Applying for a South African Visa

Applying for a visa to visit South Africa is a relatively simple process. The first thing to do is to make an appointment to visit the South African Embassy or Consulate in your city. Certain cities may also have Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) centers that can facilitate the process more quickly and easily.

The Embassy, Consulate, or VFS center will supply you with the necessary forms for visa application form. The usual form is known as a BI-84, but if you are applying for a medical treatment visa, you will need Form BI-1784.
In order to complete the form, you will need to supply two passport-size photographs, as well as certain other supporting documents listed in the form itself.

When applying for your visa, it’s important to remember that the application process takes time, and that additional documents may also be requested along the way. The required documentation can vary depending on each specific case.
You should allow at least four weeks for the processing of your application, and should by no means make any solid travel plans before your visa is approved.

General requirements for entering South Africa
A passport or other official travel document that is valid for the period of your visit
A valid visa, where required
Sufficient funds for your stay (as required by the visa)
A ticket for your return/onward journey
A valid vaccination certificate (only applicable if you have recently visited a country that is in a designated yellow fever area)

Who needs to apply?
If you are not in possession of a valid South African passport, you will generally need a visa to enter South Africa. The only exception to this rule applies to visitors who hold passports from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (including the British Islands Bailiwick of Guernsey and Jersey, Isle of Mann and Virgin Islands, the Republic of Ireland, and British Overseas Territories). Such people are completely exempt from South African visa control for any purpose. Some visitors from certain other countries may also be exempt from standard visa requirements provided they meet certain conditions. It’s best to consult your local Embassy, Consulate, or VSF center in order to determine what your specific visa requirements will be.

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