Applying for a Visa to Visit South Africa


Most non-South African citizens wishing to enter South Africa must have a valid visa. The visa states the purpose and duration of the visit.

Requirements For Entering South Africa

Before you will be allowed to enter South Africa, you need to have:

  • a valid and acceptable passport / travel document which covers the period that you intend to stay in the country
  • a valid visa, if required
  • sufficient funds
  • a return / onward ticket
  • a yellow fever certificate if you are travelling through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.

Who Needs to Apply for a Visa?

People who do not have South African passports need to apply for visas. This includes people who want to come to South Africa for a holiday or for business.

However visitors who have passports from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (including the British Islands Bailiwick of Guernsey and Jersey, Isle of Mann and Virgin Islands, the Republic of Ireland as well as British Overseas Territories) are totally exempt from South African visa control and do not need visas for any purpose.

Also, visitors from certain other countries are exempt from the visa requirements under certain conditions.

Where Can You Apply for a Visa?

You must organise a visa before you come to South Africa. You cannot apply for a visa at South African ports of entry.

If there is a South African diplomatic or consular representative in your country, then you must submit your visa application to them.

If there is no South African diplomat or consulate in your country, you can send your application to:

Director-General: Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria, 0001
South Africa

Arrival in South Africa

Remember you cannot apply for a visa when you arrive in South Africa.

Once you get to the South African port of entry, e.g. Johannesburg International Airport, you will be given a temporary residence permit, which replaces your visa and states how long you may stay in the country.

This temporary residence permit (TRP) must be kept valid and an application for extension (BI-159) can be submitted at any regional or district office of the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa.


How to Apply for a Visa

To apply for a visa, you need to:

  • submit the application form
  • show your passport (or provide certified copies if the application is posted)
  • provide two passport photographs
  • pay the R425.00 or US$47 or £43 visa fee, if applicable (refer to the list of countries subject to visa fees)
  • show that you have booked an air ticket.

If a business visa is applied for, you also need to provide a letter of invitation from the South African company to be visited, as well as a letter from your company.

Contact Details

For more information on how to apply for a visa to visit South Africa, contact your nearest South African diplomatic or consular representative or visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Provided At: These facility categories:
Provided by:
Government Body: (The Government of South Africa)

There is a R425, US$54.35 or €34.09 application fee for visitors from certain countries.

The content on this page was last updated on 22 May 2014