Who needs a South Africa Visa?


South Africa is a country located in the south of the African continent. South Africa, or the Republic of South Africa (RSA), has a population of 60 million people. South Africa has the reputation of being a vacation destination with breathtaking holidays, First-World infrastructure, dramatic mountains, and superb beaches.

The South African government offers several types of visas for foreigners who like to visit South Africa based on their travel purpose. This article will discuss African visas, different types of them, South African visa exemptions, and nationals who need to apply for visas.

Who can get a South Africa visa?

Getting a South African visa allows foreigners to travel to South African. When a foreigner arrives there, immigration officials will decide if the foreigner is allowed to enter South Africa. Immigration officers also decide how long the foreigner can stay in South Africa. Visitors are limited to do the activities related to the purpose of their travel for which their South African visas were confirmed.

The date foreigners enter South Africa is the starting point for calculating the period of visa validity. If a foreigner arrives without a visa and tries to enter the country, immigration officials are obligated to board them onto a flight back to their home country.

Citizens of the following countries are required to apply for a South African visa in order to travel to this country:

Afghanistan Albania Algeria Armenia
Azerbaijan Bahrain Bangladesh Belarus
Bermuda Bhutan Bosnia and Herzegovina Brunei
Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia
Central African Republic Chad Colombia Comoros
Congo Côte d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba
Djibouti Dominican Republic El Salvador Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea Estonia Faroe Islands Fiji
French Guiana Gambia Georgia Ghana
Gibraltar Greenland Guatemala Guinea
Guinea-Bissau Honduras Indonesia Iraq
Kazakhstan Kiribati Kosovo Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon
Liberia Libya Lithuania Macedonia
Madagascar Mali Mauritania Moldova
Mongolia Montenegro Morocco Myanmar
Nepal Nicaragua Niger North Korea
Oman Puerto Rico Romania Rwanda
Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Serbia Sierra Leone
Slovakia Slovenia Somalia South Sudan
Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Syria
Taiwan Tajikistan Timor-Leste Togo
Tunisia Turkmenistan Ukraine Uzbekistan
Vietnam Yemen


South Africa Visa Exemption

At the moment, 52 countries benefit from the visa exemption program. Citizens of the following countries can enter South Africa without a visa for 90 days:

Andorra Argentina Australia Austria Belgium
Botswana Brazil Canada Chile Czech Republic
Denmark Ecuador Finland France Germany
Greece Iceland Ireland Israel Italy
Jamaica Japan Liechtenstein Luxembourg Malta
Monaco Mozambique Namibia Netherlands New Zealand
Norway Panama Paraguay Portugal Qatar
Russia St Vincent & the Grenadines San Marino Singapore Spain
Sweden Switzerland Tanzania Trinidad & Tobago United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom United States Uruguay Venezuela Zambia


There are 28 countries whose citizens can enter South Africa for up to 30 days without a visa:

Angola Antigua and Barbuda Bahamas Barbados Belize
Benin Bolivia Cape Verde Costa Rica Cyprus
Eswatini Gabon Guyana Hong Kong Hungary
Jordan Lesotho Macau Malawi Malaysia
Maldives Mauritius Peru Poland Seychelles
South Korea Thailand Turkey


What are South African Visa Types?

The South African government issues three main types of visas:

  • Visitor visa or Tourist Visa
  • Temporary Residence Visa
  • Permanent Residence Visa


Each visa type may include different variations. These visas are issued for at least one of the reasons below:

  • Paying a Visit to family members or friends
  • Tourism purposes
  • Business purposes
  • Meeting with a spouse who is a South African citizen or has a work or study visa.
  • Children to meet with their parents who are in South Africa on work or study visas
  • Partner to reunite with their fiancé/fiancée( if they plan to get married within 90 days)
  • Study purposes for short-time courses up to 3 months
  • Charitable activities
  • Research purposes
  • Attending conferences
  • To work in a movie or a show production process
  • For short-time medical procedures up to 3 months
  • To attend sporting events


Do I Need a Visa to Transit Through South Africa?

Foreigners with long-term work visas or residence visas from countries that are neighbors with South Africa do not need a visa for transit under two conditions:

  • Those foreigners are trying to return to their employment or residence.
  • They have pieces of evidence of their status.


Let’s sum up …

The South African government issues several types of visas, such as visitor, temporary residence, and permanent visas. These visas are issued to foreigners for different travel purposes like studying, doing business, reuniting with family members, etc. In this article, we mentioned general information about South African visas.

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