There are numerous types of South African visas which are designed for different purposes. Processing times at South African embassies and consulates vary greatly so travelers are advised to apply far in advance of their trip.
Types of visas for South Africa:
- Tourist Visa (e-Visa)
- Visit Visa
- Business Visa
- Work Visa
- Medical Visa
- Study Visa
- Relatives’ Visa
- Exchange Visa
- Retired Persons’ Visa
A transit visa for South Africa is not required if a traveler is not leaving the airport.
1. South Africa Tourist Visa (e-Visa)
The South Africa Tourist Visa will be available soon. It will eliminate the need to physically go to an embassy or consulate for citizens of eligible countries. The eVisa online application will be quick and straightforward to complete.
Once approved, the eVisa will be sent to applicants by email. Travelers will be able to gain entry into South Africa by presenting the eVisa at the border.
2. South Africa Visit Visa
Citizens form non visa exempt countries and people from visa exempt countries who wish to stay in South Africa for longer than the exemption period can apply for a South Africa Visit Visa. This visa allows visitors to enter for a maximum period of 90 days for tourism or business purposes.
The fees and the visa requirements for a South African visit visa depend on the location of the embassy or consulate.
3. South Africa Business Visa
The South Africa Business Visa allows eligible citizens to enter for a maximum period of 90 days to work or to invest in the South African economy.
To invest or start a business it is necessary to complete a BI-1738 Form. There is also a prescribed financial capital contribution which investors need to make.
4. South African Work Visa
South African Work Visas are issued to foreigners who possess specific skills which are in demand. The duration of the visa depends on the type of work which the applicant will do.
Applications can either be made at a Visa Facilitation Services Center (VFS) in South Africa or at an embassy or consulate abroad. There is also an Intra-company Transfer Work Visa which allows multi-national companies to transfer existing personnel to a South African branch of the business.
5. South Africa Medical Visa
Medical Treatment visas allow stays of up to six months. To apply, it is necessary to complete a BI-1738 Form and to provide a letter from your doctor or a medical institution which states the reasons why the treatment is necessary.
Proof of sufficient financial means also needs to be demonstrated. It is necessary to show you have the means to pay the medical fees as well as living costs.
6. South Africa Study Visa
Students who are going to South Africa to study on a full-time basis can obtain a Study Visa by completing a BI-1738 Form. The visa allows people to study at all levels of education (primary, secondary or tertiary education).
The visas are valid for the duration of the course. It is necessary to provide a range of documentation including proof of a place on a course, parental consent (if under 18), proof of financial means, and proof of medical cover.
7. South Africa Relatives’ Visa
Immediate family members of a South African citizen or resident can apply for a Relatives’ visa. They are issued for a maximum period of two years at a time.
Applicants need to complete a BI-1738 Form, demonstrate proof of financial means, provide the passport or identification of their relative who is a South African citizen or resident. Holders of a Relatives’ Visa cannot work.
8. South African Exchange Visa
South African exchange Visas are for people who are 25 or under add who want to participate in cultural, economic, or social exchange programmes. The exchange programmes must be organized by a state institution or a public higher educational institution in conjunction with a governmental body of a foreign state.
The visas are valid for the duration of the programme and they cannot be renewed or extended.
9. Retired Persons’ Visa
People who want to retire in South Africa can apply for a Retired Persons’ Visa. Applicants need to meet the financial requirements and to complete a Form BI-1738.
Currently, the minimum monthly payment (normally a pension) a foreigner needs to receive is R37,000,00.