Find information below on the basic requirements for entering South Africa, including links to full information on visas provided by the Department of Home Affairs of Republic South Africa.
Since visa requirements differ from country to country, and are subject to change, ensure that you make enquiries with the South African embassy/ consulate/ foreign mission in your own country before travelling to South Africa.
Do I need a visa to visit South Africa?
Depending on your nationality, and the purpose and duration of your visit, you may not need a visa to visit South Africa. Please refer to the list of countries exempt from Visas published on the official website of the Department of Home Affairs of Republic of South Africa.
Please note that if you require a Visa to attend the World Whale Conference you will be requested to provide your Passport details during registration. This will allow us to provide you with a detailed Visa letter to assist your Visa Application.
Please note that Visa letters are generated after a registration(s) has been completed on the website and payment has been confirmed, this can be generated using the link in your initial confirmation email.
Where can I make enquiries about visas?
Where to apply for a visa?
An application for a South African visa can be made:
- Online by securing a personal appointment at a Visa Facilitation Service (VFS) centre
- In person at a South African foreign mission (embassy or consulate) in all countries where VFS centres are not available
- In person at the nearest South African foreign mission in another country if South Africa does not have a mission in the traveller’s home country
An applicant’s biometrics will be taken and interviews will be carried out, where necessary, at the relevant mission or VFS centre
What are the general requirements to apply for a visa to visit South Africa?
You will need:
- A valid passport or travel document with at least TWO unused pages
- A completed Form BI-84 (application for a visa if required)
- Payment of the prescribed fee
- A yellow-fever vaccination certificate if your journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America
- Statement and/or documentation confirming the purpose and duration of your visit
- Two colour passport photographs
- A return or onward ticket if you are travelling by air
- Proof of financial means to pay for your living expenses while in South Africa
If you have children (minors) travelling with you or joining in South Africa, you will need to provide the following additional documents:
- Proof of guardianship or custody or
- Consent from the guardian in the case of an unaccompanied minor
For more information on travelling with children, please click here.