International students or researchers coming with their families or accompanied by their partners who may want to study, earn their doctorate, or work during their stay in Germany should find the information in this section useful when preparing to come and upon arrival in Berlin.
International students and researchers may bring their spouses and children with them to Germany.
Non-EU/EEA nationals must provide proof of sufficient financial means and adequate accommodation for the family. As a general rule, a family (e.g., 2 adults, 1 child) needs at least 50 m2 of living space. All family members must have health insurance.
Make sure to apply for the right visa for your family. The visa application for family members differs from the application for researchers. Depending on the circumstances, the issue of a visa may take up to 12 weeks. If your spouse is a citizen of a non-European country and would like to study or work in Germany, he/she must apply for the appropriate visa in your home country. The visa cannot be changed afterwards. All visa regulations for your family members can be found on the website of the German mission in your home country.
The demand for an education from one of Berlin's universities remains just as high as ever. About 16 percent of students in Berlin come from abroad. Berlin has four universities: Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität, Technische Universität, Universität der Künste. Application procedures vary among the universities. Study programs, admissions requirements, and advice offered at Freie Universität can be found here. Most doctoral degree programs offer scholarships which have to be applied for in due time. Various public and private foundations also offer research grants for doctoral candidates pursuing a doctorate.
Those intending to engage in regular employment need a work permit (exceptions: EU/EEA and Swiss nationals). When applying for a visa at the German consulate in your home country or country of residence make sure to indicate that you plan to work in order to be issued the right visa with “employment permitted” After arriving in Berlin you must apply for a work permit at the local employment office (Arbeitsagentur) before you apply for a residence permit authorizing employment. The procedure is time-consuming. It may take several weeks and is not always successful. Read more...
The Dual Career & Family Service of Freie Universität Berlin is responsible for expanding childcare options at Freie Universität, providing aid to junior researchers with family obligations, and supporting employees and students who care for family members. It can in case of an emergency provide short-term child care services such as KidsMobil (e.g., in case of illness of your babysitter or when a parent goes on a business trip).