Move to Germany from South Africa

As a person who wants to move to Germany from South Africa, one must make sure that all the legal requirements imposed by the German law are completed. In the situation of South African nationals, the German migration law stipulates that the visa is necessary when entering the German territory, for both short-term and long-term stays.

Our immigration lawyer in Germany can provide legal assistance on the procedures that have to be met by South Africans and can also present the visa exemptions applicable for this nationality. You can also obtain information on the types of documents you should prepare if you are interested to move to Germany from South Africa.

What are the basic steps when applying for a German visa?

The nationals of South Africa, as well as the nationals of other countries, are advised to first study the steps involved in the visa process. This measure should be taken as a way of avoiding any problems that can appear during the application procedure. As a person who wants to move to Germany from South Africa, some of the basic steps should imply the following:

• verify which is the type of Schengen visa (or national visa) that is most suitable for the purpose of stay;
• verify which is the German embassy or consulate where the application has to be made;
• verify the timeframe in which the visa application must be made in order to avoid any legal issues upon the arrival in Germany;
• prepare the documents required by the German authorities for those who want to move to Germany from South Africa;
• appoint the visa interview with the German authorities and attend the interview (the interview is held in person at the embassy or the consulate);
• pay the fee associated with the selected type of visa and wait for the approval of the document.

The processing time is of approximately 15 days and the German authorities can provide a positive answer, in which case, they will issue the visa (presented in the form of a sticker that will be added onto the passport); the authorities may also provide a negative answer, but the applicant is entitled to appeal the decision if he or she considers that the application should have been approved. Our immigration lawyer in Germany can present more details on the legal grounds for which a visa application can be rejected.

Who can obtain a German visa in South Africa?

As per the European laws regulating the right of obtaining a visa as an applicant from South Africa, currently, South Africans who have obtained a passport issued by the local authorities are entitled to apply for a visa. However, it must be noted that the German visas can also be issued to persons who live in South Africa but who are nationals of other countries.

In this particular case, the German immigration law stipulates that such persons can obtain a visa if they live in South Africa as holders of temporary residence permits or permanent residence permits. Still, there are several categories of persons entitled to move to Germany from South Africa without the need of applying for a visa.

This regulation applies to persons who live in South Africa and who are citizens of one of the Schengen states or citizens of the countries that have signed a visa-free agreement with the countries included in the Schengen zone. Persons who have dual citizenship can benefit from simpler regulations if they move to Germany from South Africa and if they have the South African citizenship and a citizenship of one of the Schengen states.

South Africans can obtain a visa for long-term stays if they want to move to Germany from South Africa for reasons such as employment, study, au pair, family reunification programs (and here, there are several family liaisons regulated by the law, that can be presented by our immigration lawyer in Germany) or for employment as a highly-skilled employee. Additional reasons can be stipulated by the German Missions in South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini. Regarding the German immigration law for visas, South Africans should know the following:

• a short-term stay visa is issued for a period of maximum 90 days in a total period of 180 days;
• a long-term stay visa is issued for minimum 90 days and it can be used a legal document that grants the right to move to Germany from South Africa;
• the standard fee applicable to a Schengen visa is of EUR 60;
• the German migration law stipulates that children with an age between 6-11 years old will pay a lower fee;
• in the above-mentioned case, the fee is of only EUR 35 while children with an age below 6 years old are exempt from paying a visa fee.

We invite South Africans to contact our immigration lawyer in Germany for in-depth information on the visa application process; our lawyer can present all the documents the foreigner should provide, based on the reasons for which he or she wants to move to Germany from South Africa.