List of Eligible Countries for South Africa Visa 2024

Every state has the sovereign authority to regulate what enters and who leaves its borders. To achieve the control of movement, government's demand certain travel documents from visitors. One of the common travel documents needed by countries and South Africa, included is a travel visa.

There are several policies set by the South African government to regulate who receives visas into the country. These policies are formulated by experts in international relationships with regard for the country’s diplomatic ties with other countries.

When applying for a visa, you should understand these policies and which countries they apply to. Visa policies vary depending on the type of visa you apply for. Therefore, having knowledge of the policies makes it easier to successfully apply for a visa.

South Africa Visa Policies

Visa policy constitutes the edicts by the South African government to determine the necessities of foreign visa holders and those eligible for entry to the country without visas. The country’s immigration policy allows for approximately 80 nationalities requiring no visa for a short stay within South Africa. Travelers for other different nationalities require e-Visas or embassy visas to enter South Africa.

The e-Visa is eligible to 14 countries with the purpose of business or tourism expeditions within South Africa. The diplomatic offices in several countries are the point of application for visas to enter South Africa with applicants choosing from the wide array.

Online e Visa for South Africa

To encourage foreign investments and tourism in South Africa, the government through the immigration department launched in February 2022 an electronic visa application. This mode of visa application allows applicants interested in visiting South Africa to apply for visas at their comfort. While requirements remain the same as for physical applications, electronic applications help applicants save time and resources that would otherwise be spent by visiting embassy offices.

An e-Visa permits short business or tourism-based stays in South Africa and simplifies the application process. This pilot scheme is eligible for only Kenyans and Indians with passports and is online-based. The purpose of visiting and nationality impact on the issuance of the e-Visa as either multiple or single-entry visa. The e-Visa holders are permitted to enter South Africa via Ortia or Lanseria Airport with more entry points to be included in the future.

Be advised as your country is in the list below, you can apply for an online visa. You can use these services and easily get an online Visa.

Nationalities that Required a Regular Visa - Embassy or Consular Visa.

Passport holders from over 160 countries are mandated to obtain visitor visas for travel from South African embassies globally. Applicants present themselves to the closest diplomatic office with a complete visa application form and various supporting documents depending on reasons for travel. However, for stays exceeding 90 days, travellers have to provide temporary residence visa applications. These applications should be submitted promptly prior to the arrival date. The types of visas are categorized into visitors’ visas and temporary residence visas.

Visa Exempt Countries List

Approximately, 80 state passport holders and some international organizations’ members are exempted to have visas while entering South Africa. Such travellers are afforded complimentary “Port of Entry Visa” before entry and are only allowed for short business or tourism-oriented stays. While some nationalities with visa exemptions may stay up to 30 days others can exceed 90 days as a maximum. Exceeding the preset timeline will force one to apply for another visa option. Having either a laissez-passer of the African Union or United Nations exempts one from needing a visa to enter South Africa. Official travellers with SADC laissez-passer are also visa exempted for up to 90 days.

Government requirements when submitting visa applications apply to all types of visas. These include passport photo specifications and necessary supportive documents. Details on how to apply for visas are found on official government websites. Online visa applications are only available to selected countries. Therefore, you must check for your country’s eligibility before settling on an online or physical application.

Tourist Visa Policy for South Africa

Varying nationalities and length of stay determine the tourist visa policy except for approximately 80 visa-exempt countries to get tourist visas for South Africa. However, these visa-exempted individuals have limited short stays dependent on their nationalities. While the e-Visa system is unavailable to most countries, it is significant in making efficient and simplifying the application process for Kenyans and Indians. All types of visas require a passport valid for more than 30 days with a minimum of two blank pages.

Types of South African Visas

The following are South African visas you can apply for and receive once established as an eligible applicant.

  • Tourist visa- Like other African countries, South Africa’s economy is dependent on tourism. To regulate the in and out movement of tourists, the country’s administration issues tourists visas. These visas are characterized by short durations and fast processing. The speedy application process is to encourage more foreigners to visit the country.
  • Visit Visa: Visit Visa allows to stay for a limited period for leisure travel in a country for a travel purpose only, if you have any other purpose then you need a visa as per requirement.
  • Business Visa: Business visa is a travel authorization issued by the national government that allows one to visit a foreign country for business purposes. The Visa allows you to perform business activities in the country, if you wish to work in another country then, you need a required visa.
  • Work Visa : Work visa is issued for the person who wishes to do work in foreign country. In the visa passport holder needs additional documents to enter the country.
  • Medical Visa:The Medical visa is issued to all visitors wishing to receive medical treatment in the country, and the visa allows the passport holder to take multiple entry in the country.
  • Study Visa: The study visa is also known as student visa, any prospective foreign national seeking higher education in another country must obtain a student visa from that country.
  • Relatives’ Visa: A Relative visa is a long-term or a permanent visa, which can be issued to the relative of a South African citizen or permanent resident, who wish to reside in South Africa.
  • Exchange Visa : The Exchange visa also known as J-1 visa, visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States to research scholars. The visa is authorized for those who intend to participate in an approved program.
  • Retired Persons’ Visa: A person who wishes to retire may apply for a retired person visa. They generally don't have any age restrictions. These visa programs can also lead to residency, permanent residency, citizenship, and a passport.
  • Temporary residence visas: These are a collection of visas that you may apply for if you intend to stay in South Africa for a short duration. Temporary visas include work visas and retired persons’ visas. Work visas are issued to individuals with unique skill sets that contribute to the country’s economic growth. Retired persons’ visas are meant for retired individuals wishing to spend their retirement in South Africa. Retired persons are allowed to stay in South Africa with the intention of increasing cash flow in the economy through consumerism. One of the requirements for a retired person’s visa is proof of a monthly income of at least $3,000.