South Africa Online Visa (e-Visa): Visa Requirements

Sep 30, 2022

6 min read

South Africa is the home of nature and animals. I will never forget seeing the big five in their natural habitat! It is an experience of a lifetime. If you want to experience it, you can! It's now easier than ever with the South Africa Electronic visa (eVisa).

Let me tell you everything you need to know about this visa:

What Is The South Africa Online Visa?

The South African electronic visa, also known as the eVisa system, is now live. They launched the South Africa eVisa in February 2022 for travelers from 14 countries. The South African Government will add more countries to the list soon. The eVisa system makes traveling to South Africa more accessible. Eligible passport holders can now apply online and receive the approved visa by email. In addition, you can apply for the South African eVisa if you're traveling for tourism (tourist visa) or business purposes. The visa is usually valid for 90 days which means that when you enter South Africa, you can stay there for up to 90 days, but you have to leave before your visa expires.

Who Needs A South African Visa?

There are several types of visas for South Africa. Your nationality will determine the type of visa you need. With traditional applications, visitors who require a visa for South Africa must apply for it in person at a South African Embassy, provide biometric data, and hold a passport at least valid for 1 month after they depart from South Africa (and with at least one blank page).

Visitors from more than 100 countries who want to visit South Africa must obtain a visa from one of the South African diplomatic missions. These countries include:

Algeria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African R., Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Tunisia, and many more

What Countries Can Travel To South Africa Without A Visa?

There are over 50 nationalities who can enter the country without a South Africa visa for up to 90 days. The nationalities which are eligible for visa-free travel include:

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Monaco, Qatar, Switzerland, Spain, Tunisia, United States, Zimbabwe, and many more.

Who Needs A South Africa e-Visa?

Passport holders from 14 countries can now apply for a South Africa eVisa. The eligible countries in 2022 are: Cameroon, China, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Uganda.

More countries, including Australia, Canada, the United States, and all EU member states, could soon be added to the list. Until then, travelers from these countries need to apply for a traditional embassy visa for South Africa.

Are There Any Covid-19 Entry Requirements For South Africa?

No, there aren't. The South African Government announced on 22 July, 2022, that travelers who wish to travel to South Africa no longer need proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test.

However, these regulations can change at any time, which is why I recommend you keep up to date on the latest travel regulations for South Africa.

What Are The Required Documents For A South African eVisa?

You need certain travel documents to apply for the eVisa for South Africa (visa requirements). Failure to send in these documents during your visa application process can slow down the processing time. During your application process, you need the following documents:

  • A valid and acceptable passport or travel document for your intended stay.
  • At least one blank page in your passport for endorsements.
  • Sufficient funds to pay for your day-to-day expenses during your stay (bank statements).
  • A return or onward ticket
  • Yellow fever certificates if your journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.

How Can I Apply For A South African eVisa?

Applying for any type of visa can be stressful. I know how it feels when you don't know what to do. That's why I'll provide a step-by-step guide so you know exactly what to do during your visa application.

Step1: Access the South African eVisa website

First, you need to go to the Department of Home Affairs website where you apply. You'll see four steps they give you: Create your profile, submit your online form, upload your documentation, and confirm secure payment. Start with the first step.

Step2: Create your account

You need to provide your name, passport number, email address, and password information. Then, they'll send you a verification email which you should use to activate your account.

Step3: Complete the e-visa application form

Next, log in to your account. Then you'll need to provide all the necessary details. These details include your travel information (how long you'll stay, accommodation in South Africa), passport details, and any other relevant information.

Step4: Upload travel documents

Next, you need to upload all the relevant travel documents like a copy of your passport, a passport-size photo, and anything else they might ask for.

Step5: Pay The Visa Fees

Last but not least, you need to pay the visa fees. They'll show you the amount you need to pay at the end of your application process. But, again, you can pay securely online with your debit or credit card.

Now you're all set. They will let you know via email if they accept your application. When they accept your application, you'll receive an electronic visa via email. Then you need to print it out to present to the Immigration Officer at your port of entry.

What Should I Do At The Airport With An Electronic Visa For South Africa?

Once they approve your online visa request, you'll receive your e-Visa by email. Upon arrival at the South African border, you need to show your travel documents and permissions. The passport (or other eligible ID) must be the same as the one you used during your e-Visa application. The South African authorities will decide if you can enter the country after examining your travel documents and (if applicable) your luggage.

At border control, it is important to collaborate with the South African officers and answer all questions that they may ask.

How Long Does It Take To Process A South African eVisa?

Usually, the process takes 3 business days. Unfortunately, there are instances where it could take longer to process your visa. Therefore, I recommend waiting 5 business days before checking your status.

Can I Get A Refund If I Don Not Use My eVisa?

Unfortunately no. If you do not use your e-Visa, you forfeit your fees. To my recollection, all visas have a no refund policy, which means that if you receive your visa and don't use it, you can't ask for your visa fees back. The same goes for when you submit your application and you want to cancel your visa. Once you submit your application, you can't get your money back.

That's all!

Now you can experience the Safari life or even breath in the fresh air of Table Mountain in Cape Town.

Written By: Laliq Schuman
Fact Checked By: Richard Nathan

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Obtain A Multiple-Entry eVisa?

Yes, you can. You can choose between a single-entry visa or a multiple-entry visa during your application process.

When Will My eVisa Expire?

Each country has different entry rules into South Africa. Therefore, the validity of an e-visa to South Africa varies by type and country. Validity periods are stated when they issue the e-visa.

Can I Get A Refund If Officials Reject My eVisa?

Unfortunately, you can't. The application is processed with a negative outcome, and the e-Visa application fees are non-refundable.

What Are The Types Of Visas For South Africa?

There are different types of visas to apply for when you travel to South Africa, depending on your purpose of travel. The different types of visas are:

  • South Africa Visit Visa: Citizens from non-visa exempt countries and people from visa-exempt countries who wish to stay in South Africa for longer than the exemption period can apply for a South Africa Visit Visa. This visa allows visitors to enter for a maximum of 90 days for tourism or business purposes.

  • South Africa Business Visa: The South Africa Business Visa allows eligible citizens to enter for a maximum of 90 days to work or invest in the South African economy.

To invest or start a business, it is necessary to complete a BI-1738 Form. There is also a prescribed financial capital contribution that investors need to make.

  • South African Work Visa: The work visa is for foreigners who possess specific skills in demand. The duration of the visa depends on the type of work the applicant will do.

Applications can be made at a Visa Facilitation Services Center (VFS) in South Africa or an embassy or consulate abroad. There is also an Intra-company Transfer Work Visa which allows multi-national companies to transfer existing personnel to a South African branch of the business.

  • South Africa Study Visa: Students going to South Africa to study full-time can obtain a Study Visa by completing a BI-1738 Form. The visa allows people to study at all levels of education (primary, secondary or tertiary education).

The visas are valid for the duration of the course. However, it is necessary to provide documentation, including proof of a place on a course, parental consent (if under 18), proof of financial means, and medical cover.

  • South Africa Relatives Visa: Immediate family members of a South African citizen or resident can apply for a Relatives’ visa. They are issued for a maximum period of two years at a time.

Applicants need to complete a BI-1738 Form, demonstrate proof of financial means, and provide the passport or identification of their relative who is a South African citizen or resident. Holders of a Relatives’ Visa cannot work.

  • Retired Persons Visa: People who want to retire in South Africa can apply for a Retired Persons’ Visa. Applicants need to meet the financial requirements and complete a Form BI-1738.

The minimum monthly payment (usually a pension) a foreigner needs to receive is R37,000,00.

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