Visa Requirements For South Africa
Entry into South Africa is relatively easy for most foreigners visiting the country, with the foreign nationals of a number of countries NOT requiring a Visa for South Africa. Upon entry, these visitors are given a free entry permit detailing conditions and length of stay, which is usually a maximum period of 90 days. See list below.
Visa Exemption List
Passport holders who are exempt from Visas for South Africa
The citizen of a holder of a national passport (diplomatic, official or ordinary) of the foreign countries / territories / international organization listed below are required to hold a visa when reporting to an immigration officer for an examination at a South African port of entry, subject to the terms and conditions set out in this list, including inter alia, the intended period of stay in the Republic.
The holder of a national South African passport, travel document and document for travel purposes.
The citizen who is a holder of a national passport (diplomatic, official or ordinary) of the following countries / territories / international organizations is NOT required to hold a visa in respect of purposes for which a visitor’s permit may be issued or by virtue of being a person contemplated in section 31(3)(b) [diplomatic and official visit] for an intended stay of 90 days or less and when in transit.
- African Union laissez-passer
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, British Islands, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Jersey, Isle of Man and Virgin Islands
- Republic of Ireland
- British Overseas Territories in possession of British passports namely:
Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St. Helena and Dependencies (Ascension Island, Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha), Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the Turks and Caicos Island.
- United States of America
- Zimbabwe (temporary measure until further notice)
The citizen who is a holder of a national passport (diplomatic, official and ordinary) of the following countries / territories / international organizations is not required to hold a visa in respect of purposes for which a visitor’s permit may be issued or by virtue of being a person contemplated in section 31(3)(b) [diplomatic and official] visit for an intended stay of 30 days or less and when in transit:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cape Verde
- Costa Rica
- Hong Kong (only with regard to holders of Hong Kong British National Overseas passports and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports)
- Macau (only with regard to holders of Macau Special Administrative Region passports (MSAR))
- Slovak Republic
- South Korea
Requirements for entering South Africa
You will need the following if you wish to visit South Africa:
- A valid and acceptable passport or travel document for your intended stay, which is valid for at least 30 days after your intended departure from South Africa
- For nationals of countries whose citizens are visa exempt : At least 1 (one) blank page in your passport for endorsements
- For nationals of countries whose citizens require a visa: At least 2 (two) blank visa pages when presented at the Embassy or Consulate; one page for affixing the visa or permit by the embassy/consulate and the other page for endorsement of entry/departure stamp by the South African Immigration Services.
- A valid visa, if required
- Sufficient funds to pay for your day-to-day expenses during your stay
- A return or onward ticket
- Yellow fever certificates if your journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.
Documents Required When Applying for a South African Visa
- A passport or travel document valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of your intended visit
- Your passport must have at least one unused page for entry / departure endorsements
- A completed FORM BI-84 (application for a visa)
- Payment of the prescribed fee (app. R425)
- A yellow-fever vaccination certificate (if required)
- Statement and/or documentation confirming the purpose and duration of your visit: proof of accommodation in South Africa such as hotel booking or invitation from the host and proof of host’s legal status in South Africa
- Two colour passport photographs
- A return or onward ticket if you are travelling by air / flight itenary
- If you have children (minors) travelling with you or joining in South Africa, you will need to provide the following additional documents:
- Proof of guardianship or custody or
- Consent from the guardian in the case of an unaccompanied minor
- Proof of financial means to pay for your living expenses while in South Africa in the form of:
- Bank statements
- Salary advances
- Undertakings by the host(s) in South Africa
- Medical cover or
- Cash available (including credit cards and travellers’ cheques)
- Proof of U.S. visa status such as a greencard, H1B, F1, etc.(where applicable)
- Processing Time: 5 days
NB: Your South African visa application is NOT required to be submitted in person. You can ask anyone else (such as a travel agent or courier services or another family member) to submit the application on your behalf. Visitors who plan to re-enter SA from a neighbouring country must apply for a multiple entry Visa.
For further or more detailed information please visit Home Affairs and click on Immigration Services in the navigation bar at the top of the page or visit southafrica.info where you will also find additional information on South African Embassies and Consulates around the world.