South Africa Visa and Passport Requirements

Passport required Return ticket required Visa required
Australian Yes Yes No
British Yes Yes No
Canadian Yes Yes No
Other EU Yes Yes No/1
USA Yes Yes No

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Passports

To enter South Africa, a passport valid for at least 30 days after the intended date of departure is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.

Passports must have at least two blank pages for entry stamps - visitors have been refused entry by airport immigration officials for flouting this regulation.

Passport note

Yellow fever certificates are required if the journey starts from or passes through a country with yellow fever.

Visas

Visas for South Africa are not required by nationals referred to in the chart above for stays of up to 90 days except: 

• Nationals of Cyprus, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, who may stay visa-free for up to 30 days.

• Nationals of (1) Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Lativa, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia, who do require a visa.

Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy/high commission for visa requirements.

Visa note

The Department of Home Affairs website (www.dha.gov.za) has comprehensive details on visa requirements and exemptions and the relevant forms for downloading. If you are one of the few travellers subject to visa requirements, you should apply for your visa at least a month before you intend to travel, and wait for it to be issued before you travel. No visas are issued at South African points of entry. If you arrive without the necessary paperwork, immigration officials are obliged to refuse you entry.

Types and cost

Visitor's visa: £35. 

Validity

Visitor's visa: up to 90 days.

Transit

Nationals requiring a visa to visit South Africa must obtain a transit visa if travelling through South Africa to visit a neighbouring country.

Application to

Consulate (or consular section at high commission/embassy).

Temporary residence

If you intend to work in South Africa, including any voluntary or paid employment or studies, you must apply for a work, work-seeker’s or study permit before you arrive.

Working days

Allow five days for processing if you apply in person and 15 days if you apply by post.

Sufficient funds

Proof of funds is required, but Home Affairs does not specify what it considers to be sufficient.

Extension of stay

If you need to extend your visa, you should contact the nearest branch of the Department of Home Affairs. If you plan to visit for longer than 90 days, you normally need to apply for a temporary residence permit.

Entry with pets

An import permit is required for all pets, applied for through the Directorate of Animal Health in South Africa. A 14-day quarantine period applies to dogs from many countries. Cats are exempt from quarantine. Animals must be vaccinated against rabies except those coming from the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It’s worth checking first whether you will be allowed to take pets back into your home country again after they have been in South Africa.

Embassies and tourist offices

Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in the USA
Telephone: (202) 232 4400 / (202) 274 7991 (consular section). Website: http://www.saembassy.org Opening times: Mon-Fri 0830-1245 and 1330-1700. Consular section Mon-Fri 0900-1200.
South African Consulate in the UK (Visa services)
Telephone: 020 7925 8900 Website: http://southafricahouseuk.com/visas/vis_forcit.html Opening times: By appointment only. Mon-Fri 0900-1100 (foreign passport holders); 0845-1245 (South African passport holders). Telephone hours are 1500-1700.
South African High Commission in the UK
Telephone: (020) 7451 7299. Website: http://southafricahouseuk.com/index.html Opening times: Mon-Fri 0900-1100 (appointments only).
The British High Commission in South Africa
Telephone: (012) 421 7500. Website: http://www.ukinsouthafrica.fco.gov.uk Opening times: Mon-Thurs 0800-1700; Fri 0800-1230.
Edited by Jane Duru
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