Visa and Residence

Entry Regulations / Visa

In general, all non-EU and non–EFTA nationals need a visa to enter Germany. No visa is required for EU and EFTA nationals and nationals of those countries for which the European Community has waived the visa requirement, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, Japan, Korea, and Israel.

Up-to-date information on visa regulations can be found on the website of the German Federal Foreign Office. Further information on whether a visa is required and, if so, what type of visa, can be obtained from the German embassy or consulate in your home country. Do not enter Germany on a tourist visa because it cannot be changed to a work residence permit or a reseacher's residence permit

Please contact the German embassy or consulate well in advance to clarify the applicable regulations and to find out approximate visa application processing times.

Residence Permit

A visa is an entry permit only, valid up to 3 months at most, and does not replace a residence permit. You must apply for the so called electronic title of residence (eAT) and register with the Local Office of Registration/Foreigners' Registration Office in charge within the first week upon arrival. This applies also to accompanying family members and partners. Even foreign researchers who do not need a visa must apply for a residence permit and have their place of residence in Lüneburg registered.

The following documents are required for the eAT application:

  • Official invitation or any similar document issued by Leuphana University
  • Passport (or personal identity card)
  • 1 biometric passport-size photo
  • Proof of health insurance coverage in Germany
  • Statement regarding financial means to cover living expenses
  • Visa (if applicable)

Bürgeramt (Ausländerbehörde) Lüneburg
Bardowicker Straße 23
D-21335 Lüneburg
Phone: +49.4131.3093252

NO walk-ins. Making an appointment is mandatory.

Important Documents

We recommend to bring along the following documents:

Passport or IDPassports or IDs for yourself and your family members must be valid throughout your entire stay in Germany


Bring along certified copies of your degree certificate, PhD certificate, birth certificate, marriage certificate/birth certificates of your children (if applicable), and insurance documents translated into either German or English.
Invitation / Hosting AgreementBring along the letter of invitation or the letter of acceptance for a position.
Proof of financeTo be granted a residence permit, you must furnish proof of adequate funds to finance your stay in Germany (own financial means and/or income or a letter confirming a scholarship award.
Vaccination cardYou should also bring along your international vaccination card (if applicable, also those of you family)
Driving licenseCheck whether your driving licence is valid in Germany. Click here
Passport-sized photosYou will most likely need passport-sized biometric photos for various identity cards.