Republic of South Africa
Visa and Work Permit Information
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Republic of South Africa

Information on Visa's for the Republic of South Africa
(Tourist, Business and Work Visa's)

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Consular hours for South African Consulates in the United States are from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, Monday through Friday excluding public holidays.

  • Where and How to Obtain Visa
  • Visitors Visa Requirements
  • Business Visa Requirements
  • Visa for Minors
  • Study Permit Requirements
  • Temporary Employment Requirements
  • Passport Requirements
  • Mailing Back of Passport
  • Downloadable Application Forms
  • Link (Information on Work Permit)


    Respective applicants should submit completed applications to the nearest South African diplomatic or consular representative at least thirty (30) days prior to their proposed date of departure. Applicants in countries where South Africa is not represented may send their applications directly to the Director General: Home Affairs, Private Bag X114, Pretoria, 0001, Republic of South Africa. Applications may also be transmitted through the airline, shipping company or travel agency arranging the applicant's visit to the Republic. If the request for a visa is approved the visa will be stamped in the passport and the passport will be returned.

    Nationals of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Ballwick of Guernsey, Belgium, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, N. Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, malta, Isle of Mann, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain, St Helena, Sweden, Swaziland, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay and Venezuela DO NOT require visas to visit South Africa for commercial business purposes or for tourism up to 90 days of stay, but MUST be in possession of return or onward airline tickets. STUDY AND EMPLOYMENT ARE PROHIBITED.

    In determining whether you require a visa or not, we strongly urge you to contact your nearest Consulate.

    Persons residing in the undermentioned states in the USA should submit their visa applications to the South African Consulate-General at the addresses set out below:

    Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Island, South Carolina:

    The South African Consulate-General
    333 E 38th St, 9th Floor
    New York , NY 10016

    Tel#: (212) 213-4880
    Fax#: (212)213-0102

    Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Arkansas:

    The South African Consulate-General
    200 S Michigan Ave, 6th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60604

    Tel#: (312) 939-7020
    Fax#: (312) 939-2588

    Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas:

    The South African Embassy
    3051 Massachusetts Avenue NW
    Washington DC 20008

    Tel#: (202) 232-4400
    Fax#: (202) 244-9417

    Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, New Mexico:

    The South African Consulate-General
    6300 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 600
    Los Angeles, CA 90048

    Tel#: (323) 651-0902
    Fax#: (323) 651-5969

  • Other South African Representation Abroad

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    Nationals of the USA and Canada who hold valid passports do not require visas to enter South Africa for a maximum of ninety (90) days if the purpose of such a visit is for a bona fide vacation, business or conference attendance. Film production people and photographic models who intend to shoot films and/or commercials in South Africa require visas to enter.

    For those applying for a visa, passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of departure from South Africa and must contain at least 2 blank pages for a visa stamp (amendment and endorsement pages cannot be used for visas.

    Applications from non-residents of the U.S.A will be forwarded to the South African Embassy/Consulate where they reside and may take as long as 6 - 8 weeks to process. In some cases a Refundable Repatriation Deposit of $2,000.00 will be required.

    The following must be submitted for a tourist or transit visa:

  • Visa application form
  • Valid national passport (U.S. Re-entry permits & Refugee Documents are not recognised)
  • Copy of alien registration card or valid U.S. visa for non US citizen
  • Proof of return/onward ticket (eg itinerary from travel agent/airline)
  • Evidence of financial support (eg Bank Statement)
  • Letter of invitation from friend or family, No e-mails
  • For extended stays, proof of medical insurance coverage
  • FEES: $52.00 per person (Cashiers cheque or money order)

    The following must be submitted for a business visa:
    (Including entertainment industry and conferences)

  • Visa application form
  • Valid national passport (U.S. Re-entry permits & Refugee Documents are not     recognised)
  • Non U.S. citizen - copy of alien registration card or valid U.S. visa
  • Proof of return/onward ticket (eg itinerary from tavel agent/airline)
  • Employer's letter (on company letterhead) guaranteeing financial responsibility     for the duration of the applicant's visit to South Africa.
        (Letter must state the purpose of visit, names and addresses
        of business contacts to be visited.)
  • Letter (on company letterhead) of invitation from organisation/s in South
        Africa for those filming, attending meetings and/or conferences. No e-mails
  • PROCESSING FEE: $52.00 per person (Cashiers cheque or money order)

    Application form must be duly completed. Questions 31 and 32 require a physical address and telephone number (No P.O. box address).

    Processing time is approximately a week, depending on the application.

    Note: For the return of your passport, please check on the mailing back of passport.

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    Applications by children under the age of 21 must be accompanied by a notarised letter of consent, signed by both parents (even though one parent may have legal custody of the child, the consent of both parents is nevertheless required).

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    Applicants should submit the following documentation to the nearest South African diplomatic or consular representative at least one month before their intended date of departure. Please note that all requirements are subject to change without notice:

  • Application for study permit BI-159 A & F
  • Fee $186.00 for University Students
        $135.00 for Primary or High School
        All Fees are non-refundable. No Personal Cheques.
        All money orders or cashiers cheques must be made payable to the South
        African Consulate-General
  • 2 photographs
  • Details of training and experience, including copies of certificates or diplomas
  • Medical certificate if duration of stay is more than one year
  • Proof of medical insurance coverage
  • An official letter of provisional acceptance from the educational institution
        concerned, indicating the costs involved and confirming that the student
        has complied with academic/admission requirements
  • Proof that the applicant has paid tuition fees, and has adequate means of
        financial support (eg Bank Statement) and details of accommodation while
        in South Africa
  • A motivation explaining the reasons why study at a South African
        Educational Institution is desired, and the proposed course of study
        cannot be undertaken in the applicant's own country
  • A notarised statement from the applicant that he/she will not seek or take
        up employment, will not apply for an adjustment of his/her stay and will
        depart from South Africa on completion of his/her studies.
  • Valid passport (must be valid for a minimum of one year and contain two
        blank pages, not including amendment pages) Passport must be submitted
        with your application
  • If student is under 21 years of age, a notarised letter of consent, signed by
        both parents
  • $2000.00 refundable deposit (Cashiers Cheque) made payable to the
        South African Consulate-General. (Unless you are part of a recognised
        Exchange Program or if your course is less than one year)
  • For students staying one year or less, return tickets must be provided

    Exchange Students - Letter of acceptance from the relevant educational institution, Confirmation from the Department of Education in South Africa that the exchange program is recognized, a letter of endorsement from the sponsor in the United States, a letter of confirmation from the guardian in South Africa and return or onward air ticket.

    Processing time is approximately a week, depending on the application.

    Note: For the return of your passport, please check on the mailing back of passport.

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    Applicants should submit the following documentation to their nearest South African diplomatic or consular representative at least four months before the intended date of departure:

  • Application for temporary employment (Form BI-159A & BI-159 A & C)
  • Application for work seeker's permit (Form BI-159A & BI-159 A & B)
  • Application for dependants (Form BI-84E) including birth certificate and marriage certificate when applicable
  • Two recent photographs (2" x 2", full face)
  • Qualifications, including copies of all certificates & diplomas,     testimonials/service certificates from previous employers (the position offered in  S.A. must be commensurate with your qualifications, experience and skills), and curriculum vitae
  • Written offer of employment from South African company (on company     letterhead, no e-mails) and a copy of the official employment contract, which must be time bound and of a temporary nature, and the maximum duration for which the temporary employment is required must be clearly defined by the South African employer, together with proof that the position was advertised nationally for at least thirty days, submit copies of press clippings of advertisements and receipts to confirm (Applicants in the medical field must
        obtain registration with the South African Medical & Dental Council
        through their employer)
  • For Inter-Company transfers for key personnel only who are already in the     employment of the Company for a considerable period of time. Both the     and overseas South African branches confirm the secondment for a specific time. The mother company which seconded the applicant to a branch in South Africa explicitly confirms in writing that the seconded person will leave South Africa on completion of his/her assignment in South Africa. The latter document should bear both the signatures of the employer and the seconded person.
  • Medical certificates
  • F.B.I. background check (if applying from the USA), all applicants 18 years and older, in respect of all     countries where person(s) resided one (1) year or longer. (Not required for     Inter-Company transfers).
  • Original passports must be submitted with the application (Passport must be  valid for at least one year from date of application, with two blank pages, not     including amendment pages).
  • Notarised consent from both parents, for persons under 21 years of age
  • A Money Order or Cashiers Cheque made payable to the South African
        Consulate-General, fees are as follows:

            $186.00 per work permit applicant (money order or cashiers cheque)
            $50.00 per dependent (eg spouse & each child)
            $90.00 Work Seekers Permit
            All fees are non-refundable. No personal cheques.

    All applications for temporary employment are referred to the Director-General: Internal Affairs in Pretoria. Applicants are therefore advised not to make any travel arrangements until the outcome of their application is communicated to them (Permits are not issued at the port of entry). Applicants are not permitted to enter the country whilst their application is in process. Applicants arriving at the ports of entry without work permits will not be allowed to enter the RSA and both the applicant and the airline carrier will be liable for fines.

    It is suggested that applicants in this category should contact their prospective employers prior to, or simultaneously with the submission of their applications, so that the prospective employer concerned can submit a satisfactory undertaking and repatriation guarantee to: The Director-General: Department of Home Affairs, Private Bag X114, Pretoria 0001, Republic of South Africa. If you wish the application forwarded to South Africa via Federal Express, additional charge of $80.00 must be included, otherwise it is sent via diplomatic bag.

    An undertaking by the employer in South Africa to the effect that he assumes full responsibility for the employee's maintenance in South Africa and repatriation to his/her country of permanent residence upon the termination of his/her employment, should accompany the application. In the case of company transfer, a visa application and the requisite temporary forms must be submitted together with a letter from the employer in the United States and from the South African company containing the guarantees described above.

    Applications are sent to South Africa by diplomatic bag only once a week. It can also be sent by using Federal Express courier with an additional charge of $80.00.

    Requirements for work seeker's permit slightly differs from above. We suggest that you contact our office directly for further information.

    Processing time is approximately four (4) months, depending on the application.

    Note: For the return of your passport, please check on the mailing back of passport.

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    New passport application will take approximately two to four months (There is no expediting) since they are processed in South Africa. Renewals will take approximately two weeks to process, provided that you have a new identity number (eg 590201 5090 086), otherwise it will take about three months.

    All three forms (BI-73, BI-529E & BI-9E) must be completed and signed in black ink and must be returned whether an application is intended for an extension or for a new passport along with the following documents:

  • Present passport/passport on which you previously travelled
  • Two identical, recent photographs (taken within 3 months), full face
        (2" x 2", black & white or coloured). Not Machine Photographs.
        Photographs are not required for renewals/extensions
  • Applicant's Birth Certificate & Identity Document (originals or notarised
        copies only).
        South African Naturalization Certificate must be provided, if citizenship
        was obtained by Naturalization
        South African Birth Registration Certificate if born outside S.A. with S.A.
  • All Applications. Black Ink Only (Except children under 16 years old)
        - Left hand thumb print on bottom right hand corner of first page of
        application form
        - Complete set of fingerprints on attached form BI-9
        (front side of BI-9 must be completed) or standard police fingerprint chart.
  • Child's/children's Birth Certificate(s) (original or notarised copy) only when
        applying for child's passport
  • All applicant's Marriage Certificate(s) (not church copy) and divorce.
        decrees (original or notarised copy)
  • For women who wish to either retain their maiden name, revert back to their
        maiden name or use a double barrel name, eg. Bloggs-Smith,
        a notarised statement with their reason why.
  • Notarised copy of Alien Registration Card (Green Card), U.S. Visa or I94.
  • Letter from the Department of Home Affairs giving Permission to Travel on a
        Foreign Passport, if you have citizenship/passport of another country.
  • A Money Order or Cashiers Cheque made payable to the South African
        Consulate-General (No Personal Cheques) in the amount of $24.00 to
        cover a new ten year passport fee. Child passport (under 16 yrs.)
        $17.00 (For lost or damaged passports, the fees are double $48.00)

        For the renewal/extension of passports issued less than ten years ago
        (eg. issued in 1993 will be extended until 2003, issue date is on page 3)
        $10.00 to cover fax charges. No photographs. Endorsement new married
        name or reverting to maiden name, fee is $5.00.

        For a temporary passport $18.00 plus $10.00 fax charges. Please include
        flight itinerary or reason why you are applying for a temporary passport,
        plus one extra photograph and a specimen signature.

    Kindly contact our office directly if you wish to apply for a lost or damaged passports.

    All documents produced must be those provided by the official government authority and must bear the official seal. Unofficial photocopies cannot be accepted. Fingerprints and certification of documents can be done at this office. If the original documents are provided, they will not be forwarded to South Africa but will be held at this office until completion of the application.

    One Money Order or Cashier's Cheque can be provided for all fees (personal cheques will not be accepted)

    Kindly contact our office directly if you wish to apply for a lost or damaged passport.

    Note: For the return of your passport, please check on the mailing back of passport.


    For the return of your passport, please include a money order (NO PERSONAL CHEQUES OR CREDIT CARDS) for the following:

         - Federal Express     $ 15.00

    One money order or cashier's cheque can be provided for all fees

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    The following application forms can be downloaded. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to print these documents:


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