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Schengen Visas for South African's: Tips on how to complete a successful application

Applying for Schengen Visas are annoying. Luckily our applications are now submitted and we are waiting for the Visa’s. We did have a few issues with the application and documentation because none of the sites I read explained this completely.

And lucky for you, I am here to help.

The application requires that you provide a full itinerary with confirmation of all accommodation and flights. This is not a problem if you are staying in one place and use it as a base to explore. We are doing a 10-day road trip in Iceland meaning every night we are sleeping in a different place, also meaning we do not really know where exactly we will find ourselves at the end of each day. How do you know how much time you are going to spend in a certain place?

But...we had no choice: I consulted, or rather poured over our trusty go-to guide, the Lonely Planet Iceland Travel Guide (you can buy it from Lonely Planet (GBP 15.99) directly or (R 402). We use these books for all our trips as it is as comprehensive as you can get. It took me weeks to read and identify each place we want to visit; how far it is from the next place; how long it will take to get there.

*If you are planning to make a trip to Iceland, you can contact me for some info or help with your itinerary – my head is crammed full of information on attractions and locations.


You have to submit proof of all flights and accommodation, a letter from your employer stating that you will return to work upon your return (because apparently everyone wants to live/stay in European countries after their travels), and 3 months bank statements indicating that you have enough money to travel.

All the websites say that you need 2 passport photos but they only attached one to our application forms – take 2 just in case.

For Iceland visa’s you have to apply through the Danish Embassy in Cape Town, Durban or Pretoria. All applications are processed by the Pretoria Embassy. A company called VFS-Global handles all their applications. If you apply in Cape Town or Durban, the applications are couriered to Pretoria. Our visa’s cost R 870 pp, and an admin and courier fee is added and had to be paid upon application, the total amount to pay was R 1440 pp – take that into account.

You have to make an appointment with the application center to apply, you cannot just rock up. You can do it online at

You can apply 90 days before your departure but it usually takes 15 days for the application to be processed and for you to receive your passport back. Beware though, if there are any issues, it will take longer.

Their online tracking system is not so great. Courier companies’ or the post office tracking system is better than