South Africa Entry Requirements

South Africa Entry Requirements

Would you like to visit South Africa? In this article, we'll walk you through the documents and requirements needed for a visit or temporary stay in South Africa.

South Africa is a fascinating and culturally diverse country known for its beautiful landscapes, rich history and great music. It is one of the most visited destinations in Africa for tourism and business. 

There are many other reasons to travel to South Africa. Whether you're seeking an adventure, a new business venture, job opportunity or education, South Africa has a memorable experience to offer you. 

Before you can be granted permission to enter South Africa, there are certain documents you must present. Read this article to learn the entry requirements, types of visas and documents required to apply for different types of visas in South Africa.

Read Also: Top 10 Universities in South Africa 2024 


  • South Africa Entry Requirements 

  • South Africa Visas

  • Types of South Africa Visa

  • South Africa Vaccination Information.


South Africa Entry Requirements 

Travelling to South Africa can be a fun and exciting experience if you prepare well. To ensure, below is a list of the necessary South Africa travel entry requirements needed to travel to South Africa.

  1. A completed application form

If you're visiting South Africa, you must submit a completed BI-1738 application form signed by yourself.

  1. Passport

For entry to South Africa, you need a passport valid for at least 30 days beyond your intended stay. Your passport should have at least 2 blank pages for stamps at the port of entry.

  1. A valid visa

A travel visa is required if you are a permanent resident of a country outside South Africa visiting South Africa temporarily.  Certain countries have visa exempt agreements with South Africa, allowing their citizens travel in and out of South Africa without a visa. Check with the South African Department of Home Affairs website for the official list of visa-exempt countries.

  1. Proof of Funds

You are also required to submit evidence to demonstrate your ability to financially support yourself(and dependents) during your stay in South Africa. Proof of funds can be submitted in the form of Bank statements, salary advances, undertakings by the host(s) in South Africa, bursary, medical cover or cash available (including credit cards and travellers’ cheques).

  1. Covid 19 Restrictions 

There are currently no South Africa covid entry requirements for covid-19 restrictions in South Africa. Recent negative PCR tests to enter South Africa  are no longer mandatory for travellers. However, we strongly recommended for all unvaccinated persons travelling to South Africa to receive the covid-19 vaccination.

Check with the South Africa embassy or consulate regularly to stay updated on the latest Covid-19 travel guidelines and requirements for South Africa entry requirements covid.

  1. Statement of Purpose(if required) 

Statement of Purpose is often required as part of the application process of a study or work visa. It should reflect your motivation and goals for pursuing a career or education in South Africa.

  1. Yellow Fever Certificates(if required)

if you are travelling from or transiting through a WHO- designated yellow fever country, you may be required to get a yellow fever vaccination at least 10 days before arrival into South Africa. The certificate should be submitted as part of your visa application process.

  1. A return ticket

If you're travelling by air, you may be required present a return or onward ticket to demonstrate your plan to return to your country once your visa expires.

  1. Proof of payment 

You are required to submit proof of all required payments such as visa fee, medical insurance etc.

  1. Proof of Guardianship(if required)

Proof of guardianship is a legal document that shows a person's legal responsibility to take care of a minor that's visiting South Africa. The guardianship should be a permanent resident or citizen of South Africa.

The South Africa entry requirements are subject to change so, it is important to check with the nearest South African embassy or  consulate for guidance and the most up-to-date travel information.


South Africa Visa

To enter South Africa, you need a travel permit. The travel permit is usually issued in form of a visa. This visa is a temporary document granted to international residents who wish to visit south Africa for specific purposes. The validity of your visa is calculated from the date of entry into the country to the date your visa expires.

You do not need to apply for a visa if you're visiting South Africa for tourism for a period of  90 days or less. However, you do need a visa in other cases.

It is also worth mentioning that you must apply for the correct visa as entry into the country may be denied if your purpose is not correctly stated on your visa.


Types of  South Africa Visas

Here, we have listed the types of South Africa Visas. Check through the list to learn the visa types and requirements needed for your next visit to South Africa.


  1. South Africa eVisa

The eVisa for South Africa is a special document granted to individuals who want to visit South Africa for tourism or business for a period of 90 days or less. The document indicates that you have been granted permission by the South African embassy to stay in the country for a short period. You can obtain your eVisa easily through the online application portal. Once approved, the e Visa is linked to your passport. Below is a list of entry requirements for the evisa south africa;

Requirements for South Africa Visa

  • eVisa for South Africa application form 

  • Valid passport or travel document

  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover your living expenses during your stay 

  • A return or onward ticket 

  • Yellow fever certificates(if required)

Note: If your passport or travel dates change before you arrive in South Africa, you may have to apply for another visa.

Start Application Process


  1. Business Visa

The South Africa business visa allows you to establish a business in South Africa or invest in an existing business. To apply for this visa, you are required to invest a significant financial contribution to the South Africa economy. Below is a list of non covid entry requirements for the South Africa visitor's visa;

Requirements for Business Visa

  • An amount in cash to be invested in South Africa

  • An undertaking stating that at least 60% of the total staff to be employed in the business shall be South African Citizens or permanent residents.

  • A police clearance certificate 

  • Yellow fever certificates 

  • Medical reports

  • An undertaking to register with the South African Revenue Service, Unemployment Insurance Fund, Compensation Fund for Occupational Injuries , Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission(where legally required) and a relevant professional body, board or council recognized by SAQA, where applicable.

Start Application Process


  1. Work Visa

This type of visa is for foreigners who have relevant skills and knowledge that South Africa needs. They are usually valid for the duration of employment in South Africa and are granted. There are 4 types of South Africa work Visas. They include;

  1. General Work visa 

General work visa stay valid throughout the duration of employment in South Africa. However, they do not exceed a period of 5 years. To be eligible for the general work visa, you must submit the following South Africa entry requirements uk;

Requirements for General Work Visa

  • A duly completed application form.

  • A valid passport

  •  Payment of the visa fee

  • A vaccination certificate(if required)

  • Proof of funds to cover living expenses in South Africa until you receive your first l salary.

  •  Medical and radiology reports 

  • A police clearance certificate

  • A written undertaking by the employer accepting responsibility for the costs related to the deportation of the applicant and his/ her dependent family members, should it become necessary. 

Start Application Process


  1. Intra Company Transfer work visa

This type of visa is issued to existing employees of a company or business who want to transfer from a foreign branch to a South Africa branch. To be eligible for the Intra company Transfer work visa, you must submit the following lesotho entry requirements from south africa covid 19 requirements;

Requirements for Intra Company Transfer Work Visa

  • A duly completed application form 

  • A valid passport 

  • Payment of the visa fee 

  • A vaccination certificate(if required)

  • Proof of funds. Bank statements, cash available, or travellers’ cheques are acceptable.

  • A return ticket or cash deposit equivalent to the value of a return ticket 

  • An employment contract with the company abroad 

  • A letter from the employer/company abroad confirming that you will be transferred to a branch/affiliate company in South Africa.

  • A letter from the South African company where you will work, confirming the transfer from the parent/affiliated company abroad. 

  • A signed undertaking by the employer that the following;

    • that you will leave South Africa once the 4-year period comes to an end and 

    • that you will be employed in the position for which the permit is issued 

  • Medical and radiology reports 

  • A police clearance certificate 

  • All required documentation for dependents

Start Application Process


  1. Critical Skills Work Visa

To apply for the Critical Skills work Visa in South Africa, you must submit the following capetown entry requirements;

Requirements for Critical Work Visa

  • A duly completed application form 

  • A valid passport 

  • Payment of the Visa fee. 

  • A vaccination certificate, (if required)

  • Proof of funds 

  • A return ticket or an undertaking from the employer stating you will return to your country once your visa expires.

  • Medical and radiology reports

  • A police clearance certificate 

  • Proof of application for a certificate of registration with the accredited professional body, council or board recognized by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). 

  • Proof of evaluation of the foreign qualification/s by SAQA translated by a sworn translator into one of the official languages of the Republic. 

  • Proof of employment within 12 months after obtaining a Critical skills work visa.

Start Application Process


  1. Corporate Visa 

A corporate visa allows organisations to employ a predetermined number of workers in South Africa. To Apply for a corporate visa, the corporate entity will have to submit the following non covid requirements for entering South Africa on your behalf.

Requirements for Corporate Visa

  • A duly completed application form 

  • A statement demonstrating the need to employ foreign workers and the number of foreigners to be employed

  • A certificate by the Department of Labour

  • Proof of registration of the corporation with the following bodies:

    • The South African Revenue Service 

    • Unemployment Insurance Fund 

    • Compensation Fund for Occupational Injuries 

    • Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission, where legally required 

  • Applicants for a corporate visa must provide proof that at least 60% of the total staff complement that are employed are citizens and permanent residents employed permanently in various positions. 

  • Provide a job description and remuneration for each foreign worker.

Start Application Process


  1. Study visa 

A South Africa study visa allows international students to study full time at a South African University, college or educational institution. Study visa permits students to work part-time jobs for no longer than 20 hours per week. So you can work and earn money during your free time.

Below is the non covid entry requirements south africa needed apply to apply for a South Africa study visa 

Requirements for Study Visa

  • A valid passport 

  • Proof of payment of the student visa fee

  • A vaccination certificate( if required)

  • Proof of funds to cover living expenses and the tuition fees. 

  • Proof of medical cover/insurance

  • A cash deposit equivalent to the value of a return ticket.

  • African students are required to submit an undertaking from the relevant government to take full responsibility of the student and to pay all costs in cases of deportation of students.

  • Medical and radiology reports.

  • Original birth certificate(for minors)

  • The particulars of your guardian and a letter confirming the guardianship.(for minors)

  • Written consent from both parents for your stay in South Africa, or from the parent who has sole custody, along with proof of sole custody.

  • Acceptance letter from University.

  • Proof of medical insurance 

  • If you are 18 years and older, a police clearance certificate from each country in which you resided for 12 months or longer since the age of 18 years is required. 

Start Application Process


  1. Medical visa

This type of visa is required for individuals who are visiting South Africa for medical treatment. It is valid for up to 6 months. To apply for this visa, you must submit a letter from your medical institution or practitioner stating your reasons for travel and details about your treatment plans.

Below is a list of uk entry requirements from South Africa medical visa;

Requirements for Medical Visa

  • A duly completed BI-1738 application form 

  • A valid passport with at least 1 free page for a visa.

  • Payment of the visa fee. 

  • A letter from your medical practitioner or a medical institution

  • Details of the person or institution responsible for your medical expenses and hospital fees

  • Should your medical scheme or employer not be liable for expenses incurred, proof of financial means or medical cover must be submitted

  • Proof of sufficient funds for the costs indirectly related to the treatment.

  • Particulars of persons accompanying you 

  • A copy of a return or onward flight ticket or equivalent cash deposit 

  • A vaccination certificate,( if required).

Start Application Process


  1. Retired Persons' Visa

The Retired Persons visa is intended for persons who wish to retire in South Africa. To apply for a retired person's visa, you must submit the following botswana entry requirements from south Africa documents with the temporary resident visa;

Requirements for Retired Persons' Visa

  • A valid passport with at least 1 free page for a visa.

  • 2 recent passport size colour photographs

  • A photocopy of a valid residential permit, if applicable

  • Permit fees (cash or bank transfer);

  • A yellow fever  vaccination certificate

  •  Proof of medical insurance.( if required)

  • Medical and radiology reports

  • The minimum payment to a foreigner shall be per month

  • A police clearance certificate The spouse and dependent children accompanying the holder of a retired person visa may be issued with an appropriate visa. 

Start Application Process


  1. Exchange Visa

Exchange Visa is required for persons under 25 who wish to participate in cultural, economic or social exchange programmes in South Africa. The exchange Visa usually doesn't extend more than 12 months and its validity period is dependent on the length of the programme for which it is issued. If you require an exchange Visa, the following documents are required;

Requirements for Exchange Visa

  • A completed application form 

  • A valid passport 

  • Payment of the visa fee 

  • A vaccination certificate, (if required)

  • Proof of Funds

  • Undertaking(s) by the host(s) in South Africa

  • Proof of medical insurance 

  • Medical and radiology reports

  • Proof of return ticket

  • A letter from the state confirming the status of the exchange programme. 

  • An acceptance letter from the educational institution 

  • A police clearance certificate

Start Application Process


South Africa Vaccination Information 

If you are travelling to South Africa, you may be required to get some vaccines. Some of which include; hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, covid-19 and influenza.



It is advisable that you plan and prepare well in advance to ensure a smooth travelling experience and entry to South Africa. Also, remember to check the South Africa department of Home Affairs for updates on restrictions, entry requirements and travel guidelines.


Related articles

Medical Schools in South Africa

25 Best Universities in South Africa

Top 10 Universities in Kenya - Best Universities in Kenya
Share this tip
Subscribe for scholarship alert.
Be among the first to know whenever a new scholarship is going on.

Latest Scholarship Tips