Visa policy of South Africa

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Entry stamp for 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.[1]

All visitors must hold a passport valid for 1 month after departure and with one blank page (two if a visa is required).[2]

Visa policy map[edit]

  South Africa
  Visa-free access to South Africa for 90 days
  Visa-free access to South Africa for 30 days
  Visa-free access to South Africa for diplomatic, official and service passports
  Visa required to enter South Africa and for landside/airside transit

Visa exemptions[edit]

The following nationals can enter South Africa, without a visa:[3]

90 days[edit]

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:

1 - only ordinary passport holders
2 – 90 days per year
3 - British Citizens and British Overseas Territories citizens only

30 days[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Eligible international organizations[edit]

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.

Visa types[edit]

Visas issued by South Africa are for:[6]

  • Medical treatment
  • Working in the entertainment industry
  • Attending a conference
  • Treaty conditions compliance
  • Maritime crew
  • Cultural, economic and social exchange programmes
  • Transit

Temporary residence visas issued by South Africa are:[7]

  • 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

Overstay consequences[edit]

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.[8]

Minors[edit]

As of 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[9] with particulars of both parents. This applies to both domestic and foreign citizens. If the child is travelling with only one parent, there must be an affidavit in which the absent parent gives consent. If the child is travelling 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.[10][11] These rules have been widely criticized by the tourism industry, but they have been instated to fight the widespread human trafficking.[12][13]

See also[edit]

External images

Google map of South African ports of entry

References[edit]

  1. ^ New visa rules will hurt tourism: DA
  2. ^ South African Department of Home Affairs (accessed 10 March 2013)
  3. ^ "Visa Information". Timatic. IATA. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  4. ^ only with regard to holders of Hong Kong British National Overseas passports and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports
  5. ^ only with regard to holders of Macau Special Administrative Region passports (MSAR)
  6. ^ "Types of Visas". Department of Home Affairs. 
  7. ^ "Types of Temporary Residence Visas". Department of Home Affairs. 
  8. ^ "Overstay Visa South Africa". Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Travelling with children to or from South Africa? Child Visa Checklist app helps". Drive South Africa. Retrieved 2015-10-15. 
  10. ^ Unabridged Birth Certificate For Minors – All You Need To Know
  11. ^ How to travel with children into and out of SA
  12. ^ The sorry, messy unabridged birth certificate saga: SA front pages, 2015-05-22
  13. ^ South Africa's new rules on travelling with children 'may deter families'