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International Researchers

Eva Shirley

Contact by email
0271/740-5044
AR-SSC 107

Residence Permit

You will receive an appointment with the Ausländerbehörde [Immigration Office] after having registered your address. The invitation and the application form will be sent to you by post, so please make sure your name is indicated on your letter box. Please be aware that this process can take a few weeks and that the appointments at the Ausländerbehörde can be scheduled for a few months in the future.

The type of residence permit you will receive usually depends directly on the type of visa you were issued. You should, therefore, pay attention to the type of residence permit you would like when applying for your visa. The following types of permit might be suitable for your:

§ 18b – Skilled Workers Holding a University Degree/BlueCard


It is stated in § 18 b (1) of the Residence Act that "[s]killed workers holding a university degree may be granted a temporary residence permit to perform skilled work for which their training qualifies them."
In short, this means that you would usually qualify for this type of residence permit as a postdoc or PhD student. Depending on what field you work in, how many hours you work and what your pay is, you might also qualify for the so-called BlueCard, which is described in section (2). Depending on your field of research, your annual pay will need to be €56,800, or €44,304 if you work in natural sciences, mathematics, IT, or are an engineer.

If you have held a BlueCard in another EU country for a minimum of 18 months, you and your family can enter Germany without a visa and apply for a German BlueCard once you have arrived

§ 18d – Research


The residence permits based on § 18b and § 18d are somewhat interchangeable for some people, so it is important to find out which best fits your needs. For instance, should your employment contract include an extended research stay in another EU country, this residence permit will allow you to live in other EU countries without a visa for six months (please be aware that usually you have to notify countries of your stay nevertheless and some bureaucratic processes may be necessary).

If you are a scholarship holder intending to come to Germany for research purposes but do not have an employment contract with the University of Siegen, this residence permit should be suited for your needs.

Please note that you will need a hosting agreement for the visa attached to this type of residence permit. Please contact us for more information.

§ 16b – Further Education


This residence permit is sometimes given to PhD students who work less than 20 hours a week: You are allowed to work for a max. of 120 full or 240 half days on this type of residence permit. As it is more suitable for 'regular' students, however, we recommend trying to apply for one of the above-mentioned types.

§ 18c – Permanent Settlement Permit for Skilled Workers


In order to receive a permanent settlement permit, you will need to have held a residence permit in Germany for a certain amount of time – the exact amount of time depends on the residence permit you have –, have paid into the pension scheme and will generally need to have a working contract in order to sustain a living. You will also need at least a B1 level of German.

Please contact us for further information on the differences between the types of residence permits, to find out more about your eligibility for a certain type of permit, what to do in case your permit runs out in a few months and you do not yet have a new job, and for documents needed for the visa application.