Visa and entry requirements
Whether a visa is required to enter Germany depends on your citizenship and on the purpose as well as the length of your stay. In most cases a visa is required for doctoral candidates.
- Lead time: Visa applications might take several months to be processed and we therefore recommend you to submit your application as early as possible.
- No Visa: Citizens of EU or EEA states are not subject to this visa requirement, nor are citizens of states with which Germany has agreements to this effect.
- Visa requirement: Please contact the local German embassy or consulate well in advance to find out whether a visa and what type of visa is required for you. The Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) provides an overview of visa requirements and further information here.
- Type of visa: Generally, doctoral candidates should apply for a student visa. A research visa can only be issued in exceptional cases to doctoral candidates. If you pursue your doctoral study abroad and visit Münster for a research stay, please feel free to contact us and talk about visa requirements and options.
Since a visa only entitles you to enter Germany and stay for a short-term (max. 90 days), doctoral candidates from countries outside the EU/EEA states have to apply for a residence permit. A national visa can also be issued for up to 12 months in some cases. If you hold such a visa and do not plan to stay for longer than 12 months, you do not need to apply for a residence permit in Münster.
We recommend you to book an appoinment online before your arrival in Münster. Please mark the box "Application for the granting or extension of a residence permit". Keep in mind that you will have to find accommodation and register at the city council before you can successfully apply for a residence permit.
- Germany’s entry and visa requirements change frequently. Therefore you should check all details on the Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) website and with the local embassy or consulate to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
- Generally your visa application is tied to a specific purpose, for example to undertake studies or pursue research. Approval is tied to the particular purpose. It can be problematic to apply for a residence permit if you enter Germany with the wrong type of visa, in particular with a tourist visa.
- Although it is possible to work part-time with a student visa, you should carefully check visa requirements if you plan to take up employment. Even though there might be an agreement that enables citizens of some countries to enter Germany without a visa, it might be the case that a visa application is required if employment is intended.
- A list of FAQ can be found here (only in German).