U.S. citizens (U.S. passport holders) visiting the Republic of South Africa for ninety (90) days or less for tourism/business purposes do not need visas.
U.S. green card holders (non-US passport holders) and nationals of other countries must check the list of visa-exempt countries to see if they need to apply for visas. If the names of their countries are not listed, it means they need to apply for visas. There are also countries that are visa-exempt if the applicant is traveling to South Africa for a period of 30 days or less.
There are countries that are required to apply for visas but are exempt from visa fees, e.g. India, Colombia, Mexico, etc. Please refer to the list of countries that pay for visas and if your country is not listed it means you do not need to pay for visas.
Note: If your visit would exceed ninety days or if you want to travel to South Africa to study or to work, you will need to apply for a temporary residence visa instead of a visitor’s visa. Requirements for a temporary residence visa are not the same as a visitor’s visa.
A yellow fever certificate is required only if the applicant is passing through the yellow fever belt area before entering South Africa.
Foreigners who wish to visit South Africa must have passports/travel documents valid for thirty (30) more days after the intended return date from South Africa. The passport must contain at least two (2) unused (blank) pages labeled Visa when presented at the Embassy or Consulate; One page is for affixing the visa or permits at the Embassy/Consulate and the other page is for endorsement of entry/departure stamp by the South African Immigration Services. Note: Visa pages referred to above do not include pages reserved for Endorsements, Amendments, or Observations.
What is a visa?
A visa is an authorization only to 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. Possession of a visa does not guarantee the holder automatic admission into the Republic of South Africa.
What visa is needed to conduct short-term or urgent work?
All foreigners who intend to conduct short term or urgent work in the Republic of South Africa, including, but not limited, to service technicians, trainers/instructors, and film crews, for a period not exceeding three (3) months must hold authorization to conduct work in terms of Section 11(2), which must be applied for and issued at a South African foreign embassy, before traveling to the Republic of South Africa.
- Section 11(2) authorization to conduct work on a visitor’s visa
- Service technicians (installation, repair, and maintenance work)
- Commercial stills and film producing industry
If approved, the authorization to work shall not be extended beyond the validity period of the visa issued. On the first issue, a section 11(2) visa may be issued for not more than 3 months. Where a further extension is required within the Republic an extension may be allowed for a final period not exceeding three months.
Any person who has been issued with a Section 11(2) visa and had it extended for another 3 months shall not qualify for a Section 11(2) visa within the same calendar year. If a visa was issued with dates that overlap into a new calendar year, the dates falling into the new calendar year will be calculated as part of the new calendar year.
Applicants should be informed and reminded that Section 11(2) is not a work visa and should not be used for ongoing regular work activity. In the case of technicians for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) who are required to travel to RSA on a year-on-year basis to maintain and repair equipment, such applicants will have to re-apply for authorization each year. Back to back Section 11(2) applications within the same year by the same applicant at the Mission will not be accepted. Within the Republic, extensions or renewals not exceeding 3 months will only be accepted once per calendar year.