visa free travel for school children

from the German embassy web site:

Travel information for school pupils

Basis: Decision of the European Council from 30.11.1994 on the basis of Article K.3.2.b of the Treaty on European Union concerning travel facilities for school pupils from third countries resident in a member state.

Conditions of Article 1 of the decision:

A Member State shall not require a visa of school pupil who is not a national of a Member State but who is legally resident in another Member State and who seeks to enter its territory either for a short stay or transit, if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  1. In the framework of a school excursion, the school pupil is travelling as a member of a group of school pupils from a general education school.
  2. The group is accompanied by a teacher from the school in question.
  3. The accompanying teacher must be able to present a list (on the common form) of the schoolchildren he or she is accompanying, issued by the school in question.
  4. The list must contain ALL traveling pupils.
  5. The list must describe the purpose and the circumstances of the intended stay.
  6. The pupils from third countries must be in possession of a travel document for crossing the border in question.

The French embassy in London has similar information on their web site

School trips exemption:

Pupils/ schoolchildren/ high school students in general education, nationals of countries who would normally require a visa, travelling on a school trip, are exempt from an entry visa into France if their names are entered on a “List of Travellers” form, available from:

British Council
Information Centre
Bridgewater House
58 Whitworth Street
Manchester M1 6BB
Tel. : 0161 957 7755
Fax. : 0161 957 7762

Details are available online at

This form is not, however, a valid travel document in itself: each pupil must carry a valid individual official document establishing identity and bearing a photograph, such as:
- a valid passport
- a valid travel document
- or a valid ID card

Further information about the schools trip exemption may be obtained from the British Council.

Followup: I talked with a school teacher who was taking a group of children from the UK for a school trip to France.  She said that this idea is fine in principle, but that if a child does not have proper documentation to reside in the UK, then they can not participate because they will not be able to return to the UK after the trip.  This is only good for children who have legal residence in their home member state.

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