What pandemic-related restrictions are there on the entry of researchers from third countries?
On the basis of a recommendation by the Council of the EU, the Federal Cabinet decided at the beginning of July to gradually lift the travel restrictions from third countries to Germany that have been in force since March (link to the press release of the BMI). Since then, in addition to persons from third countries on a regularly updated positive list (see link below to the list of countries), foreign experts and highly qualified workers, among others, can also enter Germany if their employment is necessary from an economic perspective and their work cannot be postponed or carried out abroad. The exception category "skilled and highly qualified workers" now explicitly covers the possibility of entry under the above-mentioned conditions also for those researchers who enter the country only for short stays or from another EU member state with a Schengen visa.
The following regulations apply to researchers and teaching staff:
Doctoral students in this application category generally do not require a certificate of economic necessity, as they are comparable to students in this respect. For researchers, economic necessity is generally assumed if the research activity is carried out at a recognized research institution. State and state-recognized universities as well as other research institutions whose activities are mainly financed by public funds are considered recognized research institutions. If, on the other hand, the research is carried out at a commercial enterprise, the employer must still provide credible evidence of the economic necessity. In the case of teaching staff, economic necessity can also be assumed.
In all of the above cases, proof of the requirement for presence in Germany is a prerequisite for entry (e.g. submission of the employment contract, the hosting agreement or the letter of invitation from the university/research institution). In addition, in the case of short-term stays, it must be credibly demonstrated that the intended research activity cannot be carried out in the same way via online formats (e.g. video conferences).
Status of HRK information: 30 October 2020
Can I get a letter of entry?
Yes, from 30.07.2020 all admitted international applicants will receive such a letter with the admission email ("confirmation of the necessity of the presence in Germany for the purpose of study"). If you have received your admission earlier and do not yet have such a letter, please send a request to international+studentsupport(at)b-tu.de.
My course of studies will be offered online in the winter semester 2020/21. Should I apply for a visa now or wait?
Many embassies and consulates have only recently reopened and therefore the demand for visa appointments is high. Therefore, we would recommend that you take care of your visa and entry as soon as possible. The waiting time for an appointment could be a little longer than usual. In any case, please ask the embassy or consulate in your country directly.
The embassy in my country is still closed or has very long waiting times. I cannot arrive in time for the winter semester 2020/21. What can I do?
Please take a look at the FAQ: Do I have to be present at the BTU at the beginning of the lecture period? / Will my course of studies be offered online? to find out whether your course of study is offered online.
If so, you can still arrive in Germany until the summer semester 2021 (no later than 01 April 2021) and still have time to apply for your visa. If your course of study is offered as a hybrid, that is, online and requiring your presence on campus, it may be advisable to postpone your studies to the next winter semester 2021/22,seeFAQ: What happens if I cannot enroll for the winter semester 2020?
There are no travel restrictions between my country and Germany. Can I come to Cottbus?
Please always check the websites of the German Embassy in your home country for the current entry regulations and any quarantine regulations. In general: If it is possible for you, you are welcome to come to the BTU, even if you will be studying mainly online in the first phase. The library is open and, while adhering to the Corona rules, you can already get to know your place of study and meet fellow students.
What do I have to consider when entering Germany from abroad?
Based on the Regulation on Quarantine Measures for Entry and Return Travellers to Combat the SARS-CoV-2 Virus and COVID-19 in Brandenburg (SARS-CoV-2 Quarantine Ordinance - SARS-CoV-2-Quarantine Ordinance), the following applies:
All persons entering Germany from international corona risk areas must immediately return to their own homes or other suitable accommodation on their return to Germany and must remain there permanently isolated for a period of ten days after entry.
In addition, you are required to bring a SARS-CoV-2 virus test that is not older than 48 hours. The test result must be available in German, English or French and must meet the requirements of the Robert Koch Institute, which are published on the internet at https://www.rki.de/covid-19-tests. If you do not present a test result despite being requested to do so by the health department, you are obliged to visit a doctor or a testing centre immediately after entry in order to have a SARS-CoV-2 virus test carried out.
International corona risk areas are published by the Robert Koch Institute on the following page: Link.
You are obliged to contact the responsible health department immediately after entering the country:
Health Department for Suspected Corona Cases and Quarantine Issues:
(Monday to Friday from 08:00 until 16:00
Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 until 15:00)
Health Department Senftenberg
(Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 until 14:00
Tuesday from 8:00 until 18:00
Thursday from 8:00 until 17:00)
The health department will inform you whether you can shorten the period of isolation. This is possible from the fifth day after entry at the earliest, if a negative test result regarding an infection with SARS-CoV-2 virus can be presented to the responsible health department, which has been carried out at least five days after entry into Germany.
Since 08.11.2020, people entering the country from risk areas must register via a digital entry form: www.einreiseanmeldung.de.
The quarantine regulation as well as the current information about it can also be found on the homepage of the city of Cottbus: Link.
The International Relations Office recommends the following procedure to all international students, doctoral candidates, and researchers entering from a risk area: Leaflet Entry and Quarantine.
Information on the German regulations concerning the handling of the Coronavirus
Information on the German regulations for handling the coronavirus and especially on how to behave in public places can be found here.
Where can I get information on the Corona situation in Germany?
A good compilation of the known facts about the corona virus can be found on the website of the Robert Koch Institute. Here you can also use a tool to find out your local health authority.
The following contact page has been set up for details provided by the BTU:
Is there information about COVID-19 in English?
The city of Cottbus has set up a hotline where people who don't speak German can get in touch. Arabic, Persian, Russian and English are available.
This service is available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on Fridays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The number of the hotline is 0355 / 612 4000.
Is there a Corona APP in Germany?
Yes, the Corona-Warn-App helps us to find out whether we have come into contact with an infected person and whether there is a risk of infection. This way we can interrupt chains of infection more quickly. The app is an offer from the German government. Data generated and gathered by the app is not centrally stored. Download and use of the app is completely voluntary. It is available free of charge in the App Store and can be downloaded from Google Play.
More information (in German): https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/corona-warn-app
What can I do if I have had contact with a person infected with the Coronavirus?
If you have had contact with a person who is confirmed to be infected, contact the responsible health authority immediately and inform the crisis management team via krisenstab+personal(at)b-tu.de, giving a telephone number where you can be reached. Stay at home and follow the instructions of the authority. To minimize the risk of infection, do not go to a doctor's office yourself. You can find your local health authority using a tool provided by the RKI: https://tools.rki.de/PLZTool/en-GB
What can I do if I think I have the symptoms of a Coronavirus infection?
The Federal Ministry of Health names three criteria that you should check in case of suspicion. If there are symptoms of a respiratory infection (e.g. cough or high temperature) AND you have been in a risk area in the last 14 days OR if you had contact with a person suffering from coronavirus (2019-nCoV) less than 14 days ago, then contact with a doctor is recommended. Do not go to a doctor's office yourself to avoid infecting other people in an emergency, but call the doctor first.
First you should contact your family doctor, if necessary contact the medical on-call service: 116 117 (www.116117.de).
How can I extend my visa/residence permit or have its purpose changed?
The immigration authorities in Berlin, Cottbus and Senftenberg have restricted opening hours. Contact and appointments can be made by request (e.g. e-mail, telephone or online registration).
Please find information on the respective foreigner's office´s procedures on the following pages:
I cannot find my question among the FAQs answered here - what can I do?
If you could not find the answer to your question on this page, please send an e-mail to internationaladmission(at)b-tu.de. The international admissions team will take care of your request!