Visa Application for a South African Citizen traveling to a Schengen Country

Which embassy do you need to apply at?
It will either be the country that you enter first or the country you stay longest at. If your longest destination is Madrid and Barcelona, with 5 days in total in Spain; and you enter France for 1.5 days then another for 1.5 days; – you apply at the Spanish Embassy.

Spainembassy

How much does a visa cost?
R756 currently, but obviously prices can change.

What documentation do you need to submit?
Get the Schengen Visa Application form for Spain.
Proof of financial means. Copy of passport.
Copy of flight and accommodation details.
Now make a second copy of everything.

How long before the time can you apply for a visa?
You do need to get your flight tickets etc first – that happens max 6 weeks before flying.
After that, go for it! How long before you get your visa after submitting your application? Usually 5 days.

A few days ago I went to the Spanish Embassy in Pretoria to apply for my visa. I was really surprised at the speed at which they processed applications – and how easy it was. I was dreading getting there and having to fall in a long queue – but fortunately there was only a 5 minute wait!

See more tips & read the latest update here.

Apply for visas here


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Our Readers Comments

  1. They are slightly flexible on this. If the embassy you’re “meant” to apply at is very busy, you can try the other Schengen country you’re in.

  2. Hey Susann!
    If I might add a sidenote – and I am not sure if it counts for all Consulates or Embassies – remember to take the EXACT amount of money with you… these guys do not have change. :)
    We recently applied for our Shengen’s for France. It went quite smooth, except for the stuffy waiting room.

  3. Rule of thumb is, Schengen country you are longest in or enter first :)
    Well, it is always better to have the exact amount – just to make sure you don’t hold up the queue! :)

  4. im a south african working in london. i want to go travel europe for a few months early next year. where in london would be the best place to go apply for the schengen visa? any info would be lekker!

  5. Hi Kane,
    I’m actually not too sure – maybe contact one of the visa offices of the countries you want to travel to, they would be able to direct you in the right direction.

  6. If you are married to a EU citizen then you and your children can get the visa for free.

    • Is it true if your married to an EU citizen then the Schengen is free?

      Justine

  7. I want to go ski in France in December. I bought a flight ticket to London, as I will be meeting friends there before we go to France. Will my e-ticket to London be suffiecient to applay for a schengen visa?

  8. Hi Stefan,
    You will need to contact the embassy to make 100% sure.
    The e-ticket is fine, just print it; get your passport out; proof of employment; proof of sufficient funds – and proof of any accommodation bookings.
    In London, you will have to have some proof ready if they ask what your plan is while in London :)

  9. Hi Everyone. I live in the UK, OVC helped me come over. The OVC in London help people as well with the Schengen Visa to tour Europe, please find attached the website, these people are great and they are cheap when you do everything in Pounds. good luck

  10. Can a South African get a Schengen Visa in London

  11. Hi Jaco,

    Yes, my daughter got her Schengen Visa over there when she went to France.

    • Hi Vanita
      Would you mind helping me out by telling me what your daughter did??thanks

  12. I am currently in New york, I need a shengen visa, what is the best thing for me to do? I know there is a consulate in Miami, but that is too far away, is there one in new york? or closer than miami?

    • Hey Johnny, check the answer we gave to this question on our Facebook page.

  13. I have a Schengen visa valid until 9 Jun 2010. I am travelling to Europe again on 8 Jun 2010. I tried to get a new Schengen visa from the Portuguese consulate in Durban last week but was told that I could not apply for one before the existing one expires i.e. 9 Jun. Flights etc. are booked for 8 Jun already. Anyone know about this rule?

  14. Hi Danie! I have heard of this before, though I think previously the visa was extended by the consulate or at least the previous visa should have been voided and a new one issued. Perhaps try the Embassy in Pretoria for more guideance as they are higher than the consulate in Durban:
    (012) 346 8224 / 4285

  15. Hi! I am going on holiday on 9 June 2010 to London, I need a Schengen visa for Paris. Can I apply in London with a South African Passport? How how will it take? Leaving for Paris on the 14 June 2010.

  16. hiya, I’m a south African, I was happily surprised by my girlfriend when she brought me a ticket to Spain for my birthday. not knowing that I needed a visa to go there as i live in England and have indefinite leave to remain.

    but when we researched it we knew we had to get one. So first thing we did was get all the information in order to go to Spanish consulate to get the visa, which we we’re told was £76!!!

    It took us 4weeks to get an appointment where they told us we had wrong information… ! so to start again it would have to take us another 4weeks to get another appointment.. we just didn’t have the time, so I got hold of a visa agency who said they could get it for me at a cost of £150! we got told we had all the information possible. and that they were happy to send on the application to the Spanish consulate.

    it was rejected 4 times, with the fourth time having no reason as to why they rejected it and with the 5th time being accepted, with exactly the same information as the 4th time… I was due to Leave England to Spain, 10th June 2010 at 5.35pm… ! the Spanish consulate only released my passport the the agency at 4.30! there is nooo Way travelling to Spain is going to happen!

    To be truthfully honest, I was told that the Spanish consulate don’t like giving south African and Indian passport holders their visa’s…and now no agency wants to work with the Spanish consulate because they are pains in the arse to get visa’s out of!

    I still haven’t been told why.. but good luck to anyone that is south African and wanting to go to SPAIN!!

    I still want to go to Spain but I shall be waiting till I’m a British citizen till i attempt that again!

  17. Hi. I want to fly to New York end of the month (around 27 Dec) and the cheapest flights I could find either stop over in Madrid (Iberia), Cairo (Egypt Air) or Dubai (Emirates). Do I need a transit visa for all these countries, how long does it take to get and how much do they cost? Also if I have an onward ticket, but my stopover is quite a few hours, will I be able to leave the airport with a transit visa (as apposed to an airport transit visa) ? Thanks.

    • Hey Francois, if you’re travelling to the US, you won’t need a transit visa for either of these countries. The rule is generally if you’re continuing on to your destination on the next available flight and you don’t exit the transit area, you won’t need a visa.

      Hope this helps!

  18. Thanks for the information..If I want visa early I mean with in a month due to some emergency..Is there any procedure for that?

    • Certain embassies do cater for emergencies – but this is usually dependent on how busy they are. If you have an emergency, it’s best to give them a call ASAP to arrange the visa, clearly stating the reason why it’s an emergency, also if you have any supporting documents, that helps too!

  19. Hello! I was wondering if someone can help me. I work on yachts and I am doing a delivery from South Africa to France in April but need a Schengen Visa to enter France, the problem is that I will not be able to give them flight information since I am goin on a boat. I do have a letter from the captain saying I need the visa for the delivery, but I am not sure if that is enough to get the visa. Please help. Thank you.

  20. Please help me out! We are planning to go from RSA to London (our base) for 10 days in March – in the 10 days we want to fly to Spain and Amsterdam – 2 days each – but will not make any formal flight or hotel bookings until we get to London. Is this a problem? And do we need both British and Schengen visas? And how do we get Schengen visas if we don’t have formal plans?

    • Hi Vanessa! Sounds like an exciting trip you’ve got planned. You will need both a UK and a Schengen visa if you’re going to both the UK and Europe. The general rule for the Schengen visa is that you have to have all your travel plans pre-paid before applying for the visa. They may (I stress MAY) make a special exception for you if you have a good reason and show more than sufficient funds available for the trip. Generally though, they will require you to have formal plans. I would suggest speaking to the consulate of the country you’ll be spending the longest time in for their advice as it’s ultimately up to them whether they give you a visa or not.

      Hope this helps!

    • Hi! We are in a tight situation regarding your question. Maybe you already got a answer. But here goes. We are flying to Belgium with BA via Heathrow. You DO NEED a UK visa even if you are only in transit. We are flying on 19 February and only find this out when we applied for our Schengen Visa. The interesting thing is that you cannot get a UK visa without proof of your schengen visa, and you cannot get a schengen visa without proof of your UK visa. Funny world we are living in. We only have about 10 working days to sort this our.

  21. i need an emergency visa>which is the best to try, german or spanish embassy and do you have the webiste please

    • Hi there! I would suggest trying the German consulate on (012) 427- 8999. Their website is http://www.pretoria.diplo.de where you can find out more info.

  22. My daughter and I are leaving for Spain from South Africa end of April and require visas. Where do I go and what do I do?

  23. Hi Nick

    What a fantastically helpful website! I came across this page while searching for info regarding Schengen visas via the Spanish Consulate and several of the questions on here have been very useful to me so far.

    However, my current dilemma is probably somewhat unique and rather silly! My boyfriend recently booked our tickets to Tenerife and when he booked the flights, he accidentally printed my surname twice! So it comes up on the flight ticket as ‘Melissa Johnson Johnson’ but my passport only says Melissa Johnson. I don’t have a middle name. To change the name on the ticket with RyanAir will cost £100! It’s not like it’s a completely different name, and I’m hoping that common sense will be used and they’ll realised that it is unlikely that this error means there are two different individuals involved with this ticket… But I know visa officials can be incredibly difficult about these things, so do you think this will be a problem? Also, my boyfriend accidentally selected the title Mrs for me when making the hotel booking – I am actually a Miss. Very silly errors indeed!

    Also, for my previous visas to get to the UK I always used a consultant as they always said the process was tricky and wording along with documentation was everything. Do you think this is just as pertinent for Schengen Visas? The docs seem pretty straightforward for this one. I am a full time student in London.

    So stressful! My flight is 28 April so hopefully all of this can be sorted by then.

    Looking forward to your response and thanks again for providing an excellent website.

    • Hi Melissa! So envious of your trip to Spain, what a wonderful country!

      Your situation does sound like a tricky one. The surname issue is usually a problem for the flight more than the Schengen visa, though yes, it can cause issues if the names are different – after all the ticket is your proof that you, under your name, have a return ticket to the country in question, proving you are leaving again.

      The only concern I can foresee the Spanish consulate having is that the airline may give you hassles – especially leaving the country (it’s not been unknown to happen that airlines let one in and give grief letting you out, though this is very rare). What I would do is first check with Ryanair if they would let you board both in London and in Spain with the name as it is. If this is the case, try getting it in writing. Submit a copy of this (email should suffice) with your application for the visa. If they won’t give you anything in writing, pay the 100pound and just play it safe!

      Regarding the hotel, the title really shouldn’t be a problem, you’ll probably find that the hotel company will change your title if you’re very worried about it, but it’s not really an issue for visas or even tickets. After all, it doesn’t show on your passport. So long as you’re not down as a Mr Melissa Johnson you should be fine!!

      Remember, each consulate is different, so I can never give you a guaranteed answer. We always recommend contacting the consulate directly for the most accurate information and advice.

      I’d suggest you get moving on this immediately, you’re getting pretty close to D day and if you don’t have everything sorted ASAP you could end up having to postpone your trip.

      Hope this all helps! Enjoy Spain! :-)

  24. Hi Nick

    Thanks a million for your advice and info. Getting onto Ryan Air about the tickets today. I’ve been trying to get in touch with the Spanish Consulate here in London, but they do not deal with visa info via their number – you have to call VFS Global, the agent that assists with Spanish Visas. So I called them and the very unhelpful consultant says I can’t make an appt via the phone as there is no Consulate in London, only in Manchester! But there is – I just spoke to them on the phone twice and have been on their website! Ludicrous. I repeated my problem, but again she just said as I’m not in Manchester, she cannot book the appointment for me and I must book via the website. I went on the VFS appt section and the first slot is 16 May :( way too late.

    I don’t even want to go via an agent – the process looks simple enough to do by myself directly with the consulate. Only problem is actually getting an appointment with them directly.

    I’m just wondering if there is anyone else here who applied for a Spanish Schengen Visa whilst residing in London?

    SO stressed.

  25. Hi Nick

    Trust you well

    I need some information please ! I am traveling to Paris on the 1st of August 2011 where my fiancé and I will spend 3 weeks in France..he is a french citizen. After our three weeks in france we will drive to Madrid, Spain…where he will study for 6months. I will stay with him and he will be supporting us both financially I will probably end up working in a nightclub, or bar.

    What visa and where do I apply ?

    Another question if I decide on getting a tourist visa can I then apply for a long stay or working for visa once I am in spain ?

    And since he is the financial supporter do I need to have any requirements before I can obtain my visa? And when do you think I need to apply ? As flight tickets are not book yet and he will only start looking for accommodation once we in france

    Please help / advice me which would be the best options

    • Hi Ashley!

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      I think the best thing for you to do is to speak to a visa agency or the consulate for this one. It would be simple if you were already married and it would be simple if you were only visiting France for holiday, but you’re wanting to essentially live in another European country with your French fiancee. This may raise a few eyebrows with the consulate – but I do think you may be able to get that sort of visa in any case, you’d just need to go about doing it the right way.

      Personally I don’t think they’d give you a visa if you were going to claim income from work in the EU. But, I would suggest contacting people who deal with many sorts of visas on a daily basis for their advice and assistance – my suggestion is visa express, you can call them on 0861 289 270 to speak to a professional. I’d recommend asking for someone who can advise on long-stay French visa applications.

      Hope this helps! :-)

  26. Hey nick ! Thank you for your quick reply ! I called them I’m on my way to the spanish embassey now in pretoria

    One last question if you listed by the ITC…does that have any affect on you getting a visa ?

    • Hey Ashley, sorry for the delay in replying to you! I’m really not sure how being listed with the ITC will affect your chance, never had that request before. Sorry! Hope you come right though, sounds like a great trip :-)

  27. iam a South african would like to and work anywhere in europe can you please advise me about the working permit and the requirements

    • Hi Pinky. Working in Europe legally as a South African is very difficult. You will first need to find a company which is willing to employ you, and you will need to have a skill which the EU needs (with relevant qualification & experience). The company who wishes to employ you will also need to prove that there is no one in the EU who can do the job instead of you. Only then can you go ahead with a highly-skilled migrant visa. Occasionally, if you can speak a European language (eg French or German or Dutch) you may be able to work in the EU as an au-pair – but you will need to apply for that sort of work through an au-pairing agency, you will have to search for one online.

  28. hi – we’re planning to travel around europe for about 2 months, possibly going on a contiki at some stage while based at london staying at family.
    we only know about a week or so of the travel details, that we’re going to be in amsterdam for 3 days, france for 3 and switzerland for 3 days…
    then with the contiki, we’d obviously spend more time in certain countries than in others
    how can we find out which embassy would be best to go apply at? and what do we do if we haven’t fully planned the entire trip?
    are there any embassies that are ‘easier’ in terms of getting a visa?
    thanks

    • Hi Alan. Sounds like quite the trip you’ve got planned. Schengen countries expect you to have your travel plans sorted out before you travel most of the time. In some cases the embassies might let you into the Schengen area without confirmed accommodation & travel plans, usually you will need either someone standing surety for you in a Schengen country (a sponsor) or you will need a lot of personal finances to show you won’t be a burden on the state. Even this does not guarantee anything. If you’re going to be on a Contiki, you will probably need to have booked and paid for this before you depart on your trip and apply for your visa.

      The embassy/consulate you apply through will usually be of the country you are spending the most time at, if it is equal time in each, you apply through the one you enter first.

      As for which consulates are easier to apply through, this is debatable however, I have heard that the Italian is probably the most flexible. I would suggest contacting a visa agency like http://www.visaexpress.co.za and asking their advice – they often have contacts at various embassies/consulates which makes applying through them a little easier.

      Hope this helps.

  29. Hi, i would like to ask if there is anyone who can swap appointments date with me for Netherlands Visa, i am in South Africa Pretoria and i urgently need to got to Netherlands as soon as the 12th of June 2011 for Business.

    Please if there is anyone out there that can help i would really appreciate it.

    • Hi Hopewell, I’m not sure if this is possible, but hopefully someone might be reading this who can help you out. Check with the Dutch consulate if they allow this too.

  30. Hi Nick,
    I found your site by accident and wow! You seem to be the most clued up person I’ve yet to contact!
    I’n not looking for advise, as such, more looking for hope, I suppose!
    We’re taking our two small children to Disney Paris for the 1st week in July ’11, then to the UK to visit in-laws and then onto Spain to visit my sister. We already have our UK visas, application was a breeze. We had to apply via the Spanish consulate in Spain (we’re in Spain for the longest period) for our Schengens, since we live in KZN. We’ve done everything via a travel agent and they use a visa agency in CT. The applications was sent in on the 16th of May and then declined because we didn’t have unabridged birth certificates for the children… Went to Home Affairs, applied for the documents, it will take 6-9 months to process! Spanish Consulate said they’ll accept the receipt of the application.Good news then, except that the next available appointment is only on the 8th of June! Now I’ve just received an email stating, and I quote: The Spanish Embassy is working as per appointment and departure dates.
    The Embassy is upgrading their system till 08/06/2011 and only priority passengers, leaving before 20/06/2011 will be attended to.
    For all those travelling after the 20th, visas will be attended to after the 08th, according to departure date.
    Apparently they’ve received 100% more applications than the same period last year.
    That’s all nice and I assume there’ll be enough time to process ours before our travel date, which is 01/07/2011? But what if they need more documentation and I have to courier more stuff to CT? Then it has to be processed and then still couriered back to us? I hate leaving stuff till the last minute. Who updates a system during the busiest period of the year?
    See you’ve already helped without even answering, you gave me the oppurtunity to vent my frustration!
    Thanks!

    • Hi Louise! Wow, that sounds like a raw deal! To be honest, from my experience, there’s often a lot more fright than bad news with visas – they tend to scare people more often to make sure applications are done timeously and usually deliver on time in the end. They should make a plan considering they’re doing this all at the busiest time of the year, you won’t be the only people in this position, I can guarantee you that. Maybe find out who the visa agency is and give them a call yourself to keep up the pressure. I would also suggest contacting the Spanish Consulate yourself once their systems are online again – this may also help to put on the pressure from all sides. Be calm, polite and persistent ;-) this might make them want to get you off their case without being nasty about it! Oh, and having been a travel agent for many years, I know that your agent will be stressing about this too very much, so keep the pressure on them too – they shouldn’t forget about you!! Sending you all the “hope” I can, it sounds like a fantastic trip!!

  31. Hi

    I need a UK and French Shenghen Visa as my first entry is France after my stay in the UK. Please tell me how much money I need to have in my bank account? At this stage I have like R11 000.00 in my bank account to show on the days of my visa application appointments.

    • Hi Mario, this varies depending on what accommodation arrangements you have for each of the destinations. France is more concerned with money for foreign exchange/living expense money for your stay in that country and the UK is more concerned with your financial well-being and the likelihood you will return to SA. Generally you are required to have about R400 per day of your stay at your disposal for your living expenses. It is however up to the consulate whether they are happy with that amount, so double-checking requirements with them when you make your appointment is essential.

  32. Hi Nick, Im going to london for two weeks in august. I would like to visit belgium and/or holland for a couple days while im there. Its not a definite plan, but if I do decide to go, would I be able to get a shengen visa in London? If so, do you know how i would go about it?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Lyle, for this one you have to apply before you leave South Africa. You’re only allowed to apply for a Schengen visa in London if you have permanent residency or a work permit there. I would suggest buying a cheap ticket for the London/Brussels (www.travelstart.co.za) return or, pre-buying a return Eurostar train ticket (www.eurostar.com). Once you’ve done this, book cheap accommodation, perhaps even backpackers (if you intend to cancel it) in Belgium as proof of accommodation. Once you’ve done this you can go about applying for your Schengen visa as normal. Sorry I couldn’t have better news for you, unfortunately us South Africans have gathered a reputation for disappearing into the woodwork of countries on the cheap, so they’re strict with us now!

  33. SOS Saw how everybody is so impressed with your advice!!!My daughter is in France BUT her Schengen Visa will be expiring in a few day how can she renew in Europe it as she wants to travel to Spain as well?Thanks

    • Hi Mari, generally one is not allowed to renew a schengen visa – if she is working over there (eg aupairing), it may be possible though. I would suggest she contacts the foreign ministry in France (http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/) for advice if she intends to stay longer, generally though, this is not permitted. Under no circumstances must she stay longer than her visa permits though, if she does this, she will be blacklisted and this could affect her entry not only into Europe in the future but many other countries too.

  34. hi Nick

    someone told me i need to complete a “a new entrant form” since it will be my first time to a schengen state (spain) – though i cant find any informatiopn regarding this – is he correct?

    thanks.

    • Hi Russel, to my knowledge there isn’t such a form, everyone has to fill out the same form no matter how many times they have been before. On all the resources available to me there is no mention of a “new entrant form”. I hope this helps!

  35. hi..could you please advise me…I am a german citizen living and working in belgium …Im going to marry my childhood sweetheart in south africa…but not sure what visa he needs to come to belgium…could you please help me…

    • Hi Helena! Generally they will issue him a spousal visa, but you will need to provide proof of marriage etc in order to apply for that visa for him. With these sorts of visas, it’s always best to deal with a professional. The guys at http://www.visa-express.co.za have a lot of experience in visas and they can advise you if they are able to help and what documents are needed in order to make the application.

  36. Hi nick, I’ve got a south african passport and have lived in the uk for 7 years. I would like to go to Spain for the first time for a week. Can I do the appropriate paperwork in London? And do you know how long it takes? Thanks

    • Hi Holly! Generally you have to apply from your home country – but seeing as you’ve been in the UK for some time, I suspect you have a work permit or permanent residency there – if this is the case, the embassy should allow you to apply from London, you’ll probably need to appear in person though. Find their contact details here: http://www.maec.es/subwebs/Consulados/Londres/en/home/Paginas/home_cglondres.aspx :-) Nick

  37. Hi Nick, I have a delegation leaving for Poland this month August and they will be transiting in Germany and staying 10 days in Poland, please advice me which embassy they must apply their schegen visa. please note they are using official passports.

    • Hi Bussy, Poland and Germany form part of the Schengen area, meaning you’ll need a Schengen visa. The rule is that you apply through the country you’re staying the longest in. Since the travellers will only be a couple of hours in German and 10 days in Poland, they’ll need to apply through the Polish consulate/embassy for their visa. Hope this helps!

  38. Hi Nick,

    I need to apply for an emergency Shengen VISA for Spain as my colleague has taken ill and I need to take to place at a confrence.

    If I apply for an emergency VISA how long does it take should I have my documents in order.

    • Hi Conrad, I’m afraid it’s hard to tell, it should take a couple of days, but it really depends on how busy the consulate is and if they have the manpower to process the visa quickly. Get in touch with them directly to get the most up-to-date info on the current waiting period.

  39. Hi there do you know what the cost of a schengen visa for Holland is currently? Thx.

  40. Hi Alister, the price is 60 Euros, but it’s payable in Rands and the rate changes regularly, currently it’s R638 total, payable in cash usually.

  41. Hi Nick,
    Im a South African living and working in Gibraltar,I am married to an EU(British)citizen,now my problem he lives in Spain and i cant cross the boarder without a visa.A friend of mine who is also a South African and living in Spain said she was only showing her marriage certificate and always with her husband,the embassy i used to use to get a visa is Italian but its costing me a lot of money and its not a guarantee that they will issue me a visa.I have been issued a visa about 3 times,my worry is if i apply again,they may ask why am i always going there,even though i dont go.Is there any way i can get a visa for free as i have read that im supposed to be getting it free,as im married to an EU national.I also found this link somewhere when i was checking http://ec.europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry-exit/non-eu-family/index_en.htm
    Maybe you can highlight things that can help me,to do and to be aware of.
    Another thing,they keep saying the law may not apply to third world countries,I believe we are a third world country,or am I wrong?
    Any information you have will be appreciated.
    Thank-you

    • Hi Portia! Thanks for getting in touch. As far as I know, you are allowed to get a free visa if you’re a spouse of an EU citizen. They will likely want you to apply through the country you’re going to though as they will need to see that you’re actually in that country. This it the case when applying here in South Africa in any case. The difference between your friend and yourself is that she was living in Spain, within the Schengen area, you’re coming from outside the Schengen area and therefor need a visa to enter. If you’ve used the Italian consulate before, you could continue to do that, it’s true that they can deny the visa, but since you’ve had a few schengen visas the chances are much smaller. To be honest though, it’s going to be best to get the answer from the horse’s mouth, if you can speak to border control or the foreign affairs department in Spain you might get a more reliable answer. I’m afraid I have little experience with visas of a complicated nature like this. I hope I was able to help a little.

  42. hi nick
    wonder if you could help . my partner is german and i‘m south african . we plan to get married in south africa in 2012 and then move to germany . what are the requirements we need to get married . we were told that we would need to wait for 6 to 8 weeks for our marriage license before i could go to germany . is this true ? would i need to apply for a visa to go to germany after we marry ? pls any info will be very helpful . thank you

    • Hi Sammy! Thanks for getting in touch. I must admit I have no experience with marriage and immigration type issues like this. As far as I know you will definitely need this marriage certificate and you should still require a visa to visit Germany until you apply to immigrate to Germany. For that accurate answer you’re going to have to talk to immigration lawyers and specialists. I’m sorry I couldn’t help you with a more concrete answer, I just don’t have a large amount of experience with this.

  43. I just applied my visa to Netherlands. After collecting my application,the visa office told me to call back in two days to see the status of my application. Is that normal to other applicants?

    • Hi TK! Thanks for getting in touch. That sounds pretty normal to me. It’s actually quite good that they will follow up on the status of the application and not just wait till the end when the embassy gives it back.

  44. If I have a valid schengen visa obtained from the Dutch Embassy will it apply to entry into Spain ? I was meant to be in transit in Amsterdam and now will be in transit in Spain – and is a visa required at all if I’m just in transit ?

    • Hi Nicole, thanks for getting in touch. This should be okay, but it depends on what’s written on your visa. If it states that you’re just transiting the Netherlands then it might be an issue, but if it says you’re transiting the schengen states then you should be okay.

  45. Hi, Im wondering if I can ask some advice. I am going on a cruise at the end of april 2012 of which the main schengen country will be Italy. In the next month or 2 I will also apply for a UK visa. The problem i have is that I will not know whether to get a flight ticket from South frica or from UK to italy, before I get the results back from my uk visa application. I can thus not apply for the schengen visa before i can get the UK visa back to book and use for my schengen visa application. My concern is that I will have to wait too long for the UK visa, and that I wil then not have enough time to apply for the schengen visa, as i read it can take up to a month. Does anyone have any advice, or is there a way to get the schengen visa more than three months in advance, eg. before apply for the uk visa. Or is it possible to get a temporary south african passport in caser i do not get my passport back from the UKBA in time.
    Thanks
    Jack

    • Hi Jack! Thanks for getting in touch. Okay, you cannot use a temporary passport to apply for a visa for the UK or Europe, they don’t accept them. You can also only get a temporary passport while you wait for a permanent passport to be printed, not if you have one already.

      All this aside, I would suggest applying for the UK visa first, they are pretty quick in getting it done – it usually takes about 4 days (sometimes up to 2 weeks), you should be able to apply for that in Jan or Feb no problems. Just note that the UK will likely require you to have your flights to Italy booked before you apply. Once this is done apply for your Italian Multiple Entry Schengen Visa. I would make the appointment for that visa application the moment you get your British Visa back (obviously no more than 3 months before your departure). The Italian consulate has a new visa handling agency which should make the application process quicker – even if it is a little pricier. Hope this all helps!

  46. Hi Nick, I’m wondering if you could help shed some light on what the best approach (in terms of obtaining a visa) would be in my situation. I am a South African citizen living in Cape Town and planning on cycling across europe in July/August 2012 (expecting to take about 2 months). Starting in France and heading east through switzerland, germany, austria, slovakia and finishing in hungary. I could alternatively start in netherlands and head south through belgium (before heading east), if that would make getting the visa easier. As far as I understand I need a multiple entry visa. My main concern is that I will not be able to provide accommodation plans as this is not really feasible on a cycle tour and I plan to camp at the nearest camp sites each day. I therefore assume I will need a letter from someone in the country I am starting in, saying that they will host me for the duration of the trip, but how would I obtain a multiple entry visa in this case? and is it likely that they will grant one for two months? Should I perhaps have letters from people in the first two countries saying I am staying with them each 1 month? any insight would be much appreciated.
    Thanks
    Matt

    • Hi Matt,

      sounds like quite the trip you’ve got planned! I think the best people to give you advice on this would be a visa agency like http://www.visaexpress.co.za . To be honest I have not had a lot of experience with visas like this, but I have heard of people being granted visas without hard and fast accommodation plans, providing they have much more than “enough” money for the trip.

      You will generally get a multiple entry visa regardless of if you are applying to a country on an invitation letter or not. I went to Germany a couple of years ago and was staying with a friend there and asked for a multiple entry visa and they gave it to me, I also went to the Netherlands on that trip which was not planned.

      The issue for you though, is that you will likely be flying into and out of two different countries on your trip and so would need to show how you will be getting there.

      I have spoken to our travel consultants here and they say that most countries force cyclists to go on organised cycling tours rather than a kind of DIY trip. I would suggest you speak to visa express to get their advice one where and how to apply for this type of trip.

  47. Hi Nick!

    I’ve been reading some of your posts to try see if anyone has asked a similar question! I am a South African living in the UK. I am married to a UK citizen. Having had to get 2 visas before just to be here, I am really dreading applying for the Schengen visa! I am wanting to travel to Italy with my husband for about a week around the 21st Feb. Is it true that the Schengen visa is free if you are married to a UK citizen? Would i need to travel to london for the visa? also, last question, when would you suggest making the application as it is around the corner? Many thanks in advance!

    Cindy

    • I am currently holding a spouse visa, not sure this has any relevance to my question

  48. Hi Cindy! Yes, visas can be a bit of a pain! If you’re married to an EU citizen, the consulate fee is not charged. I am not sure how the application system works in London, as some of the consulates here in SA have handling agencies which charge an extra fee. I would suggest you apply now for your visa, if possible, as sometimes there are waiting times for appointments.

  49. Hi Nick!
    Thanks for providing such useful and knowledgable feedback.
    Regards,
    Matt

  50. Hi, I have obtained a visa as I will be working for my company in the UK for 12 months. I am hoping that during that period I will be able to visit one (or more) of the european countries. However, I will not know what my dates for travel will be due to work commitments and will need to fit in any european visits within the time period.

    Without knowing exactly what my departure / return dates would be, would it be possible to obtain a schengen tourism visa. I was led to believe that as at the time of applying for the schengen visa you would need to furnish exact dates and places you would stay

    Many thanks

    Greg

    • Hi Greg,

      As far as all the info we have at our disposal, you need to have all the dates of your arrival & departure, various booked and paid accommodation etc etc all done before you apply. Usually the consulates will give you a visa based on your date of arrival in and departure from Europe. Since you will have to have your flight ticket booked and paid for at the time of application (which you will show them when you apply), they will base all dates of your visa on this document.

      I’m not 100% sure, but you MAY be able to apply for that visa from the UK (the Schengen visa). I would suggest contacting a visa agency who may have some experience in this to see if they can assist. (www.visaexpress.co.za) However, if you are going to be coming back to South Africa in the interim, you could always apply here at a later stage for the visa. But chat to visa express for advice.

  51. my husband and i r newbies to travel! we r planning to go to Spain and then on to North Cyprus. probably spend equal time in each country. what do we do about visa? if we apply for a Schengen would it b possible for us to go to France, or any other country for that matter, on the spur of the moment from Spain?

    • Hi Lesley! Thanks for getting in touch. The visa for Spain will definitely be a Schengen Visa, ask for a multiple entry visa on your application form and you’ll be allowed to travel to France or any other Schengen country while over there. Generally though, you have to have all your accommodation, transport, flights, forex and insurance paid for before applying for your visa. This means you’re going to have to tell the consulate where you’ll be when, so you can’t simply jet off somewhere on the spur of the moment unfortunately. Once you’re over in Spain, you cannot apply for any other visas from there, you have to apply in a country where you have residency/employment.

      Northern Cyprus will be a difficult one. To be honest, in all my years working as a travel agent I’ve never had anyone ask to go there. Northern Cyprus is also known by some as “Turkish Occupied Cyprus” relating to when the country was occupied by Turkey and a new state was set up – consequently this country is not recognised by anyone except Turkey. Also, it’s airport is not recognised by IATA, meaning you need to fly to Turkey first and then on to Ercan airport in Lefkoşa (Nicosia). You apparently can cross the border from Cyprus proper if you have accommodation/tour booked through a North Cyprus tour operator – though from what I have read there are accounts of people who are non-EU citizens being arrested upon re-entry into Cyprus proper by the border police. From what I can tell, it doesn’t sound like a good idea to go to Northern Cyprus. Rather go to Cyprus proper and find out about crossing for the day when you are there. You won’t need a visa for Cyrpus IF you have come from a Schengen country already on the same trip, see: http://www.visaexpress.co.za/docs/Cyprus/Cyprus%20Schengen%20Visa%20rules%20as%20at%20Nov%202011.pdf .

      Hope this all helps!

  52. I am applying for a Schengen Visa through the Spanish Visa Application Centre in Cape Town. I want to travel to the Netherlands for two days during my stay. Is it possible to just state that I will be in the Netherlands for two days sometime during my stay, or will I need to book flights and accommodation for that trip, binding me to fixed dates which I cannot change? Alternatively, is it possible to just apply for a multiple entry visa and not state where I will be going and when?

    Thanks

    • Hi Laura. The embassy will be wanting to know where you will be when. If you’re applying for a visa and not using an invitation letter from a friend of relative they would want to see confirmed accommodation for the duration of your trip. If you’ve got accommodation booked in the Netherlands, they’ll also want to see how you’re getting there.

      What you could do if book accommodation for the duration of your trip to apply for your multiple-entry visa. Once you have the visa, cancel the accommodation you don’t need and rebook when you’re ready. Many of the hotel companies will give a refund if you cancel long enough in advance (usually more than 2 weeks).

      You should definitely apply for the multiple-entry visa when you apply – most of the embassies give this as a standard in any case.

      Hope this helps.

  53. I have to travel to Barcelona for business in April. I am self employed. What proof of funding do they require?

    • Hi Robyn,

      thanks for getting in touch.

      You’ll need to comply with the general requirements plus the below:

      > Official signed invitation letter from the Host Company or Authority in Spain, stating purpose, dates and relation with the invited company.

      > Official signed business letter from your Company confirming the nature of the trip, dates, relation with the Spanish company or authority and applicant’s employments status in the company.

      > If you are Self-employed please submit official documents confirming your business (commercial licence and latest VAT Certificate)

      > Proof of registration with Organiser of Conference or Fair, if the purpose of the trip is to attend one.

      Your proof of funds will be as normal, it’s just these documents you’ll need if going on business. Hope this helps!

  54. Hi, im in the uk a the moment. Have a SA passport and UK visitors visa and would like to take a day trip to France. Will i be able to get a Schengen visa. Please help

    • Hi Louisa, I’m afraid if you only have a visitor’s visa, the French consulate will likely insist you return to SA to apply for the visa. If you’d like to take a shot at getting a different answer out of them, check out their details on their site: http://www.ambafrance-uk.org/Visa-Department

  55. I am a resident of the U.K. still holding South African Passport. How can I get a Schengen visa? Can I do appointment by internet? I would be touring Spain in June and Italy in July.
    What is the right time to submit the application for a visa?

    • Hi Busisiwe, thanks for getting in touch. If you are a resident of the UK, you can apply for your visa through the consulate in London. You can apply no more than 3 months in advance and I would suggest applying no less than 1 month in advance. Reach the Italian Consulate here: http://www.amblondra.esteri.it/Ambasciata_Londra and the Spanish Consulate here: http://www.maec.es/subwebs/Consulados/Londres/en/home/Paginas/home_cglondres.aspx . Maybe ask, since you’re going 2 Europe twice in 2 months, if they can’t make your visa a multiple-entry valid for 3 months – they may insist you have both trips booked and paid for first though. But, it may be worth asking in any case.

  56. My tickets out of SA are to London and return. We are having flight tickest purchased in UK for our visit to Spain (timeshare ) for a week and then back to London and then taking the Eurostar to Paris for 3 days. can i use my return ticket to london when applying for a visa or must the ticket from london be sent and used. also will the visa cover the dates for the Paris trip.

    • Hi John! The UK visa generally covers you for travel to the UK over a 6 month period from when the visa is issued, you’re not allowed to stay longer than 3 months during the 6 month period from my understanding. At the moment the UK visa agency is not asking for proof of accommodation when apply for a visa, so your return ticket from SA to London and back should be sufficient – you won’t need the Eurostar etc booked before hand. You will need to show confirmed bookings into and out of Europe when applying for your European visa (amongst other requirements). Just to clarify there are two visas you need, one for Europe and one for the UK.

  57. Hi Nick Paul,

    I am a South African passport holder hoping to do a short 6 week course in Spain and then travel up to Germany and Switzerland and across to Turkey a month later, Then to fly back to SA from Spain. Do i need to apply for a visitors visa or a study permit? I wouldnt have any set accommodation in Germany or Switzerland but hoping to stay at backpackers during my trips. Is this impossible to do? or would it be more simple for me to fly to and from Switzerland first and apply for my visa through the Swiss consulate?

    • Hi Mitch, if you’re going to be studying in Europe, all the info I have says you’ll need to apply for a study permit in Europe before being allowed in. I’m not 100% sure of what the study permit allows you to do or if it allows you to stay on beyond the duration of your course – they may give you an extension. If you’re going to be travelling through Europe, you generally need to show how you’re getting around (prepaid) and show where you’re staying (also prepaid) for the duration of your trip. Unfortunately the days of off the cuff, spur of the moment trips to Europe are gone – too many South Africans have been caught working illegally or trying to live illegally in Europe. This means applying through the Swiss consulate won’t help you any more than applying through the Spanish consulate. I would however advise you to deal with an experienced visa agency like http://www.visaexpress.co.za who can advise better on your sort of trip.

  58. Hi Nick Paul, my sister and I will be travelling to Europe and the UK for 3months. We are flying to Italy and then returning to South Africa via London. We will be visiting several countries while in Europe and the UK, all of which require a schengen visa or UK visa. We are doing our own sort of contiki tour. Will I have to submit accomodation for all the countries we will be visiting, or can we just give details for three countries accomodation, say Italy, Spain and UK? And transport we will be getting a eurail 3month pass, would this be information the consulate would need to know. Also would we go to the italian embassy to apply for the Schengen visa, we will be there for the longest time, there and France?Could you please advise.Thanks so much.

    • Hi Taryn, wow! Sounds like quite the trip you’ve got planned. The UK visa is a little easier than the Schengen visa in terms of requirements, but from what you’ve said above, it seems you’re confident with that one. For the Schengen Visa, if you’re going to be in Italy the longest, you’ll need to apply through http://www.myeuropevisa.com and select Italy on that site.

      Your Eurail pass should be sufficient for proof of transport, just remember you’ll likely need to show how and when you’ll be entering and exiting Europe.

      Regarding accommodation, if you’re not staying with friends/family in Italy, it’s very likely the consulate will want to see accommodation for the duration of your trip to the Schengen area. What you can do is pre-purchase accommodation in 2 or 3 countries for the purposes of your visa, you can always cancel what you don’t need and book new accommodation for what you do need, your visa will be a multiple entry visa, so it shouldn’t matter that that’s a country you didn’t have on your application (so long as it’s a Schengen Country).

      If you’re going for such a long time (the maximum is 90 days in the Schengen Area by the way) you’re going to have to show proof of funds for the duration of your stay, that will be a minimum of R400 per person per day for the duration of your trip (that’s R24,000 each for a 2 month trip).

      The length of stay for your visa is quite unusual so I would suggest double-checking everything with the call centre number listed at http://www.myeuropevisa.com just to make sure you stand the best chance of getting the visa first time.

      Best of luck and enjoy the trip!

  59. Hi Paul

    What is the minimun money required to have available for a trip to Austria/Switzerland?
    Or do I have to enquire about this when actually going for my visa?

  60. Hi Sumein, thanks for getting in touch. Generally for Europe, with prepaid accommodation, you’ll need a minimum of about R400 – preferably more – per day for the duration of your stay.

  61. Hi Paul

    My girlfriend and i are planning a trip to france but we have not booked any flights or accommodation, We do however have a letter from a family member staying in Germany. Should we apply for Germany and then just catch a train to France or would it be okay to apply for France. However in France we do not have any set plans to show them. I have heard of just making reservations on planes until the visa gets accepted so they can see you will be leaving the country.

  62. Hi Matthew, if you’re applying using the letter from a family member, your trip has to show that you’re flying to Germany. So I would book a ticket into and out of Germany to minimise the amount of paperwork you’ll need. Just ensure you apply for a multiple entry visa so that you’re allowed out of and back into Germany again. If they ask (they shouldn’t) just say that you may take a day trip to a neighbouring country once there.

    You can easily catch the train to France once you’re in Germany. I did a similar trip a few years back, applying with an invitation letter to Germany, I also caught the train to the Netherlands for a few days and it was no trouble at all.

    – Nick

  63. Hi Nick…Im traveling in and out of europe , spending mainly in Spain when im going to be there and need to get a visa to be able to get in and out of Europe for the the year but wont need more then 90 days but will need multiple entries and also it needs to cover the 9 month period ill be in and out for..any suggestions on what i can do to get a visa for a year with 90 days and multi entry..?

    • Hi Jay, interesting that you ask that today. A colleague of mine who is going to Italy in a couple of weeks and then is doing a whole Europe trip later in the year just applied for a visa and asked if he could have a visa valid for the rest of the year. What he did is put in a letter of motivation with his application. This letter explained that he has a number of trips planned between this date and that date and where he was intending to go on the other trips and when abouts those would be. He urged them to consider his request for a longer stay visa. It is up to the consulate as to whether they will grant this or not, but it’s worth a try.

  64. My husband, daughter and I will be travelling to the UK in March. We are hoping to take a trip to Euro Disney in France for 4 days.
    How much money would my husband and I need to have in our banking accounts as part of our supporting documents for our schengen visa applications? We each have our own banking accounts.

    • Hi Ruth, generally one needs about R450 per person per day. It’s best to have this as part of your foreign exchange for your trip when applying. The consulate may want to see your bank statements to show that you have a bank account here in SA which is active. To apply for the visa you’ll need to visit http://www.myeuropevisa.com

  65. My husband and were inveted by our son and his partner to visit them in Spain (all expenses paid) from the 2nd to the 25th August 2012. What besides the general requirements should we take along, and where do we go to apply for the Spanish Schengen Visa and at what cost. Thank you

    • Hi Melinda, the Spanish Schengen visa is about R650 per person, you apply through VFS, their visa handling service by visiting this site: http://www.vfsglobal.com/spain/southafrica/ You’ll schedule an appointment and pay the fee and they will let you know what to bring along.

      You’ll need to have an original invitation letter from your son in Spain, this will have to be accompanied by a copy of his passport and proof that he’s allowed to reside in Spain (they may also request a copy of a utility bill). I would suggest contacting VFS on the number on their website to clarify exactly what format they want everything in to make sure your application goes off smoothly.

  66. Hi there – my husband and I are visiting Spain in April; first to Amsterdam for 2 days, then Spain 3 weeks and back to Jhbvia Paris, staying in Paris for 2 days.
    My questions:
    * Do we apply for a Schengen visa directly at the Spanish embassy in Pta or do we need to go through an agency?
    * A colleague told me you need special ‘Schengen’ travel insurance. I’ve already bought my normal travel insurance on my Absa credit card, is this sufficient?
    Tx!
    Karien

    • Hi Karien! Thanks for getting in touch. You’ll need to apply through the Spanish Embassy’s visa handling service (VFS), you need to make an appointment on their site. You can find all their details here: http://www.vfsglobal.com/spain/southafrica/contactus.html . For the insurance it will need to cover at least R300,000’s worth of medical care, repatriation and 3rd party damages cover, often credit card insurance is not sufficient but you can take a top-up on it, check with your card company for details of the cover and for purchasing top-ups if they’re needed.

  67. Hello Nick,

    I hope you are doing well.

    Can I please request you to suggest me the schenegan Visa Fees for Spain. I am on student visa in Britain, and belongs from INDIA. I have an appointment on 28th, and probably on 9th March, will take a flight. Do we need to book our hotel, flight before 28th? My natwest bank will issue bank statement, medical insurance. How much time the Spain Embassy would take, if we are visiting on this 28th.

    Thanks

    1. Cost of Visa

    2. Amount showing in the account ( in pounds).

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Rachit, thanks for getting in touch. I’m afraid I really only know about visas which are applied for from South Africa for South African passport holders. So I will give you advice as if you were a South African traveller.

      You will need to have your travel insurance covering at least 30,000 Euro + return air ticket to Europe + confirmation of prepaid accommodation in Europe for the duration of your trip. If you are travelling between two different places on your trip, you will need to show how you are getting from the one city to the other. You will need to bring all this documentation to your visa application.

      The visa should be in the region of about 65 Euro, payable in pounds (check with the embassy for the current exchange rate). The amount you’ll need to have in your account for your trip (preferably in foreign exchange) would be about 40-45 Euro equivalent per day.

      Hope this helps, but I suggest contacting your closest Spanish consulate/embassy to check.

  68. Hi Nick, my friend is an airline pilot and invited me to Europe (arriving in Frankfurt), then to hire a camper to travel wherever we feel like for two weeks. I am his registered travel partner but that means that the oppertunity can come up anytime and I need to get myself ready to jump on the plain if the oppertunity arrise. With open air tickets, and a six month open period, would I be able to apply for a multy-entry schenglen visa?

    • Hi Lea, they should allow you a multiple-entry visa, but they will very likely want to see when you arrive and when you leave the EU, so you cannot present an open return date. Also, unless he can provide you with a letter of invitation (Verpflichtungserklärung) taking surety for you in Germany, you will need to show where you are staying in Germany for the duration of your trip. The maximum length of validity of a Schengen visa is usually 90 days within 6 months, but this is rarely given to travellers, when your stay is going to be that long you, and the person taking surety for you will have to show sufficient funds for the duration of your stay. Visit here for more info and to make an appointment for a visa application: http://www.visa-germany.co.za/index.html

  69. Hi Nick,

    I’m traveling to Amsterdam later this year and the embassy requires proof of finance for a daily allowance, can this just be a bank statement, credit card statement or must it be foreign exchange?

    Thanks

    D

    • Hi Dino, thanks for getting in touch. 3 months Bank Account statements are accepted showing about 40 Euro equivalent available per day, though even better is proof of purchase of foreign exchange.

  70. Hi. I am applying for the Schengen on behalf of my employer (he goes to Switzerland every year in March, so this is not the first Schengen I am obtaining on his behalf). He is travelling in March to Switzerland for approx 2 weeks, returning to SA and then going to Italy, Rome again in July. Can we apply for one schengen to cover both trips at the Swiss embassy and if so are there any other documents that will be required aside from the usual? I might just add that the Swiss trip is for tourism and the Rome for business and tourism. Thanks, looking forward to your advice.

    • Hi Lize. You can definitely request a visa valid for multiple entry for a maximum of 6 months duration. Just provide the Swiss consulate with as much info about his future trips as possible (eg dates) so that they can see that he’s serious. The fact that he’s had previous trips to the EU is to his advantage in this. Just remember granting the long stay visa is at their discretion still.

  71. Hi Nick, i’m travelling to Spain, Portugal and France in June. Having previously travelled to europe and being married to a european passport holder i was in formed that i neednt personally apply for schengen visa (i can do it through an agency). All my previous schengen visas were issued by the Dutch Embassy but i wont be travelling to holland during this trip at all. Do i have to apply at the Spanish/Potuguese embassy or can i just apply as per normal at the Dutch Embassy.

    Thanks
    Rick

    • Hi Rick, thanks for getting in touch. You will need to apply through the consulate/embassy of the country you are spending the longest time in, whether that be France, Portugal or Spain, unfortunately you won’t be allowed to apply through the Dutch embassy at all. What happens if you are the spouse of an EU citizen is that you must be travelling with them for the duration of this trip and then your visa fees are waivered, that means, the visa costs nothing at all. Spain and France each have a handling agency dealing with their visas so you will need to apply through one of those if you’re spending the longest time there. I suspect you are in gauteng, so see the info below:

      For France: http://www.myeuropevisa.com/FR-ZA/
      For Spain: http://www.vfsglobal.com/spain/southafrica/
      For Portugal: http://www.cgj.org.za/visas.htm

      For each of these you need to appear in person to make your application it seems. I hope this helps you!

  72. Hi Nick

    I need to apply for a Schengen entering Spain first and it’s difficult to get the embassy in Pretoria. I’ve seen these companies offering to do it for you. http://www.visarequest.co.za/visas/spain_visa_184.html

    Is this legitimate or do I need to present myself in person at the embassy in order to apply.

    would appreciate your assistance.

    Kind regards,
    Velda

    • Hi Velda, I am not aware of visa agencies who deal with the embassy in Pretoria, to my knowledge, all applications had to be lodged with the official handling service “VFS” here: http://www.vfsglobal.com/spain/southafrica/ I would say, if you can make the time to go to VFS, rather do that as they are the official handler.

  73. Hi Nick,

    I work for a Swiss Company and stay in South Africa. I will be required to attend meetings with clients in Switzerland over the next year. Is it possible to get a visa without actually booking a ticket, would an itinerary be sufficient? Clients setup meetings at very short notice and I’m worried I can’t get a visa in time. Also is it possible to get a multi entry visa for along periods so that I don’t have to get a visa every time I need to travel for a meeting?

    • Hi Daryl, thanks for getting in touch. My best suggestion to you is to chat this over with the consulate as it is a fairly unusual situation. To my knowledge, they would need some sort of official letter from your work stating what you’ve said above (on company letterhead with your passport number). They would likely require some prospective itineraries showing costings of the trip that may have to be signed off by your work.

      The application process can take up to 12 weeks to complete for long-stay visas, so please allow time. You can reach the Swiss Embassy on:
      (012) 452-0662 or pre.visa@eda.admin.ch to discuss this further with them.

  74. Hi Nick, we are travelling to Spain this year. we contacted a few agencies to clarify which is the best means of proof of payment. they all insist that even if you buy foreign exchange and you have well over the required daily amount needed, you will still need to provide 3 months bank statement. Is this true, as we will not be taking our local bank cards with us, as we are purchisng foriegn excahnge which will be loaded onto a travel card at the bank. please can you advise. Thanks

    • Hi Donald. Thanks for getting in touch. The 3 months bank statements (particularly if you’ve already got foreign exchange) are more about seeing that you’re a stable sort of a person with stable finances, ie, money coming in and money going out of your accounts. So, if you didn’t have a bank account or had an account with R20 in it for the last 3 months, this would show them that you’re not someone who’s financially able to support himself while travelling and has a high chance of becoming a financial liability to the EU.

      I hope this helps answer your question.

  75. Hi Nick

    Trust that you are well.

    Myself and a friend are looking to travel to Switzerland, Italy, France & Spain in June this year. We will be entering and exiting europe through Switzerland as we were invited to stay with some family friends there, while in Italy, France & Spain we will be staying in hotels. We would like to know how to go about applying for our visa’s, to which embassy should we apply, how long in advance do we need to apply and what is the average spending money that is required when we apply?

    • Hi Gasant,

      thanks for getting in touch. I would suggest applying through Switzerland, and I suggest you apply for a multiple entry visa as you “may do daytrips to neighbouring countries” while there, if you get what I am saying. You shouldn’t need to mention that you are going to travel for most of your holiday to other countries when you apply when using an invitation letter from friends. The invitation letter from your host in Switzerland, should be duly signed with a copy of the valid Swiss residence permit or Swiss passport. This letter and copy of passport should be originals mailed (or DHL’d) from Switzerland to your address here in South Africa.

      I hope this helps answer your question

  76. Hey Nick**

    I am traveling to Spain and France for a private visit to two of my friends. They want to send me invitation letters for my time of stay in each country with them at their residence.

    I need these letters to get my Visa, and I want to leave at the beginning of April.

    Where do I get the information regarding the Invitation letter ?

    – What is the process for my friends’ on that side,where must they go to get the letter?
    – what documents do they need to get the letter?
    -What documents and information do I need to e-mail them ?

    – How long does a letter of invitation take ?

    On the Embassy in SA’s webpage – if I search it I don’t find it.

    Please help

    • Hi Stina! Thanks for getting in touch.

      According to the info I have at my disposal, for Spain, the host invitation from Spanish Nationals or foreign residents in Spain is available at any National Police Station (allow yourself to apply with a few months in advance of your trip) or through a Public Notary in Spain. In some cases and with the due guaranties such as property ownership, leasing, copy of the host’s passport in Spain, a private invitation could be taken into consideration.

      You can find out the most up-to-date info by visiting this link: http://www.vfsglobal.com/spain/southafrica/nonimmigrantvisas_docreq.html

      For France they will need to send you an Attestation d’accueil. This form is available at local Municipalities in France. It must be
      completed and signed by the friends or family in France, forwarded to the applicant and submitted with the requirements listed above. This “Attestation d’accueil” will also have to be stamped by the Border Police upon entering France.

      Click here for more info on this: http://bit.ly/wnuReq

  77. Do south Africans need a transit Via or tourist Visa if they are in Transit in Egypt

    • Hi Tumelo! You don’t need a visa to transit Egypt if you hold a permanent South African passport. Be sure you have all the necessary visas for your destination though.

  78. Hi Nick,

    My mum and dad have arrange a cruise for myself (UK Passport) and my 2 children (SA Passport) from Majorca with 6 stops, Corsica, 2 italy, 2 France, Spain and back to Majorca.

    As we only spend a day in each destination do I still need a Schengen visa for the children? (age 12 & 13)

    Seeing as Mum and Dad are paying for this…they only pay the balance after I’ve applied for childrens schengen visa’s should they require them. I do I manage this?

    Regards

    Neil

    • Hi Neil, thanks for getting in touch.

      Since your travel will be to Europe the children will need a Schengen visa each, regardless of whether they are on a cruise or not. This is in the case that they have South African passports. They may be able to get the visa free of charge as they are travelling with an EU citizen to whom they are an immediate relative, though they may still pay the handling agency fee.

      I’m not sure where the majority of their stay will be but it sounds like it will be Spain, so you would need to do the applications via http://www.vfsglobal.com/spain/southafrica/

      Hope this helps!

  79. Hey. I want to go and backpack France , maybe go to Amsterdam and Belgium. For which visa(s) do I need to apply for, what do I need to apply for the visa(s) and how much will it cost me?

    • Hi Jacques!

      Thanks for getting in touch. You will need to apply for a multiple entry Schengen visa. It allows you entry into almost all European countries (including France, Belgium and Netherlands). You apply through the embassy of the country where you will be spending the most time. From the sounds of it this will be France for you.

      The visa costs about R650 and there may be other handling fees involved. You need to go through their official handling agency called Copago who will give you all the details on what is required. Find them on http://www.myeuropevisa.com

  80. Hi Neil,

    I need a Schengen visa for Germany on a short visit to my adult son who lives there. On the web I found a Company in Pretoria whom handles the apllication on my behalf for about ZAR500. I wish to take this route as I live in Nelspruit. However, Don’t I have to appear in person? Can I send a company on my behalf with all the needed documentation? Thank You!

    • Hi Andre, the info I have at my disposal states:

      “Applications must be submitted in person and may not be submitted by courier, regular post, fax or email. Only applicants who can prove to have travelled at least twice to the Schengen States within the past two years, may be exempted from applying in person. A third party may represent such applicants.”

      It does sometimes happen that visa agents have agreements with consulates/embassies, but I would suggest double-checking this with the German Embassy first before handing over money or your personal documents. Try reaching them on this number: (012) 427- 8999

  81. Hi, Nick

    I am attending a 3-day conference in Spain (Barcelona). I’d be coming from Tokyo and is from a country where Schengen visa is required. Although the main purpose of my trip to Europe is for the Barcelona conference, I want to enter through Italy or Czech Republic for tourism purposes, staying at either for also 3 days.

    If I apply through the Italian or Czech embassies, I would most likely request for a tourist visa. What do I tell them about my business trip to Spain? Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Precious, thanks for getting in touch. I would say that you still apply through the Spanish consulate (provided that your stay there is longer than the stay in the other countries). If your stay is identical in both, you will apply through the country you are entering first. They will likely require documentation proving your accommodation etc when you apply. Unless you are being entirely sponsored by a company it may be worth your while to not mention the conference and just apply as a tourist and get the company to pay you back for any expenses linked to the conference.

  82. Hi Nick,

    I’m planning a Euro trip for a month from July until August. My return flights are already booked to Milan and I’m staying there with a friend I also visited last year on a Dutch Schengen Visa. I’ll be in Milan for a week doing an Italian language course.

    I’m planning on flying from Milan into Paris and taking the train to Bordeaux to meet up with another friend and cycle through to Santiago, Spain over 3 weeks. Question is I’ll most likely spend more than 2 weeks in Spain doing the “pilgrimage” route. How do I show proof of accommodation if I’m not sure how long I’ll be cycling every day? (And therefore I don’t want to pre book the accommodation).

    Your help would be much appreciated!!

    • Hi Marjorie, thanks for getting in touch.

      I think the simplest will be for you to use your friend in France (if they are French citizens) to invite you over there and then you use that invitation letter to apply for the visa through France. You don’t have to mention your trip to Spain on that one.

      An alternative option is to just to book accommodation in a couple of places in Italy/France for the purposes of showing it for your visa. Then once your visa has arrived, you can cancel the accommodation you no longer need. Most hotels will give you a refund if you cancel more than a couple of weeks before check-in.

  83. Hi Neil

    Me and my bf want to go on holiday for a month, we want to travel, italy, spain, portugal and paris. I just want to know if i have to apply for a visa for each of these countries or can i just apply for a Schengen visa and if it is a Schengen visa, at what embassy would i apply for it?

    Thanks you!!

    • Hi Yolandi, you can apply for 1 visa which covers all those countries – the Schengen visa. This visa covers almost all the European countries and all the ones you mentioned above. You apply through the consulate of the company you are spending the longest time in.

  84. Hi Nick

    Me and my bf want to go on holiday for a month, we want to travel, italy, spain, portugal and paris. I just want to know if i have to apply for a visa for each of these countries or can i just apply for a Schengen visa and if it is a Schengen visa, at what embassy would i apply for it?

    Thanks you!!

  85. i’m in a little of a dilemma. My parents and i are going on a cruise on the 19 May (next friday). Our UK visa took 3 weeks and currently our visa for gibraltar is getting processed. we still need a Schengen visa and we need it for spain as that is our first port of entry. Apparently we need to take an appointment and the next appointmet is on the 15 May. do you know any way we can get it earlier or get the visa processed within 5 days? as they said it takes 15 days:( im so stressed. please help. Thank you Paul.

  86. Hi Paul

    i’m in a little of a dilemma. My parents and i are going on a cruise on the 19 May (next friday). Our UK visa took 3 weeks and currently our visa for gibraltar is getting processed. we still need a Schengen visa and we need it for spain as that is our first port of entry. Apparently we need to take an appointment and the next appointmet is on the 15 May. do you know any way we can get it earlier or get the visa processed within 5 days? as they said it takes 15 days:( im so stressed. please help. Thank you Paul.

  87. Hi Paul,

    I am currently on a gap year in England , with a south African passport. I have booked a Topdeck tour which will allow me to visit 9 schengen countries. The tour only covers 3 weeks of my 2 month holiday. Would i still need to provide travel arrangements for my holiday plans after the top deck tour? Do i apply for my visa online or do i need to go into London for this ? Thanks alot !

    • Hi Jason, thanks for getting in touch. You will need to provide travel arrangements for your entire stay in Europe, even if that is just accommodation in one hotel for the rest of the stay, for the purposes of applying for your visa. You can always cancel and rebook accommodation as you see fit once the visa has been approved. Just be sure to apply for a multiple entry visa.

      For the application, you can only apply for the UK if you have permission to reside in the UK, eg on a work permit of ancestral visa. If you are on a normal visitors visa, it is very likely that you will have to return to SA in order to apply for your visa for Europe. But it may be worth checking with the consulate of the country where you will be spending the most amount of time there in London before you make arrangements to return to SA.

  88. Hi Nick, So worried. I got my UK visa within a few days. Applied for Schengen visa over a week ago. I am going to be staying in Malta for most of the time, so had to apply through Italian Embassy. How long will it take for my visa to come through? Leaving for UK 16th June 2012. So worried that it will take too long to get Schengen visa. di

    • Hi Diana, if your application has already gone in to the Italian Consulate, you should be fine for your trip. It usually takes only a couple of weeks, applying a month in advance like you did should be perfectly fine.

  89. Hi Nick,

    I’m a South African currently based in Maldives.
    I’m planning to travel to Portugal with my boyfriend, what are the requirements and where would I have to apply for my visa?

    I think we’ll be flying via Madrid?

  90. Hi Neil, hope you can help me as I am finding it very complicated to try to organise my trip? I only have a SA passport. The beginning of August I would like to to the UK. My sister has a British passport. I will stay there for a few days and then the two of us would like to go to France and Germany. We would most likely go to one for a few days, and then back to Wales and then to the other country after. Do I need a visa for the Uk and a Shengen. And where do I apply for my Shengen, I live in Cape Town. We will maybe do Prague aswell. What are all the costs involved? Kind regards Jane

  91. hi nick.i was born in reubpublic of congo,but i am a south african citizen due to being married to a south african lady.i dont earn big bucks ,but iwould like to take my wife and child on a vacation.i have safe up some money andwould like to take them to the usa for4 days and the uk for 3 days.how do i go around planning a trip(,what visas,how much spending money,flights cost).hope you can give me info.thanks.dola

  92. hi nick! my boss and her daughter might need to travel to the Canary Islands asap! her daughter is 15, but my boss will be travelling with her. they are from Port elizabeth, South Africa. what exactly do they need and where do they need to apply? please help as soon as you can.

  93. My friend and I are trying to submit our visa application to VFS to schedule an appointment, but it doesn’t let us submit the first page, as it keeps asking for the security code. Is there any way to get hold of them as there aren’t any contact details?

    Thanks a mil!

  94. Hi Nick,
    Urgent question. A group of mates and I (6 in total) are going to Ibiza for 8 days in July. We have booked accomodation through ownersdirect.co.uk and have secured an apartment for us all to stay in. My question is whether the letter of confirmation that our ‘host’ has given us is sufficient. It includes our full names, description of apartment, physical address, prices, dates booked, and his contact details. A copy of his ID is also attached.

    I am worried they will deny our visa applications. Our flights, forex, and other requirements I am confident with.

    Please could you assist me with this issue?

    Thank you in advance.
    Mike

  95. Hi Loinice,

    thanks for getting in touch. This is a tough one, though I think the answer is going to be the inconvenient one – you’ll need to return to SA in order to apply for the visa for Portugal. There are only 5 countries with Embassies in the Maldives and they are all South Asian ones (eg India, Sri Lanka etc). You could check with the portuguese embassy in Pretoria on geral@scpre.dgaccp.pt or (012) 346 4285

  96. Hi!
    Just want to know if an agent can apply for you at the belgium embasy and if so do you have contact details of an agent.

    Thanks

  97. Hi Nick – I have asked a question last week and haven’t received a reply as yet. Could you please assist – in connection with Macedonia. And how will I know that you have answered the question, other than reading the blogs.

  98. Hi,

    Just a quick question regarding the section 34&35 of the visa application form for Spain, i am 21 and travelling alone to Spain on a South African passport but my mom is an EU citizen, do i fill in that section if she is not coming with me and if i do i would obviously need a copy of her passport and my birth certificate proving she is my mother?

    Thank You

  99. Hi Paul, I’m travelling to Paris and then London, and then back to Paris for my flight back home. Do I need to apply now for my visa for my December holiday? How many visas do I need to apply for or a France visa covers London, vice versa? Thanks

  100. Hi, Is it possible to get an extension on a Schengen visa? Do you know anything about a seaman’s book. We work on foreign flagged boats and I need a month extension on my visa, will a seaman’s book help?

  101. Hi paul,
    Hi am a nigeria studying in south africa, with temporary residence permit,can I vist italy and spain during hliodays.

  102. Hi there! Another variation on the same question.

    I am in the process of planning a trip over December/January through Eastern Europe. I have booked tickets to Prague, but this stage this is the only plan that I have made. I want to travel overland, with either train or bus from Prague, to Krakow, through Slovakia to Budapest and then through Croatia from Zadar to Dubrovnik.

    The time I am in the Schengen Countries will probably be around 2/3 of the time, and I will be in those countries more or less for the same time. As I am entering the Schengen Region in the Czech Republic I assume I have to apply with them for the Schengen. How does the Croatian leg of the trip work? I understand that I can enter Croatia on a Schengen visa (if I enter Croatia from a Schengen country), but would it be OK with the Schengen peeps if the lonegst I am in a country its in Croatia?

    I was planning to book accommodation in a hostel booking site where you only need to pay 10% or less of the booking fee, just to show a rough itinerary, and I will book a flight back from Dubrovnik to Prague (still have to look for one). Would this be sufficient for the visa application? Or do I need to give more information upfront on how I get from place to place?

  103. Hi Nick,

    My South African boyfriend would like to visit me in Spain. I am a UK teacher working in an international school in Spain.

    If my South African boyfriend would like to visit me for three weeks at Christmas and then again at Easter and the summer holidays, what would be his best way forward? Should he apply for a multiple entry visa?

    Could we buy a flight ticket for the Xmas holidays now from South Africa to Spain to get a good price?

    Thanks,
    Basia

    Thanks,
    Basia

  104. hi, I would like to know what the process is regarding visa (Italian Embassy in South Africa) and proof of sufficient funds if I am sponsoring someone (my live-in partner) to go on a trip with me to Europe.
    Currently flights/accomodations and tours have been booked and paid for,and I have proof. My partner is currently unemployed, is there an affidavit or form that I can complete to confirm that I have sufficient funds to cover any costs related to the trip for both of us and that I am sponsoring. Thanks for your help

  105. Hi Nick

    I have a few questions we are planning on travelling overseas next year,we want to plan really well…and not have any problems.We plan to go to the UK and Scotland and stay at friends for about a week.From there we plan to go to Germany,France and maybe Italy…then return to London to fly back home.

    1.when will the earliest time we can book our tickets? (we planning on travelling in december 2013 and returning in jan 2014).

    2.Which Visa’s do we need?

    3.We will be using the train/bus depending…and booking accomadation prior to going (how can we proof the travelling aspect for our visa’s)

    Do you have any tips or advise?

    Please let me know.

    Thanks!

  106. Hi Nick

    I am looking to do a contiki with a friend ,i currently live in durban . Which travel agency would you recommend i use,also what should i watch out for when booking?

    When it comes to visa etc where do i need to go to get the information?

  107. Hi Nick,

    We have a Schengen visa issued by France. We are going to Italy and France for 19 days in total. Italy is the first point of entry and France is where we will be the longest.

    We want to change our itinerary slightly, adding 2 extra days in Italy. France will remain the area of longest stay.

    Can we do this or must we contact the embassy to let them know that we want to change our itinerary?

    Thanks,

    B

  108. Hi Nick,

    Regarding the UK visitors visa, how much is required for proof of funds? Is it ok there is say R5000 in my account currently for a 5 day trip in Dec with proof that I am earning and that there will be a lot more by the time I leave?

    Brandon

  109. Hi there,
    Do you know how long it would take to get a Schengen visa for the Netherlands once a UK Visa is approved? I would be travelling to the UK for a few days and would like to spend a weekend perhaps in Amsterdam

    Thanks :-)

  110. hi there.i would like to know,do you do uk and switzerland visas and if so ,how long does it take?i want to visit there in december.around the 17th.

  111. Hi

    My husband and I are planning on going to France and Spain next year. Do we have to apply for 2 separate visa’s of can we get one? How do we go about applying and what is the cost?

  112. Hi Paul

    I have a UK passport and permanent residence in South Africa. My fiance has a South African passport.

    We went to the UK last March for a holiday. It was a nightmare getting a UK visa for her but we finally got one.

    We are planning another trip for next July, going to the UK for 3 moths. We will have to apply for another UK visa fore her which if fine now we know the ropes.

    But we would like to vist friends in Antwerp Belgium. We would be flying from Newcastle to Amsterdam then driving to Belgium. Do we need a visa for Holland and for Belgium? There are no border controls at the Holland Belgium border> So we would only need a visa for Holland?

    Or would we be better going by ferry from Dover to Ostend and only need a Belgium visa?

    Can we apply for it when we are in the UK? We live 400 miles from Cape Town. Would we go to the Belgium Embassy in London or can it be done by post?

    Sorry this is so complex.

    Barry

  113. hi Nick

    i am invited to do missionary work in London . of which it is the voluntary work . can you tell me what type of a Visa must i apply and how long does it take

  114. I have an EU passport but my children (19 yrs and 10 yrs) are on SA passports. I would like to travel to France. I have heard that I won’t have to pay for a Schengen Visa for them. Is this true?

  115. Hi.There are few question to be answered,will be much appreciated if you can do so.
    Is France inclusive of one of the Schengen countries?
    How do I apply for a Schengen visa?
    How much is it?
    As a South African citizen I will be applying for a UK visa and will be travelling during July do I apply for a Schengen visa before buying my ticket?
    Do I have to give the name of Residence,hotel or lodge when applying for a visa?Many Thanks.Will wait for your reply.

  116. I have a booked and paid flight to France on Mo 27 May but have not got a visa yet.Today is 23 May. Is there any emergency options for schengen visas?

  117. I need to find out how do you go about applying for a Schengan visa. My son work for an American Arts galleria and get placed on Cruise Ships. He has a 5 and 10 year visa for America but now need an Schengan visa because they do a new route to Europe now. How and where do he apply??
    Please could you get back to us asap.
    Thank you
    A Erasmus 079 494 4768

  118. Please help
    I am a South African staying in the Seychelles at the moment and would like to visit Sweden is it possible to get a Shengen visa from the Swedish embassy in Seychelles or do i have to get it in South Africa??
    Safe travels
    Leroy

  119. HELLO ,PLEASE HELP IM A ZIMBABWEAN CURRENTLY LIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA ON A WORK PERMIT,I RECENTLY GOT ANOTHER JOB AND IM REQUIRED TO FLY TO ITALY ,QUESTION IS ,CAN I STILL APPLY FOR MY VISA IN SOUTH AFRICA OR DO I HAVE TO GO TO ZIMBABWE?

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