South Africa Visa. Requirements, visa process and exemption

South Africa visa requirements

Millions of people go to South Africa each year for various reasons chief among them being tourism. Whether your interest is in marine activities, culture, or the classic wildlife experiences South Africa is a big country that gives and gives some more.

South Africa's tourism is very well developed and diverse, which makes it a very attractive destination for any kind of interest - common or niche.

Before you can visit South Africa, you will need a visa (unless your country is exempt). In this article, we'll look at the requirements for a South African visa, the cost, and the countries and territories which do not require a visa to enter South Africa.

South Africa Visa Requirements

  • A valid passport with at least 30 days validity after your intended departure
  • Two blank/unused pages in your passport
  • A return or onward ticket (if you are flying out)
  • A yellow fever vaccination certificate (if you are from or through the yellow fever belt areas)
  • A statement confirming the purpose and length of your visit
  • 2 color passport-type photographs
  • Proof of having enough funds (e.g bank statement)
  • Visa Fee

South Africa Visa Process

Getting a visa for South Africa is a manual and physical process where you have to visit your local embassy to fill out the various application forms. This (of course) doesn't apply for visa-exempt countries and passports.

The best way to go about getting your South Africa visa is by getting in touch with the staff at the local embassy in your country so that you can prepare all the required doccuments and materials before your visit.

South Africa is working on an e-visa system which will streamline the procees of obtaining a visa by utilizing the internet like many other countries have done. The system is still in a testing phase and the pilot countries are Kenya and India.

If you are a Kenyan or Indian Citizen, you could apply for the South African e-visa online and help the pilot phase along.

South Africa Visa Exemption

Many countries have visa exemption with South Africa, and you might be one of the people who don't need a visa to enter the Republic of South Africa. Some exemptions are for a period of 90 days while others are for a period of 30 days. Other nationalities have an exemption for service and diplomatic passport holders only.

Let's look at each group.

90-day Visa Exemption

South Africa Visa-exemption for up to 90 days
Andorra Finland Namibia Seychelles
Argentina Greece Netherlands Sweden
Australia Iceland New Zealand Tanzania
Austria Ireland Norway Trinidad and Tobago
Belgium Israel Panama Tunisia
Botswana Jamaica Paraguay United Arab Emirates
Brazil Japan Qatar United Kingdom
Canada Liechtenstein Russia United States of America
Chile Luxembourg St Vincent and the Grenadines Uruguay
Czech Republic Madagascar San Marino Venezuela
Denmark Malta São Tomé and Príncipe Zambia
Ecuador Monaco Saudi Arabia Zimbabwe

Be sure to check whether your nationality's exemption is 90 days per visit or per year.

British Overseas territories and conservancies are included as part of the United Kingdom's exemption.

30-day Visa Exemption

South Africa Visa-exemption for up to 30 days
Angola Cape Verde Jordan Mauritius
Antigua and Barbuda Costa Rica Lesotho Mozambique
Bahamas Cyprus Macau Peru
Barbados Eswatini Malawi Poland
Belize Gabon Malaysia Thailand
Benin Guyana Maldives Turkey
Bolivia Hungary    

Service/Dplomatic Visa Exemption

Citizens of the following country do not require a visa as long as they have a diplomatic or service passport.

Service/Diplomatic Visa-exemption up to 120 days
Albania Guinea Nigeria
Algeria Hungary Paraguay
Angola India Poland
Belarus Indonesia Romania
Bulgaria Ivory Coast Rwanda
Comoros Kenya Senegal
Croatia Liberia Slovakia
Cuba Madagascar Thailand
Cyprus Mexico Tunisia
DR Congo (conditional) Morocco Uganda
Egypt Mozambique Vietnam
Ghana Namibia  

Minors

When travelling with children below the age of 18, here are some things to be aware of.

  • A valid passport with atleast 30 days validity after intended departure.
  • A valid birthcertificate with the names of both parents
  • If the child is travelling with one parent/guardian the signed consent of the other parent is required.
  • If the child is travelling with another adult, the signed consent of both parents to grant temporary guradianship is required.

These rules are intended to fight human trafficking and are strictly observed. As of October 2016, more than 13,000 people have been turned away because these requiremnts weren't met.

Notes

  • The government of South Africa reserve the right to allow of deny you entry and having a visa is never the final authority to entry.
  • Visa processing fees are non-refundable
  • If your country is indicated in the above categories of visa exemption, make sure to understand the type of exemption and the granted period.
  • Visa policy terms and laws can be altered by the government without any prior notice, so make sure to confirm with officlal government sources such as the department of home affair or your local embassy.

Final Thoughts

While the process of obtaining a visa for South Africa can seem hard, due to the need to talk with the embassy, a visit to South Africa is worth the little inconvience. If you can be able to get intouch with your local embassy in your country, then the process should be easy.

In the event that you country is among the visa exempt countries in any of that tables above, you should confirm with either your government or your local South African embassy to make sure you have official confirmation from the responsible bodies.

We try to give you the most up to date and true information, but these regulations could be changed at anytime without prior information.

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