South Africa Visa

Electronic Visa to enter South Africa

IMPORTANT: The Department of Home Affairs has confirmed that South Africa’s new e-visa system will be piloted for Kenyans from November 1, 2019. More information

What is the Online Visa for South Africa?

The new Online South Africa visa will soon be available, making it much easier for many travelers around the world to visit the country.

For South Africa visa eligible nationalities, the online application system will eliminate the need to go to a South Africa embassy or consulate.

There is no country in the world quite like South Africa. Its biodiversity, spectacular nature reserves, buzzing cities, and 2,500km of golden coastlines make it truly unique.

South Africa visa

Why an e-Visa for South Africa?

Turnaround time will be greatly reduced by the introduction of the new electronic visas. The way this system works is by capturing applicants’ biometrics, both locally and abroad, since it is designed around the online capture of permit applications. The implementation of this kind of electronic authorization also makes it more convenient for travellers to apply for international visas because it saves them time and expenses.

According to the South African authorities, the program will be implemented in November 2019 for visitors from a few countries (not yet confirmed). Thanks to this new scheme, authorizations for trusted travellers and returning South African nationals are going to be processed electronically, eliminating the need to interact with immigration personnel.

Who needs a South African visa?

Whether you need a visa for South Africa depends on your nationality, your reason for visiting, and how long you want to stay. There are numerous different types of South Africa visas.

Visitors from more than 100 countries that want to do tourism in South Africa must obtain a visa from one of the South African diplomatic missions. These countries include: China, India or Mexico.

Visitors who require a visa for South Africa must apply in person, provide biometric data and hold a passport at least valid for 1 month after departure and with two blank pages.

south africa visa policy
By Gorden Cheng – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Visa-exempt countries for South Africa

At the moment, there are 53 nationalities who can enter without a South Africa visa for up to 90 days:


There are another 27 nationalities who can enter South Africa without a South African visa for periods of up to 30 days:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Cape Verde
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Eswatini
  • Gabon
  • Guyana
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Jordan
  • Lesotho
  • Macau
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Turkey



Do I need a visa for short stays in South Africa?

Citizens who are not from visa-exempt countries need to obtain a South Africa visa before entering the country. At the moment they can be obtained from embassies and consulates.

The Online South Africa Visa will soon be available and it will simplify the process. The list of eligible countries and eVisa requirements will be published on this website once the government has finalized the list. It could be the case that certain nationalities who are currently visa-exempt may need to obtain the eVisa once it is available.