Residence permit to take part in a student exchange and (in exceptional cases) to attend school

Students may be granted resident permits to enable them to take part in a student exchange and, in exceptional cases, to attend school.

A student exchange

  • involves foreign students staying in the federal territory for a longer, continuous period of time, while a large number of students of the local school in the country of origin attend the school, or
  • involves students being assigned foreign exchange partners, with whose family he or she is placed during the subsequent or earlier stay in the host country.

A residence permit to attend school, if this is not connected with a student exchange, may only be granted in exceptional cases. This excludes the issue of a residence permit, in order to make up general educational requirements in order to be accepted for a planned training course.

Attending school lessons does not entitle the student to a residence permit for this purpose.


  • Student exchange
    The temporary student exchange must have been agreed by a school exchange organisation, a non-governmental youth organisation, a German school or other public sector entity in cooperation with a school or public sector entity in the other country.
  • Type of school
    The school must be a public school or a state-approved school. In the case of a private supplementary school, the curriculum must be eligible in pursuance of the Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz [Federal Training Assistance Act] (BaföG).
  • Consent of the parents
    Only if the foreign student is not yet of age
  • Main residence in Berlin
  • In-person visit
    In the case of those children who have not yet reached the age of 18, the application must be submitted by a supervisor who has been authorised to do so by the parents (host parents).

Documents required

  • Valid passport or passport substitute
  • 1 current biometric photo
    35mm x 45mm, frontal shot with neutral facial expression and closed mouth, looking straight into the camera, light background
  • Form "Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels" (filled out)
    available in German, English, French, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian
  • Certificate from school
    The certificate from the school must show the duration, the general conditions and any costs of the student exchange or school attendance.
  • Agreement or contract for the student exchange (original)
  • Proof of secure livelihood
    • Exchange students: written declaration by the host parents that accommodation, meals and pocket money will be provided.
    • School attendance without student exchange (exceptional cases): blocked account at a German bank with a credit balance of 800,00 Euros for every month (e.g. 9,600 Euros for 12 months’school attendance) or submission of an undertaking by third parties on official notepaper or a declaration by the parents that support will be provided for the duration of the schooling (evidence of the parents’income and copies of passports are to be attached)
  • Health insurance
    • Exchange students: travel health insurance will suffice. This must be valid for the entire time of the stay.
    • School attendance without student exchange (exceptional cases): those persons holding statutory health insurance will have sufficient health insurance. Those students holding private health insurance must heed the nature and extent of their health insurance. Please read the leaflet for further information.
  • School reports
    These are not required for exchange students.
  • Written declaration of consent of the parents
    • Minors under 18 years: A written notarized statement of the persons entitled to care must be presented.
    • Minors under 16 years: In addition, parents must appoint a responsible adult caregiver.


The following fees are assessed based on the actual technical effort when extending the residence permit.
  • Adults: 56.00 to 100.00 euros
  • Minors: 28.00 to 50.00 euros
  • Excange students: Free of charge

Average time to process request

To ensure timely renewal of your current visa or residence permit an appointment should be made 4-6 weeks before the expiry date.
The residence permit will generally be issued as an adhesive label in your passport. Electronic residence permits can at the moment only be issued in exceptional circumstances.

Responsible authorities

Landesamt für Bürger- und Ordnungsangelegenheiten

Specific information on this location currently available only on the authority's home page: Landesamt für Bürger- und Ordnungsangelegenheiten

Landesamt für Einwanderung (LEA)