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


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 on the German Federal Foreign Office website (“Auswärtiges Amt”) provides 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, since the latter can be issued very quickly (click on “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 you are legally entitled to one if you can present a hosting agreement from your host institute. Like the work visa, it includes a work permit for working at the research institution. Please note that you can still apply for an EU Blue Card 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 are planning a research stay of

Please note that it may take eight to twelve 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 have guest houses 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 options before coming to Leipzig, as it may take some time for you to find the right solution 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 guide How to apply for a childcare place describes the application process for kindergartens and childminders in detail.

Still have questions? Take a look here!

The Guidelines for Public Authorities contain useful advice for preparing for and organising 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 provide information about the different steps you need to take in order to work in Germany as a researcher in the public sector. It explains in detail the documents required for you to be hired and what to pay particular attention to. Please make sure to bring your legalised/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 for 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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