Get A Schengen Visa For France In 48 Hours

“Paris is always a good idea.” – Audrey Hepburn

This information only applies to South African passport holders who are interested in travelling to France for tourism purposes.

Applying for a Schengen visa for France used to be a relatively frustrating experience with many hoops to jump through and a whole lot of confusion surrounding the application process. Fortunately, the system has been upgraded substantially and South African passport holders can now see their short-stay Schengen visa ready within 48 hours. That is 2 business days from the time the application is lodged until the passport is made available for collection.

paris france


Getting a Schengen Visa for France within 48 hours is not an absolute guarantee. The processing times are completely dependent on the French consulate and the time of year your visa application is made. The key to improving your chances of getting a visa within a matter of days is ensuring you follow the application process correctly and submit all the correct documents with your visa application.

What is a Schengen Visa?

A Schengen Visa allows you to travel within the Schengen area, which consists of 26 countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement. This agreement abolished border checks between member states and allows travellers to move freely between the member countries without having to get multiple visas. There are currently 26 Schengen countries, which include 22 EU countries and four non-EU countries.

How much is a Schengen Visa for France?

Short-stay Schengen visa:

  • Adult (+12 years) – EUR 60 (about R936)
  • Minor (6-12 years) – EUR 35 (about R546)
  • Child (under 6 years) – free

Capago service fee:

  • EUR 27 (about R421)

Additional services:

  • Passport delivery – R220
  • VIP Premium Lounge – R600
  • ID photos – R90
  • Document printing – R3 per copy

Find out more about Capago’s additional services.

The following methods of payment are accepted:

  • Electronic funds transfer – EFT
  • Debit or credit card (No American Express or Diners Club)

Note: The above fees are based on current exchange rates and are subject to change.

france winelands

How to apply for a Schengen Visa for France?

  1. Gather all your documents. These include:
  • A passport that is less than 10 years old, is valid for at least three months beyond your date of return to South Africa, and that has two blank pages for stamps.
  • Two recent ID photographs in ISO/IECI format.
  • Supporting documents (originals and copies). You can use the visa wizard to determine what supporting documents you will need to submit with your visa application.
  1. To start your visa application, you will need to create an account on the France-Visas website.
  2. Fill out the application form. You will be guided through the process by on-screen explanations.
  3. Book an appointment at the Capago Visa Application Centre in Cape Town, Johannesburg, or Durban. Ensure you allow enough time before your departure date to schedule an appointment and have your application reviewed.
  • For a short-stay visa, you should submit your application at least 15 days before your date of departure.
  • For a long-stay visa, you should submit your application at least one month before your date of departure.
  1. Attend your appointment. You will need to take your passport and all the required documents to your appointment. You will also submit biometrics (photo and fingerprints) and pay the visa fees on the day of your appointment.
  2. Once your visa application has been submitted by Capago, you will be able to track its progress.
  3. As soon as Capago has notified you, collect your passport from the visa application centre or wait for it to be delivered (if applicable).


  • South African temporary passports will not be accepted.
  • You will need to include previous Schengen visas from the last three years in previous passports.

french village

Exceptions for appearing in person

If you have previously obtained a Schengen visa and submitted biometric data you will not need to appear in person to submit your visa application. This applies on the condition that you:

  • are applying for a short-stay visa
  • have already obtained a Schengen visa within the last 59 months (about 5 years)
  • have had biometric data taken for a previous visa
  • have a copy of your old Schengen visa

If all of the above conditions apply to you, you can either courier your application to Capago or use the service of a third party. If you use a third party to submit your application on your behalf, you will need to complete and sign a letter of proxy and include it with your visa application.

If you are unsure whether this applies to you, please contact your nearest visa application centre.

You might also be interested in:

french alps

Travelling to France with kids

Kids must have both their parents sign their application form.

Also, remember that kids need to have an unabridged birth certificate to leave and return to South Africa.

Find out more about the Unabridged Birth Certificate.

What to expect on the day of your appointment?

The standard experience is not bad and includes a common waiting area where you will be called by your ticket number to the counter to submit your visa application. You will then be transferred to the biometric queue where your biometric data will be collected.

Remember to bring the following to your appointment:

  • Your appointment confirmation letter.
  • Your passport with at least 2 blank pages. The passport number must be identical to the one mentioned in the appointment confirmation letter.
  • A file containing all the required documents presented in the same order as on the list of required documents. Be sure to take the originals as well as copies.
  • All the supporting documents mentioned in the visa wizard.
  • Enough cash to cover the cost of the visa and the visa processing fees.

french riviera

What to expect when arriving in France?

The border control officers at your arrival airport in France may request proof of sufficient funds, travel insurance, a letter of invitation, and accommodation reservations. You can be denied entry into the country if you are unable to present these, so you should keep these on you when arriving in the country.

Good to know

Got a question? You can ask a question via the chat bubble on the Capago website and get a real-time answer from a professional visa consultant.

Otherwise, you can call Capago South Africa’s call centre at 087 231 0313 or send any questions to

louvre paris

Contact details

Capago Visa Application Centre

Address: (Jnb): Inanda Greens Business Park, 98 Albertyn Avenue, Cnr. Katherine Street, Sandton, 2196

(Dur): Pencarrow Office Park, 8 Pencarrow Crescent, Armstrong Avenue, La Lucia, 4319

(Cpt): Old Warehouse Building, Black River Park South, 2 Fir Street, Observatory, 7925

(Plz): Harbour View Building, Oakworth Road, Humewood, Port Elizabeth

Telephone: 087 231 0313

French Consulate (Cape Town)

Address: 78 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001
Telephone: (021) 423 1575

French Consulate (Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Free State)

Address: Standard Bank Building, 191 Jan Smuts Avenue, Cnr. 7th Avenue, Parktown North, 2196
Telephone: (011) 778 5600

france bakery

Dreaming of somewhere more tropical?

South Africans don’t require visas for short trips to Réunion (a department of France). And it is only 8 hours from Cape Town or 4 hours from Johannesburg!

Find cheap flights to Réunion on!

Also see:

Remember, Travelstart is not a visa handling agent. For any visa questions, we recommend you contact the embassy, consulate, or visa application centre directly.

eiffel tower

France is a country of good wine, good art, and good times. And although the admin involved with visas is never fun, when you are wandering along the cobbled streets of Paris or forgetting about your woes on the decadent beaches of Nice, you will realise it was all worth it.

Vacations are always so much better when you know you’ve saved a couple of bucks and have a bit extra to spend on making it the best trip of your life. Sign up for our newsletter and get the latest flight specials sent straight to your inbox!

Let us know what you would do on your holiday in France in the comments section 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.

Our Readers Comments

  1. Hi Sally,

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    On the blog we mention: That is 2 business days from the time the application is lodged until the passport is made available for collection.

    This does not include waiting for your appointment. Underneath we have also mentioned: “”Getting a Schengen Visa for France within 48 hours is not an absolute guarantee.””

    We do hope you visa gets approved soonest.

  2. This is not true at all. Have had to wait for over 2 weeks just for an appointment so no ways I’m going to get a visa in under 3 weeks even!

  3. Hi there,

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    Yes this is one of the documents required when applying for a visa for any Schengen Country including France.

  4. Good day,

    is it compulsory to have medical insurance like a hospital plan when travelling to France?

  5. Hi Victor,

    Thanks for contacting us.

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

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

  6. hello … name is victor I would like to ask if a Motswana citizen from Botswana can use the agency to get visa to France

  7. Hi Abhishek,

    I found the following information below however I would recommend you contact Capago direct for any payment queries as you are applying through them and they will be able to provide you with the most up to date inforamtion on the correct procedures to follow.

    Below is some info I found and it also states at the top to please contact the official visa handling agency as info could change:

    “The Visa Fees are set in Euros and the Rand values are subject to changes based on the exchange rate. Therefore the Rand value of the fees might change between the date when you book your appointment and the day you have your appointment. This rule applies as well for the Capago service fee (27 euros).
    Payment will be made according to the proforma invoice that will be sent after scheduling an appointment on
    the website.

    15% VAT Included for Capago services. No VAT applies on Consulate fees

    Additional services
    In addition to processing your visa application Capago offers a range of additional services which can be selected when applying. The prices of those services are not subject to the exchange rate.
    Description Price (ZAR)
    Delivery service
    Counter Passport delivery service at a PostNet branch nearest to you through our PostNet Partner

    220 (other state)
    VIP Appointment: Premium Lounge
    High quality of comfort
    100% professional guidance
    Free Wi-fi
    ID Photo
    Capago provides photos which are 100% compliant with the Schengen requirements and Int’l Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standards, printed on quality gloss paper using biometric technology. 90
    SMS Follow-up
    You will receive an SMS notification informing you of each status change with your application, from submission through to collection. 25
    Document Printing
    Print your documents from our offices 3/copy
    The proof of payment must be inserted in your file the day of your appointment. No file will be sent to the Consulate without payment. You may pay as follows:
    Electronic transfer bank to bank EFT (Recommended)
    Cash deposit at any FNB branches (Capago does not accept cash at its premises)
    Debit or credit card on premises (No American Express nor Diners)
    (Extra charges of 2.5% (administration fee), will apply to all payments made to Capago International not including EFT’s.

    EFT payment instructions:
    Capago recommend that you process your payment before your appointment via EFT. You will receive a booking confirmation with your tracking number. You will be able to access an estimate of the fees on your booking confirmation page.

    Take into consideration that inter-bank transfer may take 48 hours before reflecting on our account.”

  8. I have a doubt about the visa fee as well as Capago service fee with additional service fee. Do i need to pay all in advance or just the capago fee. In their appointment, its written that visa fee must be paid in our premises. so i am confused whether to pay in advance or there

  9. Hi Len,

    Sorry to hear you struggling to get through to Capago.

    What I would suggest is going into Capago if you are not able to get through via phone call and hopefully one of the official visa handling agents will be able to assist.

    Inanda Greens Business Park, Block A, 98 Albertyn Avenue, Cnr Katherine Street, Sandton, 2196

    Alternatively contact the Embassy direct to see if they would be able to assist.

  10. I have tried in vein to get an appointment for my Schengen Visa for France.The phone number 0872310313 is a total waste of time. It makes you hold on for an hour at a time and then when you are just about to speak to an Agent it tells you – “We are experiencing high volume of calls – you will be helped in 2 Minutes” and then you get left hanging and then the call is dead. Happened to me 3 times today.
    All I want is to try get a Visa to accompany my son to the Ryder Cup . Leaving on the 25th Sept and Returning on 2 Oct 2018.
    I previously had a Schengan Visa on 25/03/2013 so just outside the 60 months.
    I filled out the Application but alas am unable to get an appointment or get to speak to someone to try arrange one.
    My application number is *FRA1J020187017226* – My previous Visa number is 005599021.
    Any miracles on offer???

  11. Hi there,

    This is not possible. One of the documents they require when applying for a visa is the actual passport.

    You welcome to contact the Embassy direct to see what they advise.

  12. Hi, can I apply with passport number only for a 1 year old baby? The passport is not ready yet at home affairs.

  13. HI Carly,

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    I’m afraid not. When applying for a Schengen visa they are the official visa handling agency and you would need to apply through them.

    You welcome to contact the Embassy direct to see what they would be able to assist.

  14. Hello. Please could you advise on whether there are any services that allow you to fast track your schengen visa? Capago advised that they do not have a fast track option?

  15. Hi Anand,

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    For any appointments you would need to contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct.

    They will have access to appointments and what is available and be able to assist.

  16. Hi,
    From Qatar, I need your help to get the early appointment, I talked to your Representative, they gave the no to contact for corporate service. But no one is taking call.

    Please can you provide the contact no who can take up the call.

    Please can you help

  17. Hi Chandri,

    The processing time for an application always varies depending on the number of appointments the agency has as well time of year. Only Capago will be able to advise this.

    The below is just an estimate and could be longer: File applications at least 15 days before the date of travel for a short-stay visa and at least one month before departure for long stays. Applications cannot be lodged earlier than three months before the departure.

  18. Hi Sergio,

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    I’m afraid not, for this you would need to contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise on the correct procedures to follow, what documents you would need when applying and the cost.

  19. Good day!

    I have booked an appointment with Capago to submit Visa application to France. The earliest date I got is 15/07/2018. We are Sri Lankan. Our plan day of visiting France is 03/08/2018 (Short stay – Tourism). How long will it take to process our visa after submitting the applications? Is there any way/chance to advance our appointment date?

  20. do you guys have any help with long stay visas

  21. Hi Haroon,

    Thanks for contacting.

    Short stay visas: Johannesburg and Cape Town: Visa applicants holding a South African Passport and born in South Africa who apply with all required documents will now see their short-stay Schengen visa delivered in 48 – 72 hours: 2 – 3 business days from the time the application is lodged at Capago in Cape Town and Johannesburg until the passport is made available for collection.

    This information is not guaranteed visa information could change at any time as well as the embassy’s could also have a back log, so we do recommend one contacts the Embassy direct to get the most up to date information.

  22. Hi Alice,

    Great to hear from you.

    We offer travel insurance with Hepstar. When applying for a Schengen visa the insurance you purchase needs to cover you for a certain amount.

    The travel insurance policy we offer covers this and is accepted by any Embassy you would be applying for a Schengen Visa.

    If you looking for a quote, please feel free to pop our direct sales team an e-mail at: with all your details and they will be happy to assist.

  23. Good Day

    If all my documentations are in order for the application of a short stay tourist French/Shengen Visa, how long will it take for my Visa be ready for collection?

  24. Hi i am in the process of applying for my visa to France but i am not sure who to go to for travel insurance, do you have any recommendations? thanks

  25. Hi Juan,

    If you are travelling to the UK and France you will need to apply for 2 separate visa’s.

    A UK visa as well as a Schengen visa for when visiting France.

  26. Good day,

    My wife and I will be going on holiday in the UK in June. We want to visit France and would like to know if we still require a Schengen visa for a day trip?

    Thank you.

  27. Hi Alan,

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    This depends on what passport you hold and what your exact route you are travelling and how many Schengen states you will be passing through on your itinerary.

    Please contact the Embassy direct and they will be able to provide you with the most up to date info.

  28. Hi
    i will be in paris for a 17 hour layover. what type of visa will i need and what documents are required?

  29. Hi Diane,

    Thanks for the interesting question. For this you would maybe need to contact the nearest French Embassy to see what they advise. He might need to courier his passport and documents to the nearest French Embassy or the French Embassy back in South Africa.

    Best to contact them direct, they will be able to provide you with this info as they accept the application.

  30. Hi
    My husband is a South African citizen (passport holders) but lives and works in Fiji. They recently closed the French visa office here. How does he go about applying for a visa to France? He is attending a two week training session through his company in April.

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