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South Africans in Germany

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Visa application tips

We are not immigration agents, and your first point of contact should always be the German embassy or consulate in South Africa.
Most of the information you need to apply for your visa at the Germany Embassy in South Africa can be found on their website
Here is some additional information that could help when something is not clear. 
For individual queries, you can send an email to or use their online form 

Friends or Family Visits

We have a page dedicated to Friends and Family visit visas. 

Friends or Family visits

Do you want to invite friends or family to come and visit you in Germany?For their trip, they will need a tourist visa, which is one of the short stay (less than 90 days) Schengen visas.  There are two types of tourist visas. One is for general tourist and the other for family and friends who wants to visit someone in Germany. More

Family reunification visas

We have several pages dedicated to Family reunification visas. 

Family Reunification Visa – Your stories

These are shared experiences by people who recently went through a Family Reunification Visa application process. You can share yours with us via an easy-to-fill-in form on this page. Detailed Stories An FB member shared a more detailed experience. You can read it here. Another member, Tom, also shared his experience with us, you can read about it here Shared by Cheryl

Family Reunification Visa

“German citizens or citizens from non-EU countries who have an Aufenthaltserlaubnis (residence permit) or a Niederlassungserlaubnis (settlement permit) are allowed to bring their relatives to Germany. This is known as the ‘reunification of families.  For short term family visits please refer to the relevant page.To enter Germany, the relatives require a visa; to continue to stay, they require a residence permit. A visa allows you to

Birth and Marriage Certificates

When a birth or marriage certificate is required, it must always be an unabridged copy.


Unless specifically asked for, documents that are in English do not need to be translated.

Apostil of documents

When something needs to be apostilled, it will say so explicitly on the Embassy website as in the example below.  If you click on the arrow it will take you to this page, which states that documents must be apostilled by DIRCO

Medical insurance

Short-term visas

You need medical insurance for your whole trip.

  • TIC in South Africa is accepted by the Embassy. 
  • You can also use the insurance offered by your Credit card but make sure it satisfies the minimum requirements from the Embassy. 
  • Travelsure from Old Mutual is also accepted by the German Embassy in South Africa

July 2022 – Valid travel health insurance covering your requested stay with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros, valid for all Schengen countries.

Try the following companies for insurance for older people:

  • TIC – leisure Senior
  • Klemmer – They also offer student cover
  • Allianz – Für Besucher aus dem Ausland und bis zu 93 Tagen Reisedauer – ohne Höchstalter
  • Axa  – Schengen Travel Insurance
  • Dr Walter / Provisit
  • ADAC Die Reisekranken- und Haftpflichtversicherung für Ihre Gäste aus dem Ausland

Long-term visas 

  • Time-limited visas like study, Au-Pair etc
    You will need medical insurance to cover the whole period that you are in Germany. Good options are Klemmer or Dr Walter
  • Employee – Health insurance is mandatory, please bear in mind that this insurance can only begin when you take up residence in Germany and enter into employment. If you enter Germany beforehand, private health insurance must be taken out for the period before employment begins and before being eligible for health insurance. In its terms and conditions, travel health insurance can exclude protection if a long-term or permanent stay is planned.
    So-called incoming travel insurance can also contain such exclusions, so make sure you know what your insurance covers.
    TIC offers emigration cover but only for up to 32 days. Other options are Dr Walter / Provisit 
  • Family reunification – you also need cover when you come to Germany on a family reunification visa.  The same options as above apply.


Health insurance is mandatory for everyone visiting or living in Germany.When living in Germany you can either take our private (privaten Kran­ken­ver­si­che­rung – PKV) or public (gesetzliche Kran­ken­ver­si­che­rung – GKV) health insurance. Your choice will depend on your age, salary and employment

Rejected Visas

When your visa is denied, you can re-apply immediately afterwards. Fees are the same.

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List of Long Stay Visas

Long Term visas are seen as visits longer than 90 days and will typically be for work or study visits. If your application is approved,

List of Short stay Visas

According to the German Embassy in South Africa, “South African passport holders require a visa to enter Germany.  It is important to note that if you