Visa policy of South Africa
The visa policy of South Africa is the policy by which the South African government determines who may and may not enter their 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 after departure and with one blank page (two if a visa is required).
Visa policy map
Nationals of the following countries can enter South Africa without a visa:
Nationals 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 28 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 or service passports of the following countries do not require visas for visits of the indicated period and transit:
Eligible international organizations
Individuals holding the following travel documents are not required to obtain South African visas for visits of 90 days or less:
- Staff members of SADC who travel on SADC laissez-passer are exempt from visa requirements for bona fide official business visits of 90 days or less and transit.
Visas issued by South Africa are for:
- 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 visas
- Work visas
- Quota work visas
- General work visas
- Critical skills work visa
- Intra-company Transfer Work visa
- Corporate visas
- Study visas
- Exchange visas
- Retired persons’ visa
- Relatives’ visa
- Medical Treatment visa
According to the amended South African Immigration Act 13 of 2002, foreign nationals overstaying the expiry of their South African visas will be determined “undesirable” and, consequently, face being banned from the Republic for a period of up to 5 years.
From 1 June 2015, all minors under the age of 18 travelling in and out of South Africa must hold, in addition to their passport, an unabridged birth certificate with particulars of both parents. The requirement applies to both domestic and foreign citizens. If the child is travelling with only one parent, an affidavit with the absent parent's consent is required. If the child is travelling with another adult and without neither parents, an affidavit with consent of both parents must be produced. An unaccompanied minor, in addition to holding the affidavit and birth certificate, must in addition provide the information of the local South African host. The rule has been widely criticized by the tourism industry, but officials claimed that the rule was implemented to fight the widespread human trafficking in South Africa.
- Visa requirements for South African citizens
- List of ports of entry in South Africa
- List of diplomatic missions of South Africa
- 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.
- "Types of Visas". Department of Home Affairs.
- "Types of Temporary Residence Visas". Department of Home Affairs.
- "Overstay Visa South Africa". Retrieved 7 October 2015.
- "Travelling with children to or from South Africa? Child Visa Checklist app helps". Drive South Africa. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
- 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'