Extending a Visa

You need to apply for a residence permit at your local Foreign Citizens' Office before your entry visa runs out. Citizens of Australia, Israel, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and the USA, who arrive without a visa and are planning to stay in Germany for a longer period of time, also need to apply for a residence permit within three months of entering the country.

We advise you to submit your application as soon as possible (approx. 16 weeks before your visa is due to expire). Please note that there are different types of visa and residence permits, that may require specific documents. You usually have to present the following documents at the Foreigners' Office (Ausländerbehörde):

  • Completed application for a residence permit (download Antrag Verlängerung Aufenthalt)
  • Valid passport or ID card (please ensure that this is not due to expire until at least three months after the end of your stay)
  • Biometric passport photo (please note the requirements set out by the Federal Foreign Office)
  • Fellowship award letter, employment contract or hosting agreement with the university (stating the amount of the monthly fellowship or salary as proof that you can support yourself financially)
  • Letter of invitation from your host faculty (in German)
  • Proof of health insurance cover that is valid in Germany
  • For spouses/children: certified German or English translations of marriage and birth certificates
  • For spouses: declaration of marital cohabitation
  • For children: current school enrollment certificate (for the German school they will attend)
  • Registration certificate from the Citizen's Office (Bürgeramt)
  • Charges: a maximum of €110 for the original permit, €80 for extensions, €90 for changes to the purpose of stay (children only pay half of the standard fees)
  • Your height in metres and centimetres (please check measurements beforehand and have the converted figures at hand)

Source: passages taken from EURAXESS