To help you prepare your research stay in Leipzig as well as possible, we have compiled information here on important aspects of preparation.


As a general rule, non-EU foreigners require a visa to enter the country and a residence permit (“Aufenthaltserlaubnis”) for long stays (more than 90 days), which can be obtained from German Missions abroad. The Visa Navigator of the German Federal Foreign Office (“Auswärtiges Amt”) gives you advice on which visa is suitable for you.

If you come to Leipzig for a research stay at a scientific institution and receive an employment contract, we still advise you not to apply for a “work” visa  but for a “research visa”, as this visa can be issued very quickly (click research instead of work when using the visa navigator).
A “research” visa does not require approval from Leipzig Foreigners Authority (which speeds up the process) and with a hosting agreement issued by your inviting institute you have a legal claim to it. Like the work visa, it contains a work permit for the work at the respective research institution. Please note that you can still apply for a Blue Card EU when applying for a residence permit in Leipzig.

Please check the website of the Federal Foreign Office if one of the following applies to you:

You plan a research stay of

Please note that it may take 8 to 12 weeks until you receive your visa.

In our visa guide you will find detailed information on how to apply for a visa.


In the meantime, you can start looking for an apartment. First of all, ask at your research institution if they rent out furnished apartments; some of them have guesthouses for foreign researchers. Otherwise, furnished accommodation can be found on several websites which are listed on the accommodation flyer. Find out more about housing in Leipzig in general in our Guidelines for Public Authorities (p. 14).


If you have children, you may want to start looking into childcare and schooling before coming to Leipzig, as it may take some time for you to find appropriate options for your children. Further information can be found in the chapter “Living in Leipzig with a family” in our Guidelines for Public Authorities (p. 16-18). Our guideline “How to apply for a childcare place” describes the application process for a kindergarten/childminder place in detail.

Still have questions? Take a look here!

The Guidelines for Public Authorities document contains useful advice for preparing for and organizing your stay in Leipzig. It covers a list of topics concerning aspects of living and working in Leipzig and information about the responsible authorities and institutions.

The Guidelines for Hiring Foreign Staff in the Public Service document provides information about the different steps you need to take in order to work in Germany as a researcher in the public sector. The guidelines explain in detail the documents required for you to be hired and what to pay attention to regarding these. Please make sure to bring your legalized/apostilled documents if you need to apply for a residence permit in Leipzig (this applies especially to birth and marriage certificates as well as diplomas). Otherwise, the process of applying for a residence permit will take much longer.

Please also look at our FAQ section in order to get answers to questions about everyday life in Leipzig as well as intercultural questions about Germany in general.

If you have any specific questions, please contact your research establishment or university/college.

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