South Africa Visa Policy

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

Visa Policy for South Africa

On this page, you are able to check the South African visa policy and discover the requirements that nationals of your country must meet to travel to South Africa.

Check if you need a visa for South Africa by browsing the boxes below.

The visa policy of South Africa are regulations by which the South African government determines who may enter the country without a visa, as well as the requirements for foreign citizens for which a South Africa visa is required to travel to, enter, and remain within the country.

At the moment, the South Africa immigration policy states that citizens of around 80 different countries do not need a visa for South Africa to travel to the country for short stays.

According to the South Africa immigration requirements, all other foreign travelers are required to obtain a visa before departure from the origin country to enter South Africa. This may be an embassy visa from a South African diplomatic office or an eVisa through a simple online application.

The online eVisa for South Africa is currently being implemented and is currently available as a pilot scheme for citizens of 2 eligible countries: Kenya and India. The online system greatly expedites the process of obtaining either a tourist visa or a business visa for South Africa.

Those not eligible for the eVisa, as well as travelers wishing to visit South Africa for other purposes, are required to apply for a visa from a South African government diplomatic office.

When applying for an embassy visa, the applicant is required to indicate which of the different types of visa for South Africa they require, whether a South Africa transit visa, student visa, work visa, or another visa type.

There are currently no South Africa visa bans for any nationalities in place.

Don’t forget to check this page periodically for any South Africa immigration policy changes that may arise in the future.

Tourist Visa Policy for South Africa

Here you can check the South Africa visa policy for tourism for your nationality.

The South Africa tourist visa policy depends on the length of the intended stay in the country and the traveler’s nationality.

Passport holders from around 80 different visa-free nationalities do not require a tourist visa for South Africa, as they are visa-exempt for short stays for tourism. The period of stay permitted without a visa varies depending on the individual’s nationality.

All other foreign citizens are required to obtain one of the South Africa visa options for tourism in advance of travel, either an embassy visa or an electronic visa through an online application.

Citizens of Kenya and India are now able to apply for a South Africa tourist eVisa through a simple online application, eliminating the need to visit an embassy or consulate in person. The system is expected to be made available to other eligible nationalities in the near future.

However, at the moment, all other nationalities who need a tourist visa for South Africa are required to apply in person at the nearest diplomatic mission of South Africa.

No matter which of the types of visa for South Africa they require, all visitors to the country are required to have a passport valid for at least 1 month, containing 1-2 blank pages.

Below you will find further information about the visa restrictions for South Africa for your nationality.

Online EVISA for South Africa

The eVisa for South Africa is an electronic visa, implemented as a pilot scheme in November 2019, that allows eligible citizens short stays in South Africa for tourism or business purposes.

The South African eVisa greatly facilitates the process of obtaining a tourist or business visa for the country by eliminating the need to apply for travel authorization from an embassy or consulate.

South Africa visa laws state that there are currently only 2 nationalities eligible to apply for the South Africa visa online as part of the pilot scheme: citizens of Kenya and Indian passport holders.

However, further eligible countries are expected to be announced once the South Africa eVisa pilot scheme has concluded.

Eligible travelers are able to obtain an online visa for South Africa through a simple electronic application form, which only takes a few minutes to complete with basic personal and passport data.

Applicants must also answer a few security-related questions to submit the form and receive an approved eVisa electronically linked to their passport.

An approved South Africa online visa may be issued as either a single or multiple entry visa and for a variety of periods of validity, depending on the nationality of the applicant and the purpose of the stay.

Holders of an approved online visa are able to use their passport to enter South Africa at either Lanseria or Ortia airport. More points of entry are expected to be announced once the pilot scheme has concluded.

Below you will find a list of all the nationalities currently able to submit a South Africa eVisa application.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required

South Africa rules and regulations for visas state that there are over 160 nationalities who are required to obtain a consular or embassy visa in advance of travel to South Africa.

Travelers from these countries are required to apply for a South Africa visa from an embassy or consulate no matter the purpose or duration of the intended stay in South Africa.

In order to apply for a South Africa embassy visa, it is necessary to make an appointment at the nearest government diplomatic office of South Africa.

Applicants are required to bring along a completed South Africa visitor visa application along with a range of supporting documentation depending on the intended purpose of their stay, whether for tourism, transit, business, or to visit family or friends.

Those who intended to spend more than 90 days in South Africa, or visit the country to work or study, are required to submit a temporary residence visa application instead of a visitor visa application.

The validity period of an approved South African consular visa depends on the purpose of the intended stay in the country.

Applicants are advised to submit a South Africa embassy visa application well in advance of their intended arrival date, as it may take up to several weeks or more to receive visa approval.

Check the list of nationalities below to find out if you require an embassy visa for South Africa.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required: Country list

Click on the links below to find out more about each country

South Africa Embassy Visa Types

When applying for a South Africa embassy visa, it is necessary to either submit a visitor visa application or a temporary residence visa application depending on the purpose of the intended stay.

Visitor Visas issued by South Africa are for stays up to 90 days for purposes of:

  • Tourism
  • Transit
  • Medical treatment
  • Visiting family or friends
  • Working in the entertainment industry
  • Attending a conference
  • Treaty conditions compliance
  • Maritime crew
  • Cultural, economic and social exchange programs.

Temporary residence visas issued by South Africa can be granted as a:

  • Business visa
  • Corporate visa
  • Study visa
  • Exchange visa
  • Work visa
  • Quota work visa
  • General work visa
  • Critical skills work visa
  • Intra-company Transfer work visa
  • Retired persons’ visa
  • Relatives’ visa
  • Medical Treatment visa.

Visa Not Required

South Africa visa regulations state that there are around 80 nationalities for which a South African visa is not required.

Citizens of visa not required countries for South Africa are able to travel to the country for short stays without having to obtain a visa in advance for purposes of tourism or business or to visit family or friends. Instead, South Africa visa-exempt citizens are granted a free “Port of Entry Visa” upon arrival.

Some of the nationalities that do not need a visa for South Africa are able to enter the country without a visa for stays up to 90 days. Other citizens who are visa-free for South Africa are permitted a maximum 30-day stay. This depends on the traveler’s nationality.

However, all citizens of countries who do not need a visa for South Africa are only able to spend a maximum of 90 days in the country within every year.

Visa not required citizens who wish to spend longer periods of time in South Africa are required to apply for one of the visa options from a South African embassy or consulate.

Find below a complete list of the nationalities for which a visa is not required for South Africa.

Visa Not Required for International Organizations

Apart from citizens of South African visa not required countries, all individual travelers who are associated with certain international organizations are also able to enter South Africa visa-free for stays of 90 days or less.

In order to be eligible, it is necessary to have one of the following travel documents:

  • African Union laissez-passer
  • United Nations laissez-passer

Staff members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) who travel on a SADC laissez-passer are also visa-exempt for South Africa if traveling for official business for less than 90 days, or for transit to an onward destination.

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