I am researcher and want to start a research activity at an officially recognised research establishment (residence title according to § 20 AufenthG).
I am researcher and want to start a research activity at a not officially recognised research establishment (residence title according to § 18 II AufenthG).
At an officially recognised research establishment
A residence permit for the purpose of research can be granted, if the following requirements are fulfilled:
- A valid hosting agreement with a research establishment recognised by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has been signed. The validity of the hosting agreement depends according to § 38f II AufenthV among others on, whether the research project is actually carried out and the applicant can prove the particular skills for the project.
- The research establishment has committed to bear the costs that can occur up to six months after termination of the hosting agreement due to a potential unlawful stay or deportation, respectively. From research establishments financed mainly from public funds you usually do not need an obligation to cost absorption.
- The costs of living are covered according to §§ 5 I No 1, 2 III 6 AufenthG as the applicant has the required financial means.
The competent Aliens Department at the future place of residence may inform you on the currently required amount.
A researcher’s residence permit is granted for one year at minimum, unless the research project has a shorter duration.
According to § 20 VI AufenthG you may also conduct a teaching activity besides the research activity.
A residence title according to § 20 AufenthG entitles to gainful employment as indicated in the hosting agreement. Approval by the Federal Employment Agency is not required.
A residence permit according to § 20 AufenthG entitles the holder to stay also in other member states for the purpose of research for a maximum of three months, without the need to apply for a separate residence permit.
For a list of recognised research establishments and information about entry and stays of researchers from non-EU states see here: www.bamf.de/forschungsaufenthalte
At an not officially recognised research establishment
If you want to start a research activity at an not officially recognised research establishment, it is possible to apply for a residence permit according to § 18 II AufenthG.
If you are doctoral student and the main purpose of your stay is to receive a doctorate, it is also possible to apply for a residence title according to § 16 AufenthG. That has the advantage that after completing your doctoral studies you can obtain a residence title for up to 18 months to seek employment (see § 16 IV AufenthG).
Important: This does not apply if the stay was mainly funded by a scholarship and you have committed yourself to return.