VISA - Frequently Asked Questions


Please note: Although the information on this website has been prepared with utmost care, we can not accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein.

Please note: Although the information on this website has been prepared with utmost care, we can not accept any responsibility for inaccuracies contained herein.

Yes, you can. According to the Schengen agreement, visas are valid for: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Please note, however, that you must always apply at the embassy/consulate of the country which is your primary Destination.

Yes, you can. Please carefully check the validity of the visa, the permitted number of entries and the maximum duration of stay (both are mentioned on your visa sticker).

Transit visas are valid only for short stopovers (hours in length) while you are waiting for your onward flight in the airport's international transit area. Please apply for a regular tourist visa if you must/would like to stay overnight.

If you do not have a confirmed onward flight from Germany, you must apply for a regular tourist visa.

Your passport must be valid for at least three months upon conclusion of your trip.

Ask your friends/relatives to complete and sign an formal letter of obligation (“Verpflichtungserklärung”) and submit this when you apply for your visa.

The formal letter of obligation is available at the local Aliens' office in their place of residence in Germany. Please bring the original of this letter when applying for your visa.

Just ask your friend/relatives to send you an informal invitation. This must include their name, address and a copy of their passport. A copy of their residence permit is an additional requirement if your friends/relatives in Germany are not German nationals. If your friends/relatives will pay for your travel expenses, you will also need to submit a formal letter of obligation.

Please include your business registration and latest bank statements (covering three months time) to complete your application.

Imagine you are injured during your stay in Germany. Please check carefully whether your medical insurance would cover costs for medical treatment abroad. You will need to submit health insurance documents which reflect coverage during your stay in Europe when applying for the visa.

Please submit your application and all necessary documents listed for the required type of visa. If you attach an original or certified copy of your unabridged marriage certificate (with apostille), your visa will be free of Charge.

You would apply, on your child's behalf, for a regular visa to visit friends/relatives in Germany or a regular tourist visa. You must bring your child's birth certificate and submit a copy. Children under the age of 18 are considered minors by EU law. Therefore, the visa application must be signed by the persons exercising permanent or temporary parental authority or legal guardianship – usually both parents. Please make sure that you include a family court order if only one parent has full custody. The application form must be signed by the legal guardian(s) during the visa interview. Alternatively, their signature may be certified by a notary public.

The processing time for visa applications (short-term) is a minimum of seven working days. If you apply for long-term residence permits or an Employment visa, processing time will be several months.

Schengen visa applicants may submit complaints about the conduct of the external service provider TLS, the staff of the German Mission or the visa application process via contact form. Please note that complaints may only be submitted in German or English. We are unable to follow up on complaints in other languages.

Please enter one of the following three options in the “Subject” field of the contact form:

- “Complaint about the conduct of the external service provider TLS”
- “Complaint about the conduct of staff of the German Mission”
- “Complaint about the visa application process”

Contact form: Schengen Visa Complaints - PRETORIA
Contact form: Schengen Visa Complaints - CAPE TOWN

Please note:
No legal remedies against decisions to refuse, annul or revoke a visa – in particular no remonstrations – may be submitted via the complaints contact form.


We offer consular services at 5 locations in South Africa and Mauritius. Please contact the German Mission nearest to your holiday destination or nearest to your place of residence.

Appointments, Opening Hours, Contact

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