Visa Law South Africa

SOUTH AFRICAN VISA
 
Possession of a visa does not guarantee automatic admission to the South African Republic. It only authorizes the holder to proceed to the Republic to report to an immigration officer at a port of entry for the purpose of being examined as to his/her ability or otherwise, to comply with the (entry) requirements of the Act.
 
The purpose of a visa on the one hand is to ensure proper screening of applicants so that undesirable persons are not admitted to the Republic and on the other hand to facilitate the entry of approved applicants at South African ports of entry. Visas provide immigration officers with the necessary information to ensure that applicants are admitted for the correct purpose and period into the RSA.
 
Visas are considered by the South African missions abroad and must be affixed in the applicants' passports before departing to the RSA. Visas are not issued on arrival at South African ports of entry. Applicants arriving without visas will be refused entry into the RSA and placed on return flights in terms of legislation.
 
VISA REQUIREMENTS
 
  1. Passport valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of the intended visit.
  2. Passports must contain at least 1 (one) unused page for entry/departure endorsements (sometimes referred to as visa page).
  3. Payment of the prescribed fee, if applicable
  4. A vaccination certificate, if required by the Act.
  5. Statement and/or documentation confirming purpose and duration of visit.
  6. Two (2) identity photographs
  7. Proof of financial means in the form of:
    1. bank statements;
    2. salary advices;
    3. undertaking(s) by the host(s) in the Republic;
    4. bursaries;
    5. medical cover;
    6. or cash available, including credit cards or travellers' cheque to cover the living expenses during the sojourn in the Republic.
  8. Applicants traveling by air must be in possession of:
    1. a return or onward ticket; or
    2. proof of sufficient funds; or
    3. lodge a cash deposit of equivalent value to such a ticket.
You do not have to submit your application for a visa in person.
 
TRANSIT VISA
 
Persons applying for transit visas must submit
  1. Proof that they will be admitted to their destinations and they must be in possession of onward/return tickets.
  2. Duration and purpose of stay
  3. The period of residence in the RSA will be determined from the applicant's date of admission to the Republic in accordance with any conditions that appear on the visa. On admission, the visa will be deemed to be a visitor's permit. Applicants must ensure that they request the full duration of their intended visits under item 28 of the application form, as renewals are subject to additional fees.

Applicants must also ensure that they apply for the correct visa (transit or visitor's) or temporary residence permit reflecting the true purpose of the visit, as any changes in the purpose of stay will only be approved in the RSA for good cause and if the requirements of the Act are complied with.

VISA FOR VOLUNTARY, CHARITABLE & RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
 
If the purpose of the visit is in respect of sabbatical; voluntary or charitable activities; research; joining or accompanying a spouse who is on a temporary permit in the Republic; work related activities for which a permit is not prescribed or visits that are longer than three months, the requirements prescribed under visitor's permit must be met.
 
Any applicant allowed entry into South Africa due to any misrepresentation, or false declaration on the application form or who sojourns in the Republic in contravention of his/her visa/permit conditions shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment as an illegal foreigner.
 
Where to apply for a South African visa
  1. At the South African diplomatic or consular representative in the applicant's country of normal residence, which includes permanent residence and long-term temporary residence.
  2. At the South African diplomatic or consular representative in the country of which the applicant validly holds a valid passport.
  3. At the designated South African diplomatic or consular representative when a mission is not present in the applicant's country of residence.

Applications lodged at a place other than the above may be referred by the consular officer to the above offices which will imply a longer processing time.

  1. Visas CANNOT be applied for at South African ports of entry.
MEDICAL VISAS
 
(Visitor's visas for medical treatment of less than three [3] months)
 
A person wishing to receive medical treatment in the RSA must first apply for a visitor's visa at the nearest South African Mission, if he or she is subject to South African visa control. Foreigners who are exempt from South African visa control may enter for the period for which they are exempt, provided that it does not exceed three months.
 
Foreigners who require medical treatment for a period exceeding three months must apply for a medical treatment permit.
 
PHOTOGRAPH
 
Photographs must comply to the following specifications:
  1. Length - 45mm
  2. Width - 35mm
  3. The background of the photograph shall be plain and free of shadows and shall not have a white lining
  4. Only the head and shoulders of the person concerned shall be included in the photograph and the head from the chin to the top of the hair shall not be smaller 22mm and not larger than 25mm
  5. The person concerned shall be photographed without any head-gear or veil, and any other additions to the face which tend to alter the natural likeness shall be removed. (The Director-General may exempt any person or any category of persons from any of these requirements.)
  6. Spectacles may be worn provided that the lenses do not make the eyes invisible. Spectacles with dark lenses may be worn if the eyes will appear distorted without them or if the person is blind
  7. The full-face of the person concerned shall be photographed directly from the front, and the head may not be bent or tuned sideways
  8. The face shall be a recognizable likeness of the person and the head, hair, eyebrows, eyes, nose and moustache or beard, if any, shall be sharply and clearly defined
  9. Neither the photograph nor the copies thereof may be defaced by holes, pencil or ink marks or in any other manner
The Director-General may reject the copies of the photographs if they do not, in his or her judgment, comply with the requirements mentioned above, or if he or she deem them unsuitable in other respects, in which case the person concerned shall provide two new copies at his or her own cost.
 
Identity document and passport photographs could be taken at regional or district offices equipped for this service, at a cost of R13-00 for a frame of four black and white photographs.
 
TARIFF
 
R425.00 or US$47.00 or _43.00
 
Processing time:
10 days
 
Countries exempt from visa control
 
Visas are not required by citizens of the following countries for the periods and subject to the conditions indicated:
 
Holders of South African passports, travel documents and documents for travel purposes.
 
Holders of passports of Australia, 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 thus do not require visas for any purpose regulated by visas.
 
Nationals of the British Dependent Territories are subject to visa control. The Territories are: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Henderson, Cucie and Oeno Islands, the Sovereign Base Area of Akrotiri and Dhekelia and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
 
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Country Condition
  1. Andorra Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  2. Antigua and Barbuda Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  3. Argentina Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  4. Austria Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  5. Barbados Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  6. Belgium Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  7. Belize Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  8. Benin Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  9. Bolivia Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  10. Botswana Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  11. Brazil Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  12. Canada Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  13. Cape Verde Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  14. Chile Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  15. Costa Rica Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  16. Cyprus Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  17. Diplomatic and official passport holders visiting the RSA for holiday purposes are exempt for 90 days.
  18. Czech Republic Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  19. Holders of diplomatic and official passports for holiday visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  20. Denmark Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  21. Ecuador Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  22. Egypt Holders of diplomatic and official passports for holiday visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  23. Finland Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  24. France Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  25. Gabon Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  26. Germany Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  27. Greece Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  28. Guyana Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  29. Hong Kong Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  30. This exemption is only with regard to holders of Hong Kong British National - Overseas (BNO) passports, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passports.
  31. Hungary Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  32. Diplomatic and official passport holders visiting the RSA for holiday purposes are exempt for 120 days.
  33. Iceland Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  34. Israel Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  35. Italy Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  36. Jamaica Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  37. Japan Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  38. Jordan Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  39. Lesotho Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  40. Liechtenstein Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  41. Luxemburg Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  42. Macau Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  43. This exemption is only with regard to holders of Macau Special Administrative Region passports (MSAR).
  44. Malaysia Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  45. Maldives Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  46. Malta Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  47. Malta Holders of diplomatic and official passports for holiday visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  48. Mauritius Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  49. Mexico Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  50. Monaco Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  51. Morocco Holders of diplomatic and official passports for holiday visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  52. Namibia Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  53. Netherlands (Kingdom of the) Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  54. New Zealand Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  55. Norway Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  56. Paraguay Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  57. Peru Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  58. Poland Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  59. Holders of diplomatic and official passports for holiday visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  60. Portugal Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  61. Romania Holders of diplomatic and official passports for holiday visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  62. San Marino Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  63. Seychelles Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  64. Singapore Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  65. Slovak Republic Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  66. South Korea Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  67. Spain Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  68. St Vincent & the Grenadines Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  69. Swaziland Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  70. Sweden Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  71. Switzerland Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  72. Taiwan (Republic of China) Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  73. Thailand Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  74. Tunisia Holders of diplomatic and official passports for holiday visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  75. Turkey Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  76. United States of America Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  77. Uruguay Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  78. Venezuela Visits not exceeding 90 days and transits
  79. Zambia Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
  80. Zimbabwe Visits not exceeding 30 days and transits
Only in respect of government officials, including police on cross border investigation
 
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These arrangements are not applicable to individuals whose visa exemptions have been withdrawn. In all cases, the normal entry requirements must still be complied with before admission into the RSA is gained.