South Africa - flag South Africa - Travel & Tourist - Tourist Visa

A tourist visa to South Africa allows the holder entry into the country for a limited time period. As a condition of entry, no employment may be undertaken. In addition, to obtain a Tourist Visa, the applicant must produce evidence of a return ticket to their home country. The visa can be obtained at Immigration Control upon entry in South Africa.

Applying for a visitor visa for South Africa allows foreign nationals to temporarily immigrate to South Africa for a period of up to 90 days. As with a UK visit visa and travel visas in many countries, undertaking employment is prohibited and South Africa visit visas are specifically intended as a temporary immigration service.

Visa Benefits
As with tourist visas across a range of countries, South African visas for short-term visits offer their holder permission to travel to the country.

As is the case with a visa for any country, the document affords permission to seek entry upon arrival.

In most cases a South Africa visit visa provides the standard route for those wishing to enter the country for a short period for the purpose of tourism, business activities (though employment is not permitted) visiting family, or to undergo education or training up to a maximum period of three months.

As a temporary South African visa service the visitor permit does not impose any requirements upon the holder beyond the ability to support themselves for the duration of their stay and the intention to depart prior to or upon expiry of the tourist visa.

Visa Eligibility

In South Africa, visas for tourists are actually available in two categories.

The standard short-term visit visa is granted for a period of three months, however this can be extended on one occasion by a further three months depending on the purpose of the extension and provided that an applicant applying for a South Africa visitor visa extension possesses a valid return air ticket.

Candidates wishing to apply for a South African visit visa will need to provide the following:

- A valid passport with a minimum of six months remaining.
- Passport sized photographs.
- Evidence that they can support themselves financially throughout the time in the country.
- In addition, applicants must be considered to be of sound mind and have no criminal record.

The second South African visitor permit is known as the "extended visitor permit" and is designed primarily for those who wish to conduct research, study in South Africa, or pursue voluntary or charity work in the country.

This South African visa is valid for a period of up to three years and requires candidates to provide a range of supporting documents including divorce papers if applicable, a clean bill of health having undergone a medical examination and evidence of enough money to support their stay in South Africa.

In addition, like a standard visit visa for South Africa, applicants must not have a criminal record. It is important to note that this South African visa neither constitutes nor encompasses a work permit application and that those wishing to work will need to apply for a work permit separately.

Visit Visa Exemptions

Immigrating to South Africa for a limited time is permitted for nationals of some countries. Candidates migrating to South Africa from the following countries may reside in South Africa without the need to apply for a visa for a period not exceeding 90 days.

This list is not exhaustive as foreign nationals of several other nations are permitted to enter the country without making a visa application for a reduced period of thirty days.

In addition, nationals of the United Kingdom and many, though not all of her territories are exempt from the need to apply.

Transit visas

Those entering the country en route to another final destination may apply for a South African transit visa, which grants its holder entry to the international transit zone of the airport, but not to the national territory.

Visas of this kind may be valid for up to 72 hours and will require candidates to be in possession of return or onward tickets.


In South Africa, immigration through this particular visa class is specifically intended as a temporary solution for migration to South Africa.

Applicants will be expected to return home at the end of their stay and as a result, Spouse immigration and dependent immigration are not expressly provided for. All candidates applying for South African visitor permits must qualify in their own right.


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Learn more about these routes to British Nationality: is a specialist UK Nationality and British Citizenship site offering an online search and assessment. Claims to hold a British Passport can be complex and the site offers a quick, simple search to give you the answers. While many people qualify for the UK Ancestry Visa based on holding a Commonwealth passport with a UK born grandmother or grandfather, we have found that if you have a grandparent born in the UK, or if your mother is British or your father is British, then there are several scenarios where you can claim British Nationality and the right to hold a British Passport. This stems from Britain’s collection of British Colonies, British Protectorates and British Protected States in the middle of last century and the Nationality rules concerning what are now the countries of the Commonwealth. is a subsidiary of Sable International.

Sable International offers a range of services relating to UK and Australian immigration. For over 20 years, we have been helping people with their UK and Australian visa applications. We assist with applications for Ancestry visas, spouse visas, work visas, Tier 1 visas, UK working holiday visas, UK dependant visas, Tier 4 visas, UK Visitor visas, sponsorship visas or UK permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain. We also specialise in UK visa extensions. If you’ve overstayed your visa, our Overstayer Status Trace service can assist to regularise your visa status.