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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