South Africa is such a magnificent country. With its diverse cultures and natural wonders, it's no surprise that many people want to go here. Some even want to relocate to this country too! But for them to do that, they need to get a visa first. Just like any other country, South Africa requires visas for those traveling to its territory. There's a lot you need to do to get one, such as seeing if you're eligible for the visa and a handful of important documents to boot. The process may be challenging, but it's a small price to pay to get to experience the magic of South Africa!
What are The Requirements for Visiting South Africa?
Despite how inclusive South Africa has become over the years, its borders are still very much protected. If you want to travel to South Africa, you will need a few requirements first. This, of course, includes your valid passport, your South African visa, as well as sufficient funds for your expenses, a return ticket, and yellow fever certificates in case your travels will lead you to the “Yellow Fever Belt” of Africa. For your passport, make sure that one page is left blank for endorsements. And as for how long you'll stay here, it has to be within the timeframe of the validity of your visa.
Who Can Be Granted A South African Visitor Visa?
Do take note that not everybody is eligible for a South African visa. Only a handful of people are to be granted this document. They include tourists, business travelers, researchers, volunteers for charitable foundations, diplomats, athletes participating in sports events, and researchers. Those who are planning to study or patients who will get treated in South Africa are also eligible but they can only stay for a maximum of three months. And in terms of family members, only spouses and children of South African citizens/residents or on a work/student visa are eligible. Fiancés, on the other hand, can only be granted a visa provided that they intend to marry within 90 days (approx. three months).
Which Countries are Visa Exempt for South Africa?
On the bright side, if you belong to a set of countries that can travel to South Africa visa-free, then you don't even need to apply for this document. According to the country's Department of Home Affairs
, citizens from these countries don't need a visa to get into South Africa. Most notably, they include the US, the UK, the UAE, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Switzerland, and more. Other African countries are also included on this list, such as Cape Verde, Gabon, Rwanda, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, among many others. Do note that this list is subject to change.
What Documents Do You Need?
As with any other process, applying for a visa to South Africa required many documents. They include your valid passport, a filled-up Form BI-84 (application form), a yellow-fever vaccination certificate (if required), documents relating to your visit, two colored passport photos, and a return ticket. Minor applicants have to also provide proof of guardianship/custody and/or document content from their legal guardians. And lastly, you also have to provide proof of sufficient funds for the duration of your stay in South Africa. This can be in the form of bank statements, available cash, signed letters from your hosts in the country, or even proof of employment that states your monthly/yearly salary.
How Much Does It Cost to Apply for a South African Visa?
Don't forget that applying for a South African visa comes with a fee. And you're required to pay it during the application process. In terms of how much the fee costs, it varies from country to country and depends on the kind of visa you're applying for. In the US, for example, getting a medical visa costs $36.00 while a business visa (which will allow you to stay in the country for more than 90 days) costs $127.00. Based on this, it's safe to say that applying for a visa costs a pretty penny though not as expensive as other visas like the Schengen Visa
There are a few important facts you need to know about getting a visa to South Africa. They'll help you when it's time to apply for one! And who knows? Such knowledge just might be the key to you getting it and eventually enjoying your time in this country!