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? Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 15:57
  • Thanks, I have done that. I was wondering if someone could throw some light on the situation.
    – Dexter
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 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
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 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
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 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
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 5:55

1 Answer 1


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.

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