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Collected information and FAQ


On the following pages you can find information for researchers who are returning to Germany after spending a longer period of time researching abroad.


In the section Information and assistance you can find information on the following topics which are also relevant to returning researchers:

Apart from a local Portuguese health insurance company, you may want to consider a German foreign health insurance. Your German health insurance scheme is obliged to take you on again if you start working in Germany up to two months after your return and, on top of this, if you had paid contributions for certain obligatory periods before leaving the scheme.

Even if your income is over the limit for mandatory health insurance, the company health insurance scheme is obliged to take you on again if you start working in Germany up to 2 months after your return or if you were insured for at least 24 months out of the 5 years prior to leaving the scheme or at least 12 consecutive months immediately before leaving the scheme.

On principle, pension contributions paid abroad entitle you to a pension in the country in which they have been paid into the pension scheme. Accrued foreign benefits are only credited to the German qualifying period if the qualifying period for a foreign pension has not been fulfilled and there is a social security agreement with Germany. With the USA and Great Britain agreements of this kind do exist.


You can find questions and answers on any other topic in the respective section of "Information & Assistance" .


Disclaimer: All the FAQs and the information on which the answers are based are carefully monitored. However, we cannot assume any responsibility for contents. All the contents are of a general nature and cannot deal conclusively with every individual case. They are not necessarily complete, comprehensive or completely up to date. They neither constitute legal advice nor legally-binding information and cannot be a substitute for expert advice.

Last updated: 12 January 2022


Further information

  • The GSO Leadership Academy

    This programme is designed for 25 outstanding researchers of all disciplines who are about to take the next step in their career – as a junior group leader in science or industry, as an assistant or full professor, as founder of a start-up or as someone taking responsibility in a research-related organization. Applicants for the program must currently work outside of Germany and should be interested in working in Germany.

    The German Scholars Organization
  • Returning to Germany

    A publication from Research in Germany addressing German researchers abroad who are thinking of returning to Germany. It gives an overview on the most important changes in the German research landscape within the last years and the involved career perspectives.

    Research in Germany
  • Your Europe - Advice

    Advice service of the European Commison on issues relating to EU-law in the fields of life, work and travel in the EU.

    European Commission