South African Visa Requirements

South African Visa RequirementsSouth African visa requirements can be grouped in two broad categories.

The first category is short term stays, like a holiday or business trip, and the second is long term stays, like temporary or permanent residency.

If it’s information on visa requirements for immigration to South Africa that you need, please click on the relevant visa here – work visas, business visa, retirement visa, financially independent visa, spousal visa, life partner visa, study visa.

South African visa requirements for a short term stay

To find out more about the visa requirements for a short term stay in South Africa, you can do any of the following:

The visa requirements for specific countries  

It isn’t compulsory for all who enter South Africa to first obtain a visa. As said above, the South African visa requirements are greatly affected by the duration and the purpose of the stay.

Visitors with valid and eligible passports for the following countries can stay in South Africa for up to 90 days with a visa issued on entry:

  • African Union Laissez Passer , Andorra, Argentina,  Australia,  Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil.
  • Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador.
  • Finland.
  • France.
  • Greece.
  • Iceland.
  • Ireland.
  • Israel.
  • Italy.
  • Jamaica.
  • Japan.
  • Liechtenstein.
  • Luxembourg.
  • Malta.
  • Monaco.
  • Namibia (only ordinary passport holders).
  • Netherlands.
  • New Zealand.
  • Norway.
  • Paraguay.
  • Portugal.
  • San Marino.
  • Singapore.
  • Spain.
  • St Vincent & the Grenadines.
  • Sweden.
  • Switzerland.
  • Tanzania (90 days per year).
  • Trinidad & Tobago (only ordinary passport holders- 90 days per annum).
  • Uruguay.
  • Venezuela.
  • United States of America.
  • Zambia (90 days per annum).
  • Zimbabwe.
  • Germany (except in diplomatic staff due to assume duty at the Embassy and Consulates of Germany in South Africa).
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, British Islands Bailiwick of Guernsey and Jersey, Isle of Man.
  • British overseas territories namely: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Henderson, St Helena and Dependencies (Ascension Island, Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha), Ducie and Oeno Islands, the Sovereign Base Area of Cyprus, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and Turks and Caicos Island.

Visitors with valid and eligible passports for the following countries can stay in South Africa for up to 30 days with a visa issued on entry:

  • Antigua and Barbuda.
  • Bahamas (only ordinary passport holders).
  • Barbados.
  • Belize.
  • Benin.
  • Bolivia.
  • Cape Verde.
  • Costa Rica.
  • Cyprus.
  • Gabon.
  • Guyana Hungary.
  • Jordan.
  • Lesotho.
  • Malaysia.
  • Malawi.
  • Maldives.
  • Mauritius.
  • Mozambique.
  • Namibia.
  • Peru.
  • Poland.
  • Seychelles.
  • Slovak Republic.
  • South Korea.
  • Swaziland.
  • Thailand.
  • Turkey.
  • Hong Kong (only with regard to holders of Hong Kong British National Overseas passports and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports).
  • Macau (only with regard to holders of Macau Special Administrative Region passports).

If you can’t find your country in these lists, it might be one of the countries the South African government has special visa requirements for. You can confirm that by having a look at this page.

Citizens from certain countries would need to obtain a visa before coming to South Africa. In order for an application be successful, an applicant must meet the following South African visa requirements:

  • A valid passport, with two blank pages for use by the immigration officials.
  • An applicable expiry date of the passport.
  • A return or onward travel ticket.
  • Sufficient funds (proved by a bank statement) for supporting yourself when in South Africa.

Only if all the South African visa requirements are met, can the visa application be processed. It is typical to wait for at least five working days for an embassy or consulate to complete the process.

Of course it is advisable to submit an application well ahead of your trip to ensure that there is no issues in terms of timing.

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South African Financially Independent Visa Requirements

Retirement - Financially Independent Visa RequirementsFinancially independent visas are issued to foreign immigrants who want to live in South Africa and who are self-sufficient. As such, you’ll find that the South African financially independent visa requirements are mainly financial.

Immigrants who can meet the criteria are offered permanent residency. As permanent residents, foreign immigrants are allowed to spend their retirement in South Africa or to work, study or start a business in South Africa without applying for special permits or other visas.

Financial criteria

In order to apply for a South African financially independent visa, applicants must be able to prove a net worth of ZAR12 million.

Applicants do not have to bring the ZAR12 million into South Africa. Furthermore, there is no tax on the person’s accumulated wealth other than ongoing requirements in terms of income tax and capital tax. This will also only happen if the person is deemed a South African resident for tax purposes.

Additional fees

In addition to the standard application fee, and the ZAR12 million net worth as per the South African financially independent visa requirements, a fee of ZAR120 000 is payable to the South African Department of Home Affairs upon approval of the visa.

This fee is considered steep by many, but keep in mind that the financially independent visa automatically grants you permanent residence, eliminating the need to also apply for a temporary visa.

Any questions?

If any of the requirements for a South African financially independent visa is unclear, please feel free to contact Intergate Immigration for clarification. With more than 9 000 visa and visa related applications processed since Intergate Immigration’s inception in 2005, our team is as experienced as they come.

Further to this, Intergate Immigration is the only immigration company that does immigration to South Africa that has ISO 9001 certification. This stamp of approval is recognised world wide.

You can reach our Cape Town office at +27 (0) 21 424 2460 and our Johannesburg office at +27 (0)11 234 4275. Alternatively, complete our free assessment or request a call back and we will contact you. If you are eligible for a financially independent visa for South Africa, Intergate Immigration can help you start the process of applying for your visa.

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South African Retirement Visa Financial Requirements

South African Retirement Visa Financial RequirementsSouth African retirement visas are extended to foreign immigrants for the purposes of retirement. It is therefore understood that you are not looking to work, study or do business while in South African.

As such, the main South African retirement visa requirements are financial in nature, as it is necessary to show that you are financially stable and can support yourself during your stay.

Criteria for a temporary South African retirement visa

Each applicant, both the main applicant and their spouse or life partner, must be able to prove a monthly income of ZAR37 000 for the four years that the visa is valid. The total amount required is ZAR1 776 000 (ZAR37 000/month x 48 months).

To prove the required income, applicants may use any of the following assets or a combination of them:

  • Sufficient capital
  • Pension income
  • Actual rental income
  • Investment income

Examples of how couples could use their assets to show that they meet the financial requirements for a South African retirement visa:

Retirement visa based on capital alone:

A foreign married couple with no monthly incomes, but with ZAR1 776 000 net capital.

Retirement visa based on income alone:

A foreign married couple with an income of ZAR37 000 per month from appropriate property rental income or pension. The couple could also apply for permanent residency provided it can be proved that the rental income or pension used is guaranteed for life.

Retirement visa based on a combination of capital and monthly income:

If a foreign married couple can only prove part of the required ZAR37 000 per month from monthly income, the rest can be proven in the form of capital. For instance, if ZAR20 000 is available as monthly income, then ZAR17 000 must be available per month in capital.

Criteria for a permanent South African retirement visa

According to the South African retirement visa requirements for permanent residency, the applicant and their spouse or life partner must be able to prove a life-long guaranteed income of ZAR37 000 a month.

Think you can’t meet the South African retirement visa requirements? It is not the end of the road. If you cannot prove an income, you could still apply for a financially independent visa. This is a permanent visa and lets you live in South Africa with many of the same rights and privileges as a South African citizen.

Any questions?

If any of the financial requirements for a South African retirement visa is unclear, call Intergate Immigration to speak to one of our experienced client managers. You can reach our Cape Town office at +27 (0) 21 424 2460 and our Johannesburg office at +27 (0)11 234 4275.

Alternatively, complete our free assessment or request a call back and we will contact you. If you are eligible for a retirement visa, Intergate Immigration can help you start the process of retiring to South Africa.

We have done the same for thousands of individuals, families and corporates since our inception in 2005. Our entire team has been tested and registered with the Department of Home Affairs, and the company has achieved ISO 9001 certification.

For general information on South African retirement visas, have a look at our retirement visa page.

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South African Relatives Visa Requirements

South African Relatives Visa RequirementsThe South African relatives visa is a means of immigration for foreign immigrants with a family member in South Africa.

To meet the South African relatives visa requirements:

  • The relative in South Africa must be a citizen or permanent resident.
  • The applicant must be an immediate family member of the person in South Africa.

Immediate family members are both first kin and second kin relatives of the South African citizen or permanent resident:

  • First kin – spouse or life partner, children and parents.
  • Second kin – grandparents, grandchildren, brothers and sisters.

It is common for spouses and life partners to receive spousal or life partner visas instead of relatives visas. For this reason, the information that follows only relates to immediate family members who are not spouses or life partners.

You can learn about spousal or life partner visas on their respective pages.

Financial criteria

The requirements of the South African relatives visa stipulate that foreign immigrants must be able to show that a sum of ZAR8 500 per person per month is available for living expenses.

This is in line with many other visa types, as the South African government prefers to issue visas to foreign immigrants who can support themselves financially.

The proof for the ZAR8 500 a month must be from the relative in South Africa, also known as the sponsor, and/or the joint means of the applicant and the sponsor.

It is not unusual for the South African Department of Home Affairs to ask for payslips of the South African citizen or permanent resident as well as proof of income of the applicant.

Do you have any questions?

If anything about the requirements for a South African relatives visa is unclear, call our Cape Town office on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or our Johannesburg office on +27 (0)11 234 4275. Since 2005 Intergate Immigration has processed more than 9 000 visa and visa related applications, so we are in the perfect position to help.

If you’d like us to call you instead, please complete our free online assessment or request a call back. If you are eligible for a relatives visa, Intergate Immigration can help you start the process of getting your family to South Africa.

For general information on South African relatives visas, have a look at the main relatives visa page.

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South African Corporate Work Visa Requirements

South African Corporate Work Visa RequirementsSouth African based companies that want to employ a large number of foreign employees must apply for a corporate work visa. To be successful in their application, corporate applicants must meet the South African corporate work visa requirements.

Criteria for a South African corporate work visa

Companies looking to employ foreign employees must do the following when applying for a corporate work visa:

  • Submit duly completed application forms.
  • Demonstrate the need to employ foreign workers and the number of foreigners to be employed.
  • Provide a job description and remuneration package for each foreign worker.

In addition, companies must undertake that:

  • The foreign employees have valid passports.
  • The foreign employees will be employed only in the specific positions for which the visas are issued.
  • The foreign workers will leave South Africa on completion of their duties.

A repatriation deposit or guarantee may also be payable by the company applying for the visa.

Approval of a South African corporate work visa

Corporate Visa applications are not just assessed by the Department Of Home Affairs. Before the visa can be issued, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has to refer the application to the Department of Labour as well as the Department of Trade and Industry. These departments will also have to approve the number of foreign workers who can be employed by the company making the application.

If successful, the employer (company) would either receive Corporate Worker Certificates as applied for or they would have to apply for individual certificates for each foreign worker they would like to employ.

Once the corporate company has received their corporate visa, the individual employees can obtain their individual corporate workers visas. This is fast-tracked and cost-effective for the company.

Do you have any questions?

If anything about the requirements for a corporate work visa is unclear, call our Cape Town office on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or our Johannesburg office on +27 (0)11 234 4275. Our client managers have years of experience and will be able to answer all your questions.

Alternatively, complete our free assessment or request a call back and we will contact you. If your company is eligible for a corporate work visa, Intergate Immigration can help you start the process of employing foreign workers.

For more information on corporate work visas, have a look at the main page for this visa.

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South African General Work Visa Requirements

South African General Work Visa RequirementsThe South African general work visa requirements make it possible for many foreign immigrants to work in South Africa. These are mainly foreign immigrants who do not qualify for the following:

  • Quota work visa.
  • Exceptional visa.
  • Intra-company transfer.
  • Or whose prospective employer does not have a corporate work visa.

Criteria for a South African general work visa

The most important criteria for a general work visa is that the foreign immigrant has a valid job offer. It is also necessary for the prospective employer to show that they have been through the required steps before offering the job to the foreign applicant. To meet these criteria, the following must be done:

  • The employer must prove in the application that they have taken all reasonable steps to try and attract a South African citizen or permanent resident before offering the job to a foreigner.
  • The application must include an original advertisement of the vacant position as offered in the national printed media.
  • The position must comply with the particular requirements stipulated in the Immigration Act.
  • The application must include confirmation that the foreign employee possesses the necessary level of qualifications, as certified by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

In addition to this, the contract of employment must stipulate the following and be signed by both parties:

  • Remuneration.
  • Leave entitlement.
  • Working hours.
  • Termination period.

The Department of Labour review these sections of the employment contract to ensure that the applicant is fairly employed in terms of the basic Conditions of Employment Act.

Do you have any questions?

If anything about the requirements for a general work visa is unclear, call our Cape Town office on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or our Johannesburg office on +27 (0)11 234 4275. Our consultants are in the perfect position to help. They have processed more than 9 000 visa and visa related applications.

Further to that, Intergate Immigration is the only South African immigration company that can boast ISO 9001 certification. This accolade is recognised internationally and guarantees that customers receive superior customer service.

If you’d like us to contact you instead, simply complete our free online assessment or request a call back. If you are eligible for a general work visa, Intergate Immigration can help you start the process of immigrating to South Africa.

For other information on general work visas, have a look at the main general work visa page.

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