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Foreign researchers generally require a national visa to enter Germany for a planned scientific stay if they wish to work.

Who is a researcher?

Researchers are third-country nationals who

  • have a doctoral degree or an appropriate university degree that gives access to doctoral programs, and
  • are selected by a research organization and admitted to the territory of a Member State,
  • to pursue a research activity for which such a degree is normally required.


  • You have a hosting agreement or an employment contract with a research institution in Germany.
  • The research institution undertakes in writing to cover your living and travel expenses that may be incurred at public institutions. This applies for up to six months after the end of the research activity. If your research activity is mainly financed from public funds, this provision does not apply.

What documents must be submitted during the application process?

To apply for a visa at the embassy, you will need the following documents in the original with one set of copies. Please sort the individual sets (original + one set of copies) in the order listed below.

Please do NOT staple the application documents!

Im Online-Antragsformular (VIDEX) geben Sie Ihre persönlichen Daten, Informationen zu Ihrer Einreise, ihren bisherigen Deutschlandaufenthalten sowie zu Ihrem geplanten Aufenthalt in Deutschland an.

Das ausgefüllte Formular drucken Sie aus und unterschreiben es persönlich.

Sollte die Antragsbearbeitung über VIDEX nicht funktionieren, können Sie das PDF-Antragsformular hier herunterladen.

Ein aktuelles biometrisches Passfoto (3,5 x 4,5 cm mit hellem Hintergrund) gemäß Fotomustertafel des Bundesministerium des Innern. Das Foto sollte nicht älter als drei Monate sein.

Ihr Reisepass muss noch mindestens ein Jahr ab Visumausstellung gültig sein.

Bitte beachten Sie, dass das Dokument noch mindestens zwei freie Seiten haben muss (bei einer positiven Entscheidung wird hier später Ihr Visum eingeklebt).

Sollten Sie Ihren gewöhnlichen Aufenthalt nicht in der Schweiz haben, ist die deutsche Botschaft Bern für die Bearbeitung Ihres Antrags nicht zuständig.

Signed hosting agreement or employment contract and cost assumption agreement.

Original German university degree or recognized foreign university degree.

Detailed curriculum vitae in German or English language.

Information sheet with checklist to download

The German Embassy Bern reserve the right to ask for additional documents at any time during the processing of your application.

Appointment booking

Please book an appointment here to submit your application. New appointments are regularly activated in the appointment system. Unfortunately, there are no additional appointments.

To submit your application, please appear in person at the visa section of the embassy (Willadingweg 78, 3006 Bern) at your pre-booked appointment. Please book one appointment per person - also for children. The visa office will accept your complete application documents and the fee and take your biometric data. It is not possible to submit an application without an appointment.

Processing time

In this visa category, most applications are typically processed within 2-3 weeks (calculated from the day you procided all documents).

In the visa process, the interest in entering the country must be carefully weighed against the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany. For visa applications for study and research stays and similar employment, special attention must be paid to ensuring that the knowledge acquired in Germany cannot be misused for purposes that could impair or threaten the peaceful coexistence of nations and/or public order, security, or health in Germany. This may, in individual cases, lead to a longer processing time for the visa application. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to apply for the visa early.

During the application process

Please do not contact the mission abroad to check the status of your application during the normal processing period. Such inquiries are extremely time-consuming for the visa department and cannot be answered. We will contact you by email as soon as the decision has been made. In principle, all communication can only take place with the applicant themselves, a legal representative or an authorized person.

Decision about the application

You will be informed as soon as the embassy has decided on your application. Your passport is required for the visa to be issued.

Please check your visa label as soon as you have your passport with the visa in your hands. You should inform us immediately of any errors so that we can issue a new visa.

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