Planning your stay
We are glad to support you with the planning of your stay at h_da.
After having organized the academic part of your visit with the respective host department, we will help you with all the administrative steps.
Find more information on:
Of course we can also help you with the following topics:
- Transportation (e.g. from airport to university)
- Trains and busses in Darmstadt
- Registering with the Immigration Office
- Child care
- Day trips and cultural events in and around Darmstadt
In order to make our guests from Germany and abroad feel comfortable in Darmstadt or Dieburg, we are happy to help you find suitable accommodation.
Apartments in our Guest House on Fichtestraße (Darmstadt) can be rented if you are our guest for at least one week. Both (fully furnished) single and double rooms are available.
If you prefer to stay in a hotel or in a (privately rented) apartment, please contact us. We have compiled a list of different accommodation options in all price ranges.
Depending on your home country and the duration and intention of your stay, you may or may not need a visa to enter Germany.
Below you will find general information regarding visa application, but for exact details, please contact your local German mission (embassy or consulate) in your home country or see the German Federal Foreign Office.
In general, it takes up to 14 business days for an application for a short stay visa.
Applications for longer stays or requesting gainful employment, may take several months to process. Applicants must submit all paperwork in person at their local German mission. It is important to check their website in advance to see which documents are required.
You are not required to apply for a visa and you can enter Germany with your national identification document. This freedom of movement also applies to your accompying (civil) partner and your children (until the age of 21), even if they are not EU nationals (see above). Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.
If you want to stay longer than 90 days or you plan to work here, please register at the Residents' Registration Office ("Einwohnermeldeamt") within 14 days after your arrival (more information can be found under Living in Darmstadt).
Citizens of the United Kingdom:
During the transition period until December 31, 2020, the visa regulations will continue to apply as before, i.e. British citizens will continue to enjoy visa-free travel until then (as of June 13, 2020). More information on Brexit.
(check the German Federal Foreign Officefor an up-to-date country list)
- You are generally not required to obtain a visa and can enter Germany with your passport.
- You are allowed to stay for up to three months without working. If you would like to stay longer or start working, you will need to get a residence permit after arriving in Germany.
- You need a visa if you would like to start working immediately in Germany (Visa zur Arbeitsaufnahme). You can apply at the local German mission in your home country and convert it to a residence permit once you arrive in Germany.
- You are required to obtain a visa.
- You can apply for a visa at your local German mission in your home country.
- Make sure you apply for the proper visa. It is not possible to extend a Schengen or a visitor’s visa!
- Please start this procedure as soon as possible, as it can be a very time-consuming process.
- Please check the website of the Federal Foreign Office.
If you want to do research in Germany, you can apply according to the facilitated conditions for international researchers (§ 18d Residence Act, formerly §20).
- You have concluded an admission agreement with a recognized institution for the implementation of your research project and
- You will receive a monthly income (salary or scholarship) that can secure your living (the respective German Foreigners' Registration Office will give you concrete information about the required amount).
With this residence permit, you can do research and teach in Germany and additionally stay for research purposes in other EU countries (except Denmark and Great Britain) for up to six months. Your partner can also use the residence permit to look for gainful employment without having to prove his or her knowledge of German.
Further information on residence permits for researchers
If you want to work in Germany and come from a non-EU country, the so-called Blue Card may be an option for you. It is a temporary residence title (valid for four years).
- You have completed your university studies and these are recognised in Germany or are comparable with a German degree (more information on the recognition of your studies).
- You have an employment contract or a binding promise of employment in Germany
- Your minimum annual gross salary is 55,200 euros; for jobs in special professions such as computer science, mathematics, engineering, etc., the minimum gross salary is 43,056 euros (adjusted every year; status 2020).
- Your future employment must match your qualifications.
- You can catch up with your family members with easier conditions
- You can apply for a settlement permit more quickly (after 33 or 21 months depending on your German language skills)
More information on the Blue Card application procedure
You are not sure for which visa you need to apply? The visa navigator by the Federal Foreign Office can help!
Health insurance in Germany
Health insurance is mandatory in Germany for all visiting academics and their accompanying family members. Before you leave for Germany, you should check whether your insurance at home will also be valid in Germany. Your insurance provider should put this in writing. EU citizens require the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in most cases.
If your insurance does not provide adequate coverage, you will need to take out an additional insurance policy. We recommend contacting insurance providers before entering Germany, so you can deal with potential problems in advance and be insured from the very start of your stay. Some insurance providers also require you to apply while still in your home country.
Please check whether your scholarship includes insurance. If this is not the case and you also cannot prove adequate coverage from your home insurance provider, you will need to obtain private health insurance in Germany.
In most cases, you will need to cover the medical costs up front and they will be reimbursed as soon as the health insurance provider receives your claim.
If you are employed directly by h_da, you will generally have compulsory insurance from a statutory health insurance scheme. You should research the insurance providers yourself (list of German insurance providers) and choose the one that best fits your needs. You need to apply for insurance directly through the insurance providers but make sure to inform the h_da human resources department about which provider you have chosen.
The cost of statutory health insurance is calculated based on your gross income, and is currently about 15 %. The employer and employee both pay about half, and this fee is automatically deducted from your pay cheque.
You are exempt from compulsory insurance with a statutory health insurance scheme if your gross income is over € 54,900 (2020). In this case, you can choose either voluntary statutory health insurance or private health insurance.
If your stay does not involve working in Germany or you are only here for a short visit (for a business trip or a conference), your home insurance will be recognized.
For longer stays, like for guest lectures or reseachs projects for one semester or year, or if you will plan to be employed, you are subject to compulsory health insurance. Please see the EURAXESS website for additional information and a comprehensive list of private and statutory health insurance providers.
Although not mandatory, we highly recommend getting additional accident and/or personal liability insurance for your stay in Germany. Prior to your trip, you should check with your home insurance provider to see whether you are covered in Germany. If not, you should consider applying for additional insurance. Most of the time, private providers offer combined rates that include health, personal liability, and accidental insurance.
The Welcome Center Hessen in Frankfurt offers free support for international skilled workers in many areas such as career, visa, social insurance etc.