Applying for a short-stay Schengen visa in South Africa
If you live in South Africa and want to apply for a short-stay visa for the Netherlands, find out about the rules and how to apply below.
If the EU travel ban has been lifted for the residents of your country, you can apply for all visa categories. If the EU travel ban has not been lifted for the residents of your country, you can only apply for a visa if you fall under the exemption categories. Check the page " Q&A's Travel restrictions for the Netherlands" to see for which countries the EU travel ban has been lifted and what the exemption categories are. You cannot apply if the embassy/consulate general or the external service provider is not open for service. Please check if you can make an appointment via the appointment system. Are there no dates available? Then it is not yet possible to submit an application.
Coronavirus: extension of visa validity is not possible
It is not possible to extend a visa. Not even if, due to circumstances, the visa expired unused. You will have to apply for a new visa.
What do I need to do?
- You must submit a passport or other travel document issued within the last 10 years. This must have at least 2 blank pages and be valid for at least another 3 months after the date you intend to leave the Schengen area.
- You must submit a completed and signed visa application form. Each person travelling with you on your travel document must submit their own visa form. Forms for children under the age of 18 need to be signed by a parent or guardian.
- If you are under 18 and are travelling without one or both of your parents or guardians, ask them to sign a consent form. Border guards may ask to see this form when you arrive in the Netherlands.
- The photo you submit with your application must meet Dutch requirements for passport photos.
- When you submit your application your fingerprints will be taken. These will remain valid for 59 months. Some applicants, such as children under the age of 12, do not need to have their fingerprints taken.
Did you provide biometric data (fingerprints and photo) within the last 59 months prior to your current application? Then you can choose to have someone else submit your application for you. You do not have to appear in person.
Please note that if, during the assessment of your application, it appears that your fingerprints are not in the system, you will have to come and submit them. Also, you can always be invited for an interview if your application gives reason to do so.
How much does a visa cost?
When you apply for a visa at a Dutch embassy or consulate, you must pay a fee. You can find the fee on the fees page. If you apply through an external service provider, such as a visa agency, you will have to pay an extra fee to the provider.
The visa fee shall be waived for applicants belonging to one of the following categories:
- children under 6 years;
- school pupils, students, postgraduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake stays for the purpose of study or educational training;
- researchers travelling for the purpose of carrying out scientific research or participating in a scientific seminar or conference*;
- representatives of non-profit organisations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organised by non-profit organisations.
*as defined in point (2) of Article 3 of Directive (EU) 2016/801 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 1 )
How long does it take?
The earliest you can apply is 6 months before you intend to travel. Seafarers can apply 9 months before intended travel date. You should apply no later than 15 working days in advance.
In most cases, you will be informed within 15 calendar days whether your application has been successful. However, it can sometimes take up to 45 days, for example if extra documents are required.
How will my application be assessed?
Some Schengen member states want to exchange information on visa applicants. This check (known as ‘consultation’) is mandatory for certain nationalities and can take up to 7 days.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs uses information-supported decision-making to make better, quicker decisions on visa applications. For more information on how your data will be processed, see the privacy statement.
Applying for a visa in this country or region
Visa application procedure in South Africa (via VFS Global)
Check the required documents and make an appointment via the website of VFS Global.