South African Tourist Visa

What is a South African Visit Visa?

A Visa issued by a South African Issuing Authority like an embassy or consulate grants temporary permission (entry and stay) to a foreign national to enter South Africa for a specific purpose (tourism or business) and a limited duration
usually up to 90 days.

Who needs a Visit Visa?

Citizens of countries not on the visa-exempt list for South Africa.

  • Foreign citizens from a country with a visa exemption agreement with South Africa: These individuals do not need a Visit Visa if their stay is short (e.g., 90 days or less, depending on the agreement). You can view the visa-exempt countries.

In summary, if you are a citizen of a country with a visa exemption agreement for South Africa and your stay is very short, you will not need a Visit Visa.

Types Of South African Visitors Visas

Short-Stay Visitors Visa

  1. Tourism and Visiting family/friends (max 90 days)
  2. Business Purposes (max 90 days)
  3. Conferences
  4. Medical treatments
  5. Sport Events
  6. Study Purposes

Long-Stay Visitors Visa

  1. Spouse joining spouse on any temporary residence visa
  2. Children joining parents on any temporary residence visa
  3. Charitable voluntary activities – volunteer visa
  4. Research
  5. The international school has granted you acceptance for a teaching position.
  6. Academic Sabbatical exceeding 90 days
  7. If your profession is involved in film or advertisement production in South Africa, this includes various roles such as actor, cameraman, hair stylist, makeup artist, or sound and lighting crew.
  8. A foreign news agency is requesting the services of a journalist to cover a news story in South Africa.
  9. If you are a creative professional with artistic disciplines in performing arts, writing, painting, and sculpting.
  10. You fulfil the role of either a tour leader or a tour host for such guided tours.
  11. As the spouse or life partner of a South African citizen or permanent resident, if you have been offered employment, are registered to study, or have opened and conducted your own business, you can apply for a section 11.6 visa.

What Is The Difference Between Single Entry & Multiple Entry

Single Entry: Enter South Africa once during validity (ideal for short trips).

Choose Single Entry if: One trip is planned.

It’s ideal for short trips or single-purpose visits like tourism or attending a specific event.

Multiple Entry: Enter South Africa numerous times during validity (better for frequent visits).

Choose Multiple Entry if: Multiple trips are planned within validity.

It’s suitable for travellers who plan to make several trips to South Africa within a set timeframe, such as for business purposes or visiting family/friends frequently.

Tourist Visa Eligibility Criteria

While there is a different set of criteria for short-stay visas and long-stay visas the below eligibility criteria is for the tourist visa (short-stay).

Eligibility Criteria



Nationality: Citizens of some countries are exempt from requiring a visa. Check if you are from a visa exempt country.

Valid Passport

You’ll need a valid passport (travel document) with at least 30 days beyond your intended departure from South Africa. It should also have at least two blank pages for endorsements by immigration officials. (Port of entry)

Purpose of Visit

Your visit purpose should be genuine and align with a valid visa category, such as tourism or business.

Financial Means

You’ll need to demonstrate sufficient financial resources of R 3000.00 per month to cover your living expenses during your stay in South Africa.

How To Apply For A Tourist Visa To South Africa?

The application process:

  1. Gather required documents: Gather the required documents as per the South African embassy or consulate general.
  2. Complete the application form: Fill out the BI-84 form.
  3. Submit your application: Submit your application to the South African embassy or consulate general.
  4. Pay the Visa Fee: The visa fee varies depending on your nationality and visa type. Contact your embassy or consulate for current fees.
  5. Processing Time and Collection: Processing times can vary. Once approved, you can collect your visa with a valid passport.

Important Considerations:

  • Validity Period and Stay Duration: Ensure your visa validity period covers your intended stay and allows for any buffer days.
  • Travel Insurance: Consider travel insurance for unexpected situations.

What Documents Are Required For A Visit Visa In South Africa?

Required Documents


A Valid Passport

To apply for a South African visa or permit at the Embassy or Consulate, your valid passport must have at least 30 days validity beyond your departure, contain two blank pages labeled “Visa”, and be presented for affixing the visa and entry/departure stamps.

DHA-84 Visa Application Form

Signed and accurately completed DHA-84.

Bio Passport Page

Certified Copy of bio passport page.

2 Passport Photographs

You will need two (2) identical passport photos that meet the following specifications:

  • Background: White or light-colored background (avoid busy patterns or anything that might cast shadows on your face).

Flight Reservation Tickets

While a confirmed round-trip flight reservation is required as proof of itinerary for your South African visa application, hold off on purchasing the actual tickets until your visa is approved.

Financial Assurance

To demonstrate sufficient funds for your South African visa application, you’ll need to provide recent bank statements stamped by your bank, which will show you have enough money to cover your living expenses for the entire duration of your stay. 

Proof of Accommodation

As proof of accommodation for your South African visa application, you can either provide:

  • Confirmed hotel reservation: This shows you have booked hotel stays for the duration of your visit.
  • Letter of invitation from a South African host (relative or friend): This is a signed letter from a South African citizen (relative or friend) inviting you to stay with them during your visit. The letter should include their full name, address, phone number, and the dates of your stay.

Proof of South African’s Host Status

To prove your host’s legal status in South Africa for your visa application, you’ll need one of the following:

  • If your host is a South African citizen: A certified copy of their South African ID Book.
  • If your host is not a citizen: A certified copy of their passport along with a certified copy of their valid visa or residence permit for South Africa. Both the passport copy and the visa/residence permit copy must be certified by the South African Police Service.

Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate

You’ll only need a yellow fever vaccination certificate for your South African visa application if your travel itinerary involves passing through a country located within the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America before entering South Africa.

Certificate Birth Certificate

For applicants under 18 years old, a certified or notarized copy of their birth certificate will be required as part of the South African visa application process.

Consent Letter

If a child under 18 is traveling to South Africa:

  • Alone: A written consent letter from both parents or legal guardians must be included in the visa application.
  • With one parent: A written consent letter from the non-traveling parent or legal guardian is required for the visa application.

Purpose and Duration

Purpose of visit: The reason for your trip to South Africa (e.g., tourism, business meeting, family visit).

Duration of stay: The exact dates of your intended arrival and departure from South Africa.

What Is Proof Of Sufficient Funds For Visa In South Africa?

The South African embassy or consulate general requires proof of sufficient funds to cover your living expenses for the duration of your stay. Here’s what you can submit to demonstrate this:

  • Recent bank statements: These statements should be stamped by your bank to ensure authenticity.
  • Financial sponsorship: An official letter from a sponsor in South Africa stating their willingness to financially support you during your visit and their 3 months’ bank statements.

How Many Months Bank Statement For South Africa Visa?

South African visa applications typically require three months of recent bank statements to demonstrate sufficient funds for your stay.

What Is Proof Of Sufficient Funds For Visa In South Africa?

An amount of R 3000.00 per month is expected to be demonstrated by you to cover your living expenses throughout your stay.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Tourist Visa To South Africa?

Processing times for a South African tourist visa can vary, but it generally takes anywhere from 5 to 10 business days. 

However, it’s important to remember that this is just a guideline and the actual processing time can be influenced by several factors such as:

  1. Current workload at the South African embassy where you are applying.
  2. Time of year (application volume can fluctuate)

Can I Go To The South African Embassy Without An Appointment?

Most South African Embassies generally require an appointment for visa applications.

You can schedule an appointment through the website or by visiting the embassy nearest to you.

Can I Apply For A South African Visa Online?

Citizens of certain countries can apply for a South African visa electronically also known as the e-visa. You can see if you are eligible to apply.

Even if your country isn’t currently on the e-visa list, the standard visa application process can still be completed in person at a South African embassy or consulate.

How Much Is A Visa In South Africa Rands?

The cost of a South African visa in South African Rands (ZAR) is ZAR 425.00

It’s important to note that these are just a few examples, and visa fees can vary depending on your nationality and the specific visa category. The most accurate and up-to-date information on visa fees can be found on the website of the local South African embassy or consulate.

How Long Is A Visa Valid For?

The validity period of a South African visa depends on the type of visa you’re granted. Here’s a breakdown of some common visa durations:

  1. 30 days
  2. 60 days
  3. 90 days

The visa label itself will clearly state theconditionsof your visa, including the exact validity period. It’s important to ensure you adhere to these conditions and don’t overstay your visa.

Can I Extend My 90 Day Tourist Visa To South Africa?

Yes, you may be able to extend your 90-day South African tourist visa under certain conditions. Here’s what you need to know:

Eligibility: You can only apply for one extension per visit to South Africa.

Duration: A tourist visa extension can typically grant you an additional stay of up to 90 days in South Africa.

If you require a longer stay than a tourist visa allows, consider applying for a different type of visa that better suits your needs.

What Is A Long Stay Tourist Visa In South Africa?

If you require a stay exceeding 180 days or want to work or study in South Africa, you’ll need to explore other visa options like business visas, work permits, or study visas. These will likely have different application requirements and eligibility criteria.

Is A South Africa Visa Easy To Get?

The ease of obtaining a South African visa depends on several factors:

Your nationality: Some countries are exempt from visa requirements altogether, while others might have a more streamlined application process.

Tourist visas are generally easier to obtain compared to work permits or long-term residency visas.

Meeting all the requirements and submitting all necessary documents correctly will significantly improve your chances of approval.

Overall, obtaining a South African visa can be a smooth process for some nationalities applying for tourist visas, but it can also be challenging for others.

What Happens If You Stay Longer Than 90 Days In South Africa?

There are significant consequences for overstaying your visa in South Africa. Here’s a breakdown of what can happen:

  • Undesirable Person Status: If you stay beyond the validity period of your visa, you will be declared an “undesirable person” by the South African Department of Home Affairs.
  • Visa Ban: As a consequence of being declared undesirable, you will be banned from entering South Africa for a set period. The length of the ban depends on the duration of your overstay:

    Overstay less than 30 days: You’ll be banned for 12 months.

    Overstay more than 30 days: You’ll face a harsher ban of 5 years.


Why was this content created?

The content created about tourist visas for South Africa is to be a helpful and informative guide for people. The content on the page aims to be a valuable resource for foreign nationals wanting to apply for the visa.

How Was This Content Created?

The content was created through Charl Vollmer’s years of knowledge and expertise which he gained through assisting various foreign nationals applying for the visa. 

Information was cited from the following sources:

  1. Department of Home Affairs
  2. VFS South Africa

About Charl

Charl Vollmer

Charl Vollmer has 12 years of experience helping people immigrate to South Africa. I am passionate about helping people and making their dreams a reality. Charl constantly stays up to date with South African Immigration rules and regulations.  To contact Charl, visit our contact page. View our content integrity guidelines to how content is created.