Requirements for visitor’s visas differ from country to and the requirements are subject to change. As each application is treated as an individual case and you should make enquiries with your nearest South African mission or consulate abroad or any office of the Department of Home Affairs to see whether or not you are required to apply for a visa.
Remember that there is a fee charged for issuing a visa, and you should check the cost with the office as well as this is updated annually. The fee is payable in different currencies in different countries.
Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airline officials are obliged to insist on visas before allowing passengers to board. If you arrive without a visa, immigration officials are obliged to put you onto a flight back to your home country.
Documents required to apply for a visa
- A passport or travel document valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of your intended visit
- Your passport must have at least one unused page for entry / departure endorsements
- A completed Form BI-84 (application for a visa)
- Payment of the prescribed fee
- A yellow-fever vaccination certificate (if required)
- Statement and/or documentation confirming the purpose and duration of your visit
- Two colour passport photographs
- A return or onward ticket if you are travelling by air .
- Proof of financial means to pay for your living expenses while in South Africa in the form of:
- Bank statements
- Salary advances
- Undertakings by the host(s) in South Africa (A letter of invitation). This is an automated option on your online registration form, which you will be able to print off and submit with your visa application.
- Medical cover or Cash available (including credit cards and travellers’ cheques)
Remember, you do not have to submit your visa application in person. You can ask anyone else
(such as a travel agent or courier services or another family member) to submit the application on
Note: You are required to fill in an original visa application form. Forms downloaded off the
Internet will not be accepted.
- Print in BLACK
- 2 x passport photo and do not glue to application form
Many nationalities do not require a visa to enter South Africa. It is best to check with your travel
agents if this is required.
TRAVELLING TO SOUTH AFRICA WITH CHILDREN AND REQUIREMENTS NEEDED TO ENTRY SOUTH AFRICA
- Consent, in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate of the child, authorizing him or her to enter into or depart from the Republic of South Africa with the child he or she is travelling with;
- A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child; or
- Where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate,
What do the regulations say about parents travelling with children?
Regulation 6 (12)(a):
Where parents are travelling with a child, such parents must produce an unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents of the child.
What is an unabridged birth certificate?
It is a birth certificate reflecting the particulars of both parents.
Is this applicable to all children?
Yes, the South African regulations regards a child as any person under the age of 18 years. It is applicable to all nationalities departing from and arriving in South Africa. It is not required for passengers remaining in transit, unless s/he requires a transit visa. The unabridged certificate should be submitted during the transit visa application process and both the certificate and visa should be carried on person whilst travelling.
What about unabridged birth certificates or other documents that are not issued in English?
All documents issued in a language other than English should be accompanied by a sworn translation issued by a competent authority in the country concerned.
What about countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates?
In the case of foreign countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates, a letter to this effect issued by the competent authority of the foreign country should be produced.
Must I travel with the original document?
A copy is sufficient as per the regulations. It must be certified as a true copy of the original by a Commissioner of Oaths (or the equivalent, should Commissioners of Oaths not be a practice in the country concerned).
B) What do the regulations say about children travelling with one parent?
REGULATION 6 (12)(b):
In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate and:
provided that the Director-General may, where the parents of the child are both deceased and the child is travelling with a relative or another person related to him or her his or her parents, approve such a person to enter or depart the Republic with such a child.
What is the time line for the affidavit?
The affidavit must be no older than 3 months, dating from the time of travel.>
My country does not issue affidavits. Which alternative do I have?
A document with the parents’ name and surname, physical address, telephone and cell phone numbers would be sufficient. A letter from the Government of the country concerned confirming non- issuance of affidavits must be included.
Find the nearest South African diplomatic or consular representative abroad