South African passport holders require a visa for Schengen countries i.e. Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
When travelling to several Schengen countries, the visa must be applied for at the Consulate or Embassy of the country of the main destination of the journey. If the passenger intends to visit several Schengen countries but does not have a main destination he/she should apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of first point of entry.
A Schengen visa grants, in general, free mobility within the Schengen area for stays of a maximum of 90 days per 180 days in a year. For longer periods of stay a national long stay permit must be applied for (more information can be obtained from Finnish Immigration Services).
Only applicants who are citizens of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Madagascar OR have a valid residence permit can apply Schengen visa via the Finnish Embassy in South Africa.
NB: Please note that dual citizens with an EU, EFTA or Swiss passport cannot apply for a Schengen visa in their South African passports (or respective passports). They will have to use their valid EU, EFTA or Swiss passport to travel to the Schengen member states area.
It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that they have applied for and acquired a valid EU, EFTA or Swiss passport prior to travelling to the Schengen member states area. The Embassy of Finland does not issue Schengen visas to dual citizens who are entitled to acquire an EU, EFTA or Swiss citizenship but have not undergone the process of applying for it. Applicants must take the necessary steps to apply for and acquire dual citizenship and the linked passport before travelling to the Schengen member states area.
Visa application forms are available at the embassy or from this website (PDF-format).
It is important to note that as from 6 June 2013 all visa applicants will have to appear in person when lodging an application for the first time, in order to provide their fingerprints. Once the biometric data is entered in the VIS, it can be copied from the previous application file in the VIS for the next five (5) years and a personal visit to the Finnish Embassy may be waived. Please note that Schengen member states' embassies and consulates have various practice on this, so for the time being waiving personal visits only applies to the Embassy of Finland in Pretoria.
When applying for a second Schengen visa, contact the Embassy to enquire whether the fingerprints were successfully saved on the VIS system - please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the following information:
Your surname as it appears in your passport
Your given names as they appear in your passport
Your date of birth as recorded in your passport.
Please note that only applicants whose fingerprints have been previously captured for a Schengen visa can submit an application through a courier company, a family member or a friend.
When handing in the first Schengen visa application an appointment is required. Please note that if a customer comes to the Embassy of Finland without an appointment, the Embassy of Finland will not be liable if it is unable to attend to the customer due to being fully booked.
Kindly send an e-mail to email@example.com Please provide two or three alternative dates/slots for your appointment. Appointments are scheduled from 08:30 to 12:00 Mondays to Thursdays. Your appointment will be confirmed via e-mail.
NB! Dear Customer! If you wish to make an appointment urgently, please phone +27 12 343 0275 Mondays to Thursdays between 2PM to 3 PM only. Thank you.
Applications sent by e-mail or telefax will not be processed. Only completed and signed applications will be accepted. Attach one recent passport-size colour photograph. All the facial features must be clearly visible and the photo must be sharp in quality. The background of the photo has to be light-coloured.
Ensure that your passport will be valid for three months after completion of your journey and that there are at least two unused pages in the passport. The following documentation must be attached to support your application:
Supporting letter from employer (if the applicant is employed). In the case of students a letter from the school / university is needed.
Kindly bring your supporting documents, the Embassy of Finland will not retain copies. The Embassy will not give back any documents to an applicant.
The cost of the visa is 60 Euros (adults) and 35 Euros (children from 6-12 years old). The visa fee must be paid into the Embassy’s bank account, details below. Visa processing fees are not reimbursable. The current fees in Rands can be found in Service Fees.
Spouses of EU/EEA citizens and their children under 21 years (if following the EU family member)
Any incorrect statement or false information will lead to the refusal of visa or to the annulment of a visa already granted and may also render the passenger liable to prosecution under the national law of the respective Schengen State.
The Visa Department is open for visa application submissions (by appointment) from 08:30 to 12:h00, Monday to Thursday.
Application form (PDF, 76kb)