Visa & Immigration Information
Most researchers at risk enter Europe via a researcher or scientific visa. This is usually a long-stay visa, on the basis of a “hosting agreement” with a higher education or research institution in the host country. While the rights afforded under scientific/researcher visas vary across EU member states, in most countries there are provisions for family members to join the researcher. The relevant EU directive addressing the mobility of third-country researchers is the Directive (EU) 2016/801 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, training, voluntary service, pupil exchange schemes or educational projects and au pairing. The Directive sets out several rules of relevance to researchers at risk. It provides for immediate family reunification for non-EU family members of non-EU researchers, access to the labour market and intra-EU mobility for researchers. An important provision in the Directive, of particular value to researchers at risk, is permission to stay on in the territory for the purposes of job-seeking for a period of at least 9 months following completion of their research. With regard to intra-EU mobility, the Directive allows for mobility of up to 6 months per Member State without a notification procedure, and mobility for more than 6 months per Member State by notification or application. Unfortunately, however, there are important differences in how EU member states transpose the directive into national legislation.
Links to the relevant information on applying for researcher/scientific visas for different European countries are provided below. In general, the EURAXESS service centres and national portals are useful sources of visa-related information for researchers and academics from outside the EU who are hoping to continue their work in Europe.
Austria: Information about entry and residence for students and researchers is available on the OeAD (Austria’s Agency for Education & Internationalisation) website here. General information about entry and residence in Austria is provided on the Austrian Foreign Ministry’s website here.
Belgium: Information about the procedures for obtaining a visa and residence permit for third-country researchers is on the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) website here and on the EURAXESS website here. The EURAXESS site also provides a useful guide for researchers wishing to continue their work in Belgium.
Bulgaria: Information about entry and residence for researchers to Bulgaria is available on the EURAXESS Bulgaria website here.
Croatia: Information on visa and work permit requirements for Croatia are provided on the EURAXESS Croatia website here.
Cyprus: The Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides information on visa requirements here. The University of Cyprus provides comprehensive information on visa and permit regulations for non-EU researchers here.
Czech Republic: The EURAXESS website provides clear information here on how to apply for a “scientific permit” to work in the Czech Republic.
Estonia: EURAXESS Estonia provides a useful roadmap for researchers to explain the steps involved in taking up work as a researchers in Estonia. Further information is provided here on entry and residence conditions for non-EU researchers to Estonia.
Finland: The Finnish Immigration Service provides instructions here on applying for a residence permit as a researcher.
France: This French government visa website provides information on how to apply for a “passeport talent- chercheur”.
Germany: The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Philipp Schwartz Initiative provides this useful FAQ on entry into Germany. The German Rectors’ Conference also provides information on entry and residence of non-EU researchers here.
Greece: EURAXESS Greece provides information on visas and entry requirements for researchers to Greece here.
Hungary: The Hungarian National Directorate General for Aliens policing provides information here on applying for a visa to enter Hungary for the purposes of research.
Ireland: The Department of Justice website provides information on applying for a scientific researcher visa here. EURAXESS Ireland provides additional information on immigration arrangements for non-EU academics and researchers carrying out research in Ireland, and a useful webinar on concerns related to non-EEA researchers working remotely for Irish institutions, immigration regulations, and permissions.
Italy: The steps involved in applying for a research permit in Italy are outlined here. The Visa for Italy portal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides the necessary application forms for entry visas and further information here.
Latvia: EURAXESS Latvia provides a step-by-step visa guide for researchers wishing to take up positions in Latvia.
Lithuania: The website of the Lithuanian Ministry of the Interior provides information on researcher visas here.
Luxembourg: The Luxembourg government information portal guichet.lu provides information on conditions of residence of non-EU researchers here.
Netherlands: The website of the Netherlands Immigration and Naturalisation Service provides information here on applying for a researcher work and residence permit.
Norway: To take up research positions in Norway, researchers normally apply for a residence permit as a “skilled worker”. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) provides information here on applying for entry and residence as a skilled worker.
Poland: The Voivodship Office (Office for foreigners) website provides information here on applying for a researcher visa for Poland.
Slovakia: EURAXESS Slovakia provides information here on applying for temporary residence for the purpose of research.
Slovenia: EURAXESS Slovenia provides information here on applying for residence permits for research purposes.
Spain: The website of Spain’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs provides information on applying for a researcher visa here.
Sweden: The Swedish Migration Agency website provides information here on how to apply for a researcher permit.