Welcome to Jena

Flyer - First days in Jena  as mobile version / print version

All dates and information associated with your stay should be coordinated with the department assistant:

Contact Persons

Department of Molecular Ecology
Evelyn Claussen
Phone: +49 3641 571101
Email: claussen [at] ice.mpg.de


Department of Bioorganic Chemistry
Grit Winnefeld
Phone: +49 3641 571201
Email: winnefeld [at] ice.mpg.de

Department of Biochemistry
Angela Schneider
Phone: +49 3641 571301
Email: aschneider[at] ice.mpg.de

Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology
Swetlana Laubrich
Phone: +49 3641 571401
Email: slaubrich [at] ice.mpg.de

Department of Entomology
Katrin Salzmann‐Böhmer
Phone: +49 3641 571501
Email: ksalzmann [at] ice.mpg.de
International Max Planck Research School
Dr. Claudia Voelckel

Phone: +49 3641 571001
Email: imprs [at] ice.mpg.de


Before Arrival


Visa information for EU/EEA/Switzerland

Citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area, and of Switzerland, including their family members, do not require a visa for entry or a permit for a longer stay. They only need a valid passport or identity card. If you are planning a longer stay in Germany (longer than three months), you have to register at the residents' registration office in Jena.

Visa information for Non-EU citizens

Non-EU citizens require a visa to enter Germany. A visa can usually be obtained from the German embassies abroad. Depending on the duration and purpose of your stay, you will need a Schengen visa (research stay up to three months) or a national visa (research stay over three months).

For non-EU citizens, who have to enter with a visa, a stay beyond the visa’s period of validity must be authorized. You have to apply for a residence permit after arrival in Jena. This also applies to foreigners who were allowed to enter Germany for a stay of up to three months without a visa.


Please do not enter Germany with a tourist visa. This kind of visa cannot be changed into a residence permit easily and will usually require you to leave. There are different types of visa residence permit depending on your individual situation.
For further information please see:


You can get help with the arrangement of your arrival as well as finding accommodation. Our institute offers the following options for temporary housing depending on availability:

  • guest rooms in the Max Planck Guest House next to the institute (max. 4 months)
  • small apartments (1 room) in a University Guest House nearby (max. 2 years)
  • apartments of various sizes in another guest house (between 4‐12 months)

Travel health insurance

In Germany, health insurance for you and accompanying family members is mandatory. We strongly advise you to get travel health insurance that covers your travel to Jena.

Document checklist

We have compiled a list of documents/things we recommend to bring along:

  • Your passport
  • A valid visa
  • A copy of your MPI contract /grant and hosting agreement
  • Admission to doctoral studies + certificate of doctoral status for Immigration Office
  • Proof of health insurance for the relevant term (no travel insurance)
  • A copy of your rental contract
  • One passport-sized photo (biometric standard, up-to-date)

In addition we would recommend having sufficient amounts of Euros available to pay for visa and other administrative fees (e.g. deposits for keys/chips) and for all you need during your first days in Jena, .

Family matters

In Jena every child of seven months or older has the legal right to a place in day care if both parents have a job, are students or in vocational training. Otherwise they can attend a kindergarten at the age of 1. You should inquire early about the day-care facilities.

For all children living in Germany it is compulsory to attend school from the age of 6 to 15. For more information please contact School Administration Jena.

Useful Links


Upon Arrival


Health Insurance

Usually the health insurance of your home country does not cover your move and your stay in Germany. It is mandatory to buy health insurance in Germany as soon as you arrive. The personnel department will provide you with further information the 1st day you are staying at the institute.

Private Insurances

Apart from the obligatory health insurance, we recommend to get a liability insurance (in case of accidental damage to a third party) and a household contents insurance (in case of burglary or other incidents).


In case you stay in Jena for more than three months, you need to register with the Registration Office within 14 days after your arrival. Please follow the steps below:

  • Make an appointment online. Click on button “Weiter” in order to see the next possibilities.
  • Documents you need to bring with

    • passport
    • registration form
    • if applicable: visa
    • landlord’s confirmation ("Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" - will be provided by the landlord directly)
    • working contract
    • if applicable, marriage certificate and birth certificate of your child(ren), certified copies in German

After registration, the income tax number will be issued and send to your address. This number is essential for our Human Resources. Please hand it over upon receipt.

You also need to inform the Registration Office when moving within Jena or Germany.

Immigration office

For all non-EU citizens and individuals who intend to stay in Germany for more than three months, you have to apply for a residence permit at the Immigration Office (Ausländerbehörde Jena). Please follow the below steps:

  • Make an appointment online (only possible after having registered at the registration office)
  • Documents you need to bring with

    • online form
    • passport
    • visa
    • working contract
    • health insurance confirmation
    • landlord’s confirmation
    • confirmation of the Registration Office
    • biometric passport size picture (35 x 45 mm)
    • costs for residence permit depend on individual status
    • students: student card (confirmation)

Bank account

In case you stay longer in German than 3 months, please open a German bank account for cashless payments. Your salary or scholarship will be directly transferred to this account.

Documents needed to open a bank account:

  • passport
  • confirmation of the Registration Office
  • residence permit

Admission as PhD


To obtain a PhD degree you need to seek admission as a PhD student to Friedrich-Schiller University (FSU) Jena.



The institute does not take legal responsibility for any recommendations.