Schengen Guide: How to Obtain a German Visa

[Updated October 2018]

Germany is a European destination boasting incredible attractions such as Berlin’s nightlife, Oktoberfest in Munich and of course the vast history that the streets of Germany have to tell. Find out how to apply for a German visa (Schengen visa) with this informative and concise guide. All that’s left to do is book your ticket and plan your itinerary.

South African passport holders do require a short-term tourist visa (German Schengen visa) to enter the country, but the visa application process is a relatively painless one! You will need to apply at the Intergate Visalink Visa Application Centre in Cape Town, Centurion, Bloemfontein or Port Elizabeth. You are advised to apply for your visa at least 90 days before you travel to allow for ample processing time and to avoid any application stress.

Please note this process is applicable to South African passport holders.

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Types of Visas

Short-term visa: For visitors who want to go to Germany for a certain period of time.

  • Single-entry visa: This visa allows you to enter Germany once. You are allowed to stay for up to 90 days within a period of six months. Once you leave Germany, you are not allowed to enter the country again.
  • Double-entry visa: This visa allows you to enter the country twice. The total number of days spent in the country must not exceed 90 days.
  • Multiple-entry visa: The multiple-entry visa affords you entry to the country as many times as you like. There are one, three and five-year multiple-entry visas available. Take note that each visit may not exceed 90 days!

German Visa Price

  • Visa Fees for Adults: €60 (R1004)
  • Visa Fees for Minors: €45 (R586)
  • Application Service Fees Visalink: R380 per application

Note: The visa fee is according to the current exchange rate and it is subject to change.

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Requirements for German visa for South Africans

The applicant should bring:

  •  One completed visa application form, signed by the applicant (see next section for form)
  • Passport – valid for at least three months from your date of return from your trip. Your passport must contain at least two empty visa pages for entry stamps.
  • Two passport copies of the personal data page.
  • One recent passport sized photo (not older than six months). Must follow the Schengen visa photo guidelines
  •  Three months bank statement
  • Letter from employer/academic institution confirming employment/enrollment and when you are due back. If self-employed, confirmation of VAT registration showing you as the owner
  • Copy of confirmed and paid return flight ticket and documents showing further travel within the EU
  • Proof of confirmed hotel reservation and €40 per day in forex or available on credit card  or a formal obligation document issued by the local municipality from the person who is hosting you in Germany, ie friend or family (must be an original document)
  • Proof of previous trips to the Schengen Area (visas)
  • Travel insurance covering at least €30,000 for hospitalisation and repatriation
  • For accompanying minors: full unabridged birth certificate, marriage certificate of the parents, guardians or parents’ declaration of consent.

To ensure you have all the necessary documents, see the Schengen tourist visa checklist.

The German visa application form must be filled out online.

Get a free quote with VisaBox – our go-to visa experts to assist you with your tourist visa application.

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Application Process

All German visa applications must be done at an Intergate Visalink Visa Application Centre. Follow the process to ensure your visa application goes smoothly:

Step 1: Book an Appointment

Book an appointment at the visa application centre where you will submit your application and biometric information. Schedule an appointment online at least 3 weeks before your departure date.

Step 2: Payment

After your appointment has been scheduled, you will receive a provisional appointment confirmation via e-mail which will include the payment details. Once you have sent the proof of payment via e-mail, your appointment will be confirmed.

Step 3: Prepare Your Application

You will be sent a confirmation email which includes a link to fill out your online application form and details regarding the documents you will have to submit.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

You must visit the Visa Application Centre you selected (located in Cape Town, Centurion, Port Elizabeth or Bloemfontein). Arrive at least 15 minutes before your allocated appointment time. If you arrive late you will need to schedule another appointment.

Step 5: Track Your Application

After you have submitted your application you will be able to track the progress. Track your application online.

Step 6: Return of Your Application

Once a decision has been made to grant you the German visa (Schengen visa), you will be sent an email and an SMS to let you know when your documents and passport will be ready for collection.

Before leaving the visa application centre, check that it:

  • has your correct personal details
  • states the purpose for which you are travelling
  • is valid for the date when you want to travel
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Where to Apply for a German Visa

Cape Town

Address: Intergate Visalink

 

80 Strand Street, Cape Town, 8001

Contact: 0861 00 22 45
Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 08:00-16:00
Wednesdays, 17:00-20:00 (by appointments only)

Taxis, buses, trains and cabs are readily available to the Visa Application Centre.  If you’re driving by car, there is parking on the adjacent roads, including Long Street, Loop Street and Bree Street.

Centurion

Address: Intergate Visalink

 

1262 Lougardia Building Embankment Rd, Centurion

Contact: 012 663 3308 / 0861 00 22 45
Opening Hours: Mondays to Friday, 08:00-16:00
Wednesdays, 17:00-20:00 (by appointments only)

There are several methods of transport available to the Visa Application Centre, including taxis, buses and cabs. If you’re driving by car, you can locate a parking lot behind the building.

Bloemfontein

Address: Intergate Visalink

 

80 Pres Reitz Ave, Westdene, 9301

Contact: 0861 00 22 45
 Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 08:00-16:00
Wednesdays, 17:00-20:00 (by appointments only)

You can take a taxi, bus, or cab to the Visa Application Centre. There is parking available in the building complex.

Port Elizabeth

Address:

Intergate Visalink

 

Fairview Office Park, 4th Floor, The Regus House

Contact: 0861 00 22 45
Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 08:00-16:00
Wednesdays, 17:00-20:00 (by appointments only)

There are several public transport options available for you to take, including taxis, buses, cabs and trains. There is parking available in the building’s parking lot.

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Where to Print Documents and Photos

Cape Town

Postnet

Address: Shop 8, No. 2 Long Street, Cape Town City Centre, 8001
Contact: 021 418 1630
Opening Hours: Monda to Friday, 08:00-16:30
Saturday, 08:00-12:00

Centurion

PostNet Centurion

Address: Shop 14 Southlake Centre, Lenchen Ave
Contact: 012 663 7976
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 08:00-17:00
Saturday, 09:00-13:00

Bloemfontein

Mi Office dot Net

Address: 12 2nd Westdene, Bloemfontein, 9301
Contact: 051 447 9757
Opening Hours Monday to Friday, 07:00-18:00
Saturday, 08:00-14:00
Sunday, 09:00-13:00

Port Elizabeth

PostNet Greenacres

Address: Shop G14, The Bridge Mall, Ring Rd, Greenacres, Port Elizabeth, 6001
Contact: 041 363 3606
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 08:30-05:30
Saturday, 09:00-16:00
Sunday, 09:00-13:00
Travelstart German Visa

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With all this helpful information for your German visa application, you are ready for a fantastic adventure through Germany. With your German visa, you’ll be free to visit cities such as CologneHamburg and Frankfurt. Sign up to our newsletter and find out about great flight specials to this mesmerising European destination and many more.

Find cheap flights to Germany at Travelstart

Have you applied for a German visa? Share your application experience with us in the comments below.

You might also like – Step by step: How to apply for a Schengen Visa

Our Readers Comments

  1. Good day,

    Please advise the type of visa required for Germany (Dusseldorf) to attend the K Trade fair 16-20 October 2019. I’m a South African citizen, this would be a business trip all costs covered by the company including hotel, airfares and meals. I believe that a rush visa is also a possibility?
    Kindly advise re: above

    • Hi Ravin,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Please contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct. They will advise what visa is required, what the cost would be, correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required.

  2. Hi there.
    I am a SA Citizen travelling to Germany in July. Will my German Visa allow me to travel to Amsterdam by train for example? Looking to do a 1 day trip and want to know the paperwork implications or if it’s as simple as booking a train ticket and going.
    Many thanks..

    • Hi Matthew,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      You will need to see if you have a multiple or single entry visa. I would suggest contacting the Embassy direct they will see what visa they have granted you and will be able to assist in answering any visa related questions you might have.

  3. Hi, I am a South African Citizen and planning on visiting my mother in Germany soon, she told me that she would sign a Sponsor form, I will be staying with her. What is the process regarding my visa?

    • Hi Elnett,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      You welcome to read through our Blog: Schengen Guide: How to Obtain a German Visa

      Here we provide the following information: Types of Visas, German Visa Price, Requirements for German visa for South Africans, Application Process, Where to Apply for a German Visa, Where to Print Documents and Photos

      We have also provided a links for the following:
      1. To ensure you have all the necessary documents, see the Schengen tourist visa checklist.
      2. The German visa application form must be filled out online.
      3. Track your application online.

      Here we provide all the relevant information. For any further info, please contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency. They will be able to assist in answering any other questions you might have.

  4. Hello 🙂
    I am a South African passport holder looking to visit Germany at the end of the year (2019). I need assistance with how to apply for the visa while I am currently living in South Korea. Is there a place that I can get it done here?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Emily,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      For this you would need to contact the Germany Embassy in Seoul. As they are the ones granting the visa’s they will advise what documents they require from you, the correct procedures to follow and the cost involved.

  5. Hi, My name is Kevina,

    I have a Dutch Schengen visa valid for 1 year, would I be able to enter Germany and exit Germany using this visa? Without going via Holland?

    I have been to Holland in June, and plan to go to Germany in December

    visa is valid, multiple entry from June 2018 to June 2019

    • HI there,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      To answer your first question yes it is possible to enter Germany on a Schengen visa issued by the Dutch Embassy as both are Schengen Countries.

      With regards to your 2nd questions: Even though the visa is valid for 1 year you will need to see on the visa how many days one is allowed to stay. So if it shows 30 days within that year and you have already stayed those amount of days I don’t think you would be able to use that visa again.

      However as we do not grant visa’s I would suggest contacting the Embassy or official visa handling agency to get the most up to date information and they will be able to advise accordingly.

  6. Hi, im a south african citizen looking for my sister to travel to germany for the first time in to visit my other sister for 4 weeks and she will be staying at her house. now the problem is she is not working and im the one working. i want to suprise her on her birthday and give her a ticket to go see her elder sister in Germany. could you advise what is needed from her side to apply for my visa?everything is covered, how much will she need to have in her account? and what else is going to be needed. thank you

    Read more: http://www.travelstart.co.za/blog/germany-visa-requirements-for-south-africans/#ixzz5GKioFm00
    Follow us: @Travelstart on Twitter | Travelstart on Facebook

    • Hi Thato,

      Thanks for getting in touch. What a lovely birthday surprise for your sister. Sure she will so excited and very happy.

      Below is the check list for a Tourism Visa. These details could change at anytime and we do recommend you contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency to get the most up to date information.

      German Embassy (Pretoria)
      Tel Number : (012) 427 8900

      One completed visa application
      • Please complete the online application form (https://videx.diplo.de) and then print
      the autodownloaded PDF version of the application form. It needs to be fully and
      correctly completed before it will download as PDF, where-after it must then be
      signed and dated by applicant. Bring it with you. If you don’t complete and bring your
      application form, we won’t be able to assist you and a new appointment will have to
      be scheduled.
      • If the applicant is under the age of 18, the application form has to be signed by both
      parents / legal guardians
      • Parent/s or Legal guardian/s including minor should be present at the appointment.
      • In absence of a parent/s during the appointment: POA and written signed statement
      explaining why they were not able to be present at the time of appointment.
      □ □
      2 Passport
      • Validity minimum 90 days from the date of expiry of the requested Visa
      • Passport must be signed and must contain at least 2 empty visa pages for entry and
      departure stamp
      • Non- South African citizens must hold a valid residency / work permit which allows
      re-entry to South Africa upon the end of the journey
      • Previous passports (non SA citizens)
      • Applicant exiting Germany and returning to South Africa via another country should
      present the relevant visa for the country
      □ □
      3 Photocopies
      • 2 passport copies of pages containing personal data
      • Copies of all previous Schengen Visa(s)
      □ □
      4 One recent biometric passport sized photograph
      • Should not be older than 6 months
      • Please read the guidelines attached to your confirmation email
      □ □
      5
      Document confirming employment situation (including name of the company,
      address, telephone number, email, signature etc.)
      • Employees: Current letter of employment with original signature (no contracts)
      • Freelancers: Proof of your engagements (invoices,receipts;etc.)
      • Self employed: Company registration document (CK1/CK2/CM22)/ Letter from
      Accountant/ Letter from SARS
      • Students: Current proof of school/university registration confirming that the student
      is exempt from attending lectures during the requested travel period
      • Medical Doctors: valid Licence to practice from HPSCA
      • Lawyers: Proof of registration with Law Association
      • Unemployed/Retired: Proof of Residence required (utility bill/rental
      agreement/signed letter from property owner with ID copy)

  7. Hi,
    I will transiting through the Frankfurt Airport on the 19th May 2018, from Vancouver (Canada) to Johannesburg (South Africa). I will arrive at the airport around 11H00 am, and my next flight would be around 20H15. If I were to leave the airport for few hours, say get into a half day tour of Frankfurt City, do I need a transit visa to leave the airport for a few hours?

    • HI there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You would require a tourist visa as you will not be in transit you are passing through immigration and leaving the airport.

      Please contact the Embassy as they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  8. Hi,
    We need to know more about the medical insurance please. In May we land in Hamburg, travel straight to Kiel and spend the night. Next day we leave for a 7 day Baltic Sea cruise. We had to pay compulsory insurance for this. On returning we go back to Hamburg, spend the night and fly home to ZA the next day. What else is needed to apply for the visa. I am also looking a visa application form that I can print, fill in and take to Durban.
    Thanks Wendy

    • Hi Wendy,

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa applications. For this you will need to contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency. They will be able to provide you with the most up to date information on what documents they require, the correct procedures to follow and cost of the Schengen visa.

  9. Hi There:

    I have a friend who has been invited by a sponsor to go and play music gigs in Germany and Switzerland.
    Is the above information (to Jacob) relevant in his case as well?
    The main question is – should the visa be initiated from South Africa or from Germany?

    Regards

    • Hi Jacques,

      One needs to apply for a visa in their country of residence.

      However as we are not the ones granting the visa’s please contact the Embassy direct, they specialise in visa related queries and will be able to assist.

  10. Thanks for sharing this post publicity. This information is very useful to common reader or I would say common man who searches for erotic entertainment. Eagerly waiting for your next article too.

  11. Very much impressive blog keep the good work up. I found this very informative. It helps me a lot. Love to wait for your next post.

  12. Hi, im a south african citizen looking to travel to germany for the first time in april to visit a friend for 2 weeks and i will be staying at her house. could you advise what is needed from her side to apply for my visa? My flight and accommodation is covered, how much will i need to have per day in my account(will i need to have this in my account when i apply for my visa)? i dont have medical aid but my bank offers travel insurance on my cheque account will this be ok for my visa? I’m based in joburg, will i have to travel to pretoria to apply for my visa and how much will my visa cost me?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Please contact the Embassy direct. As they are granting the visa’s they will advise you on the correct procedures you need to follow when applying for a visa. What documents they need you to have when applying as well as the cost.

      Their contact details are:

      German Consulate General (Cape Town)
      Tel Number : (021) 405 3000

      German Honorary Consulate General (Port Elizabeth)
      Tel Number : (041) 397 4721

      German Embassy (Pretoria)
      Tel Number : (012) 427 8900

  13. Hello there!

    I have a questions, I hope someone can point me in the direction that I can find the answer, or maybe give an answer.

    I have a friend that lives in South Africa that wants to visit me here in Germany, I received and E-mail the other day from him saying that he needs a “Letter of Invitation” is what we’ll call it and a color copy of my passport, I can’t find anything online verifying this.

    Can anyone help?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Jacob,

      I’ve found the following online, however it does say to please contact the Embassy for the most up to date info.

      You can contact the Embassy or the official visa handling agency, and they will be able to help with any visa related queries: correct procedure to follow, cost and what documents would be needed.

      The following documents have to be submitted / completed Intergate German
      Mission
      1 One completed visa application
       Will be sent to you via email or alternatively printed at the Visa Application Centre.
      Needs to be fully completed and signed and dated by applicant.
       If the applicant is under the age of 18, the application form has to be signed by both
      parents / legal guardians
       Parent/s or Legal guardian/s including minor should be present at the appointment.
       In absence of a parent/s during the appointment: POA and written signed statement
      explaining why they were not able to be present at the time of appointment.
      □ □
      2 Passport
       Validity minimum 90 days from the date of expiry of the requested Visa
       Passport must be signed and must contain at least 2 empty visa pages for entry and
      departure stamp
       Non- South African citizens must hold a valid residency / work permit which allows
      re-entry to South Africa upon the end of the journey
       Previous passports (non SA citizens)
       Applicant exiting Germany and returning to South Africa via another country should
      present the relevant visa for the country
      □ □
      3 Photocopies
       2 passport copies of pages containing personal data
       Copies of all previous Schengen Visa(s) – even if in old Passports
       Provide copies of all original documents
      □ □
      4 One recent biometric passport sized photograph
       Should not be older than 6 months
       Please read the guidelines attached to your confirmation email
      □ □
      5
      Document confirming employment situation (including name of the company,
      address, telephone number, email, signature etc.)
       Employees: Current letter of employment with original signature (no contracts)
       Freelancers: Proof of your engagements (invoices,receipts,etc.)
       Self-employed: Company registration document (CK1/CK2/CM22)/ Letter from
      Accountant/ Letter from SARS
       Scholars/Students: Current proof of school/university registration confirming that the
      student is exempt from attending lectures during the requested travel period with an
      original signature
       Medical Doctors: valid Licence to practice from HPSCA
       Lawyers: Proof of registration with Law Association
       Unemployed/Retired: Proof of Residence required (utility bill/rental agreement/signed
      letter from property owner with ID copy)
      □ □
      2/3
      6
      Documents reflecting the nature of the trip
       Signed letter of invitation from private person (stating relationship) + passport copy +
      residency permit in Germany full address, telephone, email and contact person
       If inviting person is non EU (copy of permit required in addition to passport)
       Legalised letter of invitation or concert/sport event tickets
       Package Tour/ Cruises/ Individual Trips (proof of accommodation for every day)
      □ □
      7
      Documents confirming sufficient funds (60,00 Euro per person/per day) for the trip
       Current 3 months stamped bank statement of private bank account – savings or
      cheque
      Legalized letter of obligation (“Verpflichtungserklärung” according to §§ 66-68
      AufenthG with proof of funds) + passport copy of the host + written statement
      explaining the relationship between the inviting party and the applicant
       Note: no credit card statements
       Only applicable if Self Employed, 3 months stamped business Bank statements
      □ □
      8
      Flight-ticket and proof of accommodation
       Round trip flight reservations or travel itinerary with name and dates
       Proof of accommodation with full address for the entire time of stay in the Schengen
      State(s) /signed invitation letter and passport copy from a host in Germany with full
      address, telephone, email, etc.
       If applicable, proof of travel between EU/Schengen states(car rental/flights/train-bus
      tickets)
      □ □
      9
      Overseas medical travel insurance for Schengen States/Europe
       Certificate of Insurance valid for the entire duration of the requested Visa
       Minimum coverage of EUR 30,000 and repatriation
       Conditions must be stated either on insurance document or on separate visa letter
      (Please note: Medical insurances connected to credit cards are not accepted)
       Insurance must cover Schengen States
      □ □
      10
      For accompanying minors (younger than 18 years of age)
       Full unabridged birth certificate ( containing fathers and mothers name )
       Full unabridged marriage certificate of the parents
       Guardian’s/ parents declaration of consent signed by both guardians / parents
       Copy of first page of passport of minor and parents/legal guardian(s)
       Court ruling in case of custody / death certificate
      Please note: In the absence of one parent during the appointment, the absent party
      must have signed a power of attorney ( please go to http://www.visa-germany.co.za for more
      information )
      II. INFORMATION FOR THE APPLICANT
       The processing time for Visa applications takes 15 days according to the Schengen Visa Codex. The German missions and Intergate are committed to
      keep the processing time to a minimum.
       All documents must be submitted in German or English language
       Only complete applications can be accepted; Non-submission of necessary documentation may lead to a refusal
       During the processing period the passport has to remain with the German missions. Passports can only be withdrawn if a written request, signed by the
      applicant, is received. Consequently the application will be cancelled and the passport will be available for collection within 2 working days from
      Intergate.
       False or falsified documents will lead to refusal of visa and/ or further consequences
       The German missions reserve the right to ask for further supporting documents / information
       Visa extensions within Germany are generally not possible
       Applicants may not apply for permanent residence in Germany while on this Visa
       The German Mission may shorten the validity of the Visa without prior consultation
       in case of a one-year or multiple year visa being issued, the period of stay in a Schengen may not exceed 90 days within 180 days, this period of stay
      beginning with the first day of entry into the Schengen state.
       You may track your application on the website http://www.visa-germany.co.za or contact the Call Center at +27 (0) 861 00 22 45
       Have you already had your fingerprints taken at an earlier application for a C-Schengenvisa ? If so, it may not be necessary for you to apply in person.
      However, in case the biometric capturing of your fingerprints failed or has been compromised due to a technical problem and cannot be used you must
      have your fingerprints taken again. In such case, you will be contacted by the mission or by “Intergate “respectively
       Third Party Applications:
      All required Documents must be presented including:
      1. Dated and Signed Visa application form by applicant
      2. Completed and signed Proof of Authorisation Form
      3. Proof of identification of representative
      4. All documents required as originals
      3/3
      III. REMARKS INTERGATE
       Applicant requests a Visa with extended validity □
       Applicant travels alone □ with family members □ with a group □
       Applicant has previously had a Shengen Visa and copies have been attached □
       Applicant has been advised that his documents are incomplete □
       Applicant has been advised that the application was submitted less than 15 days before departure □
      Additional comments:
      IV. SIGNATURES AND AGREEMENT
      For the Visa applicant: I have read and agreed to

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