Apply for South Africa Visa

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Woow, No Tourist Visa required on your trip to South Africa.

Citizens of United States of America do not require visas for travel to South Africa and as it is one of the visa exempt countries.

South Africa

The South African government has introduced an online visa application system, also known as eVisa or electronic visa, for tourists from over 14 eligible countries. This digital travel authorization allows visitors to enter South Africa without the need to visit the embassy.

The process is entirely online, making it convenient for travelers to apply from anywhere and at any time.

Types of Visas Available for South Africa

Travelling to foreign countries usually requires a visa. South Africa offers several types of visas, depending on the purpose of the visit. Here are the different types of South African visas:


Visitor’s Visa: For tourism or business purposes. It's valid for 90 days but only for people without visa exemption.

Business Visa: Allows individuals to underwrite or work in South Africa’s economy. It's valid for 90 days.

Work Visa: For people with specific skills requested by the state. Its validity depends on the vocational opportunity provided by the state.

Medical Visa: For healthcare purposes. It requires a physician’s letter, proof of financial capability, and ability to manage healthcare financing.

Study Visa: For pursuing education in South Africa. It requires evidence of medical insurance, financial capability, and parental consent for underage children.

Relatives’ Visa: For those with immediate or legitimate South African citizen relatives. It's renewable every two years.

Exchange Visa: For people up to the age of 25 to participate in social, economic, and cultural initiatives in the country. It's non-renewable and must be orchestrated by a public entity alliance with a foreign government.

Retired Persons’ Visa: For those choosing to retire in the country. It requires proof of financial ability, such as a monthly pension of over $3000.

Tourist Visa: An electronic visa that eliminates the need for physical visits to the South African embassy. It's available to suitable people from specific nations.

Documents Required for South African eVisa Online / Visa on arrival / ETA / Invite letters

Requirements for Obtaining a South Africa Visa

Here are the requirements for obtaining a South Africa visa:

  • Valid passport with at least 2 blank pages and a validity of at least 30 days after the intended stay
  • Completed visa application form
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs
  • Proof of travel arrangements, including round-trip flight tickets and accommodation bookings
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of the trip, such as bank statements or credit card statements
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate (if arriving from a yellow fever endemic country)
  • Medical insurance covering the duration of the stay in South Africa (for certain types of visas)

Additional documents may be required depending on the type of visa and the purpose of the trip, such as a letter of invitation, employment contract, or study acceptance letter.

Validity Period for a South Africa Visa

The validity period of a South Africa eVisa varies based on the type of visa granted.

  • Tourist visas are typically valid for up to 90 days, while business visas can be valid for up to 5 years.
  • The visa's validity period does not determine the length of stay in the country.
  • The length of stay granted is determined by the immigration officer at the port of entry and may be shorter than the visa's validity period.

It is important to comply with the visa conditions and ensure that you leave the country before your authorized stay expires.

Understanding the South Africa Online Visa Application Form

The South Africa Online Visa Application Form is a comprehensive form that requires you to provide various personal, passport, and travel-related information

How to Apply for a South Africa Visa

To apply for a South Africa visa, you can either submit an online application or visit the nearest South African embassy or consulate. 

Applying for a South Africa eVisa Online

Here are the steps to apply for a South Africa eVisa online:

  • Visit the eVisa website.
  • Create an account and log in.
  • Fill out the application form completely and accurately.
  • Upload the required documents, including a copy of your passport and return flight ticket.
  • Pay the visa fee using a credit card or other accepted payment methods.
  • Submit the application.
  • Wait for a decision, which usually takes up to 4 business days.
  • If approved, receive the eVisa via email and print it out.
  • Carry the eVisa and other required documents when traveling to South Africa.

Applying for a South Africa Visa at an Embassy or Consulate

  • Locate the nearest South African embassy or consulate and check their website for specific instructions and requirements.
  • Fill out the visa application form and provide all necessary documents, including passport, travel itinerary, financial statements, and vaccination certificates (if applicable).
  • Pay the visa fee and any other relevant fees (such as processing or courier fees) to the embassy or consulate.
  • Schedule an appointment for an interview at the embassy or consulate, if required.
  • Attend the interview and answer any questions asked by the visa officer.
  • Wait for the visa processing time, which may take several days or even weeks.
  • Collect the visa from the embassy or consulate or have it mailed to you, depending on the instructions given by the embassy or consulate.

Processing Time for a South Africa Visa Application

The processing time for a South Africa visa application can vary depending on several factors.

  • Generally, it can take anywhere from 5 to 10 working days for a visa application to be processed.
  • Some visas may require additional processing time, such as those that require a referral to the Department of Home Affairs.

Expedited South Africa Visa Application

Expedited South Africa visa application processing is available for certain cases where applicants require their visas urgently.

  • This service is subject to an additional fee and is typically referred to as "express visa processing."
  • Express visa applications have a shorter processing time, with visas usually being issued within 24 to 48 hours.

Renewing an Expired South Africa Visa

Unfortunately, it is not possible to renew an expired South Africa visa. Once the visa has expired, the traveler must apply for a new visa to enter South Africa. The application process for a new visa is the same as for the initial visa application. The traveler will need to submit all the required documents and pay the appropriate fees. 

It is important to note that travelers should not overstay their visa, as this could result in serious consequences such as being banned from entering South Africa in the future.

Countries Eligible for a South Africa eVisa

The South Africa online visa, also known as an eVisa or electronic visa, is a new and convenient way for tourists from over 14 countries to apply for a visa to enter South Africa for tourism purposes. To check if you are eligible for a South Africa visit visa, you can refer to the list of eligible countries for the visa. The online application process for the eVisa is simple and can be completed from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easier for travelers to apply for their visa without having to visit a South African embassy or consulate.

South Africa Visa Policy Map

South Africa

Eligible Countries/Nationalities for e-visa/visa on arrival

Countries/Nationalities Required Regular/Paper Visa for travelling to

Visa Exempt Countries/Nationalities for travelling to
South African visa policy map.

Visa Exempt Countries List

Citizens of around 80 countries holding state passports and some members of international organizations are exempted from obtaining visas for short business or tourism-oriented stays in South Africa. These travellers are issued a complimentary "Port of Entry Visa" upon arrival, with a maximum stay ranging from 30 to 90 days, depending on the nationality. Exceeding the allowed stay period requires applying for another visa option. Holders of African Union or United Nations laissez-passers and SADC laissez-passer are also visa-exempt for up to 90 days. Visa application requirements, such as passport photo specifications and supportive documents, apply to all visa types, and the application process is available both online and in-person, depending on the country's eligibility.

Regular visasAll Countries / Nationalities that required regular visa for South Africa

Citizens from more than 160 countries are required to obtain visitor visas from South African embassies worldwide, while temporary residence visas must be obtained for stays exceeding 90 days. To apply for a visa, applicants must go to the nearest diplomatic office with a completed application form and supporting documents. Prior to the arrival date, temporary residence visa applications must be submitted promptly. Visitors' visas and temporary residence visas are the two categories of visas available.

Cost of a South Africa Visa

The fee for a South Africa visa depends on several factors such as the type of visa, processing time, and the applicant's country of origin.

  • It is recommended that applicants check the fee schedule using the tool provided to ensure that they are aware of the cost before proceeding with their application.
  • Checking the fee schedule beforehand can help applicants avoid any unexpected costs and plan their trip and budget accordingly.
  • Doing so can make the visa application process smoother and less stressful.

Choosing Between a South Africa eVisa or Sticker-Visa

  • A South Africa eVisa is an online visa that can be applied for and obtained through a simple online process.
  • A sticker-visa, on the other hand, requires the applicant to physically visit the embassy or consulate of South Africa in their country of residence.
  • The processing time for a South Africa eVisa is much shorter compared to a sticker-visa, which may take several weeks to process.
  • The South Africa eVisa is linked to the applicant's passport electronically, while a sticker-visa is affixed to the passport.
  • The South Africa eVisa can be applied for and obtained from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, while a sticker-visa can only be obtained from the embassy or consulate of South Africa in the applicant's country of residence.
  • Both types of visas have their own requirements and eligibility criteria, so it is important to carefully review the requirements before deciding which type of visa to apply for.

Obtaining a South Africa Work Visa

South Africa offers temporary work visas for foreigners including inter-company transfer, general employment, highly-skilled migrant, and business entrepreneur visas. Skilled workers are encouraged to apply, but there are fewer opportunities for semi-skilled or unskilled workers. 

Types of work visas include general work visa, critical skills work visa, intra-company transfer visa, and corporate visas. Requirements vary but may include a valid passport, proof of employment, medical and vaccination reports, and evaluated qualifications.

What if My Visa Gets Rejected?

If your South Africa visa application is denied, there is an appeals process available to you. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • You have 10 working days to submit an appeal after receiving the rejection notice.
  • You must find out the reason for the refusal in order to address the issue in your appeal.
  • You only have one chance to appeal; there are no further grounds for appeal after that.
  • You can represent yourself or hire an immigration consultant to assist you.

Some common reasons for visa denial include:

  • Omission of important documents in your application.
  • A criminal record.
  • A medical condition that makes you ineligible for the visa.
  • Not meeting the qualifications for the visa.
  • Overstaying a previous visa in South Africa or submitting an expired visa.
  • Submission of fraudulent documents.

Lack of sufficient evidence to convince the Department of Home Affairs to issue the visa.

If you receive a visa denial notice, it is important to act quickly and carefully in order to increase your chances of success in your appeal.

FAQs about South African eVisa

 For long-stay, employment, or other visa inquiries, please reach out to the following embassies