UniversityInternationalComing to Hannover
Entry and Residency Requirements

Entry and residency requirements for international incomings

Information for students, doctoral candidates and visiting researchers intending to spend a period abroad at Leibniz University Hannover.

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Entry requirements

Non-EU citizens generally require a valid visa in order to enter Germany, which must be obtained prior to your arrival via the German mission abroad (embassy or consulate general) in your home country. Please contact the relevant German mission abroad in order to obtain specific information on entry requirements and time frames for the application process.

  • Citizens of countries with visa requirement for Germany

    Please make sure that you apply for a long-term visa (national visa type D) with the possibility to enter the Federal Republic of Germany on multiple occasions, not a tourist visa (Schengen visa type C). Please note that family members travelling with you also require a visa.

    Prospective students who want to study in Germany but have not received their letter of admission or need to complete preparatory measures such as a language course or the Studienkolleg can apply for a study visa entitling them to seek a study place. This residence permit is limited to a maximum of nine months.

Under certain conditions, the following groups may enter and stay in Germany without a visa:

  • Citizens of EU countries, EEA nationals and Swiss nationals

    Citizens of EU member states can move freely within the European Union. Therefore, they only require an identity card or passport to enter Germany. A visa is not necessary.

    If you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days, you must have adequate financial resources to cover living expenses during this period. Moreover, sufficient health insurance coverage is required.

    Swiss nationals intending to stay in Germany for more than 90 days must apply for a residence permit via the local foreigners' authority.

  • Citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand and the United States

    Citizens of these "positive third countries" intending to study, conduct research or work in Germany only require their passport to enter Germany. A visa is not necessary.

    If you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days, e.g. for your studies, you will need to apply for a residence permit via the local foreigners' authority within 90 days of your arrival.

     

    If you seek employment in Germany, a residence permit is required in order to undertake employment in Germany. If you intend to start your position straight away, we recommend obtaining a visa prior to your arrival in Germany. With a visa, employment may be undertaken in the first 90 days prior to receiving a residence permit.

  • Citizens of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino

    Citizens of these "positive third countries" intending to study in Germany only require a passport to enter Germany. A visa is not necessary.

    Students intending to stay in Germany for more than 90 days will need to apply for a residence permit via the local foreigners' authority within 90 days of their arrival.

    If you want to work in Germany, you must apply for a visa in your home country prior to your arrival in Germany. A valid visa is required upon entry into Germany in order to be permitted to work.

  • Citizens of countries entitled to enter Germany without a visa

    Citizens of countries entitled to enter without a visa may stay in Germany for a maximum of 90 days.

    A visa is required if you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days, if you aim to conduct research or if you plan to undertake employment. In this case, you will be required to apply for a long-term visa prior to entering Germany.

    In order to determine whether you are entitled to enter Germany without a visa, please refer to this list provided by the Federal Foreign Office.

    List of countries whose citizens do not require a visa

Simplified entry requirements for non-EU citizens with an EU residence permit (according to the REST directive)

Non-EU citizens staying legally in another EU country (with a visa or residence permit or citizens entitled to enter without a visa) may enter Germany without a visa. The maximum length of time they are permitted to stay within the EU is 90 days. If they intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days or to work here, a visa is required to enter Germany. In this case, the standard entry and residency requirements for citizens of non-EU countires outlined above apply.

For mobility within the EU in the context of a structured programme, the REST directive allows some exceptions, and therefore simplified entry and residency requirements in Germany. However, this does not apply to mobility programmes with Great Britain, Ireland or Denmark. In these cases, a national visa for Germany is required.

  • EU mobility for the purpose of studies (max. 360 days)

    If an existing residence permit for the purpose of studies has been obtained in another EU country and a student or doctoral candidate is participating in a structured mobility programme, they may enter Germany without a visa in order to pursue their studies for a maximum of 360 days without obtaining a German residence permit. This requires that the existing residence permit obtained in the other EU country is still valid upon entering Germany (and is subsequently renewed).

    If you intend to spend a period abroad at Leibniz University Hannover within the scope of a mobility programme, please contact the relevant members of staff listed at the bottom of this page. The International Office is obliged to notify the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) of your stay, at least 30 days prior to your arrival in Germany. There is no need to obtain a visa or a German residence permit for your stay. You are therefore not required to visit the local foreigners' authority during your period abroad.

  • Short-term EU mobility for the purpose of research (max. 180 days)

    If an existing residence permit for the purpose of research has been obtained in another EU contry, researchers or doctoral candidates may enter Germany without a visa in order to conduct research for a maximum period of 180 days without obtaining a German residence permit. This requires that the existing residence permit obtained in the other EU country is still valid upon entering Germany.

    If you intend to spend a period abroad at Leibniz University Hannover, please contact the relevant members of staff listed at the bottom of this page. The International Office will notify the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) of your planned period of mobility. At the latest, this notification must be received by the BAMF upon your arrival in Germany. There is no need to obtain a visa or a German residence permit for your stay. You are therefore not required to visit the local foreigners' authority during your period abroad.

  • Long-term EU mobility for the purpose of research (max. 360 days)

    If an existing residence permit for the purpose of research has been obtained in another EU country, researchers or doctoral candidates may enter Germany without a visa. If you intend to stay for a maximum period of 360 days, you will be required to apply for a residence permit for mobile researchers via the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) at least 30 days prior to your arrival. In addition to the application, an admission agreementconcluded with an institute of Leibniz University Hannover must be submitted. If you are already conducting research in Germany within the scope of a short-term mobility period, the application must be submitted 30 days before the end of the short-term mobility period.

    In both cases, the International Office will notify the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) of your stay. For this purpose, please contact the relevant members of staff listed at the bottom of this page as soon as possible.


Registration at the citizens' administration office

EU and non-EU citizens intending to stay in Germany for more than 90 days are required to register at the relevant residents' registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt).

  • Short-term stays (max. 90 days)

    If you do not intend to spend more than 90 days in Germany, there is no need to register at the residents' registration office.

    However, if you plan to extend your stay, you will be required to register at the residents' registration office responsible for your place of residence.

  • Extended stays exceeding 90 days

    If you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days, you will be required to register at the residents' registration office responsible for your place of residence within 10 working days of your arrival. If you live in Hannover, appointments at one of the eight citizens' administration offices (Bürgeramt) in Hannover may be booked online. Booked appointments are accepted as proof that the registration has been observed. Since the citizens' administration offices in Hannover are usually quite busy, we recommend booking an appointment as soon as possible.

    Book an appointment via the online portal of the citizens' administration offices in Hannover

    Please remember to bring your identity card or passport  as well as a printed version of the form "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung". This confirmation of your move must be issued by your subletter or landlord. If you are married, please bring your marriage certificate.

    Template "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" provided by the city of Hannover

    If you do NOT live in Hannover, you need to register at the residents' registration office of the municipality/city responsible for your place of residence (e.g. Garbsen).

    Church tax

    When you register at the Bürgeramt you can voluntarily provide information about your religion if you wish. Please note that if you work in Germany some church tax may be deducted directly from your salary depending on the information you provide to the Bürgeramt.


Applying for a residence permit

If you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days, an application for a residence permit must be submitted within the first 90 days of your stay or before your visa expires. This excludes EU/EEA citizens as well as cases where the REST directive applies.

  • Short-term stays (max. 90 days)

    For stays comprising a maximum of 90 days, a residence permit is not required. Depending on your nationality, you are either entitled to stay in Germany without a visa within this period or your entry visa entitles you to stay in Germany within this period.

    Please note that undertaking employment within this period is only permitted if you have a valid visa or residence permit.

  • Long-term stays exceeding 90 days

    Citizens of non-EU countries intending to stay for more than 90 days are usually required to apply for a residence permit via the local foreigners' authority. If your entry visa covers the scheduled period of your stay, you only need to apply for a residence permit if your stay will exceed the validity of your visa.

    Please note that only a national visa ("D-Visum") can be converted into a residence permit for long-term stays.

    Please book an appointment at the local foreigners' authority well ahead of time, since considerable delays are likely. For information on opening hours, required documents or appointments, please refer to the website of the relevant foreigners' authority.


Health insurance

In Germany, sufficient health insurance coverage is mandatory and constitutes an essential prerequisite for long-term stays. For example, proof of sufficient health insurance coverage must be provided when applying for a residence permit or in order to enrol at the university. Depending on the target group and the planned duration of the stay, the following options are available:

Short-term stays (max. 360 days)

  • Current place of residence within the EU

    Stays comprising a maximum period of 360 days are covered via the health insurance provider in your current place of residence within the EU. You only need your European health insurance card.

    If you intend to undertake paid employment in Germany, please check whether the health insurance provider in your home country covers this. Regulations may vary depending on the country.

    For extended stays, we recommend taking out health insurance in Germany, since the European health insurance card generally only covers a maximum period of one year.

  • Current place of residence outside of the EU

    Please ensure sufficient health insurance coverage for the entire duration of your stay, e.g. via a foreign travel health insurance provider in your home country and/or a private health insurance provider in Germany. In order to receive a residence permit from the foreigners' authority, your insurance provider must meet the service requirements for statutory health insurance providers (section 11 paragraph 1-3 SGB V).

Long-term stays (exceeding 360 days)

  • Students

    Students enrolled in a full-time degree programme in Germany are eligible for statutory health insurance at student rates.

    Further information on health insurance for students

    Please note that proof of sufficient health insurance coverage must be provided in the context of your visa application, in order to receive or extend a residence permit, and in order to enrol at a university.

  • Doctoral candidates, postdocs and visiting researchers

    If you have concluded an employement contract with an institute, you may take out statutory health insurance via the university.

    If funding for your period abroad in Germany comes from another source, you will be required to take out private health insurance which meetd the service requirements for statutory health insurance providers (section 11 paragraph 1-3 SGB V). This does not apply if you were previously insured by a statutory health insurance provider as a student at a higher education institution in Germany and you intend to commence your research stay straight away. In this case, your voluntary statutory health insurance policy may be extended.

More information about health insurance for scholarship holders

Enrolment options

Students

Doctoral candidates

Postdocs and visiting researchers

  • Periods abroad at LUH without an employment contract

    A visitor's pass for postdocs and visiting researchers spending a period abroad at Leibniz University Hannover without an employment contract can be obtained from the International Office. It can be used to:

    • prove that you are member of Leibniz University Hannover
    • benefit from staff discounts in the cafeteria
    • access the library
    • or book selected courses at the University Sports Centre

    Application form


Accommodation

  • International Office accommodation service

    The International Office accommodation service assists international exchange students, visiting doctoral candidates and visiting researchers. Since the number of available rooms is limited and some enquiries may not be successful, we recommend looking for alternative private housing options.

    International Office accommodation service

  • Student housing provided by Studentenwerk Hannover

    The halls or residence managed by the student services organisation (Studentenwerk Hannover) offer good value accommodation. However, places are only available for students enrolled in a full-time bachelor's or master's degree programme at a higher education institution in Hannover.

    Student housing provided by Studentenwerk Hannover

    Exchange students intending to apply for student housing provided by Studentenwerk Hannover must submit their application via the International Office accommodation service. Students enrolled in a full-time bachelor's or master's degree programme must submit their application to Studentenwerk Hannover.

    In addition, we recommend looking for alternative private housing options.

  • Private housing

    Accommodation adverts can be found on the notice boards in the atrium of the main university building ("Lichthof"), as well as in cafeterias, libraries and institutes, or on Stud.IP ("Schwarzes Brett").

    Moreover, private housing adverts can be found in the online database from Studentenwerk Hannover.

    Private housing database – Studentenwerk Hannover


What else is important?

  • Tax number

    As soon as the residents' registration office has disclosed your data to the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt), you will receive a tax number. You will be notified of this by post within two to three weeks of your appointment at the registration office. A tax number is required to open a bank account in Germany, among other things.

  • Opening a bank account

    You can open an account at the bank of your choice. To do this, you will need your passport, your registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung) and your taxID number.

    Please note that you may be charged a fee if you withdraw money at an ATM that does not belong to your bank.

  • Liability insurance

    In Germany, anybody who inflicts property damage or physical injuries on third parties can be held liable. In addition to mandatory health insurance, we strongly recommend taking out a liability insurance policy for your stay in Germany in order to protect yourself against liability for damage to third parties. This way, you will not have to pay for such damage out of your own pocket.

  • Accident insurance

    All registered students, doctoral candidates and employees are covered via the public accident insurance (GUV). Insurance coverage begins with enrolment or the start of the employment contract and covers activities that take place as part of the individual's studies, doctorate or work.

    The insurance also covers the direct route between your home and the university.

    Visiting doctoral candidates – who cannot enrol at LUH because they are staying not long enough to do so – and visiting researchers can be covered by this accident insurance if they are working "like" regular employees. This requires mandatory registration with Dezernat 2, the Personnel and Legal Department.

  • Licence fee for public service broadcasting

    During your stay in Germany, you will be required to pay a fee for public service broadcasting ("Rundfunkbeitrag") amounting to €17.50 per month.

    Further information on the licence fee

  • School system and childcare facilities in Germany

    In Germany, there are different types of childcare facilities for children aged 0 to 6.

    Information on childcare facilities in Germany

    Children aged 6 and over are required to attend school. An overview of the German school system can be found here.

    The Family Service Team in the Equal Opportunities Office will be happy to assist you with finding suitable childcare options.


Offers and support on campus

Students

  • Orientation days

    Each semester, the International Office organises orientation days for international students and exchange students. There you will receive information about your studies and about offers and support at LUH and in Hannover. Here you will find the programme.

  • Preparatory courses

    Many fields of study offer preparatory courses and orientation events. You will find them in the course catalogue.

    The International Office offers a specific preparatory course for international master's students: STEPin.

  • Study Buddy Programme

    The Study Buddy Programme aims to foster intercultural exchange between international and local students. Moreover, the programme supports international students at the beginning of their studies and provides a contact person for queries regarding the challenges of university life.

    Overview – Study Buddy Programme

  • Events programme

    The International Office offers an events programme during the semester with numerous activities: workshops, excursions, cultural evenings, etc.

    This programme is open to both international and German students and is a good opportunity to get to know fellow students.

Doctoral candidates

  • Welcome reception and events programme

    The welcome reception for new doctoral candidates held by the Leibniz University Hannover Presidential Board takes place every year in October. There you will have the opportunity to learn more about the offers for doctoral candidates at LUH. This welcome reception is for all doctoral candidates (German and international) who are starting their doctorate at LUH within the year. The invitation is sent via email.

    The International Office offers an events programme every semester with workshops, lectures and excursions. These events are open to doctoral candidates, postdocs and visiting researchers at LUH and their families.

  • Offers from the Graduate Academy

    The Graduate Academy is the central coordination and service facility for doctoral candidates at LUH. In addition to funding opportunities it also offers numerous training programmes.

Postdocs and visiting researchers

  • Reception and events programme for visiting researchers

    Each semester, the Welcome Centre organises a reception for visiting researchers together with the LUH Presidential Board. The invitation is sent by mail.

    The International Office offers an events programme every semester with workshops, lectures and excursions. These events are open to doctoral candidates, postdocs and visiting researchers at LUH and their families.


Contact information for students

Exchange programmes

Anne Höch
Administrative/Technical Staff
Address
Welfengarten 1A
30167 Hannover
Building
Room
021
Address
Welfengarten 1A
30167 Hannover
Building
Room
021

REST directive and on-campus support

Markus Remmers
Administrative/Technical Staff
Address
Welfengarten 1A
30167 Hannover
Building
Room
030
Address
Welfengarten 1A
30167 Hannover
Building
Room
030

Contact information for doctoral candidates

Periods abroad at LUH and REST directive

Erasmus programmes

Anne Höch
Administrative/Technical Staff
Address
Welfengarten 1A
30167 Hannover
Building
Room
021
Address
Welfengarten 1A
30167 Hannover
Building
Room
021

Contact information for postdocs and visiting researchers

Periods abroad at LUH and REST directive

Manuela Schimmels
Administrative/Technical Staff
Address
Welfengarten 1A
30167 Hannover
Building
Room
031
Address
Welfengarten 1A
30167 Hannover
Building
Room
031