Schengen visa requirements for South African citizens

If you are a South African passport holder who would like to visit a Schengen country in Europe anytime soon, you should know the Schengen visa requirements for South African citizens before you prepare your application to submit for processing. 

Many applicants make the mistake of rushing the process without doing their due diligence, which has increased the rate of rejections.

Schengen countries have strict travel policies and do not bend them; the slightest mistake is enough grounds for rejection, and the applicant will have to restart the process again. To avoid such a situation, we have compiled the requirements; kindly go through them to stay informed.

Schengen Visa Requirements For South African Citizens

The requirements are a set of documents the embassy till requests, and here they are.

Application Form: First on the list is the application form. This document should contain all your personal information and details about your trip. There are sections for different data, so endeavor to provide only accurate information or risk getting your application rejected. The form should be signed by you, and the dates as well. Lastly, make that whatever you declare on the form matches the data on your documents.

South African Passport: You will need a South African passport that was issued to you within the last ten years and will remain valid for three months after the date you earmark for departure from the Schengen country. The embassy will request the original and photocopy of the bio page. Also, make sure that it has at least two pages left for entry and exit stamps at the airport.

Photograph: The embassy will also insist on two identical pictures taken not later than six months ago. The pictures must meet all Schengen guidelines, like having a white background, and applicants must not wear glasses in the shot.

Civil Status Certificate: You must provide a civil status certificate such as a marriage, death, birth, or family certificate. The certificate you provide will depend on your situation.

Proof of Accommodation: You will need proof of accommodation to show where you will stay whenever you travel. This may be in the form of an Airbnb reservation, hotel booking, or reservation or the house address of a family member or friend.

Roundtrip Flight Itinerary: Officials want to be sure that you have every plan of coming back to South Africa after your trip, so that you will need a two-way flight ticket with confirmed dates. You don’t have to buy the tickets just yet; simply reserve them and show proof to that effect.

Travel Health insurance: According to Schengen travel regulations, all foreigners coming to Schengen countries must possess an active medical insurance certificate with coverage of nothing less than €30,000, equivalent to South African Rands. This will come in handy in case of medical emergencies like illness or injuries.

Visa Fee Receipt: A processing fee must be paid, and the receipt must be attached to the application as proof of payment.

Cover Letter: You must write and sign a cover letter explaining in detail the purpose of traveling to Europe and how long you intend to stay there. Your arrival and departure dates must be inputted in the letter, including any other important information about the trip.

Proof of Funds: Applicants must submit proof that they have the financial capacity to fund their trip and expenses during their time abroad. To this effect, at least a bank statement showing transactions for three last three months is required. Aside from the bank statement, additional documents may be requested depending on your source of income and whether you are self-employed or a professional working with an employer.

Minors can also apply for Schengen visas, but their form must be filled out and signed by their parents or legal guardians. Parents must provide civil status certificates to back their identity, while guardians must provide proof of parental consent signed by their parents.

How Long Can South Africans Stay In The Schengen Area?

The average Schengen visitor can only stay for 90 days, and the visit for 90 days must be within 180 days. Staying beyond this period is an immigration violation and will attract fines, bans, or deportation. If you intend to stay for more than 90 days due to your engagement, you should apply for a long-term visa instead.

If you plan to visit any Schengen country, you must apply to the embassy of the country you plan to visit. If you intend to visit multiple countries in the region, you should apply to the embassy of the country you wish to visit first. Above all, ensure you meet all the Schengen visa requirements for South African citizens.

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This article was published by VisaHQ, a world leader in visa processing. Since 2003, VisaHQ has 20 offices in 6 countries and has helped countless tourist, business travellers, diplomats, workers, and students obtain their visa. With a 4.41 star rating on, VisaHQ is committed to innovation, service, security, and simplicity in the visa application process.