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Visa information

Every country has the sovereign right to decide who may or may not enter its territory. Possession of a visa authorises the holder to proceed to South Africa to report to an immigration officer at a port of entry, but does not guarantee automatic admission to the Republic.

The purpose of a visa is to provide immigration officers with the necessary information to:
  • ensure proper screening of persons admitted to the Republic

  • facilitate the entry of approved applicants at South African ports of entry

  • ensure that applicants are admitted into the RSA for the correct purpose and period.
 
Visa requirements

Every country has the sovereign right to decide who may or may not enter its territory. Possession of a visa does not guarantee automatic admission to the Republic. It only authorizes the holder to proceed to the republic to report to an immigration officer at a port of entry for the purpose of being examined as to his/her ability or otherwise, to comply with the (entry) requirements of the Act.

The purpose of a visa on the one hand is to ensure proper screening of applicants so that undesirable persons are not admitted to the Republic and on the other hand to facilitate the entry of approved applicants at South African ports of entry. Visas provide immigration officers with the necessary information to ensure that applicants are admitted for the correct purpose and period into the RSA.
 
Visa requirements (what to submit)
 
  • Passport valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of the intended visit

  • Passports must contain at least 1 (one) unused page for entry/departure endorsements (sometimes referred to as visa page).

  • Payment of the prescribed fee, if applicable (see Countries exempt from visa control).

  • A vaccination certificate, if required by the Act.

  • Statement and/or documentation confirming purpose and duration of visit.

  • Two (2) identity photographs (see specifications below).

  • Proof of financial means in the form of:

    • bank statements;
    • salary advices;
    • undertaking(s) by the host(s) in the Republic;
    • bursaries;
    • medical cover;
    • or cash available, including credit cards or travellers' cheques to cover the living expenses during the sojourn in the Republic.
Applicants traveling by air must be in possession of:
  • a return or onward ticket; or

  • proof of sufficient funds; or

  • lodge a cash deposit of equivalent value to such a ticket.
 
Persons in transit

Transit Visa requirement has been suspended by the Minister of Home Affairs.

Medical visas

(visitor's visas for medical treatment of less than three [3] months)


A person wishing to receive medical treatment in the RSA must first apply for a visitor's visa at the nearest South African Mission, if he or she is subject to South African visa control. Foreigners who are exempt from South African visa control may enter for the period for which they are exempt, provided that it does not exceed three months.

Foreigners who require medical treatment for a period exceeding three months must apply for a medical treatment permit.
 
Photographs

Photographs must comply to the following specifications:
  • two identical colour photos for passports

  • two identical colour or black and white photos for IDs

  • not more than one (1) month old

  • 35mm in width and 45mm in height

  • a close-up of your head and top of your shoulders so that your face takes up 70 – 80% of the photograph

  • of high quality with no ink marks or creases and not damaged

  • show you looking directly at the camera

  • have appropriate brightness and contrast

  • be printed on high-quality photo paper

  • show your natural colour

  • show your eyes open and clearly visible - no hair across your face

  • show you facing square onto the camera, not looking over one shoulder (portrait style) or tilted

  • show both edges of your face clearly

  • be taken with a light grey or plain cream-coloured background

  • be taken with uniform lighting and not show shadows or flash reflections on your face and no red-eye

  • show you alone (no chair backs, toys or other people visible)
The Director-General may reject the copies of the photographs if they do not, in his or her judgment, comply with the requirements mentioned above, or if he or she deem them unsuitable in other respects, in which case the person concerned shall provide two new copies at his or her own cost.

Identity document and passport photographs could be taken at regional or district offices equipped for this service, at a cost of R13-00 for a frame of four black and white photographs.

For more information about Visa Applicatio Requirements, go to South African Department of Home Affairs

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H.E. L Xingwana

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