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A short-stay Schengen visa with ‘Business’ as the purpose of travel is for visiting the Netherlands to take part in commercial activities. This includes attending meetings, conferences or training courses.

Such visas can only be issued to applicants not being paid for work by an entity within the Netherlands. If you intend to undertake paid work in the Netherlands, you will need to obtain a work permit.

A short-stay Schengen visa lets you visit the Netherlands for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. It is also valid in the other Schengen countries.

Note for airplane crew members:

If you are an airplane pilot or cabin crew member  your passport will not have to remain with VFS anymore during the processing of your visa application.

Travelling on a visa

Even if you have a visa you may still be subject to checks during your trip. You must at all times meet the requirements for travelling without a visa. If you do not meet these requirements you may be refused entry to a Schengen country or the Schengen area.

Visa Fee

Please note that VFS Global offers an additional optional service for visa applicants in South Africa. VFS Charges an extra service fee for this service, to be paid by the applicant.

  • For the official visa fees charged by the Dutch government, click here.
  • VFS service charge:

    Apart from the visa fee, VFS service charge in ZAR 400 (for submission with biometrics) inclusive of VAT per application will be levied for applicants applying at the visa application centre.

    • The only acceptable modes of payment of Visa fees are by credit/debit card (Only at the Visa Application Centre) and Cash Deposit at Bank and Deposit Slip (Original) needs to be carried as evidence of payments when submitting your application at VFS Global Netherlands Visa Application Centre.

    The VFS Global Service fee will be collected at the counter:-
    Visa Account details:

    Below are the bank details for visas only

    Bank Name: NedBank
    Branch Name: Corporate Client Services
    Branch Code: 198765 (Universal Code)
    Account Name: Visa Processing SA - Netherlands
    Account No: 1454112530

    Not Accepted
    It is important that the following methods of payment will not be accepted: Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT), Cheque payments and any methods not mentioned above are currently not accepted. Please note that NO Diners club or American express cards can be used to pay for the application.

  • All fees are non-refundable.

Documents Required

  • Schengen Application Form - Please fill in the form Online and print copies. The copies must be brought to the Visa Application Center.
  • Business Checklist
  • One recent(within 3 months), good quality, passport sized, colour photographs on a clear light background (grey/white)
  • Passport, valid for a period of at least 3 months after the applicant’s last day of stay in the Schengen states. Please ensure that the passport has 2 blank pages.
  • If not a South African citizen, a residence permit valid for a period of at least 3 months after the applicant’s last day of stay in the Schengen States.
  • Full round trip flight reservation (name must reflect clearly with travel dates). Make sure that you submit your application at least 15 days before the intended travel date mentioned on your flight reservation.
  • Travel/health/accident insurance: an insurance policy stating that the applicant is covered by a Schengen Travel Medical Insurance with Netherlands being mentioned on the Visa letter. i.e. minimum medical coverage of the Rand equivalent of €30,000.00 for all medical expenses, including repatriation dead or alive, occurring in any Schengen country. This visa must reflect applicant’s name, duration of cover for full stay.
  • Most recent last 3 calendar month bank statements (from application date) with original bank stamp on each page/transaction lists for the last 3 calendar months with original bank stamp on each page. Current/cheque/savings/credit (also no internet statements/copies will be accepted). (34 Euros per day in Schengen should be available in the banking account when submitting.) Needed even if the applicant is being sponsored, this can be either personal or company statements.
  • Employment letter (under company letterhead and signed) confirming position and the company is aware of the business trip (must mention exact travel dates and salary), to confirm financial responsibility if any as well. If self-employed you need to submit your company’s documents (CK, CC) or a letter from your accountant confirming that the business exists or company SARS document. All students require letter from School(under school letterhead and signed) confirming enrolment and awareness of trip and will commence schooling once completed/ University Letter, applicants to provide proof of registration for the year under the university’s letterhead
  • Signed invitation letter under inviting company letterhead. Must confirm applicant details as well as exact travel dates and purpose of trip. Financial responsibility if any (covering all expenses or not). If going for a conference proof of registration for conference and payment if at all possible.
  • Copies of hotel reservations are needed if no financial responsibility is taken. (Copy of Hotel Reservations/vouchers/cruise itinerary’s for the entire stay (other Schengen hotel bookings as well). Applicants names to clearly reflect (if in someone else’s name: a signed letter from them confirming applicant will be staying in same booking and a copy of their ID/Passport) Each Night must be accounted for.)

Photo Specifications

Note: The photographs submitted must meet with these specifications.

Please provide One recent photographs (not more than 3 months old) of yourself. The photographs should be in colour and:

  • Taken against a light background (white or off-white) so that features are distinguishable and contrast against the background.
  • Clear share quality and with the face in focus.
  • Printed on normal photographic paper (camera print).
  • Full face, non-smiling [without sunglasses, a hat/cap or other head covering, unless the applicant wears such items because of their religious belief or ethnic background].

Note: Please follow these instructions carefully. If photographs presented do not meet these requirements your application will be considered incomplete. Kindly download the Photo Specification file for more information.

Processing Time

The visa processing time is 10 working days under normal circumstances.

In case a nationality should be consulted with by other Schengen partners, the visa process will take longer. Please check at VFS if your nationality needs consultation before applying for your visa.

The Dutch Representation is entitled to request more (supporting) information from the applicant. Please be aware that the visa processing time in this case can take longer.

Applications submitted within 10 working days from departure can only be accepted based on well motivated & urgent arguments of the applicant (for example humanitarian: illness, death etc.) and after consultation with the Dutch Representation in Pretoria. Intake will take place at own responsibility of the applicant. The visa fee as well as the VFS fee(s) will not be returned if the intended departure date can not be met.

Applications for a Schengen visa should be lodged at the VFS Global Visa Service Center, at least 15 working days before the intended journey

The minimum processing time of a visa application is 15 days. Applicants are advised to leave enough time between the appointment date and travel date to have their visa application processed. No guarantees can be given on the visa application’s return date as delays may occur.

Download Forms

Schengen visa application form - Please fill in the form Online and print copies. The copies must be brought to the Visa Application Center