Visa for student exchange/regular school attendance

06.02.2024 - Article

Here you will find information on visas for school exchanges.

General Information

Visas can be issued to attend a school in Germany (either for a school term or a whole school year) or as part of an official student exchange programme. If a regular school visit (without an exchange programme) is planned, the school in Germany must have an international character. The latter can be demonstrated, among other things, by a composition of pupils of different nationalities or by the issue of international/binational school-leaving qualifications.
As a rule, the age limit is 18 years; if the applicant is younger, the original consent of a parent or guardian is required (certified by a notary public/the police in case they do not come in personally).
The diplomatic mission abroad issues a so-called national visa for student exchanges, which is usually valid for 90 days. You can travel to Germany within the period stated on the visa label (transit through the Schengen states is possible) and must register with the immigration authority responsible for your new place of residence immediately after entering the country. There, the visa will be converted into a residence permit after a further examination.

Notwithstanding this, national visas for student exchanges can be issued with a validity period of more than 90 days (up to a maximum of one year) if the student exchange was arranged by a recognised exchange organisation that is a member of the AJA (see below) and the exchange organisation has undertaken to cover all costs in accordance with §§66-68 AufenthG.

The following exchange organisations are currently members of the AJA:

  • AFS Intercultural Encounters
  • German Committee Youth for Understanding e.V.
  • Experiment e.V.
  • Open Door International e. V.
  • Partnership International e. V
  • Rotary Youth Service Germany e.V

The documents to be submitted for a visa for regular school attendance in Germany are the same as for a student exchange visa.
Please note that there is no entitlement to the issue of a visa for the purpose of a school exchange/student visit. The diplomatic missions abroad and the authorities involved in Germany will check in each individual case on the basis of the documents submitted whether the visa applied for can be granted.

Notes on the application process

From the age of 16, applicants may sign alone - however, if the legal guardians, usually the parents, do not sign the visa application at the time of application, a travel authorisation from the parents is required - even when leaving Tanzania for the Tanzanian border officials.

For young people who have not yet reached the age of 16, it may be necessary to appoint an authorised representative in Germany, as they do not yet have full legal capacity. This is usually done by the host family.
The visa centre must be notified immediately of any change of host family after the application has been submitted.

Required Documents

To apply, you will need the following original documents plus one set of copies to present at your appointment at the Embassy. We highly recommend to use the information sheet as a checklist and bring it as a print out for your appointment.
Please pay attention that all Tanzanian documents issued by an authority of the state needs to be legalised.

Please sort the individual sets in the order listed below.

In your application form (VIDEX) you enter all the information about your entry and your stay in Germany. You must complete this form and print it out once, sign and date it.

If you are a minor, your legal representatives must sign the application and declare their consent.

To the form

A recent biometric photo (3.5 x 4.5 cm with a light background)

Information on biometric photos can be found here

Your passport must be signed and valid for at least one year from the date your visa is issued.
Please note that the document must still have at least two blank pages (if the decision is positive, your visa will be affixed here later).

Do you not have Tanzanian citizenship?

If you are not a Tanzanian citizen, please provide us with your Tanzanian residence permit.

Proof of your residence in Tanzania can be, for example, a copy of your electricity bill, water bill or gas bill.or a rent contract.

For non- Tanzanian nationals: Tanzanian residence permit

Confirmation from the host school that the exchange student is authorised to attend school there.

If the exchange is not organised through a student exchange organisation, a declaration of consent from the previous school must also be submitted. This declaration must state that the school is in favour of the exchange and confirms that the student can return to the old school at the end of the exchange without losing a school year (in German or with a German translation by a sworn translator).

Proof of the host family with name, address and telephone number.

  • Application by the legal guardian(s) or with a notarised power of attorney from the legal guardian
  • Passport copies of the legal guardian or authorised representative, if applicable
  • Birth certificate of the child (containing father’s and mother’s name)

In case of Tanzanian birth certificate:

- Marriage certificate of parents or

- Tanzanian court ruling concerning parentage or

- single status certificate of mother at time of birth or

- adoption certificate and court’s decision (only if applicable

If applicable:

  • Court judgement on custody (e.g. divorce decree) with translation into German
  • If one parent remains in Tanzania, notarised declaration of consent for the child's permanent residence in Germany with translation into German
  • If applicable: If one parent is deceased or sole custody has been granted: relevant legal documents
  • If available: Registration certificate from Germany
  • If available: Copy of the old passport/residence permit

Proof of financial means in the form of a formal letter of obligation (‚Verpflichtungserklärung‘) from the host parents, signed at the local immigration office, or a written declaration from the student exchange organisation in which it undertakes to guarantee the living expenses of the exchange student.

If a long or permanent stay is planned, some travel health insurance policies may exclude insurance cover in their terms and conditions. This restriction may also apply to an “incoming” insurance policy, so please ensure that your supplementary insurance policy provides adequate cover. Further information here

In certain cases, additional documents may be required.

Processing time:

Due to the regular need for approval from the authorities in Germany, you should generally allow twelve weeks for your visa application to be processed (calculated from the time you submit the complete application documents to the diplomatic mission abroad).

Please do not request a status update – these will not be answered but ignored.



Appointments are made via an online system. It is not possible to make an appointment by telephone. You can find all information here

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