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