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I am Brazilian and will be participating in a student exchange program for one semester in Germany, at a partner university. I have only purchased a one-way ticket because:

  • The price of tickets purchased six months in advance is considerably higher.
  • I have plans to extend my exchange program and/or apply for an internship in Germany. If neither of these alternatives materializes, I am fully capable of returning to my home country.

However, based on some research, it seems that there is a possibility of being denied boarding if I do not present a return ticket. Is this true? If so, are there any alternatives? Or am I really required to purchase a return ticket?

PS: I plan to get my study visa once I'm already there.

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  • Yes, there is a possibility. The (annoying) solution is to purchase a return leg that is refundable.
    – MastaBaba
    Jan 14 at 23:09
  • Where do you have it from that you can be denied boarding when travelling to Germany without a return ticket. There is no official requirement to hold one to enter the Schengen area. Jan 15 at 0:05

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https://digital.diplo.de/navigator/en/visa

If you say you don't want to stay for longer than 90 days, it will tell you that you need a short-stay visa, but as a Brazilian citizen you are of course exempted from that requirement.

If you say that you do want to stay longer than 90 days and that you are a national of Brazil, you get this:

For nationals of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco and San Marino

You do not need a visa to enter Germany if you want to study in Germany but you will have to apply for a residence permit at the local German foreigners office if you want to stay for more than 90 days. You do need a visa before coming to Germany to work or to research, as a job seeker or for self-employment. In this case, please chose “Any other country” as the answer to the question about your nationality to find out more about the right visa for you.

Now even a tourist does not need to arrive with a return ticket. You need to be a be able to prove, if asked, that you have sufficient means to leave the Schengen area at the end of your visit or other authorized stay.

Airlines rely on a database called TIMATIC that tracks entry requirements for countries all over the world. If I recall correctly it says "passengers who don't have a return ticket may be denied entry" or something like that. This is unfortunate, because passengers who have a return ticket can also be denied entry, for example if the officer suspects that they don't intend to use it. Similarly, passengers who lack a return ticket can be admitted if the officer believes that they'll buy a ticket home when they need to.

Update, I just checked the IATA Travel Centre, which takes its data from TIMATIC, and it said

Warning:

Visitors not holding return/onward tickets or sufficient funds to purchase a ticket, could be refused entry.

So even there it recognizes that the requirement is not to have a ticket per se but to have enough money to be able to leave.

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