How to apply for the Italian Schengen Visa for South Africans

Grand Canal, Venice, Italy at sunset on gondolaApplying for a Schengen Visa for Italy as a South African often leaves applicants a little confused and asking “Where do I go? How do I apply? Can I use an agency or do I have to do it myself?” Italy traditionally has consulates in practically every city in South Africa and the rules for how to apply depend on where you live. Here’s making it a little simpler for you:

I live in or near Cape Town

You’ll need to apply in person for the Italian Schengen Visa, if you live in or near Cape Town, from 1 December 2011 you’ll need to do your appointment via Copago, a visa handling agency. Make an appointment online first though for them to see you. The visa requirements are the Schengen Requirements, you can also check the Italian Consulate’s site for more info. If you don’t live in Cape Town, but it’s still your closest Italian Consulate, you can fill out a request form not to appear in person and use a reputable courier to send your application in.

I live in Gauteng, Limpopo, North-West or Free State

You will have to apply with outsourced visa agency Copago or the Pretoria Embassy (only if you live in the Tshwane Metro) for your Italian Schengen Visa application. Pretoria will have it’s own Copago office from 1 February 2012.  These  consulates/embassies advise that you should make the appointment for a minimum of 2 weeks before departure to be safe and a maximum of 3 months before.

I live in KwaZulu-Natal

There is unfortunate news, the Italian consulate in Durban no longer issues Italian Schengen Visas but in which case you’ll need to apply as if you were living in Johannesburg through Copago. This company has said they will be opening an office in Durban from 1 January 2011. There is a chance that you can courier the passport through an agency if you’ve travelled to a schengen country before, we suggest enquiring with a reputable visa agency for more info. The only sure way around it is to ensure your trip to Europe includes a longer stay in another Schengen country, other than Italy, then you can apply through that country’s consulate and hopefully they don’t require you to appear in person in Joburg!

I live in the Eastern Cape or Northern Cape

For applying for a Schengen visa in these provinces, you must use the Cape Town Consulate. Since you don’t live near Cape Town, you can fill out the form not to appear in person, mentioned in the Cape Town section.

Check out our other Schengen visa articles too.

Click here for the application form.

Click here for the  full requirements.

Remember the information on this site was correct at time of publishing, but the consulates reserve the right to change information at any moment and without notice, we recommend using a reputable visa agency to make an application and get up-to-date information.

More Visa Posts

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How to apply on our website – Video

Schengen visa basic info

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Our Readers Comments

  1. Hi Nick,

    A great site you have here. Your responses are very helpful but having read through, unfortunately, none of them seem to cover my wife’s unique situation

    Here goes, I am a UK citizen, she South African, we are recently married and have an unabridged marriage certificate. My wife plans to travel to Europe (mainly Italy) on a pre-booked, paid tour starting 13th June.
    I am a resident of Saudi Arabia, my wife is currently here with me on a 3 month family visit visa and has her flight to Europe booked from here and has no plan to re-enter South Africa until after the trip. She has no job but we are able to show proof of funds for travel or forex etc.

    Could you help to explain are options

    My main points of concern are:

    -Can she apply for a visa remotely (ie from Saudi by sending documents to agency)?
    -Is it possible to apply to Italian consulate in Riyadh?
    -Does her not having a job impact her?

    Thanks for any help you can give, as you can see this is rather tricky!! and if there’s anything else you feel it would be right to consider we’d really be grateful for your advice.

    Regards Paul

    • Hi Paul, thanks for getting in touch.

      The general rule is that one has to apply from the country where one is a resident. Seeing that you are a resident of Saudi Arabia, they may offer her an exception and let her apply for a visa in Saudi, though this is likely only to be if you are accompanying her on this trip to Europe. There is a chance they will let her apply there if you are not accompanying her, but with these sort of exceptional circumstances there are never any guarantees. The good news is that next to the Greek consulates, the Italian consulates have a reputation for being the most flexible! I would get in touch with the Italian consulate directly to explain the situation and ask their advice. If you have time to email and wait for a written response, even better, you can always take this email along with the application if the respondent says it’s okay to apply from Saudi.

      Now regarding your wife’s employment. This is not always an issue when applying for a Schengen visa. You can say that you are paying for her trip, but they will likely need to see 3 months bank statements from you to prove there are enough funds to support her. Alternatively, if she has enough of her own funds in her account that should be okay too, though I doubt she will be able to get official South African stamped bank statements while over there.

      In short, I think there is a chance she can apply from Saudi, but I think it’s best to get the answer from the horse’s mouth. Find their details here:

  2. Hi, I want to know do i need a Yellow fever injection to go to Italy?


    • Hi Helen!

      Generally you don’t need a yellow fever vaccination to go to Italy. There may be exceptions in the case that you have visited countries with yellow fever in the last few months (eg Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya etc). If you’ve been in SA the whole time you definitely won’t need one.

  3. hi there nick.
    i have recently found a family in italy that is interested in hiring me as a au pair privately. they will apply for the nulla osta, contratto di soggiorno per lavoro, Italian Questura. if all of this say “has” been approved are my chances of being denied a work visa still possible?

    To apply for a work visa would i need an unabridge birth certificate and medical?

    Thanks for all the helpfull information you give… much appreciated

    • Hi Sandy!

      This is a tricky one and I don’t have a lot of experience with work visas for Italy. I would strongly recommend chatting to the Italian consulate privately or chatting to a visa handling agency like ROSE visas, their contact details are here:

      (I know their website looks a little odd, but they have been reliable for us when dealing with them for many years now)

  4. Hi there

    Im a 29 year old south african male…i know a italian that owns a italian horse stud in italy…he wants me to come work for him for the horse show season ( 6-8 months ) in Italy…please advice me on how to go ahead organizing something like this..
    I hope i hear from you soon

    • Hi Chris,

      this is a tricky situation and I would suggest using a visa professional like ROSE visas to assist with the application. It sounds to me like you are going to need to apply for a work permit for Italy. You can contact them on 086 123 VISA (8472)

  5. Hi Nick

    My partners daughter Kimberley (UK citizen) lives with her partner Andrew (RSA citizen)in Port Elizabeth. Kimberley’s sister is marrying in Lucca, Italy on the 20th May and Andrew only received his UK visa yesterday. This does not leave him time to get a schengen visa in RSA nor can he apply here with any certainty when they both arrive in the UK on Sunday 13th May. I put them onto your web-site to obtain a French schengen visa and they understand evrything except whetehr the visa is at the point of entry in France or how long they stay. When they arrive in London they will be here for a week and intend to divert through France to obtain the visa but need clarification before they book the flight. I cannot find your telephone number so hence this mail. Kimberley’s e-mail is ♫

    I can realy the message back to Kimberley but have not been copied in with the mails between you

    Thanks Nick

    Chris Stone

    • Hi Chris,

      thanks for getting in touch. I see that the dates you mentioned above have now passed. I’m sorry I couldn’t get to your query in time, unfortunately we have been a little swamped with work and so free services like this have had to take the back-seat until our paying customers had been seen to.

      I hope everything worked out alright. They would have needed to apply for that Schengen visa form South Africa, under normal circumstances which would have meant there was no way to get the visa, even by the time you contacted us here. I hope the authorities were able to pull some strings for Andrew to get him a Schengen visa in time.

      Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

  6. Hi Nick

    My husband works on a Cruise Line that will be sailing to most of the ports in Italy, however the ship will be docked in Barcelona Spain, and from there we will do Italy most of the days. We will also be in dubrovnik croatia for one day. He wants me and our son (9 months old by then) to come and visit him. My question to you is do I apply at the Italian embassy for a schengen visa and if so how long before we go and cruise? Also what is the fee more or less for a multiple entry visa? We will be cruising with him for a month.

  7. hi Paul, do I need any vaccinations for traveling to Italy?

  8. Hey Nick

    I hold a South African passport. I recently applied for a UK visa for two years, as i write to you it is being processed. It takes 15 working days to do so. However im planning to go to Italy, what visa do i need? how long does it take to get an italian visa? I also will be traveling to other countries that use a schengen visa during my two years stay in the UK. Can i get a schengen visa for 2 years?

    Thank you

  9. Hi Nick. My daughter is 19 – she applied for a holiday visum for 62 days. The Personel change this to a study visum (i do not know why???) She will be attending an art school for vacation in Florence ( we decided to fill her time to take language course as well ) visum was denied due to this attending of the language course – they state an ARt 4 comma 2 of tu 286/98. We can contest by means of legal complaint – please advise what we can do or whom we can talk to – everything is paid for – ticktes was booked through travelstart. What now?

  10. Whats the easiest way to get a visa for Italy/France and also Dubai

    • Hi
      Im in the Northen Cape and Im in a process of applying for Italian visa. According to the website in have to apply through the Cape Town office and need not appear in person.
      I have collected all documentation as requested except proof of payment for visa & service fees. How much should I pay and in which account.
      Where should I courier the documents to?

      Kind regards


  11. Hi.
    FRom what I have read the rule is if you on a dreaded South African passport you can only apply for schengen visa in South Africa.I am going to Ireland for a wee bit and thought would be nice and easier to see friend in Italy and apply for visa in Dublin.Is this completely out of the question.This South African passport drama!!!!!

  12. Hi Nick,

    Pleas advise if Mozambican citizens require a schengen visa, specifically if the only country to be visited is Italy. Is there an agency or embassy in Maputo where the applicants can apply?


  13. Good morning

    Can you please give us some updated information regarding the Italian Visa Application process for South Africans?

    I live in East London and I used to be able to apply for my Italian Visas via courier as Cape Town / Johannesburg is too far for me to appear in person. I believe since May 2012 the rules have changed and you MUST appear in person?
    I also believe you HAVE to complete your application online on the CAPAGO site?

    Could you please give us some more information regarding these rule changes, application process and current fees involved?

    Thank you and kind regards

    • Hi Vicky,

      Visa applications must be made though the CAPAGO site and then in person; applications must be made at least 15 business days prior to travel.

      According to their website: “If your permanent residence is Eastern Cape, Northern Cape or Western Cape, you can only apply at Cape Town Application center.”
      I suggest contacting them to find out about the possibility of applying by courier: +27 (0) 87 742 2840, Mondays to Fridays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

      The cost of the visa is EUR 60 (+/- R671) plus additional service fees applied by CAPAGO.

  14. Hello,

    I’d like to know the requirements and options for marrying an Italian. Is it better to register in SA or Italy? which is easier in terms of processes?
    Would one get a residence permit therefater? Would you know how long it takes?
    Am struggling to find info pertinent to SA and Italy (lots of US and UK).

    Thanks so much

  15. Hi there

    Can I travel to the other Schengan territories with a Schengan visa for Portugal?

  16. Can you get a Schengen visa with a Drunk Driving charge?

  17. In July I am going on a Travelgar European tour, staying 4 days in Italy. As I live in the Northern Cape I would like to use Capago as an agent to get me my visa. Please supply me with more information.
    Thank you very much.
    Marianna Pietserse

  18. Hi there.

    I am from Durban and I need to apply for an Italian Schengen VISA. I read further up that the Italian Consulate no longer issues Schengen VISAS, and that applications will now have to be done with Copango. Please advise if the Copango office in Durban is up and running, and if an appointment in person is neccessary then will it be sufficient for me to visit Copango in Durban? Or if it may be neccessary for me to go to JHB. What is the current position to date? Thanks in advance,

  19. Hi Nick,

    I have 2 questions.
    I work for a cruise line and I’m heading to a ship that is porting out of Rome. I’m flying there through Turkey and catching a connecting flight directly to Rome. What Visa’s do I require for this?
    My other question is what do you know about Italian passports, my grand father is an Italian citizen, can I apply for an Italian passport, if so what documentation will I need?

    Many thanx


  20. hi. Any idea what it costs for a South African applying for a Shengen visa these days? I was last granted a 3 year visa.

  21. hi Nick,

    I am going to Europe June. 11 days in France, 10 days in Italy and 8 days in Greece. Flying in to Paris.
    Is it true and in this case only a one day difference between France and Italy…do i have to apply for the French visa or can i apply for the Italy visa?


  22. Hi dear i hope u can get my text pls i would ask u somethin if u dont mind , i am from tunis and my friend has invite me to see Italy for 2 months ( holiday shcool ) and we’ve done everythin in great way and after short time my visa gets refused reason ( they didnt trust me that i wouldnt come back home ) what must i do now , thank u

  23. Hi, if anyone can help me on this I would really appreciate it.

    Im going to Italy in July and also making a quick trip to Croatia. Croatia will be part of the Schengen states and part of the EU from July 1st, so if I apply for my visa through Italian embassy, as I will be there longest and fly to Italy, I dont need to apply for a Croatian visa? As I will apply for my visa in June and fly early July…

    Many thanks

  24. Hy nick!I want to know if you are temporary residence in south africa and you want to traveling in italy,all the fees will be supporting by the compagny its mean the compagny send u in holy day what you need to do to get the visas

  25. Hi I’m south african how I go about applying for visa for italy and how long does it last

  26. Hi there, nice site :)

    for a Italian visa-d type, can one have it done in a country other than home country? I’m South African, but have to go back to South Korea. From there, I will fly to Italy. Thanks.

  27. I need help my friend was working at irag then took a flight to south africa that was his first time and got a problem when he lend in cape town airport he had a cash and they said it was not supposed to be that much where are we supposed to get help he originate in italy he is supposed to cross to lesotho

  28. Hi we live on a farm in the eastern cape but we are much closer to Durban than Cape Town can’t we do it in Durban rather?

  29. Hey there!

    Can we go apply for a S visa at Joburg without scheudeling an appointment? We are from Bloemfontein and only have certain dates that we can go and they are already fully booked.



  30. I applied for a Italian Shengan Visa on line but omitted to enter the field for National ID number.
    Should I resubmit my application or can I fill it in manually since I have to present myself personally for fingerprinting?

  31. Hi Paul
    My name is Thandi from Cape Town and I have been invited to visit Italy in the next 2months for 20 days ,my host is hosting me through out my staying .but now regarding visa I have no clue where to start and what to flight is booked and paid for the return please help me as to what to do in order for me to get an Italian visa. Thank you

  32. Please can you assist me.
    My son is living in England. He is studying there and has a five year study visa.
    He would like to visit Italy so he needs a Schengen visa.
    Can you please advise me of what he needs and how to go about it
    Or supply me with a website that he can go to to assist him

  33. What are the costs for a Italian Schengen Visa?

    • Hello Colette, thank you for contacting us. At present the fees are approximately R1250 for the Italian Schengen Visa. For more information and application details, click here:

      Hope this helps :-)

  34. Interesting

    This site is very helpful, thumbs up

    I worked with French and Italian visas for just over a year at Capago JHB branch in Sandton.

    In my experience most travelers were clueless about the process,i’m happy to see this site really eases the pressure off visa applications, the rules change from time to time i recently resigned but the information is still fresh.

    willing to help anythime

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