Visa policy of South Africa
| List of ports of entry in South Africa
Map of ports of entry in South Africa
The visa policy of South Africa is the policy by which the South African government determines who may and may not enter the country. Visitors to South Africa must obtain a visa from one of the South African diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries, in which case they get what is called a "Port of Entry Visa". Visitors who require a visa must apply in person and provide biometric data.
All visitors must hold a passport valid for 1 month and with two blank pages.
Visa policy map
The following individuals can enter South Africa, without a visa:
Citizens of the following 47 countries/territories who hold valid national passports are not required to obtain South African visas for visits of up to 90 days:
Citizens of the following 29 countries/territories who hold valid national passports are not required to obtain South African visas for visits of up to 30 days:
Diplomatic, service and official passports
Citizens who are holders of diplomatic, official and service passports of the following countries do not require visas for the period indicated and transit:
1 - diplomatic passports only.
Visitors who have recently been to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and nationals of those countries that have arrived via Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia or Zimbabwe are refused entry due to Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa even if they hold a visa.
Eligible international organizations
Individuals holding the following travel documents are not required to obtain South African visas for visits of up to 90 days:
- Staff members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) who travel on SADC laissez-passers are exempt from visa requirements for bona fide official business visits up to 90 days and transit.
Visas issued by South Africa are:
- Medical treatment
- Working in the entertainment industry
- Attending a conference
- Treaty conditions compliance
- Maritime crew
- Cultural, economic and social exchange programmes
Temporary residence visas issued by South Africa are:
- Business Visa
- Work Visa
- Quota work Visas
- General work Visa
- Critical skills work Visa
- Intra-company Transfer Work Visa
- Corporate Visas
- Study Visas
- Exchange Visas
- Retired Persons’ Visa
- Relatives’ Visa
- Medical Treatment Visa
As of 1 June 2015 all minors under the age of 18 traveling in and out of South Africa must hold, in addition to their passport, an unabridged birth certificate with particulars of both parents. This applies to both domestic and foreign citizens. If the child is traveling with only one parent, there must be an an affidavit in which the absent parent gives consent. If the child is traveling with a third person an affidavit with consent of both parents must be produced. Unaccompanied minors must hold the same affidavit and also information on the local South African host. These rules have been widely criticized by the tourism industry, but they have been instated to fight the widespread human trafficking.
- New visa rules will hurt tourism: DA
- South African Department of Home Affairs (accessed 10 March 2013)
- "Visa Information". Timatic. IATA. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- only with regard to holders of Hong Kong British National Overseas passports and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports
- only with regard to holders of Macau Special Administrative Region passports (MSAR)
- "Types of Visas". Department of Home Affairs.
- "Types of Temporary Residence Visas". Department of Home Affairs.
- Unabridged Birth Certificate For Minors – All You Need To Know
- How to travel with children into and out of SA
- The sorry, messy unabridged birth certificate saga: SA front pages, 2015-05-22
- South Africa's new rules on travelling with children 'may deter families'