International guests at the Fachhochschule Dortmund – University of Applied Sciences and Arts

On this website, we provide information for international scholars and guests - researchers who plan to attend an international conference at the Fachhochschule Dortmund, academics visiting with a group of students from one of our partner universities, visiting lecturers who will stay at the FH Dortmund for a longer period and other visitors such as international delegations.

For planning a stay abroad, generally various organisational issues have to be considered starting from entry regulations to accommodation and, for a longer residence in Dortmund, matters of registration and practical concerns of day to day life. In order to support you in the planning process, upon and after arrival to settle in easily during your stay in Dortmund, we have compiled information around all relevant aspects mentioned.

We are looking forward to welcome you at the Fachhochschule Dortmund!



Upon entry into Germany from a foreign country, different regulations apply according to nationality, purpose and duration of the intended stay. In general, a visa is required for the entry with the exception of certain cases.

NO VISA REQUIREMENT (passport or national identity card is sufficient proof of identity for entry)
This applies to:

  • Citizens of the European Union
  • Citizens of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)
  • Spouses of EU-/EFTA citizens with NON EU-/EFTA citizenship (if holding a residence permit of another Schengen-state)
  • Persons with Swiss Citizenship
  • Non-European citizens of the following countries under certain conditions:
    • Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, USA (resident permit for stays longer than 90 days can be applied for after the visa-free entry)
    • Andorra, Brasil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco, San Marino (resident permit for stays longer than 90 days can be applied for after the visa-free entry if no employment is taken up) employment of visiting lecturers/scholars up to three months do not count as employment, a visa-free entry is possible.
    • No visa requirements for other countries for a period of stay up to 90 days see here. In these cases, it is not possible to extend the residence in Germany over the duration of 90 days. Visiting lecturers/ scholars from these countries can enter Germany up to a period of three months without a visa.

VISA REQUIRMENTS: types of visa
(according to purpose and duration of stay)

Schengen visa (type C)

  • Issued for specific type of stay (categories divided by purpose: “touristic stay“, “visiting stay” or “stay for business purposes”)
  • Issued for a period of stay up to three months within a period of six months up from entering the country
  • Proof of financial coverage for duration of stay must be provided
  • PLEASE NOTE: the visa cannot be extended or converted into another purpose of residency. Upon expiry of the visa, it is required to leave Germany.
  • It is therefore strongly advised not to apply for this type of visa if you intend to enter Germany as a visiting lecturer or scholar.

National Visa (type D)

  • Issued for duration of residence longer than three months and for employment purposes
  • Generally valid up to three months; depending on purpose of stay (i.e. visiting scholar) it is possible to apply for a visa for the whole period of intended stay (usually up to twelve months)
  • For holders of a valid D visa it is possible to stay in other Schengen member states within the validity period up to 90 days within a period of six months
  • After expiry of the visa it can be converted into a residence permit (please make sure you apply for a residence permit with sufficient time before the date of expiry)


In general, you should apply for the respective visa well in advance before the travel date at the missions of the Federal Republic of Germany, i.e. its embassies and consulates general, in the district of your home country in which you have your permanent residency. Please visit the websites of the respective missions in the individual countries for further information on the visa requirements and for downloading the necessary documents.

Schengen visa

Application documents

  • Visa application form
  • Valid travel document (i.e. national passport – please make sure that the validity period exceeds the intended end of residency sufficiently)
  • Passport photograph(s)
  • Document on purpose of stay: invitation of higher education organisation and/ or scholarship grant of German scientific organisation stating the allocated higher education organisation
  • Proof of financial coverage for travel costs and costs of living in Germany
  • Proof of travel medical insurance valid for the entire Schengen area for the entire period of stay (minimum amount insured of 30.000,- €)
  • If applicable you might need to submit additional documents such as copies of professional certificates (please check for your specific case if further documents are required)

Processing time

National visa (type D)

Application documents

  • Visa application form
  • Valid travel document (i.e. national passport – please make sure that the validity period exceeds the intended end of residency sufficiently)
  • Passport photograph(s)
  • Document on purpose of stay: invitation of higher education organisation and/ or scholarship grant of German scientific organisation including the allocated higher education organisation / in case of planned employment: work contract with higher education organisation)
  • Proof of financial coverage of travel costs and living costs in Germany
  • Proof of valid medical care coverage
  • If applicable or required: submission of additional documents such as copies of professional certificates (please check for your specific case if further documents are required)
  • If accompanied by family members: Please enquire with the respective German representative authorities which further documents are required (usually identity documents, marriage certificate, notarised and translated birth certificate of children, photographs of all family members and medical insurance for each accompanying person)

Processing time

  • Can be up to three months or longer
  • Plan good time in advance in case of waiting times

Further information:

NOTE: Please examine well in advance of your intended entry into Germany the current state of all visa and entry regulations and the resulting visa requirements on the Federal Foreign Office’s website / the website of the German mission in your home country.

Before arrival: INSURANCES


Medical insurance

Sufficient medical coverage is an essential requirement for entering Germany. The insurance options available are dependent on purpose, duration and financial coverage of stay (financed by scholarship, self-financed or by salary of German higher education organization within employment contract).

If you stay up to 90 days

  • NON-EU citizens need to have valid travel medical insurance cover (minimum amount insured: 30.000,- €) which is valid in the entire Schengen area. The total duration of stay needs to be covered starting up from the first day of arrival.

  • EU citizens can be issued a European health insurance card by the insurance provider in their home country. By means of this card, medically required health care measures are covered during a temporary stay in one of the 28 EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The same conditions and costs according to the national state-provided standard for all local citizens apply. This insurance is no replacement for a travel medical insurance, as no further services such as costs of return transport are covered. It can therefore be appropriate to take out additional travel medical insurance cover.

If you stay longer than 90 days

The German health system differentiates between statutory health insurance and private health insurance. Which type of insurance can or has to be chosen is primarily dependent on how the residence in Germany is financed and on the level of income.

  • Residence with employment contract
    Being employed at a German higher education organisation, it is mandatory by law to contribute towards the social security system which also comprises health insurance. The contribution rate is 14.6% of gross salary, being paid about equally by employee and employer (since 2015, statutory health insurance providers can charge an additionally fee from their members). Family members (spouses and children) are covered by this insurance without additional costs if they also have their residency in Germany. For gross salaries higher than 56.250,- € per year, the statutory insurance obligation does not apply. It can be opted freely between statutory or private health insurance.

  • Residence as scholarship holder / on a self-financed basis
    Usually, you need to take up a private health insurance if your stay in Germany is funded via a scholarship or is self-financed. Scholarship organisations can provide further information to these regards

For EU citizens, the following modalities apply:

  • EU citizens who have statutory health insurance in their home country
    • Issuing of forms E106 or S1 via domestic health insurance provider
    • With these forms: registering with German health insurance
    • Receipt of adequate health care services as domestic member of German health care insurance (cross-charging of services between German insurance and insurance in home country)

  • EU citizens who are insured in Germany under statutory health insurance with family members in their home country
    • Issuing of forms E 109 or S1 by German health insurance
    • Family members in home country can take up the services of the statutory health insurance in home country without any contribution
    • Cross-charging of services between foreign (home country) and German health insurance

Further information see:

  • Health insurance in Germany:
  • German health system:

Social security

Social security issues are relevant for longer stays in Germany within an employment relationship.

  • Being employed at a German higher education organisation, it is mandatory by law to contribute towards the social security system. Both employers and employees contribute approximately half of the contribution rates into the statutory insurances for health, pension, unemployment accident and nursing care insurance. The employees’ contributions are directly paid from the monthly gross salary and deducted to the social insurance bodies.
  • In case your stay is financed by a scholarship and you do not have an employment contract, you are usually released from statutory social security obligations.

More detailed information on Germany’s social security system see Euraxess-Portal on the topic of social insurance:


Private insurances

Apart from the social insurances, a range of private insurances exist which supplement or extend the services of the statutory insurances and protect against further risks.

  • Liability insurance
    In Germany, everyone is made liable for any damage caused to third parties in culpable actions; parents take over the liability for their children. For insuring against claims caused by unintentional damages, it is common in Germany to take out private liability insurance.
  • Further common insurances are home insurance, accident insurance, motor vehicle insurance and legal expenses insurance.

For more information see:


NOTE: Please enquire well in advance before your entry into Germany the regulations and insurance options applicable to you.



If you plan to come to Dortmund for a shorter period of time, the most suitable types of accommodation are hotels, guest houses or hostels, available in different price ranges.

The Ringhotel Drees or the TRYP Hotel Dortmund are two options which can be reached easily by foot from the respective sites of Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts. A more comprehensive range of accommodation and links for further information can be found below.


Ringhotel Drees           ~ 10 min. walking distance to Campus Sonnenstraße and Max-Ophüls-Platz
Hohe Straße 107
44139 Dortmund
Phone: +49 231 1299-0
Fax: +49 231 1299-555

Tryp Hotel Dortmund             ~ 10 min. walking distance to Campus Emil-Figge-Straße
Emil-Figge-Straße 41
44227 Dortmund
Phone: +49 231 97050
Fax: +49 231 9705444

Steigenberger Hotel Dortmund ~ 15 min. walking distance to Campus Sonnenstraße and 5 min. walking distance to Campus Max-Ophüls-Platz
Berswordtstraße 2
44139 Dortmund
Tel: +49 231 90210

Online booking portals (various search criteria)

  • Online booking form DORTMUNDtourismus GmbH:

Guest Houses and Hostels

These types of accommodation offer affordable options especially for a visit with a group of students.

A&O Hostel und Hotel           ~ 5 min. walking distance from Dortmund Central Station (Hbf)
Königswall 2
44137 Dortmund
Phone: +49 231 226 886 4300
Fax: +49 231 226 886 4390 

B&B Hotel Dortmund Messe       ~ 10 min. by local subway from Dortmund Hbf
Wittekindstraße  106
44139  Dortmund
Phone: +49 231 / 5 49 55 -0
Fax:  +49 231 / 5 49 55 -4 44

Jugendgästehaus Adolph Kolping ~ 10 min. walking distance from Dortmund Hbf
Silberstr. 24-26
44137 Dortmund
Phone: +49 231 140074

Jugendherberge Bochum     ~ 20-30 min by regional or local train from Dortmund Hbf
Bermuda3Eck Youth Hostel
Humboldtstraße 59-63
44787 Bochum 
Phone: +49 234 4175799-0
Fax: +49 234 4175799-9

Private Lodging and Apartments

The websites of DORTMUNDtourismus GmbH give an overview and an online booking option for private lodging facilities in Dortmund in different price ranges. There are also various online portals for short term accommodation as well as suitable accommodation for staying a longer period of time, offering (furnished) apartments which can be rented for a specific limited time span:



Dortmund is located in the Ruhr Area, the so called “Ruhrgebiet”, in the state of North Rhine Westphalia in the western part of Germany.

Arrival by plane

Dortmund can be reached easily by plane. Dortmund has its own airport, but also has good transport links to two of Germany’s biggest airports Düsseldorf and Frankfurt.

From Dortmund Airport (distance to Dortmund Central Station:~ 16 km)

Transport links to Dortmund Central Station:

  • AirportExpress (approx. 25 minutes, additional charges)
  • VRR U47 / Bus 440 (bus and rail system via Dortmund Aplerbeck, approx. 45 minutes, local public transport fares)
  • Taxi Dortmund

  • Further information on mobility to and from Dortmund airport: 

From Düsseldorf Airport (distance to Dortmund Central Station:~ 70 km/ approx. 50 minutes)

Transport links to Dortmund Central Station:

  • The best way to get from Düsseldorf Airport to Dortmund is by train. The airport train station can be reached in only a few minutes via the aiport’s SkyTrain.
  • From the station, there are direct connections to Dortmund Central Station by regional train every 30 minutes (duration: 50 minutes). Tickets can be purchased directly at the ticket machines in the station or online on the German rail website.
  • Further information see: Getting to/from Düsseldorf airport:

From Frankfurt Airport (distance to Dortmund Central Station:~ 230 km / 21/4 hrs.)

Transport links to Dortmund Central Station:

  • The best way to get from Frankfurt Airport to Dortmund is by train, leaving from the Airport train station for long-distance connections (“Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbahnhof”).
  • From the station, there are direct connections to Dortmund Central Station leaving every hour via Germany’s high speed train ICE (duration ~ 21/4 hrs.) Tickets can be purchased directly at the ticket machines in the station or online on the German rail website.

  • For further information see:
    • map of Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbahnhof (train stations for long-distance connections):
    • Frankfurt Airport transport:
    • map of all airports in Germany:

Arrival by train

Dortmund Central Station (from all destinations)

  • For finding the most suitable connections and booking your ticket online, visit the Website of the German rail (Deutsche Bahn). For connections to and from various European cities, there are also special rate tickets available



The faculties and facilities of the Fachhochschule Dortmund are located across three different sites in the city of Dortmund. For an overview of all sites including their addresses, location maps and detailed directions click here.

Campus Emil-Figge-Straße 38-44, 44227 Dortmund

The biggest campus is located at Emil-Figge-Straße, next to the TU Dortmund University. The FH Dortmund’s faculties of Applied Social Sciences, Business Studies and the library (building no. 44), the faculty of Computer Science (building no. 42), the faculty of Architecture (building no. 40) as well as the canteen „kostBar“ can be found here. For further information, maps and detailed directions click here.

Campus Sonnenstraße 96-100, 44139 Dortmund

The faculties of Mechanical Engineering and Information Technology and Electrical Engineering are situated at this site. The main administration, the rectorate and the international office are also located here. Onsite facilities are a canteen and computer pools for students. For further information, maps and detailed directions click here.

Campus Max-Ophüls-Platz 2, 44139 Dortmund

About 10 minutes away from the Campus Sonnenstraße, the faculty of Design is situated at Max-Ophüls-Platz, including a branch library and a canteen. For further information, maps and detailed directions click here.



Dortmund city information: Sightseeing, events, practical information

The websites of DORTMUNDtourismus GmbH offer a good overview of Dortmund’s main sights, current events, culture and leisure facilities as well as practical advice for a stay here.

City Profile Dortmund

Main facts about Dortmund including geographical location, climate, history and statistical data can be found here.

Dortmund: "Good to know"

Dortmund can be experienced in many different ways according to interest and length of stay. On this website, you can compile your individual programme of what to see in Dortmund using specific filter criteria. Practical advice Questions like “where is the nearest public Wi-Fi access point“ to “where can I rent a bike” will be addressed, and helpful practical information as important telephone numbers will be provided on these websites.

Public Transport

Dortmund‘s city centre and surrounding areas are well connected via Dortmund’s public transport system of busses, urban trains and underground trains. Further information on getting around in the city including time tables, itinery planner and ticket prices are available here.

Upon arrival: REGISTRATION


EU citizens

Registration at the Bürgerdienste (Citizen Services) Dortmund

If you rent accommodation during your stay in Dortmund, you have to register at the Citizen Services Office of Dortmund within two weeks after moving in. Since 1st November 2015, the landlord has to sign a confirmation form.

For registering, you need the following documents:

  • National identity cards/passports, child’s identity card and the identity cards of the registering persons respectively
  • Landlord confirmation form
  • Passport photograph; marriage and birth certificates if applicable

Bürgerdienste der Stadt Dortmund (Citizen Services)
Südwall 2-4
44122 Dortmund
Phone: +49 231 50-13331 oder -13332
Option to book appointments online (select „Dienstleistung EWO – Einwohnermeldeangelegenheiten“)

PLEASE NOTE: persons who have their regular residency abroad and stay in Germany for only up to three months are exempted from the obligation to register. For further information see:

NON EU citizens (all other nationalities)

Registration at the Bürgerdienste International (International Citizen Services) for registration and immigration matters

Mandatory registration

You have to register at the International Citizens’ Office shortly upon your arrival if you move to Dortmund for an intended stay exceeding three months and you currently hold a valid residence title (visa or residence permit). 

For registering, you need the following documents:

  • Fully completed registration form
  • Fully completed landlord confirmation form
  • Rental contract
  • Valid national identity card or passport (original & copy)
  • Copy of the visa and entry document or current residence permit with the supplementary sheet
  • 1 biometric passport photograph

Application or renewal of residence permit

  • …for citizens having entered into Germany with a national visa and plan to stay in Dortmund beyond the validity period of the visa
  • …for citizens having entered from countries with visa-free entry for a duration of stay up to three months who can apply for extension of stay within these three months by applying for a residence permit
    For more information see: DAAD guide (only in German) Information on entry and residence regulations for international students and researchers, pp 4.
  • entering with family members: spouses/ underage children can also obtain a residence permit.
    For more details see: DAAD guide (only in German) Information on entry and residence regulations for international students and researchers, pp 17-19.

For registering, you generally need the following documents. However, to make sure please contact the International Citizens’ Services in good time in advance via email: 

  • Registration confirmation of the residents' registration office
  • Landlord confirmation form
  • Application form for a residence permit
  • Valid national identity card/passport
  • Copy of the visa and entry document or current residence permit
  • Proof of valid medical health insurance cover
  • 1 biometric passport photograph
  • Proof of financial resources (i.e. employment contract, scholarship award, proof of other financial sources)
  • Proof of residence purpose (i.e. employment contract /invitation letter by higher education organisation)

Dienstleistungszentrum Bürgerdienste International (International Citizen Services)
Olpe 1
44122 Dortmund
site plan

Please note:
You need to enter the building via Berswordthalle, Eingang Kleppingstraße 37, 44137 Dortmund
Stadthaus Dortmund, building section C – Please pay attention to the information signs! 

It is possible to arrange an appointment via email. In the email, the complete name and date of birth has to be stated. Please note that some days of processing time have to be expected.

For further information see:



If you are staying in Dortmund for a longer period of time, it is advisable to open a German bank account shortly after arrival. From this account, transfers for current expenses such as rent, insurance, electricity etc. can be made as well as salary payments in cases of employment with the FH Dortmund.

Before opening an account, it is worthwhile to compare the offers of different banks for finding the most suitable conditions.

The following aspects might be helpful in the decision process:

  • Are monthly account management or any other fees due, i.e. for international transfers?
  • What services are included in the conditions?
  • What sum can be obtained per withdrawal / per month etc.?
  • What is the overdraft facility for the account?
  • At which ATMs can I withdraw cash with my EC card free of charge?
  • Credit card: is it worthwhile to get a German credit card? Which costs would arise?
  • The conditions of its usage in Germany should be clarified in advance with the bank in the home country.

The following documents are generally required for opening a bank account:

  • Registration confirmation of the residents registration office / resident permit
  • Valid national identity card/passport
  • If applicable: proof of income (copy of employment contract or scholarship grant)

Please enquire with the respective bank if further documents are needed. After opening the account, you will receive the EC card and a four digit PIN number by mail. The PIN number is necessary for withdrawing cash at the ATM and for cashless transaction which are accepted in most stores and restaurants if the payment is not processed via signature on the receipt.



In order to facilitate your first days upon arrival at the FH Dortmund, you will find an overview of important contact points, services and facilities available to you.

On these websites, you can gain information about the various IT services available to members of staff and guests respectively at the FH Dortmund.

This chip card, among other functions, enables cashless payments in the canteens and for printing and copying purpose.

Information on literature research, borrowing guidelines and the location of the library branches are available under the link above.

Canteens on campus
There are canteens at each of FH Dortmund’s three sites, at the Campus Sonnenstraße, at Max-Ophüls-Platz and the “Mensa kostBar” at the Campus Emil-Figge-Straße. (websites only in German)

Health management
The health management team provides a range of offers around issues of health support, health provision and counselling in situations of emergency and crises.

Family service
The family service team is the point of contact for all aspects around child care facilities and specifically for FH Dortmund staff members also for questions on reconciling family and work life, parental leave and parental allowance as well as support for dual career couples. 

Language courses 
The FH Dortmund cooperates with the Auslandsgesellschaft Intercultural Academy gGmbH, centrally located near Dortmund Central Station, providing a very comprehensive range of language training courses.



Which parks and leisure facilities can I find in Dortmund? Where are public swimming pools? Which museums and cultural offers are especially worth seeing? The City of Dortmund’s websites offer a range of information on these aspects around living in Dortmund.

Municipal offices of the city of Dortmund

The various municipal offices of Dortmund are responsible for the provision a range of citizens’ services. The links below offer an overview on the different contact points.


After your arrival, many questions related to the day to day life in Germany may arise. For settling in quickly and getting familiar with the new surroundings, this section provides information on practical issues as internet and television in Germany as well as links to other websites with further information on various aspects of daily life in Germany.

Licence Fee for citizens

Each citizen who has one or more TVs, radios and/or computers in their apartment, has to pay a licence fee of 17.50 € per month. The fee is due per apartment, independent of the number of persons living in the accommodation and the number of broadcasting devices. Here, you can find further information.

Telephone and internet

In Germany, there are a number of different providers who offer contract packages including a monthly telephone flat rate and a DSL internet flat rate. Before signing a contract, please enquire particularly about the minimum contract term, the cancellation period and the conditions included in the flat rate.

Mobile phones and mobile internet

If you intend to stay in Germany for a longer period, it is recommended to use a German SIM card. For making phone calls or surfing in the internet, you can either use prepaid cards (available in electrical stores or drug stores) or get a mobile phone contract. If you use a prepaid card, there is no minimum contract term and only as much credit can be used up as you topped up previously. Before signing a contract, please enquire particularly about the minimum contract term, the cancellation period, the exact scope of the tariff (flat rate, max. data volume etc.) and customisation options.



If you plan to stay in Germany with your spouse and children, it is important to get information on child care facilities and/ or school registration, career services for your spouse as well as legal aspects such as child/parental allowance.

The family service team of the Fachhochschule Dortmund and the municipal family support offices in Dortmund provide you with information and counseling on issues around these questions before and during your stay in Dortmund.

Child care
The website of the Fachhochschule Dortmund’s family service team offers a list of child care facilities for children of different age brackets.

Via the „school atlas“ on the City of Dortmund websites, you can research online the most suitable school(s) in the area according to multiple filter criteria.

Child and parental allowance
Local points of contact in Dortmund are the Kindergeldkasse und Familienkasse (child and family allowance funds) and the Elterngeldkasse Dortmund (parental allowance funds).

Dual Career
For longer periods of stay in Germany, i.e. for holding a visiting lecturer position, the local career prospects for spouses have become more and more important. Accordingly, there are increased service offers around the topic “dual career” at counselling centres available. In Dortmund, the Dortmund network “DualCareer Couple Navigation” provides support in the process of identifying adequate employment options.

The information provided on these pages has been collated thoroughly and to the best of our knowledge. Please note however that no claim to any legally binding effect can be given. Furthermore, no liability can be assumed for the accuracy and completeness of the information as well as for the content of all third party websites accessible via external links on these pages.