South Africa eVisa Requirements for citizens of the United States

Electronic Travel Authorization Available

The South Africa electronic visa (eVisa) for American citizens is a new digital visa that will allow visitors to enter the country for business and leisure trips without having to gain a visa from a South African embassy or consulate beforehand.

In 2019, with the aim of advancing the visa application process for visitors to the country, the South African government began piloting the South Africa eVisa scheme.

The eVisa system is currently in a testing phase and is only available to Kenyan and Indian citizens. However, additional eligible countries, such as the United States, are likely to be added to the list in the near future.

Once US passport holders are eligible for this online travel authorization, it is expected that South Africa eVisa requirements for American citizens will be easy to meet and the visa will be quick and simple to obtain. Ahead of their short-term visit to South Africa, US applicants will simply have to go through an online application process to gain the eVisa.

What Is a South Africa eVisa for American Citizens and What Does It Do?

The South Africa eVisa for Americans is an upcoming electronic visa system designed to allow eligible foreign nationals to apply online for authorization to enter South Africa.

The system is currently being trialed with travelers from 2 countries, but is expected to be made available to travelers from the US in the near future. This means that American citizens are not currently able to apply for a South Africa eVisa.

When it is made available to Americans, US passport holders will be able to apply for the South Africa eVisa for short-term tourism and business visits to the country. The eVisa may be used for a single or multiple entries to South Africa.

What Are the Advantages of the South Africa eVisa for US Passport Holders?

The South African eVisa will be a quick and efficient way for American travelers to obtain permission to enter South Africa.

The main advantages of a South Africa eVisa for US passport holders are that it will be easily obtained online from any location with an internet connection, such as the applicant’s home. This avoids unnecessary and lengthy trips to an embassy or consulate.

The user-friendly electronic system is expected to streamline the application process and make it easier than ever for US nationals to apply for a South Africa visa.

Application Steps for the South Africa eVisa

American travelers to South Africa will be able to gain an eVisa by completing an online application form. This can be done by following these steps:

  • Fill in personal data, contact information, and passport details
  • Answer health and security-related questions
  • Provide travel details of the planned visit to the country
  • Upload supporting documents
  • Pay the processing fee

When applying for the eVisa, travelers must have the following items:

  • Current email address
  • Credit or debit card to pay the fees online

Applicants are notified by the online system when they have been successfully granted a South Africa eVisa. They will receive an email with confirmation of the approved eVisa and will also be informed of its length of validity and by which date they should enter South Africa.

Documents required for the South Africa eVisa

As part of the South Africa eVisa application process, travelers from the United States will also have to provide documentation to prove they have the following:

  • Valid passport with at least six months’ validity beyond their intended date of entry to South Africa
  • Sufficient funds to cover day-to-day expenses during their stay
  • return ticket or ticket to an onward destination
  • yellow fever vaccination certificate if, prior to entering South Africa, they have traveled through yellow-fever risk countries

Once approved, the South Africa eVisa is linked with the applicant’s US passport, so travelers must use this same passport when entering the country. Visitors may arrive at Lanseria and Ortia airports with the eVisa.

American travelers will need to apply for a new eVisa for South Africa if the passport they used in the application process changes due to being renewed, lost, stolen, damaged, or rendered invalid.

In rare cases, an eVisa cannot be approved online. In such circumstances, an applicant must contact their nearest South African embassy or consulate.

Do I Need a Visa for South Africa from the US?

US citizens planning a short-term holiday or business trip to South Africa do not currently need to gain a visa. This is because the United States is on the list of 47 countries whose citizens can enter the state via a visa exemption scheme, in accordance with South Africa’s visa policy.

Each year more than 350,000 Americans use this scheme to visit South Africa. US citizens holding a valid national passport can enter South Africa for up to 90 days at any port of arrival.

However, the US is expected to be added to the list of countries whose citizens require an eVisa when the South Africa online visa system is launched.

Travelers should be aware that due to COVID-19, the South African Department of Home Affairs has imposed restrictions on the visa exemption scheme. The United States has been removed from the visa-free list until further notice.

American citizens who want to travel to South Africa must contact a South African embassy or consulate in their country of residence.

How long can an American citizen stay in South Africa without a visa?

Under the current visa-exemption scheme, American citizens can stay in South Africa for 90 days without a visa.

If an American citizen wishes to stay longer than 90 days, for tourism or business purposes, or plans to reside long-term in South Africa, they will require a long-stay permit.

To gain the necessary authorization, US citizens must contact a South African embassy or consulate to discuss the visa options available.

Due to border closures in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, American citizens planning to travel to South Africa are currently advised to seek advice from a South African embassy or consulate.

Application Steps

STEP 1
Complete online application
STEP 2
Confirm Payment
STEP 3
Receive approved Visa

Country policy

South Africa Visa Policy

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Familiarize yourself with the South Africa visa policy and find out the travel requirements for your nationality.

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