Possession of a visa does not guarantee the holder automatic admission into the Republic of South Africa. A visa only authorizes 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.
Visa Exempt Nationals
Citizens who are holders of national passports (diplomatic, official and ordinary) of the foreign countries, territories and international organisations are exempt from the South African visa requirements in respect of purposes for which a visitor’s visa may be issued (e.g. holiday, business meetings) and only for the specific period e.g. German citizens holding German passports for a period of ninety (90) days and renewable for a further ninety (90) days. Refer to the Exemption List.
The following documents must be submitted to the Immigration Officer at the Port of Entry:-
A machine readable passport valid for no less than thirty (30) days after the foreigner’s intended departure from the Republic of South Africa, and having at least two (2) blank pages for endorsements.
A statement or documentation detailing the purpose and duration of the visit.
A valid return air flight ticket or proof of reservation thereof.
Proof of sufficient financial means, which shall be in the form of a recently issued bank certified statements, for the last three (3) months.
A residential address of the intended place of stay within the Republic of South Africa including business, residential or physical address of his or her host in the Republic; and
A yellow fever vaccination certificate, if the foreigner travelled or intends travelling from or transiting through a yellow fever endemic area to the Republic of South Africa.
Non Visa Exempt Nationals
Foreigners who are not included on the exemption list are subject to visa control and must therefore apply to the South African mission abroad for a port of entry or transit visas before proceeding to the Republic of South Africa, such visas must be affixed in the applicants’ passports before departing to the Republic of South Africa. Port of entry and transit visas are not issued on arrival at South African ports of entry to foreigners who are subject to South African visa control – such foreigners arriving without visas shall be refused entry into the Republic of South Africa and placed on a return flight.
Different categories of visas:
Tourist Visa – 90 days or less
Transit – 3 days or less
To conduct business/short term work – 90 days
Voluntary or Charitable Activities – Up to 3 years
To conduct Research – 3 years
To accompany spouse on work assignment-3 years
Visa for Spouse of a South African citizen/Permanent Resident who would like to work / conduct business / study in the Republic – 3 years