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General information For South African Visa Applicants

General information For South African Visa Applicants

Applying for the South African visa is not a child play. Even if all the visa application process would be handled by your South Africa visa agent, you need to have a general knowledge about the process. This will not only help you to determine if you are eligible for the South African visa but would also help you get prepared with the necessary visa requirements and to detect any scam from fake South African visa agents.   

Are you aspiring to visit South Africa and pursuing the South African visa? Read on for general information about the South African Visas.  

  • Even with your complete and valid documents and “seemingly” valid status, only an immigration official at the South Africa Embassy or Consulate can determine if you would be allowed to enter South Africa. The immigration official would also determine your duration of stay in South Africa for that particular visit.
  • Once your visa has been issued, you are restricted to the specific reason or particular activity for which your visa was issued.
  • Your South African visa is considered as your permit and the validity period of your permit (authorized duration of stay) is calculated from the date you enter into the country.
  • Make sure you apply for the right visa (your purpose must be the same as your intention). You may be denied a visa into the country if your purpose of the visit was vague or not correctly stated.
  • Requirements for South African visa application differ from country to country. Click here to see the specific requirements for your country or which countries are currently exempted from requesting for a visa. Note that these requirements are subject to change without prior notice. It is advisable that you visit the nearest South African embassy or consulate or the nearest office of the Department of Home Affairs to you to make inquiries.
  • Note that South Africa visa procurement is not free. There is a fee charged for issuing a visa and this fee is updated annually. You should visit the nearest South African embassy or consulate or the nearest office of the Department of Home Affairs to you to check the fee. This issuance fee is payable in different currencies based on the home country of the applicant.
  • Visas are never issued at the ports of entry into South Africa, and airline officials would insist on checking your visa before you are allowed to board.
  • If you arrive at South Africa without a visa, you would be put onto a flight back to your home country by immigration officials.

South African visas may be issued for:

  • For temporary residence purpose
  • For Tourism purpose
  • For research purpose
  • For medical purposes
  • To visit family members or friends
  • For study purposes
  • For business purposes
  • To join a fiancé or fiancée with the intention of marrying within 90 days
  • To join a spouse who holds a work or study visa in South Africa
  • To join parents who hold a work or study visa in South Africa
  • For charitable or voluntary activities
  • For conferences
  • To participate in a movie production
  • For medical purposes
  • For sport events
  • To work
  • To retire, etc.

Required Documents to Apply for a South African Visa

  • An international passport or any other travel documents valid for more than 30 days after the expiration of your intended visit. The passport must also have at least TWO unused pages for entry/departure endorsements.
  • A completed Form BI-84 (visa application form)
  • Payment of the specified fee
  • Two color passport photographs
  • A yellow-fever vaccination certificate
  • Statement/documentation stating the purpose and duration of visit to South Africa
  • A return or onward ticket if you are travelling by air
  • In case you have child/children (minors) travelling with you or joining you in South Africa, you will be required to provide the following additional documents: Consent from the guardian in the case of an unaccompanied minor, and proof of custody or guardianship or consent from the guardian
  • Proof of financial means to pay for your living expenses while in South Africa in the form of: Cash available at hand, which include credit cards and; medical cover, bursary, cheques, bank statements, undertakings by the host(s) in South Africa, and salary advances, etc.

Required Documents to Enter Into South Africa

  • A valid and acceptable international passport or any other travel documents with at least a blank page for endorsements.
  • A return or onward ticket
  • A valid visa
  • Yellow fever certificates, especially if your journey involve the yellow fever belt of Africa
  • Sufficient funds to cater to your daily expenses during your stay

Note that there are certain products, goods, and items that you cannot take with you into South Africa and other products, goods, and items that you must pay duties on. Click here for a list of Customs requirements and here for a list of Agricultural requirements.

If you need help with your South African visa application or want answers to your visa-related questions, kindly contact us today and our friendly consultants will promptly respond to you. Contact us now on +27 (0) 61 578 0000 or email us at info@elsemart.com.



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