If you have been applying for one on the past, you will know that Schengen should have been a four-letter word. A Schengen visa is and has always been a bloody nuisance to get hold of taking into account the amount of paperwork involved, the constant fingerprinting and biometric date collecting and the long waiting times.
Imagine that, a Schengen visa within 48 hours!
According to the Capago.eu visa application centre “South Africa is one of the few countries to benefit from the new ‘fast track’ procedure – at no extra costs. “The development is because France decided to simplify the visa application procedures for South African nationals.
It said the move reflects “the will of the French government to facilitate visits to France by tourists, businessmen or students from South Africa” and follows the recent introduction of a service whereby any applicant can submit his/her application at any of the 3 Capago offices, no matter where in South Africa he/she resides.
The 3 Capago offices in South Africa are in Cape Town and Johannesburg and Durban. Visa applicants will wait no longer than 2 business days, from the time the application is lodged at Capago in Cape Town or Johannesburg until the passport is made available for collection.
Traditionally Schengen visas applications took between one week and 21 days.
For the Durban branch, the 48 hours does not include the transfer from Durban to Johannesburg’s Capago andback to Durban, which may mean that receiving the short-stay visa will take longer.
It is not clear if this will be extended to South African passport holders living abroad (to apply in the country where they are a resident now) but let’s hope it will be in the near future!