General Information


Please take note: This information is meant to serve as a guide only. Requirements for entry into South Africa differ from country to country, are subject to change, and each application is treated as an individual case. Please make inquiries before travelling to South Africa. We cannot accept any responsibility whatsoever for the use of this information. Visas are NOT issued on arrival at South African ports of entry. Applicants arriving without visas will be refused entry into the RSA and placed on return flights in terms of legislation.
Do I need a visa?

Depending on your nationality, and the duration of your visit, you may not need a visa to visit South Africa at all. See Countries exempt from South African visas

What are the requirements for entering South Africa?
  • A valid acceptable passport or travel document good for a sufficient period to cover the intended stay
  • At least one blank page in your passport for endorsements
  • A valid visa, if required
  • Sufficient funds to pay for your day-to-day expenses during your stay
  • A return or onward ticket
  • Yellow fever if your journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.
Where can I apply for a South African visa?
  • At the South African diplomatic or consular representative in the applicant’s country of normal residence, which includes permanent residence and long-term temporary residence.
  • At the South African diplomatic or consular representative in the country of which the applicant validly holds a valid passport.
  • At the designated South African diplomatic or consular representative when a mission is not present in the applicant’s country of residence.
  • See the list of South African offices abroad at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation website for information on where to apply in your own country.
  • Visas CANNOT be applied for at South African ports of entry.
Where can I make inquiries about visas?

Yellow Fever Requirements

If you are travelling from (or passing through) countries that require a yellow fever certificate (also known as the “yellow card”), you must ensure that you get a vaccination against yellow fever before leaving on your trip. All individuals above the age of 1 year are required by international health regulations to get vaccinated before any journey that entails travel to or through the so-called “yellow fever belt” of Africa or Central and South America.

Visas or permits will not be issued to persons who have not been vaccinated against yellow fever. Yellow fever certificates are valid for a period of 10 years commencing 10 days after the date of vaccination or, in the case of re-vaccination, within such period of 10 years, from the date of that re-vaccination. According to the Department of Health, persons arriving without a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate will either be:

  • kept under observation for six days at their own cost, or
  • vaccinated against yellow fever at their own cost.

At ports of entry where no Port Health Officers are based, persons will be refused entry into the Republic of South Africa. These precautionary measures will be strictly enforced by the Department of Health to protect its residents in the RSA from this virus.

For further information, see the World Health Organisation website.