I have a fellowship offer for a 4-month stay at a German research organisation (non-profit). Since, I am staying for more than 90 days I need a "German National Visa". I am confused as to what type of German National Visa visa to apply. The two most appropriate visas look to be - Internship or a Guest Researcher/Scientist. I am a Masters in Computer Science on the verge of completing my doctorate. I will be submitting my thesis before I leave for this fellowship.

I repeatedly mention fellowship as the offer letter states the following

  1. We invite the candidate for a fellowship (not an internship)
  2. Funding for fellowship is provided through public funding
  • Why not send an email to the German consulate and ask them? – Michael Borgwardt Mar 17 '14 at 15:57
  • Thanks, I have done that. I was wondering if someone could throw some light on the situation. – Dexter Mar 17 '14 at 16:47
  • 1
    Why don't you ask your german research org? I am currently looking at a research fellowship that lasts beyond a year in France -- my research lab suggested a "long stay visa". – dearN Mar 17 '14 at 17:52
  • I did ask my research organisation. I am yet to receive a reply. I will update their answer once I receive it. I am looking for a community perspective. – Dexter Mar 17 '14 at 20:00
  • 1
    @drN Both are long-stay visas (i.e. not Schengen visas for up to 90 days), the question is which one. – Relaxed Mar 21 '14 at 5:55

So, here's what happened.

My research organisation said I should apply for a student visa. I was totally taken aback and surprised. In fact, they mentioned that past fellows have applied for a student visa and that'd be the best. However, the student visa is an arduous process with elaborate mark sheet checking procedures.

In the meanwhile, I got a reply from the German Embassy that I can apply for a guest scientist visa. This seems much better and I will proceed my application with this. In addition, I am also eligible for a visa fee waiver (P1, point b) as I am a foreign national receiving a scholarship from public funds to stay/work in Germany. However, the German embassy confirmed that such a waiver can only be decided after the visa officer goes through my documents. I spoke about this to my research organisation and they said that I should do as the embassy suggested or in other words apply for a guest scientist visa.

Moral of the story - Don't blindly apply for a visa, read through rules/regulations and options. It could save you time as well as money.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.