5 Did You Know Facts About Virgin Atlantic

Ever wonder how the Kardashians of the world always look so fabulous getting off a plane, while you’re barely straddling your hand luggage in clogs? Virgin Atlantic adds the glamour and pizzazz into travel, giving you that wind in your hair, slow motion walk to Lady Marmalade feeling, you so crave. The sexy flight attendant uniforms aren’t Virgin Atlantic’s only draw card. Buckle up as we hop on board Virgin Atlantic to uncover the eccentric stories that have helped shape this prestigious airline.

Virgin Atlantic. Humble with a Touch of Glamour

Virgin Atlantic is the brainchild of the mildly eclectic CEO, Sir Richard Branson, but did you know it was never his intention to start an airline? Virgin Atlantic was actually born out of a truly magical love story. Sir Richard Branson was on his way from Puerto Rico to meet a beautiful woman in the British Virgin Islands but was unfortunately left stranded along with other passengers. In a momentary act of valour, Richard Branson hired a plane, wrote on a blackboard “Virgin Air, $39 single flight” and the thought of starting Virgin Atlantic was born.

Ever since then, from humble beginnings with a very small team and one 747 flying just one route, Virgin atlantic now has a global network aimed at putting an end to uncomfortable seats, inhospitable staff and tasteless food by adding special little touches along your journey. Oh, and Sir Richard Branson eventually married the woman he was flying to on the first Virgin Flight. Cue the äaws”.

Miss Behavin’ in the Sky

Get your mind out the gutter, it’s not what you’re thinking. Boeing 787-9 or Airbus A330-300 can be a mouthful to say right? Virgin Atlantic has affectionately named their fleet with monikers like Tinker Belle, Lady Penelope and Ruby Tuesday, ensuring their planes are the sexiest on the runway. However, Virgin Atlantic hasn’t always been successful with naming, as Sir Richard Branson wanted to call Economy Class, “Riff Raff”, which is colloquially referred to as the British “lower class”. We’re glad this idea was overruled.

Book cheap flights on Virgin Atlantic

Mmmm, Tasty

Ever get to a restaurant and flip through the menu giving that undecided look on your face as the waiter awaits your order? Gone are the days of the acclaimed chicken or beef option, Virgin Atlantic wishes to recreate that restaurant situation in the sky by giving you more tantalising inflight cuisine options. But how were they successful in cracking the code to provide lip-smacking food? It lies in Virgin Atlantic’s attention to detail, where the Food and Beverage Team stuck their noses in their customers’ refrigerators to design its inflight menu. Furthermore, the team goes above and beyond by tasting more than 500 sample meals before settling on a final menu. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, right?

Heavy Petting

Nothing’s more agonising than watching the sad expressions on the faces of your pets as you head off on holiday. Alas, Virgin Atlantic has made it possible for even the furry members of your family to enjoy sun-soaked adventures. Virgin Atlantic boasts being the first airline in the world to fly pets. In 2003, Virgin flew its first cats and dogs from the United States to London Heathrow Airport and ever since, have never left a family member behind, flying over 15 000 animals on board.

Lights! Camera! Action!

As if Virgin Atlantic weren’t breaking grounds already, the airline produced the first ever film made at 35,000 feet in the air, titled Departure Date. This romantic comedy is a story of love, destiny and fate which was filmed entirely in the air covering over 45,000 km, spanning 3 continents. Departure Date was filmed over a space of eight days between Los Angeles, London and Sydney where some of the paying commercial passengers on these flights were featured as extras. Who knows, the next time you book a flight on Virgin Atlantic you may board as a pleb, but arrive at your destination a celeb.

Virgin Atlantic is kicking down doors and taking names. Be a part of the magic and glamour of Virgin Atlantic by booking cheap flights today. Share your experience on how Virgin Atlantic has added special touches along your journey.

Tips for vacationing with your pets

The best journeys in life are those taken with your pets.

Pets are precious. They help release all the good, happy chemicals, and are the best remedies for broken hearts and loneliness. And whether you unexpectedly became the guardian of a stray or made the calculated decision to become a pet owner, there is no denying that getting a pet is a life changing experience.

They become your posse, best friend, and part of the family. One look at those bewildered eyes and you might rethink your carefully laid travel plans entirely. Suddenly that much-needed holiday gets put on the back burner because you can’t bear the thought of leaving your furry friend in quarantine.

Luckily, travelling with pets isn’t as complicated as you might think. It may add another layer of complexity to your travel plans, but it certainly should not deter you from taking that dream trip.

travel with dogs

The first thing you will need to do when considering whether to take your fur baby on holiday with you is ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are they skittish and afraid of new people? Do changes in their daily routine stress them out? Are they aggressive? Do they have any health problems that could pose a threat during the journey?

camping with cats

Sometimes animals just don’t have the right temperament for travelling. Cats in particular do not respond well to change and are better left basking in the sun on your kitchen windowsill.

And certain dog breeds (Boston Terriers, pugs, boxers, Pekingese, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus, bulldogs, and some mastiffs) are vulnerable to respiratory ailments that could turn fatal in a hot, pressurized airplane.

pug

  • If you plan to leave them in the hotel room or with a pet sitter, and not include them in your trip, it might be better to avoid unnecessary stress and leave them at home.
  • How long is your flight? If you are embarking on a 30-hour transatlantic trip to the USA, it probably isn’t a good idea to take your pooch or feline friend with you.

Tip: Book a direct flight if you can. The less chaos and distress your pet experiences, the better.

travel hedgehog

One of the pure joys in life is to let your dog show you the world.

So, you have decided to go ahead and take that holiday with Ringo in tow. The planning process begins at your veterinarian.

Your pet will need a good bill of health from a licensed veterinarian and certain vaccinations (these vary from country to country; rabies is usually required). Discuss remedies for anxiety and get them microchipped. The microchip will help strangers get in contact with you if your four-pawed buddy gets lost chasing pigeons.

travel with cats

Some countries may require pet passports. Do some research on your destination to determine if a pet passport is necessary. And decide if you want to get travel insurance for your good boy (this generally does not cover international travel).

Do some research about pet friendly accommodation and the pet policies at the attractions you will be visiting. While you’re at it, you can also find out about pet friendly restaurants.

dogs on beach

Flying with pets

Use a pet friendly airline. Several of them allow small pets to travel with you in the passenger cabin (the pet carrier should meet certain weight requirements and be able to fit under the seat in front of you). You will have to discuss this with your airline or travel agency.

dog on plane

Some domestic and international airlines that are pet-friendly include: Mango Airlines, kulula, South African Airways, Air France, Turkish Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic (only to and from Johannesburg).

Note: Exceptions are usually made for guide dogs.

pig on beach

For bigger dogs, many airlines allow passengers to bring them along as checked baggage and stow them in the cargo hold. However, this can be extremely stressful for many animals.

hiking with cats

Time spent with a cat is never wasted.

If you have to travel, here are some travel tips to ensure the journey is as stress free as possible:

  • If you are moving to another country, consider using a pet mover. They specialise in pet relocation.
  • Bring along a favourite toy, blanket, or even an item of clothing that smells like you to ease their travel jitters. If they are flying in the cabin with you, all the necessities such as food, toys, and treats are recommended.
  • If you can, do practice runs before embarking on the holiday. Put little Socks or Bongo in a carrier and take a drive to the coast or park. This should give you an idea of how they will respond to travelling.
  • Book a direct flight. Rather spend a little extra to avoid subjecting your pet to a gruelling 30-hour transatlantic trip. If you have no choice about a layover, ensure it gives them enough time to stretch their legs at a pet relief station (this is only permitted in certain airports).
  • If you are travelling domestically, find out about pet lounges. BidAir Pet Lounges are available at all the major airports in South Africa.

travel with pets

However, if you decide to not bring them along, great options include:

  • Make use of a pet sitter.
  • Get one of your family members or friends to take care of your pet while you’re away.
  • Book your furry friend into a pet hotel.

camping with cats

Image credits:

andrewknapp via Instagram
pawsthatwander via Instagram
max_et_louise via Instagram
chloetheminifrenchie via Instagram
vancatmeow via Instagram
boltandkeel via Instagram
miami_traveller_dog via Instagram
itsdougthepug via Instagram
samanthabrookephoto via Instagram
mr.pokee via Instagram
adventurecatsorg via Instagram
sukiicat via Instagram
oliverthetravelingpig via Instagram

The post Tips for vacationing with your pets appeared first on Travelstart Blog.

Water-Saving Tips for Your December Holiday in Cape Town

Thinking of heading to Cape Town for your long-awaited December holiday? While the Mother City is gearing up for holiday-makers from all around the country, we cannot ignore the severe water crisis impacting all sectors within the city.

Whether you’re a resident or tourist in Cape Town, everyone should be doing their bit to use water sparingly. Here are a few water-saving tips we’ve put together to have a water-wise holiday in Cape Town.

 

Eco-Friendly Accommodation

When booking accommodation, choose to stay in a hotel or lodge that actively supports water conservation.

For some great eco-friendly accommodation within the city, we highly recommend Ocean View Guesthouse and The Backpack. If you’re looking for a nature retreat away from the city hustle, Reflections Guest Farm, Teniqua Treetops and Grootbos Nature Reserve are ideal getaway spots for couples and families. Not only are these places beautifully set amongst nature, you’ll feel better about staying there and playing your part in conserving the city’s water. These places do fill up quickly, so book in advance!

water-saving tips cape townwater-saving tips cape town

 

‘Seas’ the Day

Let’s be honest, you haven’t come all the way to Cape Town to stay cooped up in your hotel room, right? Instead of splashing around in the hotel pool, pack a beach bag and head down to Camps Bay, Clifton or any of the incredible beaches right on your doorstep. Make a day of it and throw in some frisbee, volleyball and bask away in the warm, golden sun. This is one water-saving tip everyone can enjoy!

water-saving tips cape town

 

Fill Up on the Go

Did you know that it takes six times as much water to produce a plastic water bottle than the water it actually holds? Avoid buying plastic bottles and rather invest in a good quality BPA-free or glass bottle that you can reuse. South Africa’s municipal water is perfectly safe to drink, so fill up at your hotel before heading out for the day. Then again, you are in the region’s wine capital, so why not save water and drink wine instead! Sauvignon Blanc, anyone?

water-saving tips cape town

 

Don’t Throw in the Towel

Instead of leaving your towels on the bathroom floor, hang them up and reuse them. Most hotels change laundry items every day, but you’ll be saving a lot of water by reusing the same towel for a few days. The same goes for laundry if your accommodation has this facility. Rather wait until you’ve accumulated enough laundry for a full wash, instead of washing a few items at a time.

water-saving tips cape town

 

Shower Time

While many of us love soaking in a relaxing bubble-bath after a long day of sightseeing, this is a big no-no and many hotels advise their guests against taking baths. Filling a bath uses around 80 litres of water, while a 4-minute shower uses just 32 litres. Taking short showers is a vital water-saving tip. And who has time for long, steamy baths in summer anyway, when you really should be outdoors enjoying the vibrant nightlife!

water-saving tips cape town

Don’t Sweat It

Dress comfortably to keep your body cool and avoid overheating. Loose-fitting clothing and cotton are essentials to ensure you stay comfortable. If you find the heat getting a bit much, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the forests scattered along the slopes of Table Mountain are great places to cool down and enjoy a picnic in the shade.

water-saving tips cape town

Cape Town is the ultimate hotspot for local and international holiday-makers, seeing many flocking to its shores over the festive season.  There are an endless amount of sights and adventures that this incredible city offer has to offer. However you choose to spend your holiday, keep these water-saving tips in mind.

Do you have any other water-saving tips for the December holidays to add to our list? Comment below and let’s make this festive season an eco-friendly one!

 

*Photo Credit:

ja.kub25 via Instagram

Teniqua Treetops

stevedevilliers via Instagram

zuzkalight via Instagram

southernstitchesbysarah via Instagram

covetandcravenz via Instagram

babyweeattoomuch via Instagram

 

The post Water-Saving Tips for Your December Holiday in Cape Town appeared first on Travelstart Blog.

Indonesia Travel Guide: Best Place to Stay in Bali and What to See and Do

So you’ve booked your tickets to Bali, awesome! But are you still unsure of the best place to stay in Bali and drawing a blank when it comes to things to do? Don’t freak out yet. We’re here to save your holiday plans

The post Indonesia Travel Guide: Best Place to Stay in Bali and What to See and Do appeared first on HotelsCombined Blog.

6 Reasons to Explore the Unspoilt Wonders of Malawi

Unlock the unspoilt wonders of Malawi, a sub-saharan hidden jewel nestled in the heart of central Africa, teeming with a radiant sense of personality and vibrant culture. Although overlooked for its bigger, more popular neighbouring African countries, Malawi is a country that begs to be discovered. It is filled with hidden come-hither nooks tempting you to explore, while the ever-changing landscapes form the perfect backdrop for travellers in search of a taste of something different. Perhaps, Malawi might not seem like an obvious choice to visit, but this under-the-radar, mysterious land, welcomes all with bright smiles and warm hospitality.



1. Malawi is Paradise Redefined

The moment you step off the plane at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre, you can forget the luxuries of OR Tambo International as you are welcomed by the warm breeze and bucolic settings of Malawi. Get a snapshot into the lifestyle and culture of the locals, passing markets of fresh produce and local art while viewing the pearly-white smile of the locals straddling off the backs of bicycles – Malawi’s most popular form of transport and, dare we say, its uber.


The drive becomes all worth it when you’re welcomed by the striking beauty of Malawi’s natural wonders. Malawi is dotted with pristine golden stretches of beach lapped by the shimmering clear waters of Lake Malawi. The landscapes of lush forests and evergreen hilltops that fringe the lake give Malawi its tropicalesque atmosphere, These glorious shorelines can rival those found in the Caribbean. Enjoy a glass of the famed Malawi Gin as the sky bursts in warm sunset hues.


 

2. Malawi is Safari Adventures


Malawi has borne the brunt of poaching and has underwent decades of rehabilitation to now feature unspoilt wilderness teeming with diverse wildlife. Home to beautiful parks like Majete, Liwonde and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, wildlife enthusiasts have the opportunity to view the Big Five, a plethora of antelope species and you’re guaranteed to be exclaming “Look, It’s a Pumba!” on a safari drive. Soak in the natural surroundings of lush riverine forests, picturesque river valleys and majestic miombo woodlands.

3. Malawi is Lakeside Thrills

Lake Malawi is not only the ninth largest lake in the world but it’s the perfect setting to live out your ultimate Baywatch dreams, as you pace the seemingly endless stretch of golden shoreline to the theme song, “Save Me” playing in your head. Looking for something more along the lines of James Bond’s Spectre? The crystal-clear blue waters of Lake Malawi are a mecca for water-sport enthusiasts.



Dive in to explore the vast, diverse fish species that brighten up the waters in their technicolour appearances, kayak out to scenic islands like Marelli Islands, go on a leisurely cruise listening to the twitters of the local birdlife or catch glimpses of hippo heads breaching for air. Alternatively, feel the wind in your hair as you zip over the shimmering waters being pulled by speed boats or on a good day, catch a wave on the lake tides.

4. Malawi is Flavoursome

A trip to Malawi will not be complete without taking your taste buds on a tantalising journey sampling Malawian cuisine. Prepare for a food coma as Malawians aren’t shy in their serving portions of food and most of their dishes are similar to dishes served in other parts of Africa . Lake Malawi is the lifeblood of the country and the source of food for the locals in the form of fish. When in Malawi, try out one of the most popular dishes of grilled fish, specifically chambo, accompanied with a little taste of home, with what the locals call “Nsima”, something similar to the South African pap. Wash this down with the legendary Malawi Gin, where you’re guaranteed to be stuffing your luggage with a bottle or two to take home with you. For a non-alcoholic option, savour the rich blends of freshly ground Malawian Coffee.

5. Malawi is the Warm Heart of Africa


Malawi is known throughout the country as the “Warm Heart of Africa”, attributed by the warm, welcoming and friendly nature of its people. This intrinsically warm hospitality has tugged at the heart-strings of Madonna, who not only has adopted 4 Malawian children but has pushed efforts to improve and build the country with her charity, Raising Malawi. Irrespective of who you are, whether you’re Madonna or a city slicker from Johannesburg, you will be overwhelmed by the sheer warmth of the locals and their smiles and laughter will go down as one of the fondest memories of your visit to Malawi.

6. Malawi is Luxurious Living

This home-grown authentic Malawian hospitality is matched with the modern conveniences and luxuries of stunning accommodation options on offer. Wake up to the sounds of Africa at Mkulumadzi Lodge, set within the serene wilderness of Majete Wildlife Park, which boasts unrivalled views of the roaring river valley and thick bush. The lodge offers rivers cruises, walking safaris and game drives to explore the surroundings and its wildlife inhabitants.

Nestled within the lush forests amongst the craggy hills, enjoy the luxury of Pumulani Luxury Beach Lodge, where guests are greeted by panoramic views of Lake Malawi from the comfort of their bedrooms. By day, enjoy a myriad of water activities on offer and by night, dine underneath the sparkling lights of the night sky.




Perched along the golden shores of Southern Lake Malawi, The Makokola Retreat is an escape into somewhere tropical and is a unique blend of splendid solitude and first-class facilities. It is an extravagant display of lakeside living as you’re lulled by the soft laps of the shoreline or soak in the tranquility of its glorious gardens.


Can you hear that? It’s the alluring calls of Malawi beckoning you to explore all its wonder and beauty. Feeling inspired to add Malawi to your bucket list? Book cheap flights to Malawi today and let this undiscovered part of Africa charm your socks off.

The post 6 Reasons to Explore the Unspoilt Wonders of Malawi appeared first on Travelstart Blog.

A Step-by-Step Guide to the New Zealand Visa Application

Have you been waiting to explore the Waitomo Caves in Christchurch, skydive over Queenstown or be absorbed by Wellington’s arts scene? As of 2016, South Africans now require a visa to explore the incredible landscapes of New Zealand. We’ve made it super easy with this step-by-step application process. If you haven’t already, book your tickets now and be on your way to an exhilarating holiday adventure!

South African passport holders require a Visitor Visa to explore the magical landscapes of New Zealand. Fortunately, the process is a simple and stress-free one! Visa applications need to be done at the New Zealand Visa Application Centre or via postal service if you live further afield. We recommend submitting your application 1 month ahead of time, so all you need to worry about is where to find the best skydiving and snorkelling spots.

Please note this process is applicable to South African passport holders.

new zealand visa

Types of Visas to Apply For

If you plan to visit New Zealand for holiday purposes you need to apply for a Visitor Visa.

If you are wanting to visit for business reasons, you can apply for the Business Visa, valid for up to three months.

Validity:

The New Zealand Visitor Visa is valid for up to nine months.

The Visitor Visa also allows you to study for up to three months. You may include your partner and children (under 20 years of age) in your application.

 

Visa Costs

Fees below are per the New Zealand visa application:

Counter Application:

Application Cost NZ$ 165 (* R 1605)
Passport Handling Fee R 480
VFS Service Fee R 560
Courier Fee (if applicable) R 150

*Please note that Rand values are subject to the New Zealand Dollar/ Rand exchange rate.

Postal Application:

Visitor Visa R 1520
Bank Admin Fee R 200
VFS Service Fee R 528
Total Cost: R 2248

 Payment options are as follows:

  1. Payment in person at the VAC through a credit/debit card
  2. Off-line Credit/Cheque Card: if you are unable to come to the VAC in person, you must provide your Credit/Debit Card details (Only MasterCard and Visa accepted) as proof of payment as well as the completed above authorization letter, either presented by your authorized representative or emailed to nzza@vfshelpline.com
  3. Cash deposit into bank account: applicants must provide their Passport Number, Name and Contact Telephone Number as reference details.

Banking Details (cash deposit):

Bank Name Nedbank
Account Name VFS Visa Processing (SA) (Pty) Ltd
Branch Name Sandton
Account Number 1049-567730
Branch Code 198765
Account Type Current

Banking Details (EFT):

Bank Name Standard Chartered Bank
Account Name VFS Visa Processing (SA) (Pty) Ltd – New Zealand Online ZAR
Branch Name Sandton
Account Number 00188050512
Branch Code 730020
Account Type Current
Swift Code SCBLZAJJ

new zealand visa

New Zealand Visa Requirements

Once your documents are prepared, filling out the online form is quick and easy.

To apply for your New Zealand Visitor Visa you will need to provide the following:

  • Original passport/ travel document
  • Completed and signed application form
  • Two passport-sized colour photographs
  • Evidence of financial support (bank statements/ proof of accommodation/ completed Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry)
  • Onward ticket out of New Zealand
  • Medical certificates (if required)

If you are staying with family/ friends, you’ll need to provide:

  • Evidence that you intend to return home (e.g. company letter)
  • Evidence of onward travel arrangements out of New Zealand

If you are visiting for business purposes, you’ll need to provide:

  • Evidence of employment
  • Evidence of business you plan to undertake in New Zealand

If you are parents/ grandparents of New Zealand citizens/ residents, you’ll need to provide:

  • Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry (completed by your New Zealand child/ grandchild).
  • Evidence of your relationship

new zealand visa

Where to Apply

At the Visa Application Centre:

Applicants who wish to submit their application in person must book an appointment at the New Zealand Visa Application Centre via the online appointment system. Appointments take a few minutes to make. Please take along the following documents:

  1. Original passport
  2. A certified copy of all original documents
  3. Two clear copies of your passport photo page
  4. Completed visa application form
  5. Pay visa and VFS service fees

Please note that if your passport will be collected by a third party or courier, you need to submit a Document Collection Authorisation Letter with your application or via email. Third parties must present proof of identity at collection.

If you would like your passport and document couriered back to your South African address, please inform the handling officer during your application. An additional R150 per application will be charged.

New Zealand Visa Application Centre – VFS Global

Address: Cherry Lane Office Park

1st Floor, 114 Fehrsen Street

Nieuw Muckleneuk

Brooklyn

Pretoria

Contact Number: +27-12-425-3004
Email: info.nzza@vfshelpline.com
Opening Hours: Application Lodgement:    Monday to Friday 08:00-12:30 / 13:30-15:00

Phone Enquiries:               Monday to Friday 08:00-12:30 / 13:30-16:00

Passport Collection:          Monday to Friday 13:30-16:00

Parking is available in the Cherry Lane Shopping Centre. Ubers and taxis are easily available throughout Pretoria to get you to and from the visa application centre.

Please note that VFS is closed on the following days:

01, 02 Jan / 06 Feb / 14, 17, 27 Apr / 01 May / 05, 16 Jun / 25 Sep / 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 Dec

The New Zealand High Commission in Pretoria does not process visa applications. All applications are to be submitted to the New Zealand Visa Application Centre nearby.

Postal Application:

You can send your application to the New Zealand Visa Application Centre to the above address. You’ll need to include:

  1. Original passport
  2. Certified copy of all original documents
  3. Two clear copies of your passport photo page
  4. Completed application form
  5. Signed Authorisation Letter
  6. Proof of payment
  7. Clear return address for courier delivery when your passport is returned
  8. Send an email to info@nzza@vfshelpline.com confirming documents have been sent and include the following:
  • Scanned copy of the Airway Bill or tracking number that you used to post your documents
  • Proof of payment
  • Applicants’ details (so the Visa Application Centre can check the whereabouts of your application and confirm when it arrives).
  1. An invoice cum receipt (ICR) will be generated by the VAC. The original ICR will be returned to you with your documents once the application is completed. An ICR / your application reference number will be sent to you via email for online tracking.
  2. If the full visa fee is not remitted, VAC will inform you via email. VAC will only process your application once they have received the balance of the fee. (Remember to scan the payment receipt and email to the VAC to inform them).

New Zealand visa processing time takes around 20-25 working days, but may take longer if extra documentation is required.

new zealand visa

Where to Print Documents and Photos

If you are applying in person, there are a few shops located close to the application centre where you can print documents and have passport photos taken.

PostNet

Address: Shop 4, Brooklyn Design Square, Veale Street.
Contact: 012 460 1484/ brooklyn@postnet.co.za

Kodak Express

Address: 345 Veale Street & Fehrsen Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk
Contact: 012 346 0868

 

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 to immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information.

The post A Step-by-Step Guide to the New Zealand Visa Application appeared first on Travelstart Blog.

How To Apply for an Australian Visa

Dreaming of venturing Down Under, to the land of adorable koala bears and fierce kangaroos? Australia offers you the best of both worlds, with glorious coastal cities and desert land.

Perhaps your plans of booking a flight to Australia have been hampered by the reality of acquiring an Australian Visa. Well, now you have the advantage of simplifying the Australian visa process by following the checklist we’ve made for a short stay visa and business visitor visa. Soon you’ll be exploring the beautiful wonders of this diverse destination! South African passport holders can apply online for an Australian visa or at a visa application centre in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. You should lodge your visa application well in advance (at least 4 weeks) of your date of departure.

Please note this process is applicable to South African passport holders.

australian-visa-travelstart

Types of Visas

  • Tourist (short stay) visa
  • Business visitor visa
  • Temporary work visa (short stay activity)

Visa Processing Time

  • Tourist (short stay) visa – 14 to 27 days
  • Business visitor visa – 8 to 29 days
  • Temporary work (short stay activity) – 10 to 19 days

Validity

A successful application will afford you a single or multiple entry visa for a stay period of up to three, six or twelve months. The Australian government will tell you how many times you are permitted to enter the country on your visa:

  • Travellers might be allowed to enter only once. In this situation, you will have to apply for a new visa if you wish to return to Australia again after you leave.
  • Travellers might be able to travel to and from Australia as many times as they wish while the visa is valid. However, the total time you spend in the country cannot be more than the period of stay that you have been granted.
  • Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the date that you will enter Australia.

Visa Costs

Applicants are to make payment at the time of application submission.

Please note no cash payment will be accepted, only debit/credit card payment.

Tourist/Business Visitor (Subclass 600)

Visa payment type Visa Fee in AUD Visa Fee in ZAR
Base application charge 140 1470

Temporary work (Short Stay) (Subclass 400)

Visa payment type Visa Fee in AUD Visa Fee in ZAR
Base application charge 280 2930
Secondary applicant (Additional applicant charge 18+) 280 2930
Secondary applicant (Additional applicant charge under 18) 70 740

*Please note that Rand values are subject to the Australian Dollar to Rand exchange rate.

TLSContact Service Fees

Service Fee
Primary Service Fees

·         Application lodgement and biometric collection – Primary Applicant

·         Resident return Australian visa applications – no biometric collection is required

R1033
Secondary Service Fees

·         Application lodgement and biometric collection – Additional applicant on the same form as the primary applicant

·         Citizenship by descent and Australian Declaratory Visa applications – no biometric collection required

·         Additional Document Drop – For applicants who wish to submit additional documents while her/his application has already been transferred to the DIBP.

R831
Biometric Service Fee

·         Biometric collection only – Applicants who have already lodged online and only require biometrics.

R828

Visa applications can be couriered to the Visa Application Centre in Johannesburg for an additional fee of R130.

TLSContact Bank Details:

HSBC Bank PLC Johannesburg Branch
Account name: TLS CONTACT SA
Account No: 121-015846-001
BIC/SWIFT: HSBCZAJJ

australia-visa-travelstart

Australian Visa Requirements

Travellers are advised to do their visa application online, by creating an online account known as ImmiAccount. You will be able to manage your online visa application.

If you are unable to do an online visa application, the alternative method is by applying at a TLScontact Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC).

Be sure to have the following documents ready when applying for your tourist (short stay) visa:

  • A completed and signed Form 1419 – application for general tourists.
  • Certified copies of your passport – the biographical pages with the holder’s photo and personal details.
  • A passport – with at least 6 months validity before the expiry date.
  • One recent passport-sized photo (45 mm x 35 mm) – not older than 6 months.
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay (recent bank statements, pay slips, taxation records or credit card limit).
  • If you are visiting relatives or friends, a letter of invitation from your relative or friend in Australia.
  • Your itinerary for your stay in Australia.
  • Information showing that you have an incentive and authority to return to your home country, such as:
    • Evidence of property or other significant assets owned in your home country.
    • Evidence of immediate family in your home country
    • A letter from your employer stating your intention to return to your job.

What Does the Visa Process Involve?

  • Once at the Visa Application Centre, an agent will check that you have all the required documents. These documents include your passport, a completed application form, your appointment confirmation form, and any additional supporting documents you wish to be considered for your application.
  • Make sure to provide certified copies of original documents.
  • All documents that are not in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
  • Should there be any documents missing, you can choose to proceed with your application or choose not to submit your visa application and re-apply at a later time.
  • Visa and service fees are non-refundable once you have submitted your application.
  • Once you’ve passed the document review stage, pay the visa application charge and the relevant services at the cashier.
  • You will be notified directly by the Australian Visa Office (DIBP), once your application has been processed and a decision has been made.
  • Upon collection of your documents at the Visa Application Centre, bring along your “Visa Application Checklist” provided by TLScontact, and an original ID document.
  • If you wish to have a third party collect your documents on your behalf, she/he should bring an authorisation letter signed by you.

Business Visitor Visa – Document Checklist

Temporary Work Short Stay Visa – Document Checklist

Health Requirements

All applicants who wish to stay in Australia for 6 months or more require an x-ray and medical examination.

If you have spent 28 days or longer (after 5 May 2014) in the following countries, you will need to provide a certificate against Polio with your visa application:

Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria.

australia visa application

Where Can I Apply for an Australian Visa?

You can apply at the visa application centres located in Pretoria, Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Please note that the Australian High Commission in Pretoria is not open for direct visa application.

Visa Application Centres

Cape Town

Address: Upper Ground Floor, Media Quarter Building, Cnr of De Smidt Street & Somerset Road, De Waterkant, Cape Town
Phone: 012 472 3800
Hours: 08h30 – 15h30

You can reach the Australian visa application centre in Cape Town with ease by using the MyCiti bus service, metered taxis or Uber. There is off-street parking available behind the building that the visa application centre is situated in.

Durban

Address: 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, 3rd Floor, Office Tower, The Atrium, Overport City, Durban
Phone: 012 472 3800
Hours: 08h30 – 15h30

Buses, metered taxis and Uber are available to get you to the Australian visa application centre in Durban. There is ample parking available in the adjacent complex.

Johannesburg

Address: 2nd Floor, 24 Central, 6 Gwen Lane, Corner of Gwen and Fredman Drive, Sandown, Sandton
Phone: 012 472 3800
Hours: 08h30 – 16h00

There are metered taxis and Uber available to get you safely to the Australian visa application centre in Johannesburg. If you’ll be driving, there is sufficient parking in the parking lot of the building where the visa application is situated.

Pretoria

Address: 1st Floor, Menlyn Corner, Gobie Street, Corner of Lois/Atterbury Road, (Opposite to Menlyn Park

Shopping Centre) Menlyn, Pretoria

Phone: 012 472 3800
Hours: 08h30 – 16h00

There is parking available at the entrance of the complex in which the Australian visa application centre in Pretoria is situated.

Australian High Commission (Pretoria)

Address: 292 Orient Street, Cnr Schoeman Street, Arcadia, Pretoria
Telephone: 012 423 6000 / 012 342 8442
Email: pretoria.info@dft.gov.au
Hours: Monday to Friday: 08h00 – 16h00

The Australian Embassy is a 7-minute walk from the city centre of Pretoria. There are metered taxis, Uber and buses for you to travel to and from the Australian Embassy.

Check out the City of Tshwane’s website for bus route timetables. If you’re travelling by car, there is parking available in front of the Australian Embassy (Pretoria) complex.

 How to book an appointment

  • Book an appointment at the Visa Application Centre by registering on their website. Usually, visa applicants can book an appointment for the following working day. This might change during high season.
  • When applying through TLScontact, the entire application process at the Visa Application Centre should take about 30 to 45 minutes.
  • The appointment includes the biometrics test.

sa passport travelstart

Where to Print Documents and Photos

In Cape Town

Digital Express

Address: 2 Long Street, Cape Town
Phone:  021 421 2122

Cameraland

Address: 68 Long Street, Cape Town
Phone: 021 423 4150

In Durban

PostNet GreenAcres

Address: Fair View, Shop G14 The Bridge Mall, Ring Road, Newton Park, Port Elizabeth
Phone: 041 363 3606

Foto First

Address: Shop G48, City View, 10 Matthews Meyiwa Rd, Greyville, Durban
Phone: 031 309 8928

In Johannesburg

Jetline

Address: Shop G06, 2 Merchant Place, 1 Fredman Drive, Sandown, Johannesburg
Phone: 011 784 2095

 In Pretoria

Copy Express

Address: Menlyn Park Shopping Centre

cnr Atterbury & Lois Ave

Phone: 012 348 2126

Gateway International Café

Address: Shop No. LF33, Menlyn Park, Atterbury Rd, Menlo Park, Pretoria
Phone: 012 368 1323

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 to immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information.

Image credit:

southafrican_passport via Instagram

The post How To Apply for an Australian Visa appeared first on Travelstart Blog.

The UK Visa Application – A Guide for South Africans

UK Visa Application

Have you ever longed to explore the many iconic castles situated around Swansea or the scenic highlands of Inverness? The United Kingdom is filled with many treasures like this! The sovereign nation includes four distinct countries, offering you a diverse cultural experience. Whether it’s England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, you’ll have plenty to discover! With this guide on the UK visa application process, you’ll soon be on your way to enjoying an adventure through this incredible nation.

South African passport holders will need a visa for the UK. Fortunately, the entire UK visa application process is explained in this detailed guide. You will need to apply at the British High Commission in Pretoria and the British Consulate General in Cape Town if you live nearby. If you don’t, you can apply online and finish off your UK visa application at the various UK visa application centres in South Africa. Always apply for your visa at least 3 weeks before you travel to allow for the processing time (and to save yourself from any stress!).

Please note this process is applicable to South African passport holders.

Types of Visas to Apply for:

UK Visa stamp

There are different UK visas depending on what your holiday plans are:

Apply for the Standard Visitor Visa if you’re visiting the UK as a tourist or for business.

If you are passing through the United Kingdom on your way to another destination, you will need a transit visa. There are two types:

  • Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV)
  • Visa in Transit

Apply for a DATV if you’re not leaving the airport and not going through the UK border control when changing flights.

Apply for a Visa in Transit if you need to leave the UK airport. You will also need to apply for this visa if you need to go through Immigration, such as when checking in your luggage with a connecting flight.

Validity

  • Standard Visitor Visa – 6 months
  • Direct Airside Transit Visa – 24 hours
  • Visa in Transit – 48 hours

Your passport will need to be valid for at least six months after your return to South Africa.

Processing can take up to 30 days.

You will receive an email that will state your passport is ready for collection at the relevant UK visa application centre. When collecting your passport, provide the following documents:

  • TLScontact checklist (Form provided to you after the documents reviewing)
  • Copy and Original of your photo ID document
  • If collected by a representative, an original authorisation form and representative’s valid photo ID document (copy & original) should be added to above documents.

Visa Costs:

UK visa costs

The costs for these various UK visa types are as follows:

Standard Visitor Visa R1680.00
Direct Airside Transit Visa R642.00
Visa in Transit R1170.00

Both gov.uk and visa4uk.fco.gov.uk offer online payment platforms.

UK Visa Requirements:

For the Standard Visitor Visa, you will need the following documents when visiting the UK visa application centres:

  • Downloaded and completed application form
  • Current passport or other valid travel identification
  • Your passport will need a page that’s blank on both sides for visa stamps
  • Evidence that you can support yourself financially during your trip, such as bank statements or payslips for the last six months
  • Certified translations of documents that are not in English or Welsh

For Direct Airside Transit Visas and Visas in Transit, you will need:

  • Current passport
  • Travel booking confirmation (email or copy of tickets)
  • Valid visa for the country for which you are departing the UK

Where to Apply:

Online

The earliest you can make your UK visa application is 3 months before your date of departure.

You can apply online for a UK visa.

UK visa application centres

After applying online, you will need to register on TLScontact’s website, then make an appointment with the UK visa application centre that’s nearest to you. There are 5 in South Africa. See below for more information.

Visa Application Centre – Cape Town

Address: 2 De Smit Street, Green Point
Hours: Monday to Friday:  08h30 – 15h30


Visa Application Centre at The Atrium – Durban

Address: 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, 3rd Floor, The Atrium
Hours: Monday to Friday: 08h30 – 15h30

This visa application centre is easily reached with the MyCiTi bus service. Off-street parking is available should you visit by car. Metred taxis are also available to get you to the application centre.

Parking is available at The Atrium should you be coming by car. Taxi services are available as well.

 

Visa Application Centre – Port Elizabeth

Address: Ground Floor, Fairview Office Park, 66 Ring Road, Greenacres
Hours: Monday to Friday: 08h30 – 15h30

Parking is available at the Fairview Office Park and the Greenacres Shopping Centre. Taxis and Uber are all available in Port Elizabeth to get you to this application centre.

 

Visa Application Centre – Johannesburg

Address: 2nd – 3rd Floor, 24 Central Building, 8 Gwen Lane and Fredman Drive, Sandton
Hours: Monday to Friday: 08h30 – 15h30

The building in which the visa application centre is based offers paid underground parking.

In Johannesburg, taxis and Uber are available to get you to the visa application centre.

 

Visa Application Centre – Pretoria

Address: 1st Floor, Menlyn Corner, 87 Frikkie De Beer Street, Menlyn
Hours: Monday to Friday: 08h30 – 15h30

Parking is available in the Menlyn Corner complex. Taxis and Uber are available to transport you to this visa application centre.

 

The UK visa application centres are closed during the weekend, during South African public holidays and during the Queen’s Birthday Privilege Holiday and Spring Bank Holiday.

How to book an appointment

UK Visa Application form

  • Visit gov.uk’s application page to start your application.
  • Confirm the type of visa you are applying for (see below)
  • If you are applying for a Standard Visitor visa, complete the following steps
  • Fill in the application form.
  • Confirm that you have a valid passport.
  • Fill in the declaration form.
  • Confirm the information you have supplied and the supporting documents you will supply (see below).
  • Confirm the duration of your visa.
  • Follow the online prompts to make your payment via credit/debit card.
  • Once you are finished, you will need to download and print out your form (this to be taken to a UK visa application centre).
  • Visit and register on TLScontact’s website to further ensure your application goes smoothly.
  • Make an appointment and visit one of the UK visa application centres (mentioned above) to finalise your application. Make sure to have the original versions and copies of the relevant documents when doing so.

For Transit Visas, register on the Visa4UK service to complete your application. You will need to confirm whether you are employed, whether you have funds for your trip, and what your travel plans are. Once you have completed the application, have the application form printed to take to your nearest UK visa application centre.

Children under the age of 5 need to apply for their UK visa in person at an application centre in order to attend a biometric enrolment appointment. All applicants will need to provide a live-capture digital photograph. This is due to the current rules that govern the collection of biometric data. Parents additionally need to book an appointment at the UK visa application centre for children when applying for their UK visa. Children under the age of 5 do not need to provide fingerprints.

Where to print your documents

UK Visa Internet Cafe

All documents for your UK visa application must be original. You can have them printed at the following places. Each shop ranges from within walking distance to a few minutes’ drive from the UK visa application centres:

In Cape Town:

Jetline

Address: Shop 2, Sovereign Quay, 40 Somerset Road, Greenpoint 
Contact: + 27 (0) 21 421 2122 / greenpoint@jetline.co.za

In Durban:

PostNet – Cowey Park

Address: 91 Problem Mkhize Road, Essenwood, Berea
Contact: + 27 (0) 31 208 0166 / musgravep@intekom.co.za

In Port Elizabeth:

PostNet Greenacres (The Bridge)

Address: Fair View, Shop G14 The Bridge Mall, Ring Road, Newton Park
Contact: + 27 (0) 41 363 3606 / thebridge@postnet.co.za

In Johannesburg:

Jetline

Address: Shop G06, 2 Merchant Place, 1 Fredman Drive, Sandown
Contact: + 27 (0) 11 784 2095 / sandown@jetline.co.za

In Pretoria:

Jetline Menlyn

Address: Shop 301, Menlyn Main Central Square, Corner of Aramist and Dallas Avenue
Contact: +27 (0) 12 348 7560 / menlyn@jetline.co.za

 

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 to immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information.

The post The UK Visa Application – A Guide for South Africans appeared first on Travelstart Blog.

Step by Step: U.S. Visa Application

From the voodoo mystique of New Orleans and honky-tonk rhythms of Nashville to the glittering lights of New York City and Las Vegas, the United States beckons to be explored. And to make your journey less stressful, we’ve decided to make things a little easier by breaking down the U.S. Visa application process. This step-by-step guide covers everything from what documents you will need to what questions will be asked during the interview. Now all that’s left to do is book your flights!

South African passport holders require a visa for the United States of America. Fortunately, it is a relatively straightforward process. You will need to apply at the U.S. Consulate General in one of the major cities (Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban) and apply at least 15 days before you travel to allow for ample processing time.

Please note this process is applicable to South African passport holders.

us visa south africa

Types of Visas

Although there are multiple types of U.S. Visas, the two main visas are the B-2 Visitor Visa and B-1 Business Visa.

Validity of U.S. visa

A B-2 Visitor Visa allows the holder to stay within the U.S. for up to six months. The validity of the visa itself is usually anything between 1 to 10 years.

Find out more about the B-1 Business Visa.

Note: Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date of return. 

How long does it take to get a U.S. Visa?

The estimated processing time for a U.S. Visa is between 5 to 15 working days. However, it can take longer if additional documents are required. You will be able to track your visa application online.

If you did not opt for the courier service when applying, you will be able to collect your passport and visa from your nearest DHL office.

apply us visa

Visa Costs

The U.S. Visa cost in South Africa is $160 USD (approximately R 2200.00 depending on exchange rate). Visa courier services are an additional R 90.00 or R 400.00 depending on the type of delivery.

Application fees can be paid in cash or by credit card.

For credit card payments, you can call the Visa Information Service Center (VISC) on 021 300 9700 (Cape Town), 031 100 3000 (Durban), or 010 500 8800 (Johannesburg) during business hours, or visit the U.S. Department of State Visa Appointment Service website to make payment and to schedule your appointment.

For cash payments, you can create an account on the U.S. Department of State Visa Appointment Service website, follow the steps until you reach the payment page, and then download, print, and follow the payment instructions page.

us visa cost

U.S. Visa Requirements

  • Barcoded DS0-160 confirmation page
  • Appointment confirmation page (which you should have received via email after booking your interview at the consulate).
  • An original South African passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your date of return. It will need at least two empty pages for the visa and entry stamps.
  • One colour photo that meets the U.S. Visa photo requirements.
  • All passports that show previously issued visas to the United States or international trips.
  • Any supporting documents, such as bank statements, invitation letters, letter of employment etc.
  • A marriage certificate for an accompanying spouse.
  • An unabridged birth certificate for accompanying minors.

us visa requirements

How to apply for a U.S. visa

  1. Get photographs that meet the U.S. Visa photo requirements before beginning the application process. You will need to upload a digital copy with your online application.
  2. Complete the online application and pay the non-refundable visa processing fee of $160 USD (the amount in Rand varies according to the exchange rate, but is currently about R 2200.00). It can be paid in cash or by credit card.
  3. Print out the barcoded confirmation form and schedule your visa interview at the nearest U.S. Consulate General.
  4. Gather your documents and any supporting documents that may be required.
  5. Attend your interview.
  • You will need to appear in person at one of the U.S. Consulate Generals.
  • Some of the questions you may be asked during the interview include: What is the purpose of your trip? How long do you plan to remain in the U.S.? How do you plan to cover the costs of the trip?

passport and visa

Where to Apply for a U.S. Visa?

You will begin your U.S. Visa application online, but will be required to attend the visa interview and provide biometrics in person at the U.S. Consulate General.

There are U.S. Consulate Generals in three of the main cities in South Africa:

U.S. Embassy Pretoria U.S. Consulate General Cape Town
Address: 877 Pretorius Street,

Arcadia, 0083

Address: 2 Reddam Avenue,

Westlake, 7945

Telephone: (+27) 012 431 4000 Telephone: (+27) 021 702 7300
Business hours: Monday to Friday

8:00 – 16:45

Business hours: Monday to Friday

8:00 – 16:45

Email: Email: consularcapetown@state.gov
Website: za.usembassy.gov Website: za.usembassy.gov
U.S. Consulate General Johannesburg U.S. Consulate General Durban
Address: 1 Sandton Drive,

Sandhurst, 2196

Address: 303 Dr Pixley Kaseme St,

Durban Central, 4001

Telephone: (+27) 011 290 3000 Telephone: (+27) 031 305 7600
Business hours: Monday to Friday

8:00 – 16:45

Business hours: Monday to Friday

8:00 – 16:45

Email: consularjohannesburg@state.gov Email: consulardurban@state.gov
Website: za.usembassy.gov Website: za.usembassy.gov

Note: The Consulate General of Cape Town and Durban are closed to the public every Friday, while the Consulate General of Johannesburg is closed every last Friday of the month. The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria does not provide any visa services.

Getting to the embassy / parking options

Public parking is not available at the U.S. Consulates.

For Cape Town, parking is available at Steenberg Village shopping centre for applicants and visitors to the U.S. Consulate General. It is a 7-minute walk from the consulate.

For Johannesburg, secure, paid parking is available at Sandton City Shopping Mall for applicants and visitors to the U.S. Consulate General. It is a 10-minute walk from the consulate.

For Durban, paid parking is available at the Royal Hotel, Workshop Shopping Centre, and Pine Parkade for applicants and visitors to the U.S. Consulate General. The walk to the consulate is approximately 7 minutes.

Public transport options include: Gautrain (for Johannesburg), Uber, public buses, metered taxis, and minibus taxis. Options may vary according to city.

Courier service

If your application is successful, there are three options for getting your passport back:

  • Free delivery to your local DHL office within 3 to 5 business days.
  • Standard delivery to your home or office within 3 to 5 business days.
  • Priority delivery to one of the DHL offices within 24 hours of the interview.

You will be notified when your passport is ready for collection.

visa courier

Printing and Visa Photographs

For printing and photographs, the following businesses can be found in the surrounding area:

Cape Town

Creative Photo Lab at Reddam Pharmacy

Address: Shop G5, Steenberg Village,

Reddam Avenue, Tokai, 7945

Telephone: (+27) 021 701 4001

PostNet

Address: Shop 7a Tokai on Main,

Main Road, Tokai, 7945

Telephone: (+27) 021 715 5681/0

Johannesburg

Kodak Express

Address: Shop L65, Sandton City,

Corner Alice Lane and Sandton Drive, Sandhurst, 2196

Telephone: (+27) 011 884 7754

PostNet

Address: Shop L38B, Sandton City,

Rivonia Road and 5th Street, Sandhurst, 2196

Telephone: (+27) 011 783 6810

Durban

Kodak Express

Address: Shop 13, Mountanne House,

Soldiers Way, Durban Central, 4001

Telephone: (+27) 031 301 0624

Copyshop Printers

Address: Shop 8, West Tower,

331 Dr Pixley Kaseme Street, Durban Central, 4001

Telephone: (+27) 031 301 4168

us visa photos

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 to immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information

The post Step by Step: U.S. Visa Application appeared first on Travelstart Blog.

Step by step: How to apply for a Schengen Visa

Ever wanted to explore the French vineyards of Bordeaux or the Spanish Steps in Rome? Now you can explore the best of Europe, with this step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Schengen Visa. Visa applications can be a stressful task, so we’ve included everything you need to know to ensure you’re well prepared for the application process. Now all that’s left to do is book your ticket and pack your bags!

You will need a Schengen Visa if you are a South African passport holder and travelling to one or more of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Please note this process is applicable to South African passport holders.

schengen visa rome

Types of Visas

There are two types of Schengen Visas: a tourist Schengen Visa and Business Schengen Visa.

Validity of Schengen Visa

A multiple entry Schengen Visa allows the holder to stay within the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a six-month period. You may leave and return any number of times within this period as long as the combined stay does not exceed 90 days.

Learn more about the Business Schengen Visa.

How long does it take to get a Schengen Visa?

The processing of a Schengen Visa usually takes about 10 working days. However, it could be slightly longer if additional documents are required. Most websites allow you to track your application online.

You will be notified when your passport is ready for collection. If you did not opt for the visa courier service you will need to collect your passport from the visa application centre. You will need to provide proof of payment and identity.

 

Schengen Visa Cost

The Schengen Visa cost in South Africa will vary depending on the age of the applicant and which application process you use.

Costs can vary from R 427.22 to R 960.00. Agencies usually charge a service fee on top of the Consular Visa fees and offer additional services such as a Visa Courier facility. Processing times and terms and conditions vary from agency to agency.

schengen visa cost

Schengen Visa Requirements

  • A completed Schengen Visa application.
  • An original and copy of your South African passport. The passport will need to be valid for at least three months beyond your date of return, not be older than 10 years, and have at least two blank pages.
  • Two colour photographs that meet the Schengen requirements.
  • Copy of return flights and travel itinerary (i.e. accommodation reservations or a letter from a host and a copy of their ID).
  • Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of the trip (i.e. Three months bank statements or proof of purchased foreign exchange).
  • Proof of employment or full-time study (i.e. a letter from your employer or educational institution stating that you are taking leave and will be returning to the country).
  • Schengen Travel Medical Insurance to cover any repatriation costs and medical expenses.
  • An unabridged birth certificate is required for children younger than 18. Supporting documents may be required, such as marriage certificates, a letter stating that the child will be supported by their parent during the trip, and a certified letter from the parent who is not travelling with the child.

Note: Documents may vary from country to country.

schengen visa requirements

Schengen Visa application

  • Book an appointment at the embassy or through the website of a visa service provider.
  • Plan and make the necessary reservations for your trip. You will need to submit copies of your flight reservation and hotel bookings with your application.
  • You are only allowed to be in the Schengen area for up to three months, so ensure your trip does not exceed this time period. It is also recommended that you buy travel insurance, in case your visa is not approved and you have to cancel your trip.
  • Download and complete the Schengen Visa application form.
  • Gather all your documents. Follow the link for a detailed explanation of the Schengen Visa requirements for South African citizens.
  • Submit your application and attend the interview in person at the embassy/consulate or visa application centre. You will need to pay the relevant fees and may be required to give biometrics.
  • When answering the interview questions, answer firmly and ensure you offer the correct information. Some questions you may be asked include: Which countries are you planning on visiting? What is the purpose of your visit? Where are you going to stay?

Note: You can apply up to 12 weeks before you travel.

schengen visa

Where to apply for a Schengen Visa

There are two options when applying for a Schengen Visa: in person at the embassy or consulate, or through one of the visa processing agents.

  • If you are only travelling to one Schengen country, you will need to apply for the visa at the embassy or consulate for that country.
  • If you are travelling to more than one Schengen country, you will need to apply for the visa at the embassy or consulate of the country you will be spending most of your time.
  • If you will be spending equal time in each Schengen country, you will need to apply for the visa at the embassy or consulate of the first country you will be visiting.

Many countries have outsourced the application process to an external service provider. Some of these agencies include Intergate Visalink, VFS Global, and Capago. Companies such as MDS VisaPak offer collections and tracking. You will still need to appear in person to provide biometrics.

Note: If you will be visiting other countries outside of the Schengen area, you will need to apply for additional visas to those countries before applying for a Schengen Visa.

Embassies

Embassy of Austria Embassy of Belgium

(also represents Luxembourg)

Address: 454 A Fehrsen Street,

Brooklyn,

Address: 625 Leyds Street,

Muckleneuk,

Pretoria, 0002

Phone: (+27) 012 452 9155 Phone: (+27) 012 440 3201
Business hours: Monday to Thursday

09:00 – 12:00

Business hours: Monday to Friday

08:30 – 12:30

Email: pretoria-ob@bmeia.gv.at Email: pretoria@diplobel.fed.be
Website: www.bmeia.gv.at Website: southafrica.diplomatie.belgium.be
Embassy of the Czech Republic

 

Royal Danish Embassy

(also represents Iceland)

Address: 936 Pretorius Street,

Arcadia,

Pretoria, 0083

Address: iParioli Office Park, Block B2,

1166 Park Street,

Hatfield, 0083

Phone: (+27) 012 431 2380 Phone: (+27) 012 440 3201
Business hours: Monday to Thursday

09:00 – 12:00

Business hours: Tuesday and Thursday

09:00 – 11:00

Email: pretoria@embassy.mzv.cz Email: pryambvisa@um.dk
Website: www.mzv.cz Website: sydafrika.um.dk
Embassy of Finland Consulate General of France
Address: 628 Leyds Street,

Muckleneuk,

Pretoria, 0002

Address: 191 Jan Smuts Avenue

Parktown North

Johannesburg, 2196

Phone: (+27) 012 343 0276 Phone: (+27) 011 778 5618
Business hours: Monday to Friday

08:00 – 12:30

13:30 – 15:00

Business hours: Monday to Friday

08:30 – 13:00

Email: visa.pre@formin.fi Email: visas.johannesburg-fslt@diplomatie.gouv.fr
Website: www.finland.org.za Website: johannesburg.consulfrance.org
Embassy of Germany Consulate General of Greece
Address: 201 Florence Ribeiro Avenue,

Groenkloof,

Pretoria, 0181

Address: 261 Oxford Road,

Illovo,

Sandton, 2196

Phone: (+27) 012 427 8900 Phone: (+27) 011 214 2300

(+27) 011 214 2316

Business hours: Monday to Thursday

08:00 – 14:00

Friday

08:00 – 13:00

Business hours: Monday to Tuesday

09:00 – 13:30

Thursday to Friday

09:00 – 13:30

Email: info@pretoria.diplo.de Email: greekconsulate-johannesburg@mfa.gr
Website: www.southafrica.diplo.de Website: www.mfa.gr
Embassy of Hungary

(also represents Latvia)

Embassy of Italy

(also represents Malta)

Address: 959 Arcadia Street,

Hatfield,

Pretoria, 0083

Address: 796 George Avenue,

Arcadia,

Pretoria, 0083

Phone: (+27) 012 430 3030 Phone: (+27) 012 423 0000
Business hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday

09:00 – 12:00

Business hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

09:30 – 12:00

Wednesday

14:00 – 16:00

Email: mission.prt@mfa.gov.hu Email: segreteria.pretoria@esteri.it
Website: www.mfa.gov.hu Website: www.ambpretoria.esteri.it
Embassy of Lithuania Embassy of the Netherlands
Address: 235 Grosvenor Street,

Hatfield

Pretoria, 0028

Address: 210 Florence Ribeiro Avenue,

Nieuw Muckleneuk,

Pretoria, 0181

Phone: (+27) 012 760 9000 Phone: (+27) 012 425 4500
Business hours: Monday to Thursday

08:00 – 17:00

Friday

08:00 – 15:45

Business hours: Monday to Thursday

08:00 – 17:00

Friday

08:00 – 13:00

Email: amb.za@urm.lt Email: pre@minbuza.nl
Website: za.mfa.lt Website: www.netherlandsandyou.nl
Royal Norwegian Embassy Embassy of Poland
Address: 165 Lynnwood Road,

Brooklyn,

Pretoria, 0181

Address: 14 Amos Street,

Colbyn,

Pretoria, 0083

Phone: (+27) 012 364 3700 Phone: (+27) 012 430 2631

(+27) 012 430 2632

Business hours: Monday to Friday

09:00 – 12:00

Business hours: Monday

14:00 – 18:00

Tuesday to Friday

09:00 – 12:00

Email: visa.pretoria@mfa.no Email: konsulat.pretoria@msz.gov.pl
Website: www.norway.no Website: www.pretoria.msz.gov.pl
Consulate General of Portugal Consulate General of Slovakia
Address: 11 Ernest Oppenheimer Avenue,

Bruma,

Johannesburg, 2198

Address: 930 Arcadia Street,

Arcadia,

Pretoria, 0002

Phone: (+27) 011 622 0645

(+27) 011 622 0646

Phone: (+27) 012 342 2051

(+27) 012 342 2052

Business hours: Monday to Thursday

8:30 – 15:00

Business hours: Tuesday and Thursday

9:30 – 13:00

Email: consulado.joanesburgo@mne.pt Email: emb.pretoria@mzv.sk
Website: www.cgj.org.za Website: www.mzv.sk
Consulate General of Slovenia Embassy of Spain
Address: 9 Queen Street,

Durbanville,

Cape Town, 7550

Address: 337 Brooklyn Road,

Brooklyn,

Pretoria, 0181

Phone: (+27) 021 976 6249 Phone: (+27) 012 460 0123
Business hours: Monday to Friday

09:00 – 16:00

Business hours: Monday to Thursday

08:00 – 16:30

Friday

08:00 – 13:30

Email: info@slovenianconsulate.co.za Email: emb.pretoria.vis@maec.es
Website: www.slovenianconsulate.co.za Website: www.exteriores.gob.es
Embassy of Sweden

(also represents Estonia)

Embassy of Switzerland

(also represents Liechtenstein)

Address: 1166 Park Street,

Hatfield,

Pretoria, 0028

Address: 225 Veale Street,

Nieuw Muckleneuk,

Pretoria, 0181

Phone: (+27) 012 426 6400 Phone: (+27) 012 452 0660
Business hours: Monday

09:00 – 12:00

Wednesday to Thursday

09:00 – 12:00

Business hours: Monday to Friday

09:00 – 12:00

Email: ambassaden.pretoria@gov.se Email: pre.visa@eda.admin.ch
Website: www.swedenabroad.com Website: www.eda.admin.ch

Getting to the embassy / parking options

Many embassies do not offer parking for the public, so arriving by public transportation or drop-off is recommended. An extensive public transport network will ensure getting to and from the embassy is relatively easy. Options include: Gautrain, MyCiTi, Uber, public buses, metered taxis, and minibus taxis.

Printing and Visa Photographs

For printing and photographs, the following businesses can be found in the surrounding area:

Pretoria

PostNet

Address: Shop 4, Brooklyn Design Square,

309 Veale Street, Pretoria

Telephone: (+27) 012 460 1484

Kodak Express

Address: Shop 1, Brooklyn Mall,

Corner Veale and Fehrsen Streets, New Muckleneuk

Telephone: (+27) 012 346 0868

Johannesburg

PostNet

Address: Corner St. David’s Place and Wellington Road, Parktown
Telephone: (+27) 011 484 2134

Kodak Express

Address: High Point Shopping Centre,

Kotze Street, Hillbrow, Johannesburg

Telephone: (+27) 011 447 4056

Cape Town

Digital Express

Address: Shop 10

2 Long Street, Cape Town

Telephone: (+27) 021 418 5099

Tothills Photo-chemists

Address: Boland Bank Building,

18 Lower Burg Street, Cape Town

Telephone: (+27) 021 421 2421

Durban

PostNet

Address: Shop 6, Cowey Park Shopping Centre,

91 Problem Mkhize Road, Essenwood, Berea

Telephone: (+27) 031 208 0166

Foto First

Address: Shop G48, City View,

10 Matthews Meyiwa Road, Greyville

Telephone: (+27) 031 309 8928

visa photo

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 to immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information.

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