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Apply for a residence permit

If you are not a national of the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA) and would like to stay in Germany for more than three months, you will need to apply for a residence permit after arrival in Germany or before your entry visa expires. This pertains also to nationals of other countries who may enter Germany without a visa and wish to reside here longer than three months or engage in gainful employment.
More information on long-term residence in Germany on the Federal Foreign Office website.
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Nationals of these countries can enter Germany without a visa. However, if you stay in Germany for more than three months you need to register with the local authorities ("Einwohnermeldeamt") within two weeks after arrival and then apply for a residence permit at the Berlin Foreigners Registration Office.(See information further below.) It is important to note that you may not start work until you have the permit. More information here.

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After arrival in Germany nationals of non-EU/EEA countries must apply for a residence permit at the Foreigners Registration Office Berlin (Ausländerbehörde). Before your study/national visa expires, usually within 3 months after arrival, it must be converted into a residence permit. The residence permit is generally issued for a period of one or two years depending on the application.

Swiss nationals enter Germany without a visa but need to apply for a residence certificate at the Foreigners Registration Office if they reside in Germany for more than three months.
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  • Proof of admission or enrollment at Freie Universität Berlin
  • Proof of a scholarship or other adequate means of income: Non-EU students must generally provide credible proof that they have financial resources of at least € 700 per month at their disposal. International doctoral candidates can usually meet the requirement by showing proof of their scholarship.
  • Proof of adequate health insurance coverage
  • Proof of registration with local authorities
  • 2 (biometric) ID photos
  • Passport (validity period at least 6 months)
  • Completed and signed application form
  • A processing fee of at least € 80 for the issue of the first permit
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Passport service for visiting researchers (partnership guests, AvH scholarship-holders), doctoral students, and program students. You may submit your complete application and all necessary documents for processing to the International Office for Residence Permits (Akademisches Auslandsamt) of Freie Universität Berlin.

Student Exchange Office (Akademisches Auslandsamt), Iltisstraße 4, 14195 Berlin (U3 Dahlem-Dorf)

Office hours: Mondays & Tuesdays 9:30am to 2pm; Thursdays 2 - 5pm.

Mr. Zoltan Juhasz, Room 103

Phone: +49 30 838-573 04


Please note that it is absolutely necessary to call ahead or to send an email to confirm that office hours have not been cancelled. At times the office has to stop its services due to too long processing times.

Important notice: Processing time of applications may take 8-10 weeks.

If you submit your application and supporting documents to the International Office for Residence Permits for processing you will be issued a document confirming that your passport is currently at the German authorities. We therefore suggest you submit your documents when you will not need your passport for 8-10 weeks. For example, you should open a bank account and register at the local authorities before you submit your passport for processing.

You will be notified when your residence permit is ready to be picked up.

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Foreigners’ Registration Office Berlin - Department IV Z 2 (Ausländerbehörde)

Completed applications together with all necessary supporting documents are submitted to the Foreigner’s Registration Office Berlin where the Department IV Z 2 is the one responsible for international students, researchers and their family members.

Making an appointment at Department IV Z 2

In order to avoid long waits we strongly urge you to arrange an appointment well in advance of the expiry date of your visa through the service page of the Foreigners Registration Office Berlin or go very early in the morning. Please note that when you book an appointment, your residence permit will remain effective in Germany at least until the day of the scheduled appointment. Read more

If you have questions you can contact

OPTION: If you choose to go without an appointment, make sure you go very early and get waitlisted upon arrival.

Opening Hours

Address: Landesamt für Bürger- und Ordnungsangelegenheiten

Abteilung IV – Ausländerbehörde

Keplerstr. 2, 10589 Berlin

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