Before arrival

Moving from other countries to Germany - General information before arrival

There are some formalities that you will have to comply with if you intend to work in Germany. As a rule, all nationals of non-EU countries have to apply for a visa. Nationals from a limited number of associated countries do not need a visa for entering the Federal Republic of Germany. They, however, have to apply for a residence title within the first three months.

Visa regulations

EU citizens
Nationals of an EU country do not require a visa in order to enter Germany to live and work.

Non-EU citizens of "associated" countries
Citizens of associated countries do not need a visa for entering Germany. These countries include Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and the USA. However, if you intend to work in Germany and stay longer than three months, you need to have an eAT electronic residence permit (“elektronischer Aufenthaltstitel”). This is an official document confirming the permission to stay and legally work in Germany. In order to get one, you have to apply for it at the local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”).

Please refer to the listed links for further information regarding your research stay in Germany

Non-EU citizens of all other countries
To enter Germany you require a visa. Please contact your nearest embassy or consulate with your letter of invitation/working agreement and apply for a visa three months in advance of your arrival.

Research stays

Important documents

Please make sure to bring the following documents with you to Germany

  • Passport, which must be valid for at least 12 months
  • Visa (if necessary) not only for yourself, but also for any family members who will accompany you to Germany
  • Be sure to apply for a visa as early as possible, as it can take as long as three months to process a visa application.
  • Document or certificate confirming that you have received a scholarship from the MPI or another academic or private institution
  • Letter of invitation sent to you by MPI
  • Any work agreement you may have with the MPI
  • Several biometric passport photos, which you will need in order to obtain different identification cards during your stay in Germany
  • Birth certificate with verified German translation
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable) with verified German translation
  • Birth certificate of children (if applicable)
  • Certified copies of your academic degrees with translation if necessary
  • Insurance papers with German translation (if possible)
  • If you keep your health insurance you should bring a certificate confirming that you currently possess one. Make sure that your health insurance is accepted in Germany.
  • International immunization records
  • International driver‘s license
  • If you are still enrolled in a foreign university, you should bring an International Student ID. Students often get reduced prices in theatres.You will need to have the following documents ready before your arrival in Germany:
  • Passport, which must be valid for at least 12 months
  • Letter of invitation sent to you by the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology
  • A document or certificate confirming that you have received a scholarship/contract from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology or from another academic or private institution in Germany
  • Entrance visa if applicable (issuing authority is the German Embassy in your country)
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