Cape Town Family Holiday Magic

The Low Down on the South African visa process

Travel visas always involve complex regulations and the South African visa requrements are the usual tricky-to-read document.

south african visa

Here are the ‘rules’ in (fairly) simple language!

Like all rules they can be subject to change, so please contact your nearest South African embassy or consulate for final confirmation.

If you need a visas you must obtain it before travelling to South Africa. Visas cannot be applied for on arrival here!

Do I need a South Africn Visa?

How to Apply for an SA Visa

South African Visa Forms

What do I need to be allowed to enter South Africa?

Do I need a South African Visa?

If you do not hold a passport from a country or territory listed below, you need a visa.

Visitors holding passports from a country or territory listed here will be issued with a visitor’s permit valid for 3 months on entering the country, without presenting a visa.

However, if you plan to visit South Africa for more than 3 months, you need to apply for a visa before travelling even if you hold one of these passports!

  • Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria,
  • Belgium, Botswana, Brazil,
  • Canada, Chile, Czech Republic,
  • Denmark,
  • Ecuador,
  • Finland, France,
  • Germany, Greece,
  • Iceland, Israel, Italy,
  • Jamaica, Japan,
  • Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,
  • Malta, Monaco,
  • Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
  • Paraguay, Portugal,
  • San Marino, Singapore, Spain, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland
  • Uruguay, United States of America, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, British Islands Bailiwick of Guernsey and Jersey, Isle of Man and Virgin Islands, Republic of Ireland, and British Overseas Territories,
  • Venezuela

This applies if the purpose of your visit falls into one of these categories:

  • tourism,
  • visiting family members,
  • business under a foreign work contract or income generated overseas,
  • educational opportunities
  • medical treatment.

How to Apply for a South Africa Visa

Your application needs to be made at the South African consulate or mission nearest to you. Make the application at least 4 weeks in advance of your departure, if not more. Or phone your nearest Consulate before finalising your tickets and enquire as to how long the process will take. You can’t arrive without the visa, you will be denied entry!

You can download South African Visa Forms here. (may take a minute to download)

When you submit your visa application form, you need to submit your passport with it. The passport must be valid for the duration of your stay in South Africa.

What do I need to be allowed to enter South Africa?

To be granted entry when you arrive at a South African port of entry you need

  • A valid acceptable passport / travel document good for a sufficient period to cover the intended stay
  • A valid visa, if required
  • Sufficient funds for your visit and return home
  • A return / onward ticket
  • Yellow fever certificates if your journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America

You may find the following related pages helpful:
Cape Town tourist information
Cape Town weather
From South African Visa to the Homepage




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