Netherlands Visa: A Step-by-Step Guide

Ever dreamed of visiting the land of windmills, tulips and canals? The Netherlands has so many attractions and sights to explore, from its picturesque villages to its vibrant capital city, Amsterdam. Follow this easy and insightful guide on how to apply for your Netherlands visa (Schengen visa). We’ve included everything you’ll need for the Netherlands visa application process. Now all that’s left to do is pack your bags!

South African passport holders do require a Schengen visa for the Netherlands, and with this guide, the process can be a relatively painless one! You will need to apply at VFS Global (Netherlands Visa Application Centre) in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg or Pretoria. Always apply for your tourist visa at least 21 days before your departure date to allow for ample processing time.

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

Travelstart Netherlands visa

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Types of Visas

Short-Term Visa:

  • Tourist Visa – This visa is for the sole purpose of leisure travel, including vacationing, sightseeing, visiting family and friends. It allows stays of up to 90 days in the Netherlands.
  • Business Visa – For people who intend to conduct business activities such as attend meetings, conferences, trade fairs or training in the Netherlands. It is valid for a maximum stay of up to 90 days.

Processing Time:

Under normal circumstances, the Netherlands visa application takes up to 15 days to process. Applicants can apply as early as three months before their travel date. The Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria (where applications are processed) recommends that you apply well in advance to accommodate any unforeseen processing days.

How to Book an Appointment:

All Netherlands visa application appointments must be scheduled on the VFS Global website. Register and schedule an appointment online. You’ll be shown the earliest available date.

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Visa Costs

Visa Category Visa Fee
Schengen visa normal tariff EU 60 (R935)
Schengen visa low tariff (minors 6-11 years) EU 35 (R545)

Please note:

There is a VFS Global service charge of R465 for applicants who require biometrics, and R434 for applicants who do not need to do their biometrics which will be charged in addition to the visa fees.

Applicants can make use of the courier facility for the return of processed applications. It costs R150 for application delivery. This optional service must be paid at the submission counter.

Payment must be paid via credit or debit card at the Visa Application Centre. A cash deposit can be made at the bank, and your (original) deposit slip must be presented at the VFS Global Netherlands Visa Application Centre.

Bank Details

Bank Name:                  Nedbank
Branch Name:               Corporate Client Services
Branch Code:                198765 (Universal Code)
Account Name:             Visa Processing SA – Netherlands
Account No:                   1454112530
Reference:                     Your passport number

Travelstart Netherlands visa

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Netherlands Visa Requirements

  • Schengen visa application form – Fill in online, print and sign. The application form must be taken to the Visa Application Centre.
  • Passport – Valid for at least three months after your last day of stay in the Schengen states. The passport must have at least two blank pages.
  • Passport copy: Biographical data page and all used pages, including previous Schengen, non-Schengen visas and all pages with stamps.
  •  1 x recent colour passport photo – Not older than three months and not previously used (no smiling, no teeth showing, no obstructions to face, white or light background, no shadows. If the applicant is wearing specs then make sure that there is no glare or reflection in it.)
  • Full round-trip flight reservation (name must reflect clearly with travel dates. Travel date cannot be in less than 10 working days).
  • Hotel reservations/hotel vouchers/cruise itinerary for the full stay in the Schengen state – guest names should be reflected clearly. (Each night must be accounted for and must clearly show the Netherlands as the main destination.)
  • Signed employment letter (on company letterhead and signed) confirming position, exact travel dates and salary.
  • If self-employed, provide your company’s document (CK, CC), SARS invoice, or a letter from your accountant confirming that the business exists.
  • Signed school letter (for students, on school letterhead and signed) confirming applicant is an enrolled student and awareness of travel dates and will commence schooling after the trip.
  • Signed official registration letters (for tertiary education students, on letterhead and signed)
  • Most recent three calendar month (from application date) bank statements with an original bank stamp on each page.
  • Extra documents: proof of home/car ownership, motivation letters (any additional information that you feel might strengthen your application.)

Additional Documents for Minors (Children under 18):

  • Unabridged birth certificate or official letter from Home Affairs confirming it has not been issued.
  • Certified copy of parents’ passport or ID.
  • For children travelling with one or no parents, submit the parental consent form signed by both parents and certified.

Use the tourist visa checklist to make sure that you have all the necessary documents.

Travelstart Netherlands visa

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Where to Apply

All Schengen visa applications for the Netherlands are done at VFS Global – Netherlands Visa Application Centre in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria. All visa applications must be submitted by the applicant in person.

Cape Town

Address: 47 Strand Street
5th Floor, Office 504
Cape Town
Contact: 021 824 2393 /  012 425 3005
Business Hours: Submission of Application
Monday to Friday 08:00-12:30 and 13:30-15:00
Passport Collection
Monday to Friday 10:00-12:30 and 13:30-16:00


Address: Unit 101A 1st Floor
91-123 Cowey Road (Problem Mkhize Road)
Contact: 012 425 3005
Business Hours: Submission of Application
Monday to Friday 08:00-12:30 and 13:30-15:00
Passport Collection
Monday to Friday 10:00-12:30 and 13:30-15:00


Address: 1st Floor Rivonia Village
Corner Boulevard and Mutual Road
Sandton, Johannesburg
Contact: 012 425 3005
Business Hours: Submission of Application
Monday to Friday 08:00-12:30 and 13:30-15:00
Passport Collection
Monday to Friday 10:00-12:30 and 13:30-15:00


Address: 1st Floor, Cherry Lane Office Park
114 Fehrsen Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk
Brooklyn, Pretoria
Contact: 012 425 3005
Business Hours: Submission of Application
Monday to Friday 08:00-12:30 and 13:30-15:00
Passport Collection
Monday to Friday 10:00-12:30 and 13:30-15:00
Travelstart Netherlands Visa

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Where to Print Documents and Photos

Cape Town

Tommy’s Books and Internet Café

Address: 130 Long Street, Cape Town City Centre
Contact: 021 424 7675
Business Hours: 09:00-17:00


Zzcnet Copy Centre

Address: Shop A, Logbro Centre, 176 Lillian Ngoyi Road, Morningside, Durban
Contact: 031 825 3615
Business Hours: Monday-Friday: 08:00-17:00


Internet Café

Address: Bram Fischer Drive, Randburg, Johannesburg, 2194
Contact: 011 051 9214
Business Hours: Monday-Saturday: 08:00-17:00


Umate Internet Café

Address: 495 Hilda Street, Hatfield, Pretoria, 0028
Contact: 012 362 7440
Business Hours: Sunday-Friday: Open 24 hours

Saturday: 07:00-22:00

Travelstart Netherlands Visa

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With this valuable guide, you should be ready to start your Netherlands visa application today! Soon you’ll be exploring cities like Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam.

Still searching for the perfect flight? Find cheap flights to the Netherlands with Travelstart!

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Have you recently visited the Netherlands? Share your experience in the comments below.


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.

Featured image courtesy of @amsterdam via Instagram


Our Readers Comments

  1. I’m in the US on with A visa, with a South African passport. Can I fly to The Netherlands from the US if I go to the South African Embassy here in New York?

    Otherwise I’d have to pay a lot more.

    • Hi Thomas,

      As we are not the ones granting the visa’s you would need to contact the Embassy direct.

      They will advise if it is possible and if so, the correct procedures to follow.




    • Hi there,

      You would need a multiple entry visa.

      However please contact the Embassy direct. Provide them with your full itinerary and your travel plans, they will be able to advise.

  3. Good Day,
    What is the quickest way to obtain a Netherlands Visa holding a South African Passport. For instance if one needed an emergency visa?

    • Hi Linda,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You would need to contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct. They will be able to advise if they offer emergency visa’s and if so, what the additional cost would be.

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