Last updated: 6 Jan 2022

Germany

About

Germany has something interesting for everyone to see or do. Lots of cultural attractions, beautiful scenery, great cities and of course the world renowned Octoberfest to add a huge fun factor at that time of the year.

Make sure to see the German Parliament (Reichstag), re-designed by British architect Norman Foster, and the Brandenburg Gate; both potent symbols of German unity.

Stroll along part of the path of the Berlin Wall, clearly marked in the road, from the Brandenburg Gate to glitzy Potsdamer Platz, derelict during Germany's divided years, but now restored as a modern focal point for the city.

Take the kids to Europa-Park, Germany's biggest theme park, at Rust, near Freiburg in the southwest. For the brave it features Europe's highest rollercoaster.

Be pampered. Germany has over 300 spas and health resorts that offer a wide range of traditional and modern treatments. The most famous spa town is Baden-Baden, in the southwest.
Capital:  Berlin (BER)
Currency:  Euro (EUR)
Language:  German. English is widely spoken and understood. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 49
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +1 (1 hour behind South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: From last Sun in March to last Sun in Oct: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Public Holidays 2022: 

Jan 1; Apr 15, 18; May 1, 26; Jun 6; Oct 3; Dec 25-26 (Individual states / provinces may observe additional holidays)

Side of the Road: Right.
Best Time to Go: Year Round. May – September is high season. 
Best for: Medieval Architecture, Museums, Oktoberfest
Plugs: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style round two-pin plugs are in use
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. 
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. For English speakers in need of a doctor and unable to reach easily a surgery or pharmacy, call 01805 321 303 (www.calladoc.com). It costs more than an average phone call but you’ll be able to discuss your symptoms in English, and receive medical advice. 
Customs: Normal social courtesies. Do not address someone by their first name unless you have been invited to. When in a shop or other place of business, it is polite to say "guten tag" when entering and "auf wiedersehen" or "tschüss" when leaving. Casualwear is largely acceptable, but some restaurants, clubs and casinos may have a dress code. Punctuality is highly valued. 
Local Offences / Laws: Visitors should carry a form of identification at all times. Smoking in prohibited in public places. 
Duty Free: Germany is within the European Union. If you are travelling from the UK, you are entitled to buy fragrance, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs - all at tax-free equivalent prices. There are no allowance restrictions on these tax-free items.

If you are travelling from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, providing your goods are for personal consumption. Büsingen and the Isle of Heligoland are treated as being outside of the EU for duty-free purposes. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
• 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco.
• 10L of spirits over 22%, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer.

If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Germany by travellers over 17 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 4L of wine and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% volume or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume.
• Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers (reduced to €175 for children under 15).
Prohibited Imports: Unauthorised firearms and ammunition, unapproved fireworks, unconstitutional literature, pornography which is violent or involves children, any food considered a health hazard, narcotics, dangerous dogs, endangered species and counterfeit goods.

Travel Alerts

Last updated: 18/09/2021

Entry is permitted for passengers from European Economic Area and a limited number of other countries. Testing and quarantine may be required according to the country of origin.

High Incidence Areas

  • Albania, Algeria, Anguilla, Aruba, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North), Dominica, Egypt, Eswatini, Falkland Islands, Fiji, France (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur), French Guiana, French Polynesia, Georgia, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (South), Kosovo, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, Norway (Oslo and Viken), Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pitcairn, Portugal (Algarve), Russia, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sint Maarten, South Africa, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
    • Valid from 19th September 2021:
      • Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Ireland (Border Region), Moldova, and Venezuela to be added.
      • Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Cyprus, Eswatini, India, Ireland (West Region), Lesotho, Malawi, Nepal, Portugal (Algarve), South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe to be removed.

Virus Variant Areas

  • None.

Mask requirements

  • Passengers are strongly advised to wear a FFP, KN95/N95 or surgical grade face mask during their entire flight, as well as on all public transport, indoor public areas, or busy outdoor areas in Germany.

Entry restrictions

  • Passengers travelling from the Virus Variant Areas are not permitted to travel to Germany: .
  • This does not apply to the following:
    • Nationals and residents of Germany,
    • Cargo, postal, and repatriation flights,
    • Personnel travelling in the interest of public health, including flights transporting organs,
    • Humanitarian flights,
    • Flights on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations, and its international agencies.
  • Passengers are not permitted to enter Germany.
  • This does not apply to:
    • Nationals of Germany;
    • Passengers holding long-stay visas or a residence permit issued by Germany;
    • Nationals and residents of European Union and Schengen Area member states and their family members;
    • Nationals and residents of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Jordan, Korea (South), Macao, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Ukraine or Uruguay;
    • Passengers holding an EU Digital Covid Certificate;
    • Passengers holding proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19, provided that at least 14 days have elapsed since the last dose of the Astra Zeneca, Janssen, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, and that the passenger has not visited any VOC area in the past 10 days;
    • Minors aged younger than 12 years who have not yet been vaccinated, provided they are accompanied by at least one fully vaccinated parent;
    • Passengers in transit;
    • Passengers who are essential personnel;
    • Diplomats;
    • Staff of international organisations;
    • Military personnel;
    • Humanitarian aid workers;
    • Healthcare professionals;
    • Skilled or highly qualified workers whose labour is necessary and cannot be postponed or performed remotely;
    • Transport personnel;
    • Flights on the behalf of Euratom safeguards, the International Atomic Energy Agency, or the United Nations and its agencies;
    • Seasonal workers in agriculture;
    • Seafarers;
    • Passengers joining their families in order to take residence in Germany;
    • Passengers visiting their immediate family (spouse, minor children, parents of minor children);
    • Passengers reuniting with a partner who is a national or resident of Germany, or a national of the European Union, provided holding an invitation from the partner that resides in Germany and a 'Declaration of the existence of the relationship'. The declaration from can be obtained here;
    • Short term visits for couples travelling together for an important reason, where one is a national of Germany or the EU and resides outside the country;
    • Passengers with custody of German children accompanying them to Germany in order to take residence in Germany (even if the German spouse or partner remains abroad);
    • Passengers travelling for education or training purposes or students who cannot continue their studies abroad;
    • Members of a diplomatic mission or consular office whose appointment and arrival has been notified to the federal foreign office, including their family members;
    • Passengers travelling for emergency family situations (birth, funeral, serious illness, wedding), humanitarian reasons or medical treatment;
    • Ethnic German resettlers;
    • Business travellers (e.g. executives and employees signing contracts or maintenance of industrial products), provided holding the form “Erklärung zur unbedingten Erforderlichkeit einer kurzfristigen Geschäftsreise”;
    • Athletes, sport officials and referees.
  • Passengers must read the leaflet from the German Ministry of Health.

Form requirements

  • Passengers must hold confirmation of a Digital Entry Registration (Digitale Einreiseanmeldung) completed prior to arrival. A paper form is only accepted as a replacement if the electronic registration is out of order or if the passenger does not have access to the electronic registration.
  • This does not apply to:
    • Passengers who have been to a risk area in the past 10 days. Passengers will be informed if they are exempt in the above link;
    • Passengers travelling as part of an official German delegation via the government terminal of Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) or Cologne Bonn Airport (CBN), provided they have stayed in an high incidence area or a virus variant area for less than 72 hours;
    • Passengers travelling to deliver goods in Germany;
    • Air crew provided that they are staying in Germany for less than 72 hours and have not been to any virus variant areas  in the past 10 days before arriving in Germany.

Test requirements

  • Passengers aged 12 years and over, who are travelling from Virus Variant Areas are not permitted to enter Germany unless they are holding a negative Covid-19 test certificate. The test must be performed within 72 hours before arrival in Germany for nucleic acid tests (PCR, LAMP and TMA tests are accepted), or must be performed within 24 hours before arrival in Germany for antigen tests. The test certificate must be in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish, and is accepted in either digital or printed format. A vaccination certificate or proof of recovery will not be accepted for these passengers.
  • Passengers aged 12 years and over, who are travelling from countries other than the Virus Variant Areas are not permitted to enter Germany unless they meet one of the following conditions:
    • they are holding a negative Covid-19 test certificate. The test must be performed within 72 hours before arrival in Germany for nucleic acid tests (PCR, LAMP and TMA tests are accepted), or must be performed within 48 hours before arrival in Germany for antigen tests. The test certificate must be in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish, and is accepted in either digital or printed format; or
    • they are holding a vaccination certificate in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish proving that they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 at least 14 days prior to entry; or
    • they are holding proof of recovery from Covid-19. 
  • Passengers should upload this proof on the online travel portal here.
  • The requirement to hold a negative Covid-19 test certificate does not apply to the following passengers:
    • Passengers in transit;
    • Passengers travelling as part of an official German delegation via the government terminal of Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) or Cologne Bonn Airport (CBN), provided they have stayed in an high incidence area or virus variant area for less than 72 hours;
    • Passengers travelling to deliver goods in Germany or
    • Air crew, provided that the air crew have not stayed in a High Incidence Area for longer than 72 hours or that they will not stay in Germany for longer than 72 hours.

Quarantine requirements

  • Passengers travelling from high incidence areas must quarantine for a minimum of 5 days on arrival in Germany. They may seek a diagnostic test on day 5, and if a negative result is received, the passenger is allowed to exit quarantine. If the passenger chooses to not undergo the diagnostic test, they must quarantine for 10 days.
  • Passengers should upload this on the online travel portal here.
  • This does not apply to the following passengers:
    • Passengers travelling through Hamburg Airport (HAM);
    • Passengers entering for less than 72 hours for family, urgent care, transport or diplomatic reasons;
    • Cross-border commuters;
    • Members of foreign armed forces who travel to Germany for official purposes;
    • Passengers travelling for work provided their workplaces comply with Covid-19 measures and restrictions;
    • Passengers travelling for urgent medical treatment;
    • Diplomats and staff of international organisations, provided holding certification by their employer;
    • Passengers who are essential personnel, or healthcare professionals, provided holding certification by their employer;
    • Passengers travelling for urgent education or training purposes, provided holding certification from their educational institution;
    • Passengers travelling for the preparation, participation, implementation and follow-up of international sports events, provided they are accredited with the relevant bodies, and hold a written or electronic negative Covid-19 test result in German, English or French obtained within 48 hours prior to arrival;
    • Air crew provided that they are staying in Germany for less than 72 hours and have not been to any virus variant areas in the past 10 days before arriving in Germany.
    • Passengers holding proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from Covid-19, provided they have not spent time in virus variant areas prior to entry.
  • Passengers who have spent time in virus variant areas prior to entry will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Germany.  Ending quarantine early when entering from Virus Variant Areas is an option in the following two cases:
    • The respective Virus Variant Areas is downgraded in Germany during the quarantine period;
    • For passengers who have been fully vaccinated with a specific vaccine listed on the Robert Koch Institute’s website, quarantine may end when they submit their proof of vaccination.
  • Passengers travelling to Hesse from the risk areas, high incidence areas or virus variant areas must quarantine for 10 days on arrival.
  • This does not apply to:
    • Passengers in transit through Germany who do not display any symptoms of Covid-19,
    • Passengers holding a medical certificate obtained within 48 hours proving they are free of Covid-19,
    • Employees of transport companies who have been abroad for less than 72 hours or who have been in Hesse for less than 48 hours.
  • Passengers travelling from high incidence areas or virus variant areas to Hamburg must quarantine for 10 days on arrival. They must register online with the Hamburg Service here, and may submit a Covid-19 test result in German, English, or French 5 days after arrival. The quarantine period may end early, provided a negative result is received.

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

a) German Embassy - Visa Section
201 Florence Ribeiro Avenue
Groenkloof, Pretoria, 0181
PO Box 2023 Pretoria 0001
Tel: (012) 427 8900
Consular Fax: (012) 427 8984
Visa section : 0900-1100 by appointment only. For appointments call 086 100 2245
E-mail: visapretoria@pret.diplo.de
Website: www.southafrica.diplo.de

b) German Consulate-General
Roeland Park, 4 Stirling street, cnr de Villiers and Stirling,
Zonnebloem 7925
PO Box 4273 Cape Town 8000
Tel: (021) 405 3000
Fax: (021) 405 3010
Appointments: 0861 002245
E-mail: info@kapstadt.diplo.de
web: www.capetown.diplo.de

VISA APPLICATIONS:

Visa Requirements

  • Visas are required by all South African citizens for a stay of any length of time.
  • Holders of full British passports do NOT need visas.

All applications for Schengen visas must be handed in at one of the Visa Application Centres

1) TLSContact

BFN: 101 on Olympus, Bloemfontein, 101 Olympus Drive, Helicon Heights, Bloemfontein
CPT: Media Quarter, Upper Ground Floor 2 De Smit Street, De Waterkant 8005
JHB: West End Office Park Block C, 254 Hall St, Die Hoewes, Centurion, 0157
PLZ: Ground Floor Building 66, Fairview Office Park, Greenacres, Port Elizabeth

Tel: +27 012 472 3801, Monday to Friday 08:30-16:00
Web: https://de.tlscontact.com/za/splash.php

Step 1: Complete The VIDEX Form - The VIDEX form (English or German version only!) should be completed online via the Videx website and printed prior to booking an appointment. The form should be completed in capital letters and must be signed by the applicant in person using black ink.

Step 2: Read the list of documents which need to be submitted with your visa application based on your travel purpose and prepare the documents carefully. Please always choose the correct travel purpose.

Step 3: Create Your TLScontact Account. Please create your personal user account, and activate your account by clicking the provided link in the email sent to you.

Step 4: Input Your Data - Log in to your account, fill in the requested personal data. If you are a member of a group of people applying for a visa together, please fill in the data of those accompanying you too. Submit the group when you finish.

Step 5: Make An Appointment - After logging in to your TLS account and following the appropriate steps, please choose a date and time of your convenience to submit your application at our Visa Application Centre. Do not forget to print out your notification as it will be required at our welcome area on the day of your appointment.

Step 6:  Application Submission - Please note that all applicants aged 12 years and older must personally come to their appointment at TLScontact for biometric data capture and for the submission of the application.

Step 7: Passport Collection - After the German Mission has made a decision on your visa application, your passport will be returned to the Visa Application Centre. You will be notified by SMS as soon as the passport arrives.You can collect your passport in person or by a representative. Note documents that you will need to take with you for collection.

2) Honorary Consul DurbanResidents of KwaZulu-Natal can apply for Schengen and National visas at the Honorary Consul's Office in Durban

9 Kensington Drive, Westville, Durban 3629
Mon- Fri 08:30 - 11:30
Web: https://southafrica.diplo.de/sa-en/germanmissions/-hks/durban/715664

Please note that the visa application must be completed online, then printed and handed in when applying. Please make sure to read the following requirements and bring all necessary documents. Appointments in Durban are optional for individuals.

 

REQUIREMENTS: See General Schengen Requirements for terms and conditions of a Schengen short stay visa and application procedures for multi-destinations.
DEFINITELY NO EMERGENCY VISAS WILL BE ISSUED
Additional visa Requirements to the Standard Schengen visa requirements:

• Please ensure there are 2 free pages in the passport.
• An airport transit visa is not required for SA citizens
• A transit visa is required for SA citizens if they leave the transit lounge. A transit visa is not required if they stay in the transit lounge.
• Bank statements of the last 3 months (not from internet) for all first time traveller's to Germany (business or visitor)

TRANSIT VISA: Must have the main destinations visa before applying for a transit visa/or normal Schengen visa eg travelling to the UK/USA first. A TRANSIT VISA IS REQUIRED FOR SA CITIZENS IF THEY LEAVE THE TRANSIT LOUNGE.
• Visas for a longer period than 90 days or for the purpose of taking up employment are not subject to the Schengen agreement. They are still subject to the national legislation of the country of destination. They must be applied for with the consular authorities of the country concerned at least 3 months before departure.
• Only biometric photographs are accepted when applying for a visa. Photos must be clear, in colour and not older than 6 months. Black and white photos are NOT accepted. Please read the guidelines attached to the confirmation email re photos.
• Application forms for passengers under 18 years have to be signed by both parents in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths or an official at the Consulate.
• In addition to requirements for minors - please note: One guardian of a minor (18 years or younger) has to apply on the child`s behalf, with child, and all minors are to produce an unabridged birth certificate and copy of the parents passport.
• Do not hand in the application unless all the necessary documents are provided at the time of application.
• Please submit 2 passport copies of pages of personal data as well as copies of all previous Schengen visa(s) - even if in old passport.
• All documents are to be submitted in the original plus photocopy.

• The photograph required must be loose (ie not stapled to the application form).

Visa Processing Time

Up to two weeks. No on-the-spot Schengen visa will be issued.

Visa Validity

Visas valid strictly as per dates specified on application form.

Visa Cost

Adults: EUR80
Minors: EUR40

The visa fee is fixed in EUR but payable only in ZAR. The exchange rate between these currencies is decided by the German Missions and is updated periodically, therefore the payable amount may differ from those quoted above. Please note that your visa application fee receipt will only quote the fee paid in ZAR.

The service fee, mandatory for any visa application, is EUR 24.51.. This amount has been decided in agreement with the German Government and corresponds to the different services provided by the TLScontact centre (i.e. visa application reception, data processing, information collection, appointments booking, etc.).

The visa fee and service fee are both non-refundable and non-transferable if the visa application is denied by the staff of the German Mission or if the applicant decides to withdraw the application.

SA Representative

SA Embassy
Tiergartenstrasse 18, 10785, Berlin
Tel: 00 49 30 220 730
E-mail: berlin.consular@dirco.gov.za

Travel Health

Compulsory:  None
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Polio