The purpose of these pages is to provide you with information on important legal questions. However, the authors make no claim to completeness. Although this information has been prepared with the greatest of care, we assume no liability for the correctness of the content provided here.

The following rules and regulations apply for lecturers and scholars who visit the university to teach, conduct research or carry out similar projects. In addition information about settlement permits for highly qualified research scholars is provided.


Visiting lecturers and research scholars from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland or the USA do not require a visa.

Citizens of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Croatia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Rumania, Singapore, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela require a visa if they are planning a stay of more than three months or whenever the Federal Employment Agency must determine whether the post in question may be filled by a foreign national.

When applying for a visa lecturers and research scholars must present the following documents. Please ensure that this list corresponds to the stipulations of the German Embassy or German Consulate where you apply for a visa.

  • Proof of sufficient financial means for your stay (as demonstrated by an employment contract or scholarship)
  • Proof of sufficient health insurance (including medical and dental services, prescription drugs, bandages and other cures and remedies, hospital treatment, medical rehabilitation benefits, pregnancy and childbirth benefits)

The visa is valid for three months and is converted to a residence permit should the stay be extended beyond this period.

Residence permit
For stays exceeding three months visiting lecturers and research scholars must apply for a residence permit at the Immigration Authorities after their arrival. Here too, the required documents are proof of sufficient financial means and proof of sufficient health care.

The residence permit is issued for the duration of the stay, but for no longer than a period of three years. Persons who wish to stay longer than three years must apply for another residence permit at the end of the three-year period.

Giessen Friedberg
Immigration Authorities (Ausländerbehörde)
Berliner Platz 1
Tel.: 0641/306-1321

Office hours:
Monday and Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Thursday: 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Immigration Authorities (Ausländerbehörde)
Europaplatz, Gebäude A
Tel.: 06031/83-0

Office hours:
Monday - Wednesday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Thursday: 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 12.00 noon

Work Permit

Permission to pursue gainful employment in Germany is specified by the work permit. Lecturers and research scholars apply for a work permit for employment purposes.
Settlement permits for highly qualified lecturers and research scholars
If a lecturer not only visits the university for a fixed period, but plans a permanent stay to pursue a permanent employment position in Germany, under certain circumstances he/she can apply for a settlement permit.

Highly qualified people (like highly qualified lecturers and research scholars) can apply for a settlement permit at the very beginning of their stay in Germany.

Other foreign nationals who live and work in Germany must meet the following criteria in order to apply for a settlement permit:

  • Residence in Germany with a residence permit for five years (residence by virtue of a student visa residence permit does not apply here.)
  • Sufficient living space for himself/herself and his/her family
  • Payment of national insurance contributions for at least 60 months
  • Not convicted of a premeditated crime within the past three years
  • Permission to work in Germany
  • Proficiency in German, sufficient knowledge of the German legal and welfare systems as well as living conditions in Germany