If you live in South Africa and want to apply for an airport transit visa for the Netherlands, find out about the rules and how to apply.
Do I need an airport transit visa?
Whether you need an airport transit visa depends on a number of things, including your nationality. The Visa Advisor helps you determine whether you need an airport transit 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 of your transit through the airport in the Netherlands.
- You must submit a completed and signed Schengen visa application form. In the online form indicate ‘airport transit’ as the main purpose of your journey. 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.
- Bring a photo that meets the Dutch requirements for passport photos.
- When you submit your application your fingerprints will be taken. These will be held 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: 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.
You must also provide a number of documents to ensure that your application is assessed correctly. See the airport transit checklist.
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 (look at the prices of a Schengen visa). 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. For seafares this is 9 months. 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. Sometimes it can take up to 30 days if more time is needed, and up to 45 days, for example if extra documents are required.
Longer waiting time for visa applications
You may experience longer waiting times to get an appointment. And it may take longer than 15 days to process your application.
This is because more applicants want to travel to the Netherlands after COVID travel restrictions have been eased worldwide.
We are working to expand the number of available appointments and to increase our capacity. We regularly offer new appointment slots, so please keep checking the appointment system.
Plan your trip well in advance. And make sure you have all the documents ready for your appointment.
How will my application be assessed?
Visa application procedure in South Africa (via VFS Global)
You can make an appointment via the website of VFS Global.