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Visa (max. 90 days)

Every country has the sovereign right to decide who may or may not enter its territory. Possession of a visa does not guarantee the holder automatic admission into the Republic of South Africa. A visa only authorises 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 to comply with the (entry) requirements of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002), as amended.

The purpose of a visa on the one hand is to ensure proper screening of applicants so that prohibited persons and undesirable persons are not admitted to the Republic of South Africa 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 Republic of South Africa.

Visa applications are considered by South African missions abroad and visas must be affixed in the applicants' passports before departing to the Republic of South Africa. Visas are not issued on arrival at South African ports of entry. Foreigners arriving without visas will be refused entry into the Republic of South Africa and may be placed on return flights in terms of legislation.

Please note that citizens who are the holders of national passports (diplomatic, official and ordinary) or travel documents of certain foreign countries, territories and international organisations are exempt from the South African visa requirement (see: Entry requirements for passport / travel document holders who are exempt from the South African visa requirement). Such foreigners are however only exempt in respect of purposes for which a visitor’s permit may be issued, and only for the specific period of exemption.

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