High school student exchange


General information

Foreign students usually require a national visa to enter Germany if they wish to participate in a student exchange to Germany.

Please note: Only from grade 9 and up.

Canadian citizens as well as citizens of Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States of America can apply for a residence permit after entering Germany at the local immigration authority, without applying for a visa beforehand.

Necessary documents

Please do not staple the documents!

  • Completed and signed application form:
    Please fill out the online application (VIDEX) form, print it out, sign it and submit it along with the other documents. Please ensure that the barcode is printed in high quality.
  • Printed and signed Declaration Use of Mail Services
  • Printed and signed Visa Declaration
  • Valid national passport (issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least 6 months from the intended arrival in Germany, with 2 subsequent blank pages) - original plus 1 copy of the data page
  • Recent biometrical passport photograph, stamped (35 x 45 mm, front facial view, white background, not older than 3 months). Digitally altered pictures will not be accepted. - please do not attach the photo to the application form
  • For non-Canadian citizens: Proof of Canadian residence permit, e.g. PR card, work/study permit - original plus 1 copy of the data page
  • Prepaid self-addressed Xpresspost envelope (Canada Post only), Regional standard to Ontario or National standard to all other provinces (shipment to a Canadian address only). Please note that the German Missions will not be held responsible for any loss or damage of passports due to postal or courier service delivery.
  • Proof of housing, e.g. hotel/hostel/AirBnB (min. for the first week) with full address
  • To be provided prior to final approval of the visa application:

    Proof of sufficient health/travel insurance coverage valid in Germany (including details about coverage: at least € 30,000 and including repatriation costs. Please highlight relevant passages in the insurance terms and print only the relevant pages)

  • Visa fee: see here

  • Acceptance letter from school in Germany, including information such as the grade, the type of school you are going to attend, the costs, and a copy of the school contract
  • Confirmation letter from the school stating that all costs for the boarding school/residence have been paid (if applicable)
  • Invitation letter from host family in Germany
  • Absence approval from school in Canada, if still enrolled in school
  • Copy of your most recent report card
  • Proof of means of subsistence (minimum of 934.00 EUR per month)
    • Australian bank account statements of the last 3 months, or
    • Proof of a blocked account at a German bank showing a minimum amount according to the duration of your intended stay (also see opening a blocked bank account), or
    • Proof of sponsorship/scholarship by a German institution, or
    • Formal letter of obligation, according to paragraphs 66, 68 of the Aliens Act, from a resident of Germany and for the duration of the applicant's stay in Germany

  • Parents' consent letter
  • Birth certificate of student with parents names (certified translation required if not in English, French or German)
  • Notarized declaration signed by both parents in which they transfer the child’s care onto a legal guardian in Germany. The declaration needs to entail the name of the institution and contact person or – if applicable – a person living in Germany (such as a friend, relative, etc.) who will act as legal guardian for the duration of your son's exchange program.
  • Declaration of acceptance written by the person taking care of the minor in Germany, as well as a copy of their German national ID card/passport or residence permit.
  • Both parents must be present at the visa appointment of their minor child.
  • All signatures in the application form must be signed by both parents of a minor.


Please note that all documents other than in German or English must be translated into German language.

Incomplete application may result in the rejection of your application. You might have to come again for a new appointment.
Please note that you may be asked to present additional documents. Submission of the required documents does not guarantee that a visa will be granted.

Additional information and appointment booking

  • Once you have obtained your visa please check carefully that all entries are correct and in accordance with your application. Please inform the visa section immediately if there are any mistakes.
  • Your entry visa will allow you to travel within the Schengen area. However please be aware that you will be still subject to the 90 days within 180 days rule outside of Germany.
  • Upon your arrival the border authorities may examine whether the requirements for your entry continue to be valid. Entry may be refused by the border authorities although you are in possession of a valid visa. We advise you to carry with you documents giving evidence to the purpose of your stay.
  • Please do not forget to register at the registration office (Meldebehörde) shortly after you arrive in Germany and to make an appointment with the foreigners authority (Ausländerbehörde). Be aware that some foreigners authorities have long waiting times for appointments.

All Canadian residents need to apply at the Consulate General in Toronto in person. You will have to prepare all the necessary documents (see above) and book an appointment online.

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