing market:

  • Online portal for WG-mediation "WG-Gesucht"
  • Online portal for property search "Immobilienscout 24"
  • Halle Housing Association "Hallesche Wohnungsgesellschaft" (HWG)
  • Society for residential and commercial real estate "Gesellschaft für Wohn- und Gewerbeimmobilien" (GWG)
  • German Youth Hostel Saxony-Anhalt "Deutsche Jugendherberge Sachsen Anhalt"
  • Bauverein Halle & Leuna eG

You can find more information about the rent, tenancy agreements, and renting conditions in the cities "guide for tenants". It can be downloaded in many languages here   .