South Africa visa application and requirements

South Africa Visa

Find the right South Africa Visa for your trip with price, requirements, and application time

Having to get a visa to South Africa takes all the fun out of traveling.
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South Africa Visa Types

You can apply for an online business, tourist, and transit visa if you meet the requirements. VisaHQ has the online application form on our portal and all the information you need to complete the application exercise. In this section, we review the features of each visa so you can make an informed choice.

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Expert in South Africa visa services since 2003, VisaHQ is a private visa agency, not affiliated with the government of South Africa. VisaHQ provides expediting services for visa to South Africa and charges a service fee. See how we compare in the 90 seconds video 
  • r
    Traveller Declaration
    required
  • r
    Short term work visitor 11(2) visa
    required
  • n
    Tourist visa
    not required
  • n
    Airport Transit visa
    not required
  • n
    Business visa
    not required
  • n
    Missionary visa
    not required
A visa is required for this destination.

Fill out South Africa Traveller Declaration application form online

  • Visa application form. Upon order completion, please download, print and sign South Africa visa application, prepared by our system under your account.

  • Original passport. Original, signed passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity.

  • Passport-type photograph. Include a passport style photo, with a white background, taken within the last 6 months. You may also choose to upload a photo to your order for us to print. There is a surcharge associated with this service.

  • Passport copy. A NOTARIZED color copy of your valid, signed passport is required in addition to the original passport. Notarization instructions can be found here.

  • Itinerary. A copy of round trip tickets or detailed itinerary for the duration of the trip. The applicant's name must be on itinerary.

  • Health insurance. Proof of international health insurance and specifically covering travel to the destination country is required. Applicants can get a free quote and purchase valid travel insurance from our affiliate.

  • Proof of accommodation. A copy of hotel reservations or other lodgings for the duration of the trip. The applicant's name must be on the reservation.

  • Business Support Letter. A support letter from the sending company which introduces the applicant, states the nature of the trip, and specifies the type and desired validity of the visa.
    The sample format for this letter can be found here

  • Business invitation. A business invitation letter from the sponsoring company in the destination country. The letter should be printed on company letterhead stationery, addressed to "The Consulate of South Africa, Visa Section", and signed by a senior manager. The business letter must adhere to the following guidelines:
    Briefly introduce the applicant (please specify employment status/position held in the company by applicant).
    State the nature of the business to be conducted (i.e. business meetings, contract negotiations, etc.) and the names and addresses of companies to be contacted in the destination country.
    Specify the Type and desired Validity of the visa (i.e. a one year multiple entry business visa).

  • Bank statement. A copy of the applicant's most recent monthly bank statement showing proof of sufficient funds. The statement must clearly show the applicant's name as the account holder, the balances of the accounts, and the date of the statement.

  • Visa application form. Upon order completion, please download, print and sign South Africa visa application, prepared by our system under your account.

  • Original passport. Original, signed passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity.

  • Passport-type photograph. Include a passport style photo, with a white background, taken within the last 6 months. You may also choose to upload a photo to your order for us to print. There is a surcharge associated with this service.

  • Passport copy. A NOTARIZED color copy of your valid, signed passport is required in addition to the original passport. Notarization instructions can be found here.

  • Itinerary. A copy of round trip tickets or detailed itinerary for the duration of the trip. The applicant's name must be on itinerary.

  • Health insurance. Proof of international health insurance and specifically covering travel to the destination country is required. Applicants can get a free quote and purchase valid travel insurance from our affiliate.

  • Proof of accommodation. A copy of hotel reservations or other lodgings for the duration of the trip. The applicant's name must be on the reservation.

  • Personal invitation. If visiting friends or family, you must provide letter of invitation with the contact information of the host and visitor, purpose and duration of the visit, confirmation of accommodation including the address, signature and date.

  • Bank statement. A copy of the applicant's most recent monthly bank statement showing proof of sufficient funds. The statement must clearly show the applicant's name as the account holder, the balances of the accounts, and the date of the statement.

  • Visa application form. Fully completed and signed application form.

  • Original passport. The passport must be valid at least 6 months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the destination country and has at least 2 blank visa pages.

  • Passport-type photograph. Include 2 passport style photos, with a white background, taken within the last 6 months. You may also choose to upload a photo to your order for us to print. There is a surcharge associated with this service.

  • Passport copy. A NOTARIZED color copy of your valid, signed passport is required in addition to the original passport. Notarization instructions can be found here.

  • Itinerary. A copy of round trip tickets or detailed itinerary for the duration of the trip. The applicant's name must be on itinerary.

  • Health insurance. Proof of international health insurance and specifically covering travel to the destination country is required. Applicants can get a free quote and purchase valid travel insurance from our affiliate here.

  • Bank statement. Notarized copies of bank statements from the past 3 months. The statement must clearly show the applicant's name as the account holder, the balances of the accounts, the account number, and the date of the statement. Notarization instructions can be found here. Notarization instructions can be found here.

  • Proof of accommodation. A copy of hotel reservations or other lodgings for the duration of the trip. The applicant's name must be on the reservation.

  • Personal invitation. If visiting friends or family, you must provide letter of invitation with the contact information of the host and visitor, purpose and duration of the visit, confirmation of accommodation including the address, signature and date.

  • Invitation Letter. A letter of invitation from the sponsor or host in South Africa explaining the purpose of travel, length of stay, place of stay, and host's contact information.

  • Notarized proof of status. A notarized copy of immigration status in the USA such as a resident card, work, or study permit.

  • Visa application form. Fully completed and signed application form.

  • Original passport. The passport must be valid at least 6 months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the destination country and has at least 2 blank visa pages.

  • Passport-type photograph. Include 2 passport style photos, with a white background, taken within the last 6 months. You may also choose to upload a photo to your order for us to print. There is a surcharge associated with this service.

  • Passport copy. A NOTARIZED color copy of your valid, signed passport is required in addition to the original passport. Here is the notarization instructions.

  • Unpaid itinerary. A copy of itinerary showing exact dates of travel from airline or travel agent. Please do not purchase tickets until your visa has been issued.

  • Health insurance. Proof of international health insurance and specifically covering travel to the South Africa is required. Applicants can get a free quote and purchase valid travel insurance from our affiliate.

  • Proof of accommodation. A copy of hotel reservations or other lodgings for the duration of the trip. The applicant's name must be on the reservation.

  • Stamped bank statements. Bank statements for the past 3 months show evidence of sufficient funds and stamped with the official stamp of the bank. If the statements cannot be stamped then the applicant needs to provide a letter from the bank verifying the authenticity of the statements.

  • Business Support Letter. A support letter (soft copy acceptable) from the sending company in the United States which introduces the applicant, states the nature of the trip, and specifies the type and desired validity of the visa. Here is the sample format for this letter.

  • Business invitation. A business invitation letter (soft copy acceptable) from the sponsoring company in South Africa. The letter should be printed on company letterhead stationery, addressed to "The Consulate of South Africa, Visa Section", and signed by a senior manager. The business letter must adhere to the following guidelines:
    Briefly introduce the applicant (please specify employment status/position held in the company by applicant).
    State the nature of the business to be conducted (i.e. business meetings, contract negotiations, etc.) and the names and addresses of companies to be contacted in the destination country.
    Specify the Type and desired Validity of the visa (i.e. a one year multiple entry business visa).

Unfortunately, at this time VisaHQ does not provide service for

A visa is not required for this destination.

Additional information

    South Africa Traveller Declaration fees for citizens of United States of America

    Type of visaValidity
    Maximum validity refers to the period over which you are allowed to enter a given country. Validity of visa starts from the date of issuance of visa.
    Processing
    Processing times start on the next business day following submission and serve as indications of processing times under normal circumstances only.
    Embassy feeService feeTaxTotal cost
    Single entry
    Maximum validity refers to the period over which you are allowed to enter a given country. Validity of visa starts from the date of issuance of visa.
    Processing times start on the next business day following submission and serve as indications of processing times under normal circumstances only.
    Same day
    Embassy fee:$0.00
    Service fee:$59.00
    Tax:$0.00
    Total cost:$59.00
    $59.00
    • Check visa

    South Africa Visa Policy

    The visa policy of the Republic of South Africa is a framework established by the government to determine foreign nationals who may enter or may not enter the country. The policy also helps officials determine who needs a visa to enter the country and who doesn't. Most foreigners coming to South Africa must first obtain a visa before they are allowed into the country, but there is a selection of nations on the visa-exempt list. You do not need to apply for a consular visa if you are from a visa-exempt country.

    The policy also mandates visitors to have passports with at least one month's validity after the day they depart the country, and it must have at least 2 blank pages for entry and exit stamps.

    South Africa Visa Exemptions

    The visa exempt list of South Africa is always updated with new additions and removal.  Citizens from any of these countries are eligible for visa free travel to South Africa and they can stay in the country for 90 days and 30 days respectively depending on their nationality. Under the visa waiver arrangements, visitors are not allowed to work in the country during their stay. The waiver is only for tourism, business and transit visitors.

    Persons with service, diplomatic or official passports from the selected countries  may visit South Africa without visas and stay for up to 90 days unless otherwise noted. 

    These exemptions are as a result of bilateral and multilateral agreements between South Africa and other countries.

    Note: The visa free list is always changing so make sure you consult the current list at the time of your trip to know whether you need a visa or not.

    South African Electronic Visa

    The South African government launched the electronic visa system in 2020 to simplify visa applications and decongest foreign missions abroad. The system was initially tested in Kenya before expanding to Nigeria, India, and China, and later it was expanded to accommodate other countries. Electronic visas are for short business visits and tourism, but they can also be used by transit visitors flying to other countries through South Africa.

    The application process is very easy as applicants can avoid visiting the South African Consulate in their countries. They must complete an online application form, attach their documents, and submit it for approval; it's that simple. This visa is open to foreign nationals whose countries are not on the visa-exempt list.

    To avail an electronic visa for South Africa you must meet the following conditions.

    • You must have a valid passport to cover your stay
    • You must not visit with the intention of seeking employment
    • You must financially self sufficient with proof of funds documents
    • You must have proof of accommodation
    • You must have a return ticket for your exit 

    Visitors whose applications are accepted will receive the visa in the email address they provided in their applications.

    South Africa Port of Entry

    Airports: King Shaka International Airport, Cape Town International Airport, Or Tambo International Airport, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport

    Seaports: Port of Richards Bay, Port of Durban, Port of Cape Town, Port of Mossel Bay, Port of Ngqura, Port of Elizabeth, Port of Saldanha Bay

    Land Borders

    South Africa – Botswana

    • Groblersburg – Derdepoort – Bray – Makopong – Makgobbistad – Kopfontein – McCarthy’s Rest – Middlepits – Pontdrif – Platjan – Skilpadshek – Ramatlabama – Tweerivieren – Swartkopfontein – Zanzibar

    South Africa – Eswatini

    • Golela – Emhalathini – Bothashoop – Josefsdal – Jeppe’s Reef – Mananga – Mahamba – Nerston – Oshoek – Onverwacht – Waverley

    South Africa – Lesotho

    • Caledonspoort – Boesmansnek -Makhaleng – Ficksburg Bridge – Monantsa Pass – Maseru – Ongeluksnek – Qacha’s Nek – Sani Pass – Ramatsilitso – Sepapu’s Gate – Van Rooyens Gate – Tele Bridge

    South Africa Mozambique

    • Lebombo – Pafuri – Kosi Bay – Giriyondo –

    South Africa – Namibia

    • Alexander Bay – Onseepkans – Rietfontein – Nakop – Sendelingsdrif – Vioolsdrif – Gemsbok

    South Africa – Zimbabwe

    • Beit Bridge

    Key Information About South Africa e Visa

    No Extension: The electronic visa for South Africa can't be extended once it is approved and becomes active.  Visitors are expected to honor the visa terms or apply for a long term visa if the 90 days allowed will be insufficient.

    Working is Illegal: Working in South Africa with an e visa is illegal.  Not only is the duration too short for gainful employment, it doesn't grant the holder a work permit. Only visitors with work visas may apply for work permits which earns them the license to work legally in South Africa. If you will like to work in South Africa, consider applying the tir nearest foreign mission office for a work visa

    Non Transferable: Note that your e visa is not transferable. It can only be used by the person it is assigned to. Moreover, two persons cannot enter the country with the same visa due to the one man per visa policy.

    Application Fee is Mandatory: The application fee is mandatory and must be paid before you can submit your application form for processing.  The fee is not refundable and must be paid using a debit or credit card.

    Leave Before Expiration: Your Visa becomes active once it is issued and is valid for 90 days. You are also allowed to stay for only 3 months so endeavor to leave the country on the last day or before then to avoid the risk of becoming an illegal immigrant.

    South Africa Visa Online – Get your South Africa e-Visa with VisaHQ

    If you are planning a trip to South Africa, you may not need to visit the embassy or consulate for a visa, as VisaHQ can help you with that. Did you know that foreign nationals from eligible countries qualify for electronic visas? An electronic visa, or e-visa, as it is popularly called, can be obtained online in a few days, and VisaHQ can help facilitate the application process.

    How To obtain A Visa With VisaHQ?

    Interested applicants can complete their online visa application with VisaHQ by navigating our online page to complete the required documentation. Rather than waste time and resources at your country's South African foreign mission, you can simply log onto our homepage using your Internet-connected smartphone and apply for the visa in just a few steps, as highlighted below.

    Please complete the online visa application form: Navigate to our main page and select your desired visa. Proceed to fill out the application form with accurate details. Be careful with your entries and avoid mistakes when inputting your details. You must ensure the information reflects what is on your passport and other documents.

    Attach documents: The next step is to attach your travel documents, such as a copy of your passport bio-data page. Your name, gender, date of birth, and the issue and expiry date should be visible. Also, remember that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months; otherwise, it will be rejected. 

    Get your visa: After paying the application fee, submit the form for processing. This will take under 72 hours, and the visa will be sent to your email if your application is successful.

    Why Use VisaHQ

    If you want to avoid the stress and hassle of applying for a short-term visa to South Africa, VisaHQ is your best bet. Who says applying for an online visa has to be a hard thing? You don't need a third-party agent, as we have simplified the entire process. When it applies to the authorities through VisaHQ, you are guaranteed

    • Fast and seamless application
    • Track your application status
    • Apply for multiple visas
    • Transparent pricing

    And lots more.

    Would you like to know more? Please message us, and our representatives will respond speedily or navigate to the main application page to apply for any online visa you choose.

    South Africa COVID-19 travel restrictions

    • Entry is open
      Flights to South Africa has resumed from all countries, and land borders are open. Anyone can visit.
      Prior to arrival requirements
      Valid passport. Valid national passport with at least 6 month remaining validity after the date of departure.
      Valid visa. Please see the instructions above if visa is needed and apply.

    Frequently Asked Questions about South Africa visa

        South Africa Embassy list in United States of America

        South Africa Customs

        Import Regulations Export Regulations Health and Security Contact Customs Authorities
            South African Customs contact information
            For further assistance please contact the South African Customs authorities directly. They will provide the latest information about customs regulations and export-import procedures.

            • Phone


            For additional information about travel restrictions, security warnings, political updates, and basic travel guidelines, please contact the nearest South African Embassy.

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