Visas and entry conditions
German entry conditions and visa regulations vary according to nationality:
1. Citizens of the European Union, as well as the European Economic Area and Switzerland
Citizens of the European Union, as well as the European Economic Area and Switzerland neither require an entry visa nor a permit for stays of a longer duration. In order to enter Germany, it is sufficient to carry a valid passport or ID card with you (§ 2 Abs. 5 FreizügG).
However, Swiss nationals are generally requested to apply for a specific residence permit for Germany (§ 28 AufenthV).
2. Citizens from third countries
As a general rule, citizens from so-called third countries, i.e. neither from the European Union, nor the European Economic Area nor Switzerland require a visa to enter the country and a residence permit ("Aufenthaltserlaubnis") for stays of a longer duration. The visa can usually be obtained from German missions abroad. Depending on the duration and purpose of the stay, you either need a Schengen visa (research stay lasting up to three months) or a visa for a longer stay and/or gainful employment (research stay lasting more than three months).
Under certain circumstances, citizens from some third countries are eligible to enter the country without a visa for stays of up to three months. You will find further information on this table published by the Federal Foreign Office.