Residence Permit

All non-EU nationals (except for Norway) need to obtain a residence permit in Germany in case their stay exceeds 90 days. For the majority of DESY guest scientists and employees, the competent office to apply for it is the Hamburg Welcome Center (HWC). In some cases it is the office for foreigners in the district where you live. The International Office will help you to make a "DESY appointment" at the HWC (subject to availability of time slots) and prepare all the application documents.


HWC is an official city authority office providing services for highly-skilled newcomers in Hamburg. You can find a lot of useful information on their homepage. DESY cooperates with HWC and we can assist you in making an appointment there or arrange some minor matters for you so that there will be no need for you to go there in person.


Issue of the "Electronic Residence Permit" Card

If you present all necessary application documents for your residence permit in the Hamburg Welcome Center (HWC), the application will be approved and a card "Electronic Residence Permit" will be ordered. The delivery time for this card is 3-4 weeks. You will receive a letter by mail informing you that the card can be picked up at the HWC.
Please note that the residence card does not replace the passport as an identity document, but must always be presented together with the passport.

image source: Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF)

Validity and Extension

The residence permit is issued for a limited period, usually until the end of your current work contract. In case of an extension of stay, you will have to apply for a new card.
A new passport also makes it necessary to replace the residence permit card, because the card includes the passport details.

EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is the residence title for “highly qualified workers” and it offers some advantages compared to the usual residence permit. In particular, it is always issued for three months longer than the work contract; after 33 months, the holder of an EU Blue Card can apply for an unlimited residence permit; with good knowledge of German, this time is reduced to only 21 months.

You qualify for the Blue Card, if you have an employment contract in Germany with an income above a certain level, and a higher education degree (diploma) that has been acknowledged to be "equivalent" to a German one. For application details please contact the International Office!