Visa Matters

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to Germany. AYF program staff will help your student apply for a residence permit, in effect a student visa, after their arrival in Freiburg.  U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program.

Non-U.S. citizens should check with the German embassy to determine any special regulations pertaining entry into Germany at any time.

Basic information on entry visa requirements is available on the web site of the German Foreign Ministry.

Student Visa

27 member state flags make a colorful backdrop for this photo opportunity for visitor groups.The application for a residence permit for the duration of the program will be prepared and ready for your student’s signature when they arrive in Freiburg. Dealing with this and other important paperwork is an integral part of orientation week. AYF staff will file the application on your student’s behalf during their first week in Freiburg. Usually, it takes less than a week to obtain residence permits for AYF participants.

While in Freiburg, students are required to have either their passport or a photo copy of both their passport’s cover page and residence permit with them at all times. While traveling outside of Freiburg, students are required to have their passports on them at all times.

Traveling Before or After AYF

Oftentimes, students choose to come to Germany before the beginning of their time with AYF to take unaffiliated language courses or to travel. U.S. citizens may do so legally for up to 90 days. Students of other nationalities may be required to apply for an entry visa even for shorter visits or language courses.

Students traveling in Europe on U.S. passports before or after attending the program should carefully monitor the total number of days they will be in Europe so as not to exceed the permissible 90 days without a visa/residence permit.

Traveling Outside of the Schengen Area

Students are allowed to travel outside Germany while participating in AYF. With a German residence permit, your student may travel freely within the so-called Schengen Area which covers most countries in Europe. But many other countries require a visa to visit, regardless of how short of a stay is planned.

For example, if an AYF student wanted to visit Turkey, a country that borders the Schengen Area, the student would need to apply in advance for a tourist visa before arriving in Turkey. For this reason, all students wishing to travel outside of the Schengen Area, should carefully research visa requirements for the country or countries they wish to visit.