You need to apply for a residence permit at your local “Ausländerbehörde” (Immigration Authority or Foreigners’ Office) before the expiration date on your visa. You also need to apply for a residence permit if you are a citizen of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea or the USA, have entered the country without a visa and intend to stay in Germany for a longer period. This needs to be done within three months of entering the country. We recommend you submit your application as soon as possible. This is especially important since the introduction of the new electronic residence permit on 01.10.2011. If you need assistance, please visit the Welcome Center.
You will normally have to bring the following documents to the Immigration Office:
- Completed application for a residence permit (online or available at the Immigration Office),
- Valid passport (please note that it must be valid for the entire duration of the proposed stay),
- Biometric passport photo,
- Proof of sufficient financial means throughout your stay. This can be your fellowship award letter, employment contract or hosting agreement with the university, and needs to state the amount of the monthly fellowship or salary as proof that you can support yourself financially,
- Proof of health insurance coverage valid in Germany,
- For marital partners / children: certified German or English translations of marriage and birth certificates,
- “Anmeldebescheinigung” (proof of registration) from the Residents’ Registration Office,
- Fees: around 120 euros for the first permit issued in your name, around 60 euros for extensions.
The application for extending the residence permit can be found here.