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South African Embassy, Berlin
Tiergartenstr. 18, 10785 Berlin
Tel.: +49-30-22073-0
Fax: +49-30-22073-190


What is a visa?

Every country has the sovereign right to decide who may or may not enter its territory. The purpose of a visa on the one hand is to ensure proper screening of applicants so that prohibited persons and undesirable persons are not admitted to the Republic of South Africa and on the other hand to facilitate the entry of approved applicants at South African ports of entry. Visas provide immigration officers with the necessary information to ensure that applicants are admitted for the correct purpose and period into the Republic of South Africa.

Possession of a visa does not guarantee the holder automatic admission into the Republic of South Africa. A visa only authorises the holder to proceed to the Republic to report to an immigration officer at a port of entry for the purpose of being examined as to his/her ability to comply with the (entry) requirements of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002), as amended.

Who does not need a visa?

Citizens who are the holders of national passports (diplomatic, official and ordinary) or travel documents of certain foreign countries, territories and international organisations are exempt from the South African visa requirement for a specific period e.g. German citizens holding German passports for a period of ninety (90) days, and in respect of purposes for which a port of entry visa may be issued e.g. holiday, business meetings, and when in transit.

Does a German citizen need a visa for a holiday not longer than 90 days?

No. German citizens holding German passports are exempt from the South African visa requirement in respect of holiday purposes for a period of ninety (90) days (see

Who needs a visa?

Foreigners who are not passport / travel document holders who are exempt from the South African visa requirement are subject to visa control and must therefore apply for and be issued with port of entry visas at a South African mission abroad, before proceeding to the Republic of South Africa; such visas must be affixed in the applicants' passports before departing to the Republic of South Africa. Port of entry visas are not issued on arrival at South African ports of entry to foreigners who are subject to South African visa control – such foreigners arriving without visas shall be refused entry into the Republic of South Africa and placed on return flights.

May be issued for a period not exceeding three (3) months for the purpose of:

  1. holiday
  2. business meetings
  3. attending conferences, seminars or sports events
  4. a person, who is the spouse or dependent child of the holder of a valid visitor’s visa, study visa, treaty visa, business visa, medical treatment visa, relative’s visa, work visa, retired person visa or exchange visa
  5. studies not exceeding three (3) months
  6. medical treatment not exceeding three (3) months
  7. academic sabbaticals not exceeding three (3) months
  8. voluntary or charitable activities not exceeding three (3) months (applicants must be over the age of 18)
  9. research not exceeding three (3) months

What visa is needed to conduct short term or urgent work?

All foreigners who intend conducting short term or urgent work in the Republic of South Africa, including, but not limited, to service technicians, trainers / instructors and film crews must hold authorisation to conduct work in terms of section 11(2), which must be applied for and issued at a South African foreign mission, before travelling to the Republic of South Africa.

How much does a visa cost?

How long does it take to issue a visa?

Can a visa be issued for an internship?

No. The Immigration Act, as amended, makes no provisions for foreigners to undertake internships at companies and organisations in the Republic of South Africa. Therefore, visas may not be issued to such foreigners, including foreign students whose studies prescribe an internship (see Please note however that a special visa concession has been made for students from Germany who shall engage in internships at the German Embassy in Pretoria – further information is available on request from the Embassy in Berlin via email: berlin.consular(at) .

Important notice

The Consular Section in the Embassy in Berlin
Tiergartenstr. 18
10785 Berlin
Email Consular Section:

The Consular Section in the South African Consulate-General in Munich
Sendlinger-Tor-Platz 5
80336 Munich
Email Consular Section:

Payment of the application fee shall be made through an electronic bank transfer at least five working (5) days before submitting the application, and proof of payment e.g. transfer slip must be attached to the complete application.

Payment of the application fee may not be made in cash.

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