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South African citizens require a visa to enter the Schengen territory, i.e. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

At which Embassy/Consulate/ Visa Issuing Authority should you apply? Read More

– If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Embassy / Consulate / Visa Issuing Authority of that country.

– If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply for a visa at the Embassy / Consulate / Visa Issuing Authority that is your main destination (i.e. your longest stay).

– If you intend to visit several countries but do not have a main destination, you should apply for a visa at the Embassy / Consulate / Visa Issuing Authority of the country of your first point of entry. 


Visa can be applied for in the following cities: Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg.  Application will be processed by VFS Global website.

  • The Issuing Authority (VFS Global) requires applicants to present themselves for biometrics
  • Register online and the earliest available date will be shown.
  • Both parents are required to appear at the interview for children below the age of 18 years or alternatively supply an affidavit as to why the parent cannot be in attendance.
  • Children under 12 don’t require biometrics

Johannesburg VFS Global
1st Floor Rivonia Village
Corner Rivonia Boulevard and Mutual Road
Sandton, Johannesburg

Pretoria VFS Global
1st Floor, Cherry Lane Office Park
114 Fehrsen Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk
Brooklyn, Pretoria

Cape Town VFS Global
47 Strand Street, 5th Floor, Cape Town, 8001

Portugal Visa Application Centre

Durban VFS Global

Unit 101A 1st Floor
91 -123 Cowey Road (Problem Mkhize)

Submission Timings: 08:00 to 12:30 and 13:30 to 15:00 Monday-Friday
Passport retrieval time: 10:00 to 16:00 Monday-Friday

Tel:+27 (0) 12 425 3003 between 08:00 to 12:30 and 13:30 to 16:00 (Monday-Friday)
Email: info.porza@vfshelpline.com

  • Valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity (after the return date of planned trip).
  • Passport must have a minimum of 3 blank pages
  • If not a SA citizen, a residence permit valid for a period of at least 3 months after the applicants last day of stay in the Schengen states.
  • Photocopy of BIOMETRIC PAGE of passport – preferably in colour
  • Photocopy of any previous SCHENGEN VISAS.
  • Photocopy of applicants ID Document
  • Duly completed (in capitals with black ink ) and signed “Harmonised Application For Schengen” form (the application form may be acquired free of charge at the consular departments of the foreign representatives or downloaded from the country’s website).
  • 2 x Identical Colour passport photographs  – must not be older than 30 days.
    • Size:  45mm x 35mm
    • No smiling, no head gear, no sunglasses etc.
  • Photocopy of return flights clearly showing ​all ​flight sectors (​including to/from RSA).  Ensure trip(s) are no longer than 90 days in a 6 month period.  Passenger full name must be clear.
  • Proof of confirmed hotel accommodation for ​each night​ out of RSA.  Accommodation must state the applicants name, arrival date, departure date and the address of hotel.
  • If the applicant is staying with friends and family, the host must send a sworn affidavit invitation (that has been certified by the Portuguese National Police or a commissioner of oaths) confirming names, date and accommodation address.  Copy of hosts passport or ID.   Non-resident hosts must provide proof of ownership of property & a residence permit
  • Proof of residence is required by means of a Utility Bill showing residential address.
  • Travel/Health/Accident insurance: a one page document stating that the applicant is covered by a Schengen Travel Medical Insurance for the entire period of stay with a minimum medical coverage of the Rand equivalent of Euro 30 000 per person for all medical expenses including evacuation, repatriation dead or alive and emergency transportation as well as emergency on/out of hospital medical treatment occurring in any Schengen country. No quotations will be accepted
  • An original bank stamped, latest 3 months bank statements.
    • The statements cannot be older than 14 days from date of Visa Appointment.
    • Bank statements must reflect a monthly salary.
    • Bank Statements must be in English.
    • Approximate amount needs to be equivalent to a minimum of approximately ZAR 1100 per person per day.
    • All sponsorship letters must be certified.
    • Should your spouse/parent/partner be responsible for financial means, please supply a letter from spouse/parent/partner confirming responsibility and provide proof in the form of original bank stamped latest 3 months Bank Statements and a copy of their ID Document
    • Credit card statements or cash will not be accepted
    • Purchase of foreign currency will not be accepted
    • In case of an overdraft, an overdraft summary report from the bank must be submitted.
    • Please note that all foreign passport holders MUST supply 6 months recent bank statements
  • Letter of Employment
  • If employed:  the applicant needs to provide a signed original letter of employment stating salary/annual cost to company and date of employment inception and a certified copy of last three month payslips.
  • If self-employment (Directors, CEO, Board Members), the applicant needs to provide proof of company registration /commercial license and latest VAT certificate.
  • If pensioned or retired the applicant is required to provide proof of pensionership
  • If a student or scholar the applicant is required to provide a letter from the school/university confirming attendance (enrolment letter not accepted).
  • An official invitation letter by event organizer, reflecting full details and purpose of trip.
  • Enrollment/Entry tickets/Event program and an official letter of institution sending the applicant
  • An official letter from school confirming attendance.
  • Letter from parents, confirming that they support the student financially (see above) and proof of same Certified copies of parents ID or passport
  • An official letter from college/university confirming attendance or copy of student card.
  • Letter from parents, confirming that they support the student financially (see above) and proof of same Certified copies of parents ID or passport

New South African passports for minors under the age of 18 are being issued containing the details of the parents as a standard feature.  Children travelling on these new passports do not require any additional documentation when travelling abroad if accompanied by both parents.

If however the children are still travelling on the old passports then ​the following additional documents will be required for any minor travelling with a parent:

  • Copy of unabridged Birth Certificate
  • Copies of parents ID documents
  • Consent letter from each parent not accompanying the minor. ​
  • Both parents are required to appear at the interview for children below the age of 18 years or alternatively supply an affidavit as to why the parent cannot be in attendance.
  • An official business letter from a company in the Schengen state, as well as from the employer stating purpose and date of visit must be presented.
  • An official invitation letter from inviting company reflecting full details and purpose of trip.
    • Hotel reservation is required unless the invitation letter clearly states that accommodation is provided and details of same provided.
  • For conferences proof of registration and payment has to be submitted.
  • A letter of justification of the company and SA partner/branch explaining the purpose of the visit
  • A list of the participants

15 Working days

Visas will be issued for the period of intended stay only (ie. from date of arrival to date of departure)

Maximum 90 days per semester with multiple entries.


Portugal is defined as a Mediterranean climate and is considered one of the warmest European countries.

The best time to travel is March to May or September to October.


Country: Portugal
Capital City: Lisbon
International Airports: – Faro Airport
– Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport – Porto
– João Paulo II Airport in Ponta Delgada – Azores
– Lisbon Portela Airport
– Madeira Airport
Area: 92,212 km²
Population: 10.427 Million
Time Zone: GMT except for Azores which is one hour behind continental Portugal and Madeira. Please note that in summer they have one hour daylight time saving
Religion: Majority Roman Catholic, the balance is made up of Protestant, Latter-day Saint, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian Orthodox, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baha’i, Buddhist, Jewish and Spiritist communities.
Language: The national language is Portuguese. English is widely spoken within the tourist and business community.
Currency: Euro
Exchange Rate: Please consult you local bank for an accurate exchange
Credit Card Payment Availability: VISA, Mastercard and American Express cards are widely accepted in hotels, shops and restaurants. Petrol (gas) stations usually take credit cards and cash.
ATM Accessibility: Easily accessible.
Dialling Code: +351


Electricity: Voltage in most places is volts AC, 50Hz. Some areas provide 110 volts and in certain southern regions 230 DC is used. Continental two-pin plugs are in use.
Water: Tap water is safe to drink in all major cities. Bottled water should be used in small villages.
Business Hours: Post Offices: 09:00 – 18:00
Pharmacies: 09:00 – 19:00 (some close for lunch between 13:00 – 15:00), and between 09:00 – 13:00 on Saturdays.
Shops: 09:00/ 10:00 – 19:00.
Shopping centres– between 10:00 – 24:00
Banking Hours: 08:30 – 15:00.
Photography Restrictions: No restrictions known, they may find the odd museum or church where photography may be prohibited but this will clearly marked.
Tipping: It is customary to tip waiters, porters, guides and drivers. Service charge is generally not included, expect in some up-market restaurants where they will automatically include a service charge “serviço”. For a snack at a bar, bakery or café, a bit of loose change is enough. Taxi drivers appreciate 10% of the fare and petrol station attendants €0.50 or so.
Vaccination Requirements: No vaccinations required, however always consult with your medical practitioner or travel clinic.
Dress Code Restrictions: No dress code restrictions.
Peculiar Customs to Observe: None known


  • Carnival – February:
  • Semana Santa/ Holy week – March-April
  • International sand sculpture festival – Pera- March–August
  • Festa das Cruzes – Barcelos – May
  • Fátima – 13 May
  • Santo Cristo dos Milagres in São Miguel, Azores – May
  • Serralves em Festa – Porto – June
  • Rock in Rio-Lisboa – Lisbon – June
  • Feast Day of St Anthony – Lisbon – June
  • Arraial Pride – June
  • Festa de São João – Porto – June
  • Sintra Music Festival – Sintra – June–July
  • Festa do Colete Encarnado – Vila Franca de Xira – July
  • Festa do Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem – Peniche – August
  • São Martinho – 11 November
  • New Year’s Eve in Madeira.


“I have got two places I like to be. Portugal is one.”

– Cliff Richard