In order to ENTER South Africa, you need a visa. However, in order to STAY in South Africa, you need a different type of temporary visa for the purpose of your stay. Once you arrive in South Africa, immigration officials will inspect your tourist visa or grant you one if you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country.
Listed below are the most basic requirements for qualifying for a South African visa.
- A valid acceptable passport or travel document which will not expire before your stay in South Africa ends
- Sufficient funds for your stay
- A return or onward travel ticket
- At least two blank pages in your passport.
- Yellow fever certificates are required if the journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America
As you can see, these are conditions that can only be met with the correct paperwork. South African visas are never issued at ports of entry in South Africa, such as airports or road border posts, so be sure to finalise your visa BEFORE you arrive in South Africa. Arriving without a visa will simply mean that you get placed on the next flight back to your country of origin.
FINALISE YOUR VISA BEFORE YOU ARRIVE IN SOUTH AFRICA
Applying for a South African visa also involves the payment of an application fee. However, it is not possible to list the fee in each country here because it changes every year. You will pay the fee in the currency of the country in which you are making the application.
The following requirements relate to the paperwork that needs to be completed when applying for a visa. Make sure that you comply with ALL the requirements. If your visa is found to be incorrect when you arrive in South Africa, you can be sent home immediately.
The following documents are required.
- 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
- A yellow-fever vaccination certificate (if required)
- Statement and/or documentation confirming the purpose and duration of your visit
- Two colour passport photographs
- A return or onward ticket if you are travelling by air
- Proof of guardianship or custody or
- Consent from the guardian in the case of an unaccompanied minor
You also need to provide proof of financial means to pay for your living expenses while in South Africa. This proof can be
- Bank statements
- Salary advances
- Undertakings by the host(s) in South Africa
- Medical cover or
- Cash available (including credit cards and travellers’ cheques)
Remember, you do not have to submit your visa application 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.
For any further questions, please use the contact form in the sidebar or on our contact page.