(1) Citizens of EU and EFTA Member States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland) do not need a visa and have unrestricted access to the German labor market.
(2) Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and the US
Nationals of these countries do not require an entry visa. They do, however, require a residence permit for stays of more than 90 days and need a working permit from the day they start working in Germany. In order to get the working permit ready for your arrival please get in touch with the International Office much in advance.
(3) Nationals of all other non-EU countries
You have to apply for the entry visa at the German embassy or consulate in your home country or current country of residence. The following visas are those used most often for research and study purposes:
Further information you will find via the Visa Navigator of the Federal Foreign Office.
Any questions? Get in touch with us. We will figure out what is the most suitable application in your individual case.
Online Visa application you can find here.
If your spouse and/or children will be accompanying you during your stay, we advise you to submit all applications at the same time, even if your family is arriving later.
In most cases, the national visa is only issued for a period of three or six months. After arriving in Germany, you must apply for a residence permit in Dresden, see first steps.
For your first arrival the MPI-CBG offers rooms in its guesthouse for short-term stays. Usually a guest room can be booked for a period for 4 max 8 weeks. This gives you enough time to find an appropriate accommodation in Dresden. Our guesthouse is at the rear of the MPI-CBG Institute property. The guesthouse is a studio apartment, approx. 25 sqm with an ensuite bathroom and fully equipped, private kitchen. You will also find bed linen, towels, and some cleaning agents. Booking can be cancelled on short notice. The postal address of the guesthouse is the same as the Institute. To find an apartment in Dresden see first steps.
Important documents to bring to Germany:
Our office is happy to advise you on translation and recognition of your marriage/birth certificates and can help you to initiate the process.
US citizens in possession of a valid US passport do not need a visa to enter Germany and can stay up to 90 days without being allowed to work.
If you want stay in Germany for more than 90 days are required to obtain a residence permit.
You may apply for their residence permit after entering Germany without a visa – which may take some time. As long as you do not have a residence permit you are not allowed to work. Alternatively, they can apply for a residence permit prior to entry at the German Embassy in Washington or at a German Consulate (currently located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York or San Francisco) in order to start working immediately.
A visa allows you to cross the state border and stay in Germany for a specific period of time whereas a permit is mandatory for all those staying for longer than three or 6 months.
Usually your spouse must proof basic proficiency of the German language which also helps for the first steps in Germany.
However, there are certain exceptions:
Yes. If you are third party national and married to a German citizen, you are required to obtain a residence permit in the form of a visa and need to proof German language skills, at A1 level.
No. If you are a third-country national and your spouse is a citizen of a member state of the EU or EEA, they are entitled to freedom of movement and can therefore live and work in Germany without restrictions. All they need to enter the country is a national identity card. They can apply for a residence care after they entered Germany.
No. If you are not married your spouse is permitted to enter Germany for the purpose of short-term visits of only max. 90 days within 180 days. You can apply for a dependent Visa only when you have a marriage registration certificate.