Step by step: How to apply for a Schengen Visa

Ever wanted to explore the French vineyards of Bordeaux or the Spanish Steps in Rome? Now you can explore the best of Europe, with this step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Schengen Visa. Visa applications can be a stressful task, so we’ve included everything you need to know to ensure you’re well prepared for the application process. Now all that’s left to do is book your ticket and pack your bags!

You will need a Schengen Visa if you are a South African passport holder and travelling to one or more of the following countries: 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, Switzerland.

Please note this process is applicable to South African passport holders.

travel to rome

Types of Visas

There are two types of Schengen Visas: a tourist Schengen Visa and Business Schengen Visa.

Validity of Schengen Visa

A multiple entry Schengen Visa allows the holder to stay within the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a six-month period. You may leave and return any number of times within this period as long as the combined stay does not exceed 90 days.

Learn more about the Business Schengen Visa.

How long does it take to get a Schengen Visa?

The processing of a Schengen Visa usually takes about 10 working days. However, it could be slightly longer if additional documents are required. Most websites allow you to track your application online.

You will be notified when your passport is ready for collection. If you did not opt for the visa courier service you will need to collect your passport from the visa application centre. You will need to provide proof of payment and identity.

Schengen Visa Cost

The Schengen Visa cost in South Africa will vary depending on the age of the applicant and which application process you use.

Costs can vary from R 427.22 to R 960.00. Agencies usually charge a service fee on top of the Consular Visa fees and offer additional services such as a Visa Courier facility. Processing times and terms and conditions vary from agency to agency.

visa fees

Schengen Visa Requirements

  • A completed Schengen Visa application.
  • An original and copy of your South African passport. The passport will need to be valid for at least three months beyond your date of return, not be older than 10 years, and have at least two blank pages.
  • Two colour photographs that meet the Schengen requirements.
  • Copy of return flights and travel itinerary (i.e. accommodation reservations or a letter from a host and a copy of their ID).
  • Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of the trip (i.e. Three months bank statements or proof of purchased foreign exchange).
  • Proof of employment or full-time study (i.e. a letter from your employer or educational institution stating that you are taking leave and will be returning to the country).
  • Schengen Travel Medical Insurance to cover any repatriation costs and medical expenses.
  • An unabridged birth certificate that has been stamped by Home Affairs within the six-month period before applying for a Schengen visa is required for children younger than 18. Supporting documents may be required, such as marriage certificates, a letter stating that the child will be supported by their parent during the trip, and a certified letter from the parent who is not travelling with the child.

Note: Documents may vary from country to country.

passport and boarding pass

Schengen Visa application

  • Book an appointment at the embassy or through the website of a visa service provider.
  • Plan and make the necessary reservations for your trip. You will need to submit copies of your flight reservation and hotel bookings with your application.
  • You are only allowed to be in the Schengen area for up to three months, so ensure your trip does not exceed this time period. It is also recommended that you buy travel insurance, in case your visa is not approved and you have to cancel your trip.
  • Download and complete the Schengen Visa application form.
  • Gather all your documents. Follow the link for a detailed explanation of the Schengen Visa requirements for South African citizens.
  • Submit your application and attend the interview in person at the embassy/consulate or visa application centre. You will need to pay the relevant fees and may be required to give biometrics.
  • When answering the interview questions, answer firmly and ensure you offer the correct information. Some questions you may be asked include: Which countries are you planning on visiting? What is the purpose of your visit? Where are you going to stay?

Note: You can apply up to 12 weeks before you travel.

schengen visa

Where to apply for a Schengen Visa

There are two options when applying for a Schengen Visa: in person at the embassy or consulate, or through one of the visa processing agents.

  • If you are only travelling to one Schengen country, you will need to apply for the visa at the embassy or consulate for that country.
  • If you are travelling to more than one Schengen country, you will need to apply for the visa at the embassy or consulate of the country you will be spending most of your time.
  • If you will be spending equal time in each Schengen country, you will need to apply for the visa at the embassy or consulate of the first country you will be visiting.

Many countries have outsourced the application process to an external service provider. Some of these agencies include Intergate Visalink, VFS Global, and Capago. Companies such as MDS VisaPak offer collections and tracking. You will still need to appear in person to provide biometrics.

Note: If you will be visiting other countries outside of the Schengen area, you will need to apply for additional visas to those countries before applying for a Schengen Visa.

Embassies

Embassy of Austria Embassy of Belgium

(also represents Luxembourg)

Address: 454 A Fehrsen Street,

Brooklyn,

Address: 625 Leyds Street,

Muckleneuk,

Pretoria, 0002

Phone: (+27) 012 452 9155 Phone: (+27) 012 440 3201
Business hours: Monday to Thursday

09:00 – 12:00

Business hours: Monday to Friday

08:30 – 12:30

Email: pretoria-ob@bmeia.gv.at Email: pretoria@diplobel.fed.be
Website: www.bmeia.gv.at Website: southafrica.diplomatie.belgium.be
Embassy of the Czech Republic

 

Royal Danish Embassy

(also represents Iceland)

Address: 936 Pretorius Street,

Arcadia,

Pretoria, 0083

Address: iParioli Office Park, Block B2,

1166 Park Street,

Hatfield, 0083

Phone: (+27) 012 431 2380 Phone: (+27) 012 440 3201
Business hours: Monday to Thursday

09:00 – 12:00

Business hours: Tuesday and Thursday

09:00 – 11:00

Email: pretoria@embassy.mzv.cz Email: pryambvisa@um.dk
Website: www.mzv.cz Website: sydafrika.um.dk
Embassy of Finland Consulate General of France
Address: 628 Leyds Street,

Muckleneuk,

Pretoria, 0002

Address: 191 Jan Smuts Avenue

Parktown North

Johannesburg, 2196

Phone: (+27) 012 343 0276 Phone: (+27) 011 778 5618
Business hours: Monday to Friday

08:00 – 12:30

13:30 – 15:00

Business hours: Monday to Friday

08:30 – 13:00

Email: visa.pre@formin.fi Email: visas.johannesburg-fslt@diplomatie.gouv.fr
Website: www.finland.org.za Website: johannesburg.consulfrance.org
Embassy of Germany Consulate General of Greece
Address: 201 Florence Ribeiro Avenue,

Groenkloof,

Pretoria, 0181

Address: 261 Oxford Road,

Illovo,

Sandton, 2196

Phone: (+27) 012 427 8900 Phone: (+27) 011 214 2300

(+27) 011 214 2316

Business hours: Monday to Thursday

08:00 – 14:00

Friday

08:00 – 13:00

Business hours: Monday to Tuesday

09:00 – 13:30

Thursday to Friday

09:00 – 13:30

Email: info@pretoria.diplo.de Email: greekconsulate-johannesburg@mfa.gr
Website: www.southafrica.diplo.de Website: www.mfa.gr
Embassy of Hungary

(also represents Latvia)

Embassy of Italy

(also represents Malta)

Address: 959 Arcadia Street,

Hatfield,

Pretoria, 0083

Address: 796 George Avenue,

Arcadia,

Pretoria, 0083

Phone: (+27) 012 430 3030 Phone: (+27) 012 423 0000
Business hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday

09:00 – 12:00

Business hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

09:30 – 12:00

Wednesday

14:00 – 16:00

Email: mission.prt@mfa.gov.hu Email: segreteria.pretoria@esteri.it
Website: www.mfa.gov.hu Website: www.ambpretoria.esteri.it
Embassy of Lithuania Embassy of the Netherlands
Address: 235 Grosvenor Street,

Hatfield

Pretoria, 0028

Address: 210 Florence Ribeiro Avenue,

Nieuw Muckleneuk,

Pretoria, 0181

Phone: (+27) 012 760 9000 Phone: (+27) 012 425 4500
Business hours: Monday to Thursday

08:00 – 17:00

Friday

08:00 – 15:45

Business hours: Monday to Thursday

08:00 – 17:00

Friday

08:00 – 13:00

Email: amb.za@urm.lt Email: pre@minbuza.nl
Website: za.mfa.lt Website: www.netherlandsandyou.nl
Royal Norwegian Embassy Embassy of Poland
Address: 165 Lynnwood Road,

Brooklyn,

Pretoria, 0181

Address: 14 Amos Street,

Colbyn,

Pretoria, 0083

Phone: (+27) 012 364 3700 Phone: (+27) 012 430 2631

(+27) 012 430 2632

Business hours: Monday to Friday

09:00 – 12:00

Business hours: Monday

14:00 – 18:00

Tuesday to Friday

09:00 – 12:00

Email: visa.pretoria@mfa.no Email: konsulat.pretoria@msz.gov.pl
Website: www.norway.no Website: www.pretoria.msz.gov.pl
Consulate General of Portugal Consulate General of Slovakia
Address: 11 Ernest Oppenheimer Avenue,

Bruma,

Johannesburg, 2198

Address: 930 Arcadia Street,

Arcadia,

Pretoria, 0002

Phone: (+27) 011 622 0645

(+27) 011 622 0646

Phone: (+27) 012 342 2051

(+27) 012 342 2052

Business hours: Monday to Thursday

8:30 – 15:00

Business hours: Tuesday and Thursday

9:30 – 13:00

Email: consulado.joanesburgo@mne.pt Email: emb.pretoria@mzv.sk
Website: www.cgj.org.za Website: www.mzv.sk
Consulate General of Slovenia Embassy of Spain
Address: 9 Queen Street,

Durbanville,

Cape Town, 7550

Address: 337 Brooklyn Road,

Brooklyn,

Pretoria, 0181

Phone: (+27) 021 976 6249 Phone: (+27) 012 460 0123
Business hours: Monday to Friday

09:00 – 16:00

Business hours: Monday to Thursday

08:00 – 16:30

Friday

08:00 – 13:30

Email: info@slovenianconsulate.co.za Email: emb.pretoria.vis@maec.es
Website: www.slovenianconsulate.co.za Website: www.exteriores.gob.es
Embassy of Sweden

(also represents Estonia)

Embassy of Switzerland

(also represents Liechtenstein)

Address: 1166 Park Street,

Hatfield,

Pretoria, 0028

Address: 225 Veale Street,

Nieuw Muckleneuk,

Pretoria, 0181

Phone: (+27) 012 426 6400 Phone: (+27) 012 452 0660
Business hours: Monday

09:00 – 12:00

Wednesday to Thursday

09:00 – 12:00

Business hours: Monday to Friday

09:00 – 12:00

Email: ambassaden.pretoria@gov.se Email: pre.visa@eda.admin.ch
Website: www.swedenabroad.com Website: www.eda.admin.ch

Getting to the embassy / parking options

Many embassies do not offer parking for the public, so arriving by public transportation or drop-off is recommended. An extensive public transport network will ensure getting to and from the embassy is relatively easy. Options include: Gautrain, MyCiTi, Uber, public buses, metered taxis, and minibus taxis.

Printing and Visa Photographs

For printing and photographs, the following businesses can be found in the surrounding area:

Pretoria

PostNet

Address: Shop 4, Brooklyn Design Square,

309 Veale Street, Pretoria

Telephone: (+27) 012 460 1484

Kodak Express

Address: Shop 1, Brooklyn Mall,

Corner Veale and Fehrsen Streets, New Muckleneuk

Telephone: (+27) 012 346 0868

Johannesburg

PostNet

Address: Corner St. David’s Place and Wellington Road, Parktown
Telephone: (+27) 011 484 2134

Kodak Express

Address: High Point Shopping Centre,

Kotze Street, Hillbrow, Johannesburg

Telephone: (+27) 011 447 4056

Cape Town

Digital Express

Address: Shop 10

2 Long Street, Cape Town

Telephone: (+27) 021 418 5099

Tothills Photo-chemists

Address: Boland Bank Building,

18 Lower Burg Street, Cape Town

Telephone: (+27) 021 421 2421

Durban

PostNet

Address: Shop 6, Cowey Park Shopping Centre,

91 Problem Mkhize Road, Essenwood, Berea

Telephone: (+27) 031 208 0166

Foto First

Address: Shop G48, City View,

10 Matthews Meyiwa Road, Greyville

Telephone: (+27) 031 309 8928

visa photograph

*Disclaimer!

All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart is not affiliated with immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information.

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Our Readers Comments

  1. Hi

    We love going to Europe each year in Dec/Jan – is it possible to apply for a 5 or 10 year visa? We are currently applying for Jan next year and it will be super if we could get a longer visa for the next few years.

    • Hi Anneke,

      I’m not sure if this is possible however you are welcome to contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency who will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  2. Good morning
    I am going on a European Horizon Contiki tour in April next year. The tour starts in London so I need to apply for a UK visa and then a Schengen Visa. Our first stop is in Amsterdam, Rhine Valley, Munich, Tyrol, Venice (one day in each place). Then we spend two days in Switzerland and 2 in France, do I apply for the visa via Amsterdam or Switzerland? Secondly, is there a company that does both UK and Schengen visa’s, if not, do I apply for UK visa first and then Schengen? Look forward to your reply

    Ashleigh

    • Hi Ashleigh,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      When applying for a UK visa the official visa handling agency is: TLScontact (UK) Visa Application Centre
      We’ve also written a blog on: The UK Visa Application – A Guide for South Africans
      http://www.travelstart.co.za/blog/uk-visa-application-process-south-africa/

      With regards to applying for a Schengen visa, you apply at the country you will be staying the longest in, you said 2 days Switzerland and 2 days France.

      The official visa handling agency for Switzerland is:
      VFS: Switzerland Visa Application Centre
      Telephone No : (012) 425 3017
      Email Address : info.swiss.sa@vfshelpline.com
      Website : http://www.vfsglobal.ch/Switzerland/Southafrica/
      Street Address (Pry) : 1st Floor, Cherry Lane Office Park 114 Fehrsen Street,
      Nieuw Muckleneuk Brooklyn, Pretoria Gauteng
      Street Address (Cpt) : Office 502, 5th Floor, 47 Strand Street, Cape Town, 8001
      Street Address(Dur) : Unit101A 1st Floor, 91-123 Cowey Road (Problem Mkhize Road), Essenwood, Durban, 4000

      France:
      Capago: Visa Application Centre
      Telephone No : 087 231 0313
      Email Address : infofrance-za@capago.eu
      Website : https://fr-za.capago.eu
      Street Address (Jnb) : Inanda Greens Business Park, Block A, 98 Albertyn Avenue, Cnr Katherine Street, Sandton, 2196
      Street Address (Dur) : Pencarrow Office Park, 8 Pencarrow Crescent,
      Armstrong Avenue, La Lucia, 4319
      Street Address (Cpt) : Ground Floor, Old Warehouse Building, Black River Park South,
      2 Fir Street, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925

  3. Can you help with any information on getting a spanish study visa to study spanish?

    How long could I get one for and what the requirements would be?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you

    #ihatevisas

    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise with student visa. For this you will need to contact the Embassy direct.

      They will be able to advise on the correct procedures to follow when applying for a student visa, what documents are required and the cost.

  4. Hi

    I’m from South Africa currently on holiday (tourist visa) in the UK and I would like to visit France. Ive been in England for just over a month and before I left I applied at capago for a Schengen visa (they took photos and fingerprints) but ultimately I was refused since my previous Schengen visa for Italy was and still is valid until September. In this case when my Schengen visa issued by italy is expired would I be able to apply from England for a new one otherwise can a family member apply on my behalf in SA?

    Kind regards

    • Hi Melissa,

      You would need to contact the French Embassy in the UK to see if it is possible to apply for a Schengen visa from that side. You might also need to have a gap period before you are able to apply for your next visa, however the Embassy will be able to advise on this too.

  5. Hi,

    If somebody can please help me.

    I am a South African citizen and have applied for my Schengen Visa to Portugal via VFS in Maputo, Mozambique. I have applied here because of my work sitation. I am not in the country until a day before I travel to Portugal.

    I managed to secure the appointment with VFS Maputo, all went well and paid admin fees and visa fees. Passport was sent to the Consulate and they have come back, refused to issue the visa, citing I need to apply in my home country.

    I am calling the consulate on Monday 27 Aug 18, to ask them to review this decision. But have anyone encountered this problem? What works best in this situation?

  6. Good morning

    Could you please advise if there is a specific agent one should work through to get a visa entry into Potugal? Travelling first to UK to meet a friend then with friend to Portugal for a few days. Also would it be better to first apply for the UK visa and then the other one?

    Thanking you in advance .

    • Hi Maria,

      The official visa handling agency for Portugal in South Africa is: VFS Global.

      Please find below their contact details

      VFS Global – Portugal Visa Application Centre
      Telephone No : (012) 425 3003
      Email Address : info.porza@vfshelpline.com
      Website : http://www.vfsglobal.com/portugal/southafrica
      Street Address (Jnb) : 1st Floor, Rivonia Village, Cnr Rivonia Boulevard and Mutual Road, Sandton
      Street Address (Dur) : Unit 101A, 1st Floor, 91-123 Cowey Road, Essenwood, Durban, 4001
      Street Address (Pry) : 1st Floor, Cherry Lane Office Park, 114 Fehrsen Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Brooklyn, Pretoria
      Street Address (Cpt) : 47 Strand Street, 5th Floor, Cape Tow

  7. Hello,

    We are going on a European tour booked through a tour company. On the Schengen application form, there is a question (32) regarding the details of the inviting company or organization, and the name and contact details of the contact person within this organization. Can this be left blank on the application, seeing as the touring company is not based in Europe?

    • Hi Hannetjie,

      I would recommend putting the touring company’s name and the hotels address of your first night stay.

      Always best to provide as much information as possible. I would recommend you contact the Embassy of the country you will be applying through as they are the ones receiving the application and granting the visa. They will advise what would be best to put for that answer.

  8. Good morning
    I had a visa to visit the Netherlands approved last year, which expires in October of this year.
    Sometime last year I read up that on applying for an additional visa for the 2nd time (I intend to visit Netherlands again in December of this year), and bio-metrics have been loaded, I need not attend an in-person interview, but can merely apply for the 2nd visa online for a period of 5 years. Is this true, or will I have to attend an in person interview again?
    I have tried looking this up on the internet, but cannot seem to find the information.
    Thank you kindly

    • Hi Sian,

      Please contact the official visa handling agency: VFS Global: Visa Application Centre – Telephone No : 012 425 3005

      They will be able to provide you with the most up to date information and the correct procedures to follow.

  9. How can i apply for a schengen visa if from outside my resident country as sum consular refuses to accept application unless you are a resident of that country.

  10. Please can you recommend an agency to apply for a Schengen Visa? I’ll be spending most of my time in Spain.

    • Hi Elizna,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You need to apply through the official visa handling agency who deals with visa processes for that specific country you will be applying for a visa.

      Some Embassies will have a different official visa handling agency, please see below.

      Germany: Intergate Visalink: Visa Application Centres
      Call Centre : 0861 00 22 45 (for appointments, tracking and general information)
      Email Address : info@intergate-visalink.com
      Website : http://www.visa-germany.co.za

      GVC World: Greece Visa Application Centre
      Call Centre : +27 012 425 3018
      Email : info.zagr@gvc24assist.eu
      Web Address : http://za-gr.gvcworld.eu/
      Street Address (Jnb) : 2nd Floor, Harrow Court 1, 11 Boundary Road, Houghton
      Street Address (Cpt) : 5th Floor, 47 Strand Street, Cape Town, 8001
      Stree Address (Dur) : 91 – 123 Cowey Road, Unit 101A, 1st Floor, Essenwood, Durban, 4001

      France

      Capago: Visa Application Centre
      Telephone No : 087 231 0313
      Email Address : infofrance-za@capago.eu
      Website : https://fr-za.capago.eu
      Street Address (Jnb) : Inanda Greens Business Park, Block A, 98 Albertyn Avenue, Cnr Katherine Street, Sandton, 2196
      Street Address (Dur) : Pencarrow Office Park, 8 Pencarrow Crescent,
      Armstrong Avenue, La Lucia, 4319
      Street Address (Cpt) : Ground Floor, Old Warehouse Building, Black River Park South,
      2 Fir Street, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925

    • Please can you provide the official visa handling agency for SPAIN?

    • Hi Liz,

      Please find below contact details for the official visa handling agency for Spain.

      BLS: Spain Visa Application Centre (Cape Town)

      Telephone No : 021 003 8050
      Street Address : 1st Floor, Block B, North Park, Black River Park, 2 Fir Street, Observatory, Western Cape, Cape Town, 7925
      Email : info.cpt@blshelpline.com
      Website : https://sa.blsspainvisa.com/
      BLS: Spain Visa Application Centre (Pretoria)
      Telephone No : 012 007 0030
      Street Address : Regus Lakeview, Ground Floor, Lakeview Building 1277 Mike Crawford Avenue, Centurion, 0157
      Email : info.pry@blshelpline.com
      Website : https://sa.blsspainvisa.com/

  11. Hi

    Please can you advise me. My daughter lives in the UK and has a SA passport and an ancestral visa. She has a Type C, multiple entry schengen visa which she got from the Dutch embassy and which is valid 14/09/2020.

    In August she is flying to Nice to meet me for four days. Can she get into France on her Dutch visa?

    • Hi Wendy,

      If her Schengen visa is valid for when she is travelling it will cover her for any Schengen State, France being one of them.

      However, please check if it is multiple entry and that she has not used up all her days given on the visa (this is if she has travelled on it before)

      I would recommend you contact the Embassy just to double check.

  12. Hallo guys!

    Where can I find the Embassy for France & Belgium to apply for a visa? I’m from Cape Town 🙂 no idea how this works.

    Many thanks for your help!

    Kind Regards
    Megan

    • Hi Megan,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Visa applicants for Belgium can apply for their visa using the services of TLScontact in Johannesburg and Cape Town. TLScontact is the official visa handling agents.

      For all information regarding your visa application, appointments to lodge your application and biometrics…please click here dedicated TLS website. https://be.tlscontact.com/za/splash.php

      Belgian Consulate General (Cape Town)
      Telephone No : (021) 419-4690 (from 13h00 – 15h00)

      TLScontact: Belgian Visa Application Centre
      Telephone No : (012) 472 3801
      Email : contact.cpt2be@tlscontact.com

      Address (Cpt) : Media Quarter, Upper Ground Floor, 2 De Smit Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town, 8005
      Website Address : https://be.tlscontact.com/za/splash.php

      French Embassy

      French Consulate (Cape Town)
      Telephone No : (021) 423 1575

      And the official visa handling agency for France is Capago:

      Capago: Visa Application Centre
      Telephone No : 087 231 0313
      Email Address : infofrance-za@capago.eu
      Website : https://fr-za.capago.eu
      Street Address (Cpt) : Ground Floor, Old Warehouse Building, Black River Park South,
      2 Fir Street, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925

  13. Hi there.
    My daughter is travelling to Netherlands for Hockey in September, we live in Port Elizabeth.
    She is aged 14. Do both parents have to be present at the consulate appointment when we apply ? We’re just trying to figure out travel arrangements, and trying to assess if both of us need to be there.

    • Hi Ilze,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’ve done a search on Travelinfo, the only information they have provided relating to children under 18 applying for a Schengen visa is the following:

      Additional documents for Minors (Children under 18): Unabridged birth certificate and certified copy of parents’ passport of Identity document. If the child is travelling alone: Permission minor child consent form signed by both parents with a copy of their passport or driver’s license. If the child travels with only one parent, the other parent must sign the permission minor child consent form with a copy of their passport or driver’s license. If only one parent has guardianship of the minor, court documents stating so must be presented.

      No where does it mention both parents need to be present. I suggest you contact VFS Global, the official visa handling agency and they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

      012 425 3005

  14. Advice needed, with which Embassy do we apply if we do 5 Schengen countries? We are entering in Switzerland (5 nights); France (4 nights); Germany (6 nights); Austria (3 nights); Spain (3 nights). So do we apply for German Visa as we will be most nights there?

    • Hi Natalie,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      That is correct you apply at the Embassy of the country you will be staying the longest.

  15. I am applying for a schengen visa for sweden where I will be staying the longest and have a letter of invitation I will then be going on to Norway and Spain doI need letters of invitations from those countries aswell

    • Hi Hazel,

      That is correct. They need to see proof of accommodation for your entire stay as they will be giving you a visa for your entire trip.

      So they need to see that you have all the relevant documents, papers, funds etc for your full stay.

  16. hi there. I am waiting for my UK visa to be approved, however, I wasnt aware that i had an option to keep my passport. because i also need to apply for my schengen for spain visa. i am applying for my EU spousal visa, which has less requirements when applying, how long do you think that will take? UK is 15 days, which leaves me about 4 days to get my schengen.

    i am worried its going to be too late. is there a way to speed up my schengen application to make that priority?

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      When one applies for any visa they would need to hand their passport over to the Embassy they are applying at or the official visa handling agency.

      The Embassy of Spain minimum processing time is 15 Calendar days (It may delay depending on case to case), which could take from 15-30 days.

      You welcome to contact them direct on:

      The Spanish Embassy – Pretoria
      Telephone No : 012 460 0123

      As they would be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  17. Is it essential to book flights prior to your embassy application visit?

    The reason for the question is because flight ticket prices could be inconveniently high at the time when you need to make your visa application.

    Does Travelstart have any solutions/suggestions in this regard? Many thanks.

    • Hi Daniel,

      Every Embassy has different rules and regulations. If one of their requirements is they need tickets at the time of doing your application you would need to then book your tickets and submit this with the rest of your documents.

  18. Hi ,
    For my Shengen Visa Application submitted via VFS GLOBAL
    My appointment at the Dutch consulate in C T came through today for 29May .
    As I am travelling on 16 June is this enough time to get the Single entry Shengen visa ?
    Is the visa granted at the appointment meeting or does it get granted later .
    Does anyone have a phone number for the Dutch Consulate in Cape Town ??
    many thanks for any help .

    Patrick

    • Hi Patrick,

      Applications for a Schengen visa should be lodged at the VFS Global Visa Service centre, at least 15 working days (3 weeks) before the intended departure date. Applications can be logged 3 months before intended departure date.

      It could take a bit quicker however, they go with the average time it takes for visa’s to be processed.

  19. Hi there

    I am applying for a Spanish visa in Cape Town. I am partially being financially supported by a family member. I am therefore bringing a letter by them stating that they are supporting me, a copy of their ID and three months bank statements.

    Is this sufficient?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Ann,

      This is up to the Embassy as they are granting the visa.

      I suggest contacting them direct to see what they advise.

  20. Good day. Can you please assist. I’m trying to apply through VFS Global for my Schengen Visa, but struggle to get an appointment, also on their answering machine, is a message, that says they are closed, but today is not a public holiday?

    • Hi Douw,

      Sorry to hear you are struggling to get through to them.

      Maybe contact the Embassy of the country you are applying for a visa for and hopefully they could assist or see if anyone else has experienced the same problem as you and give you more info on the correct procedures to follow.

  21. I am going to multiple places in the schengen area. Does this mean I must complete the Schengen application for each country I go to?

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will apply at the Embassy of the Schengen country you will be staying in the longest. You tick the box for multiple entries.

      That Schengen visa will cover you for all Schengen Countries but it must we a multiple entry visa and your validity dates on the visa need to cover your stays within the Schengen area.

  22. I will be travelling to The Netherlands with my 11 year old son. Will we both have to apply for a Schengen Visa, or will he go onto my visa?

    • Hi Jacqui,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will both have to apply for a Schengen Visa. He will be travelling on his own passport so he will need to apply for his own Schengen Visa.

  23. Hi there
    currently living in Cape Town with a south african passport and will be travelling for 4 days to Poland for a wedding. I have contacted their consulate as cannot find a place in Cape Town to apply for a schengen visa to enter there. They have stated I have to apply in person IN PRETORIA???? is this correct? Surely they can’t expect people to add the expense of a flight from cape town to pretoria for this schengen visa???
    thanks in advance

    • Hi Belinda,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’ve just checked on Travel Info and they advise the following:

      “ALL VISA APPLICANTS MUST SUBMIT THEIR APPLICATIONS IN PERSON. Applications sent by mail, e-mail or fax will not be processed. Couriers may be arranged only for the collection of the passports.”

      I can imagine this is quite costly having to go up to Pretoria now. You welcome to contact the Embassy direct to see what other information they could provide.

      Embassy of the Republic of Poland (Pretoria)
      Telephone No : +27 (0) 12 430 2631/2
      Emergency No : +27 (0) 12 430 9621 16h15 – 20h15

  24. Hi, I am going on a European cruise starting in Spain, then to France and Italy, and ending in Spain. Do I need a single or multiple entry visa – I am a South African citizen.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      As you are entering Europe once and visiting all the following Schengen states you would only need a single entry for that trip.

      If you were going to Spain, then to the UK after and then to Italy then you would need to apply for a multiple entry Schengen visa and the UK is not part of the Schengen states.

      However please check with the Embassy you will be applying through to get the most up to date information as they are the ones granting the visa’s.

  25. Hi I am travelling to the UK at the beginning of May until 1 October 2018 and would then like to go to Holland. However, I am not able to apply in South Africa now for travel in October as it is beyond the required 90 days. Am I able to apply for a Schengen visa in the UK or is there any other way to overcome this? Thank you

    • Hi Emma,

      This should be possible. However please contact the VFS the official visa handling agency, they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information if you would be able to apply in the UK for a Dutch visa.

      Their contact details are:

      VFS Global: Visa Application Centre
      Telephone No : 012 425 3005

  26. Hi there,

    We are planning a trip for our highly independent, 77yr old mum who is a government pensioner. We(her kids) are funding the entire trip as a gift. She does not have oodles of money in her bank account, in fact it is basically zero every month as she is dependent on us.
    She will be travelling on her own. She is very healthy, does not take a single tablet and has only been to hospital to give birth.
    In connection with the: Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of the trip (i.e. Three months bank statements or proof of purchased foreign exchange), do we need to show a copy of our bank statements? We are going to give her a travel card loaded with money and pay for accommodation seperately.

    Do you have advice on this?

    • Hi Ruth,

      If you are funding your mothers trip the Embassy you will be applying through would probably also been needing a copy of your bank statement.

      Best to contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct, as the Embassy is the one granting the visa they will be able to provide you with all the relevant information you need for your mom’s visa application. On what they require, the correct procedures for you to follow and what the cost would be.

  27. Hi. My mother and I will be going on a MediterraneanCruine soon. I want to know what can I give as a proof of sufficient funds? Credit Card Statement etc? Should my mother also give her proof of funds or only the one of us? Do I have to show a specific amount into my account for the three months or how does this work?

    • Hi Ian,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You welcome to read our Step by step: How to apply for a Schengen visa – Blog.

      Under: Schengen Visa Requirements we give all the relevant information needed when applying for a visa.

      We do however recommend you contact the Embassy direct for this most up to date information as this info could change at anytime.

  28. Hi!

    I’m going on a river boat cruise in Switzerland and also visiting Holland and Germany. Which visas do I require? I was told I would need a specific one for Switzerland and one for the other two countries; is correct? Many thanks!

    • Hi Christiaan,

      All 3 of these countries fall under the Schengen State, so only one visa is required.

      You need to apply at the Embassy or official visa handling agency at the country you will be staying at the longest or the country which is your first point of entry.

  29. Hi, I am a South African with a valid passport, but I live in Costa Rica and want to go to Spain in September, how do I go about getting a visa from Costa Rica to Spain?
    Regards Amaure.
    Why cant I post this!

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you are living is Costa Rica and have a valid visa for living there, you should be able to apply at the Spanish Embassy for your Schengen visa.

      However as we are not the ones granting the visa’s you would need to contact the Spanish Embassy in Costa Rica. They will advise you on the correct procedures to follow, what documents are required and the cost.

  30. Hi,

    I require a schengen visa and I visit Netherlands -France – Italy. Netherlands is the first point of entry and I’m unsure as to where I need to submit my application. I read that BLS has overtaken VFS Global and just need a little help going forward.

    If I have to apply directly with the Dutch Consulate, do I have to phone and make an appointment?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’ve checked on Travelinfo and it shows that VFS is still the official visa handling agency. You welcome to contact them direct, they will be able to advise on the correct procedures to follow. What documents are required and cost involved.

      Please see contact details below:

      VFS Global: Visa Application Centre
      Telephone No : 012 425 3005
      Email Address : Info.nlza@vfshelpline.com
      Website : http://www.vfsglobal.com/netherlands/southafrica/index.html

      Office Hours

      VFS: 08h00-12h30 and 13h30 to 15h00 Mon-Fri (Submission)
      10h00 to 16h00 Mon-Fri (Passport Collection)

      Days Closed:
      2018:
      VFS: 01 Jan / 21, 30 Mar / 01, 02, 27, 30 Apr / 01, 05, 10, 11, 20, 21 May / 16 Jun / 09 Aug / 24 Sep / 16, 25, 26 Dec

  31. Hello
    I need a visa for Nicaragua. Does anyone know who I can contact for that?
    I can’t seem to find any help at all.

  32. Good day,

    We are SA citizens going on a msc boat cruise embarking Barcelona Spain, visiting Portugal, France, Italy and Morroco back to Barcelona.

    What travel documents do we need?

    • Hi Yvette,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      If you are applying for a Schengen visa for the Schengen countries you are travelling too (Spain, Portugal, France, Italy) you will need to contact the Embassy of that country you are applying through or the official visa handling agency. They will advise you on what documents are required, the correct procedures to follow and the cost involved.

      Morocco is not part of the Schengen states so you would need to contact them separately to get the required info.

  33. Is it possible for a South African resident to apply for a schengen visa from outside the country. My son is currently in America working on a cruise liner. He would like to go from there to Greece without coming back to apply for the visa from here. He will be spending some time in Freeport in the Bahamas, but otherwise is mostly onboard. An help would be appreciated.
    Thank you

    • Hi Bryony,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If your son has a work visa for the USA to work on the ships (visa issued by USA government), that means he is a current resident in the USA, and he will be able to apply through the Greek Embassy or Consulate in the USA for a Greek Schengen Visa.
      IF he was there only as a normal tourist (not resident in the USA) he would need to apply back home in South Africa.

      However we do advise to contact the Embassy direct to get the most up to date information on their rules, as this could change at anytime.

  34. I have been issued with a 5 year schengen. On the schengen in the right hand top corner is typed 90 days.May I stay in schengen required countries for 90 days per year or 90 days in 5 total in 5 years?
    Please
    Thank you

    • Hi Johanna,

      If you have a multiple-entry visa, it allows the holder to go in and out of the Schengen Area as pleased. However, this visa allows its holder to stay in a Schengen Zone for maximum 90 days within half the year, starting from the day one crosses the border between a Schengen member country and the non-Schengen member country.

      You would need to contact the Embassy who granted the visa. They will be able to advise after how many months you can return on that same visa to stay another 90 days.

  35. Hi Marcelle
    My husband and I plan to cruise around the world on our own yacht, starting at the end of this year.
    From the Caribbean, we plan to sail to the Mediterranean and spend at least two – four years there.
    We would obviously not know our exact arrival date, but the time to sail from the Caribbean to the Med normally starts around May, so we would need it from around May 2019.
    How do we go about getting a long stay Schengen visa?
    Also, we would need to apply for this before we leave at the end of this year.
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Many thanks

  36. My wife and me ill be visiting Venice and do the Greek Islands and also three days in Slovinia. We need Schengen Visas. We are leaving South Africa on the 23/06/20018.
    What do wee need and where are your offices in Cape Town

  37. please can we have a step by step for UK visa, this infor is really useful – thanks

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      We did write the following Blog: “The UK Visa Application – A Guide for South Africans” – see link below.

      http://www.travelstart.co.za/blog/uk-visa-application-process-south-africa/

      Here we provide as much info as possible. However visa info can change at any time and we recommend you contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency for the most up to date info as they specialise in this area.

  38. Would be need a Schengen visa for 10 days in Croatia, if I have a valid Portuguese Temporary Residency Card?

    • HI there,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      I am not able to say as we do not specialise in this area. I recommend you contact the Embassy direct they will be able to provide you with the most up to date info.

  39. I need a Spain visa. Are there any consulates in Cape Town or Port Elizabeth?

    • Hi Susan,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      They have two consulates and two visa application centers.

      Please find contact details and address below:

      The Spanish Embassy – Pretoria
      Telephone No : 012 460 0123
      Fax No : 012 460 2207
      Postal Address : P.O. Box 1633, Pretoria, 0001
      Street Address : 337 Brooklyn Rd., (Lord Charles Building, Brooklyn Rd corner Charles St) Menlo Park, Pretoria 0181
      Email : emb.pretoria.vis@maec.es
      Consulate-General of Spain (Cape Town)
      Telephone No : 021 422 2415
      Fax No : 021 422 2328
      Street Address : 37 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town, 8001
      Email : visacapetown@maec.es
      Website : http://www.exteriores.gob.es/consulados/ciudaddelcabo
      Spanish Tourist Office : http://www.tourspain.es
      All long term, immigration and residence visas must be submitted at the
      Consulate in Cape Town

      BLS: Spain Visa Application Centre (Cape Town)

      Telephone No : 021 003 8050
      Street Address : 1st Floor, Block B, North Park, Black River Park, 2 Fir Street, Observatory, Western Cape, Cape Town, 7925
      Email : info.cpt@blshelpline.com
      Website : https://sa.blsspainvisa.com/
      BLS: Spain Visa Application Centre (Pretoria)
      Telephone No : 012 683 8793
      Street Address : Regus Lakeview, Ground Floor, Lakeview Building 1277 Mike Crawford Avenue, Centurion, 0157
      Email : info.pry@blshelpline.com
      Website : https://sa.blsspainvisa.com/

  40. Hi Aislinn Corbet

    I really appreciate your hard work. it helps me a lot

    thank you 🙂

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