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Reconfigurations in Africa - and in African Studies
30 September - 02 October 2024, Bayreuth

VAD2024 Visa information

Who needs a visa to enter Germany?

Anyone outside of the Schengen Area needs to apply for a visa to travel to Germany. This does include most of the EU block, but some countries are part of Schengen whilst not being in the EU. Overseas territories part of the member states will still need to apply for a visa.

The rules around visas for citizens of the United Kingdom have changed, since the exit from the EU, as the UK opted out of the Schengen Area as well. See here for more information.

Schengen countries do not need to apply

We have included here a list of all 27 members of Schengen:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Which visa is best to apply for?

For the purposes of the conference in Bayreuth in September/October 2024, the best visa to apply for is the visa with the purpose of attending a scientific conference. Then the visa fees will be waived in accordance with Art.3 N.2 of the Directive (EU) 2016/801.

The other option is the Germany Visa to participate in Cultural, Sports or Religious events, however this will not result in waived fees.

How do you go about applying?

There is a list of steps you will need to complete in order to obtain your visa to enter for the duration of the conference.

We recommend and it is a good idea to do this in good time, to allow time for waiting times, and the possibility of delays.

Please notice that we are unable to affect the visa application process or help delegates to obtain a visa application appointment with the embassy.


1. Application form - The form should be fully and correctly completed, printed twice, and signed at the end. You can complete the form here. The application form is split into 5 short sections: personal data, contact data, documents, travel data and assumption of cost.

Apply here for your Visa support letter

Under travel data you will find the Reference section:

  • Your type of reference is Inviting organisation/company.
  • The name of the organisation is Insitute of African Studies of the University of Bayreuth, Germany
  • The organisation's place of business is Bayreuth, Germany
  • The organisation’s objectives/area of activity is Science/Research and Culture
  • The contact person details should match those on your VAD2024 visa support letter, which you can request by filling in the form (Bayreuth affiliated persons name)
  • The address details of University of Bayreuth are: 95440 Bayreuth, Germany

2. Two identical photos - The photos must have been taken within the last three months, according to the criteria for German visa photos.

3. Valid passport - Your passport should be valid for at least another three months after the day you plan to exit the Schengen Area. It should also have at least one empty page and fulfil the other passport requirements.

4. Declaration of Accuracy of Information.
You will need to print, sign and date this.

5. A copy of your passport’s data page (A4 size copy)

6. Personal Covering Letter
The letter should describe your whole travelling plan in detail, including information on what you will be doing, where you will be residing and the nature of the activities you will be attending.

7. Flight reservation
This document proves you have a booked seat in a flight from your home country to Germany and back. It should indicate the flight number, the dates of flights and your details.

8. Schengen health insurance
Covering all of the Schengen Area countries for medical emergencies or illnesses, in a minimum amount of €30,000. You can get this directly through health insurance companies, or through your travel agent.

9. Proof of accommodation
A document that proves where you will be staying throughout the whole time you are in Germany. This could be a rental agreement, or hotel / hostel booking.

10. Proof of financial means
The German authorities want you to show them that you are financially capable of maintaining yourself throughout your planned stay here. You could prove that through bank statements covering the last 3 months or any other document that may provide information about your solvency.

11. Evidence of the applicant’s professional activity

  • If you are employed you will need to submit a letter by your employee stating your salary, duration of employment and leave approval.
  • If you are self-employed you need to submit a company registration proof and a copy of the income tax declaration for the last two assessment years.
  • If you are retired, a pension statement for the last three months is required.
  • If you are a student, you will have to prove that by submitting a confirmation letter of enrollment at college or university.

12. Proof of civil status
Marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, ration card (if applicable).

Optional. Specific Requirements for Germany Visa to participate in Cultural, Sports or Religious events
If you are applying for the visa 'to participate in cultural, sports or religious event'

  • Event Information. As i.e. invitation letters, entry tickets, enrollment conditions, detailed programme and other documents that present relevant information about the event
  • Proof of previous performances. Participation in previous festivals and ceremonies (cultural, religious), sports competitions, winners certificates, proof of world/international ranking (sports).

Assumtion of cost/funding

If you were awarded funding to attend the conference, make sure you add the details to section 5: Assumption of cost.

When you press on the blue “continue” button, you will be able to download a pdf of the application form: you will need to print this twice and sign it at the end.

DFG, the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) is offering limited support tothe international scholars accommodation and travel costs. Call for Funding is closed now.

Take notice:

  • DFG funding will be very limited and it is higly likely German Research Foundation will avail funding only to about 20 people.
  • Please be aware that in case of funding DFG provides reimbursement for already occurred costs up to a limited amount, based on invoices.

We do recommend to look for additional funding as DFG can provide only limited funding and we are unable to offer additional support to cover conference fees or other expenses.

Where, when and how much?

Where - You need to be very careful where you submit your application, since filing it at the wrong embassy or consulate will result in its refusal. Depending on the way Germany has regulated visa submission in your country of residence, you may be able to file your application at:

  • The German Embassy
  • A German Consulate
  • A Visa Centre to which Germany has outsourced visa submission

How much will it cost? - If participants apply for a research visa with the purpose of attending a scientific conference, then the visa fees will be waived in accordance with Art.3 N.2 of the Directive (EU) 2016/801.

In case participants apply for the Visa for Cultural, Film Crew, Sports and Religious Event purposes, the fee is €80 since this is a short-stay visa. However, the fee changes when it comes to children under the age of 12 since they need to pay only €40, whereas children under six do not have to pay any fees.

When - The best time to apply is 2 months before your flights, but no earlier than 6 months prior. The latest you can send in your application is 2 weeks before your scheduled flights

How long will it take? Usually processing the application takes around 10 days, though bear in mind that in busy periods it may take longer, so plan accordingly.

Useful links and further information

Institut für Afrikastudien
Cluster of Excellence
University of Bayreuth
African Studies Library