Homepage of the Welcome Service
Due to the current situation, we would like to inform you that the Welcome Service doesn't offer personal consultation hours at the moment. We will continue to provide support by e-mail and telephone. We can also arrange for video appointments.
We have compiled a series of FAQs for you on the current situation (as of 22 February 2021).
You can find further information and practical advice in different languages here.
New online consultation for the Duisburg Immigration Office
- The Immigration Office in Duisburg is now offering open consultation hours (every Tuesday from 9 am – 12 noon)
for international students and guest researchers again, now in digital form.
- You can visit them without prior registration. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend the consultation hour. We will then send you the link to the consultation hour as soon as possible.
Coronavirus FAQ for Guest Researchers
Which entry restrictions apply to guest researchers who wish to enter Germany?
In order to prevent the spread of variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus Germany, the Federal Government has imposed a travel ban from 30 January for persons entering the country from so-called areas of variant. Only in very limited exceptional cases is entry possible (e.g. for German nationals or persons with residence and existing residence right in Germany). An up-to-date list of areas of variant can be found here.
Guest researchers who come from a third country that is listed as a risk area or a high incidence area, can only enter Germany if they can prove the necessity of their stay (of course, an entry visa is also required). A confirmation of the necessity of your stay can be issued by your host institute (see below). Quarantine or a negative Corona test may be required when entering (see below).
If you come from a third country that is on the positive list, you can enter Germany without restrictions (of course, an entry visa is required). You can find the positive list here.
Citizens of the European Union are exempt from entry restrictions and are allowed to enter Germany. If you enter from a risk area, an area of variant of concern, or a high incidence area, you will have to comply with quarantine regulations (see below). An up-to-date list of those areas can be found here.
As some of the German embassies are only working to a limited extent at the moment, there may be delays in visa applications. If you have problems applying for your entry visa, please contact us at email@example.com. Please be sure to consult your host institute and the Welcome Service before planning your entry.
For entry as a guest researcher, I have to prove the necessity of my research activity. How can I do that?
A certificate stating that your research activity can only be carried out in Germany and cannot be postponed will be issued by your host institute. We will be happy to provide a template for this purpose; please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, the university is not in a position to judge whether there is a compelling reason for entry. The assessment is made by the Federal Police upon entry. It is therefore possible that the Federal Police will refuse entry even though the UDE has issued a confirmation and the person entering the country will have to return at his or her own expense.
Which quarantine regulations apply when entering Germany?
Which regulations you have to follow when entering the country depends on whether you are entering from a risk area, an area of variant of concern or a high incidence area. You can find a list of those areas here.
Please note that entry from areas of variant is currently only possible in extremely exceptional cases. If you are not sure whether you can enter, please contact us at email@example.com.
If you are entering from a risk area, an area of variant of concern or a high incidence area, or have been in such an area in the last 10 days, you have to comply with the following regulations:
- Before travelling to Germany, please inform the responsible local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) in a language of your choice about your previous stay in a risk area. Please, use this online form.
- You will receive a confirmation document, which you have to carry with you when entering the country.
- If you are entering from an area of variant or a high incidence area: You must carry a negative Corona test result with you on entry (the swab must have been taken no more than 48 hours before entry) and present it to the responsible health authority immediately after entry. After your arrival, please go immediately into a 10-day home quarantine. Five days after your arrival you can get tested again. If the test is negative, you may leave quarantine. Otherwise, you are obliged to stay in quarantine. If you experience typical symptoms of a coronavirus infection such as cough, fever, rhinitis or loss of smell and taste within ten days of entry, you must inform the responsible health authority immediately. A constantly updated list of areas of variant of concern can be found here.
- If you are entering from another risk area: After your arrival in Germany, please go immediately into a 10-day home quarantine. If you can prove that you have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 48 hours prior to or immediately after your arrival (there are chargeable test centres at the airports), you do not have to go into quarantine. If a testing opportunity is not available immediately at the place of entry, the test can be made within 24 hours after entry. You must have the negative test result at the latest 48 hours after entry and present it to the health authority on request. A constantly updated list of risk areas can be found here.
PCR tests as well as rapid tests that meet the requirements of RKI are considered as proof. The proof must be available on paper or in an electronic document in German, English or French.
If you develop symptoms after your arrival, please stay in your apartment and avoid contact with others. Besides, please call a general physician or the Corona helpline of the city where you live. If you cannot get hold of them, please call KVNO.
Corona helpline of the City of Essen: +49 201 88 88999
Corona helpline of the City of Duisburg: +49 203 94 0049
Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Nordrhein (KVNO): 116 117
What regulations currently apply in daily life in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)?
- Generally, avoid close contact with others. In public spaces, you are only allowed to meet with one person from another household.
- Wearing a medical mask (so-called surgical masks of the EN 14683 standard or masks of the KN95/N95 or FFP2 standards) is compulsory in the following areas: in shops, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, etc. as well as in doctors' surgeries/medical facilities and in public transport (also at stations and stops).
- In other areas, such as markets, public buildings, etc., you must wear a simple face covering.
- Public institutions, such as hospitals, universities, religious communities, restaurants, etc., currently need to implement additional regulations. Please respect these regulations and follow the instructions of the staff. In most cases, you will need to provide your personal contact information. Should you provide false information, you will have to pay a fine of EUR 250.
- Several public institutions will be closed until 07/03/2021. This includes sports, leisure and cultural facilities, restaurants and bars, as well as many shops. However, restaurants are still allowed to offer take-away services.
Please note: the regulations mentioned above are only the most relevant ones. You can find more information in several different languages on the website of the State Government of NRW.
I am an international researcher at the University of Duisburg-Essen but would like to return home. What can I do?
Germany allows international travel again since 2 July 2020. Please consider possible entry restrictions of your home country, though. Additionally, please consider that the situation may change at any moment and a re-entry to Germany cannot be guaranteed.
Please look for information about current developments, e.g. at
Please contact us if you have questions relating to your individual situation.
What we offer:
- Personal support and advice via e-mail, phone and face-to-face
- Support in dealing with the foreigner's office
- Contact to other supporting departments of the university
- Information on topics such as
Our Guide for International Researchers (PDF) gives you a first overview about everything important to prepare for your stay.
If you have more questions or wish further support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The guide is also available as a print version. If you would like a printed copy, please also contact us at email@example.com.