South African Visa Requirements
Whether you are a backpacker or a lavish traveler, South Africa offers adventures for everyone. While this splendid land is home to some of the most exotic creatures and stellar sceneries, it also brings with it the world’s best cuisines which make this country a paradise for foodies. From adventures that combine jungle safaris, ostrich riding and cave exploration to experiences that offer an abundance of history and stunning landscapes, South Africa has all this and much more making it a must-visit. So refer to this easy-to-use guide and get to know all about the visa requirements for South Africa to plan a trouble-free trip to this adventure land.
1. Who doesn’t need a visa to enter South Africa?
The South African visa policy is quite liberal granting permission to the citizens of various countries to enter South Africa without a visa. These citizens shall then be issued a “Port of Entry Visa” to tour through the country.
If you are a citizen of the following countries, you do not need a visa to enter South Africa for a defined period of stay:
- Canada (90 days)
- Malaysia (30 days)
- Singapore (90 days)
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (90 days)
- United States of America (90 days)
Other regions exempted from a visa for a visit of 90 days or less include African Union Laissez Passer, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Russian Federation, San Marino, Spain, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Additionally, passport holders of British Islands Bailiwick of Guernsey and Jersey, Isle of Man, and people belonging to the British Overseas Territories including 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 of Cyprus South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the Turks and Caicos Island can enter and stay in South Africa for 90 days without a visa.
There are other regions as well the passport holders of which can enter the country and stay here for 30 days or less without a visa. These areas include Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Gabon, Guyana, Hong Kong (only holders of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports and Hong Kong British National Overseas passports), Hungary, Jordan, Kingdom of Eswatini, Lesotho, Macau (only holders of Macau Special Administrative Region passports), Malaysia, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Peru, Poland, Seychelles, South Korea, Thailand, and Turkey.
2. Who needs a visa to travel to South Africa?
If you do not hold an ordinary passport of the above-mentioned areas, you will need a South African visa. The country issues different kinds of visas depending upon the purpose and duration of the visit. You can choose among short-stay, single-entry and multiple-entry visa options available. Generally, the visas are issued for business, tourism, conferences, sports events, study, medical, and family visit purposes. Apart from having the visitor’s permit, you need to be in possession of all the required documents to get a South African visa and have a hassle-free trip.
3. How to apply for a South African Visa?
To apply for a South African visa, you first need to obtain an application form from the South African Embassy or Consulate office near you. Many times it happens that the online downloaded application forms get rejected, which is why it is advisable to get the original form from the authorized offices. Once collected, fill the form and collect all the necessary documents along with the application fee. Then submit this form, required documents and the fee at the South African Embassy and you are done with the process.
Whether you come under visa exempt countries or not, it is advisable that you inquire at your nearest Department of Home Affairs, consulate abroad or South African mission regarding specific requirements for visiting South Africa as the application requirements keep changing.
4. What documents are required to apply for a South African visa?
A South African visa applicant will need the following documents while applying for a visa:
- A travel document or passport with a validity of at least 30 days after the expiry of the intended visit and a minimum of two unused pages.
- A duly-filled and signed visa application Form BI-84.
- A certificate providing details about yellow-fever vaccination (if needed).
- Document or statement specifying the duration and purpose of your visit.
- Two colored passport-sized photographs.
- An onward or return ticket.
- Bank statements, medical cover or any such documents proving that you have enough financial means to support your stay in South Africa.
- In case you are traveling with children, a guardianship proof is required and consent from guardian if the minor is unaccompanied.
In addition to the above-mentioned documents, a traveler needs to pay the prescribed application fee to complete the visa application procedure.
5. What is the fees to apply for a South African visa?
Since the application fee for a South African visa varied depending upon the nationality of the visitor, it is recommended that you contact the nearest South African Embassy or Consulate for specific information regarding the fee.
Synonymous with all things adventurous, South Africa combines the best of wildlife, food, beaches, sports, and people. So gather all the documents, get that visa, and head to this beautiful wonderland on your next vacation.
*The above-mentioned information is limited to tourist visas only and is in accordance with the information available on official websites. It is recommended that you visit the nearest Consular office for updated and more specific information regarding your country of residence.