Passport and visa regulations
|Return ticket required
|Other EU countries
Entry is only possible with a machine-readable passport. The passport must be valid for at least 30 days after the stay and contain at least two blank pages.
Generally required, except for nationals of the following countries listed in the table above for holiday, visit or business travel (not study trips): (a) Germany, Austria and most EU countries: for visa-free stays of up to 90 days (Exceptions: Poland, Hungary and Cyprus: for visa-free stays of up to 30 days), ( Exceptions: Citizens of Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia require a visa); (b) Switzerland; (c) Turkey: for visa-free stays of up to 30 days. Attention: Holders of German, Austrian or Swiss travel documents for refugees/stateless persons need a visa for South Africa.
- Thembaprograms: Offers ultimate guide to duty-free shopping in South Africa. Also includes import and export regulations, as well as embassy and telecommunication information about this country.
Germany, Austria Germans, Austrians and Turks do not need a visa for tourist and business stays of up to 90 or 30 days. In all other cases, the following fees apply: Visitor and transit visa: €33. Some nationalities get the visa for free. The responsible embassy provides further information. Telex/fax fees may be charged for study and work permits. Switzerland Swiss and Turks do not need a visa for tourist and business stays. From 90 or 30 days, the current fees, which are communicated with the application, apply for the individual purposes of the stay. Some nationalities get the visa for free. The responsible embassy provides further information. Telex/fax fees may be charged for study and work permits. Visa fees change frequently, so it is advisable to inquire at the responsible consular representation before applying (see contact addresses).
Visa types and costs
Visitor visa (also for business trips), study and work visa (as a long-term visa) and transit visa. With a visitor’s visa you are not allowed to take up paid or unpaid work or study in South Africa.
Travelers who require a visa and who fly on the same day with the next connection, have valid documents for the onward journey and do not leave the transit area do not need a transit visa (only possible in Johannesburg). The machine-readable passport must also contain at least two free pages. Attention: Travelers requiring a visa who want to travel to Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe or Eswatini via South Africa require a transit visa (also via Johannesburg) that has been obtained in advance. Only in person at the consulates or at the consular department of the embassy (see contact addresses). Study and work visas must be applied for in your home country before you travel to South Africa. An appointment can be made with the responsible diplomatic mission no more than two to three weeks before the planned trip. contact addresses). Study and work visas must be applied for in your home country before you travel to South Africa. An appointment can be made with the responsible diplomatic mission no more than two to three weeks before the planned trip. contact addresses). Study and work visas must be applied for in your home country before you travel to South Africa. An appointment can be made with the responsible diplomatic mission no more than two to three weeks before the planned trip.
Tourist and Business Visa: (a) 1 Application Form. (b) 2 passport photos. (c) Machine-readable passport that is valid for at least 30 days beyond the intended date of departure and contains at least two blank pages. (d) Possibly valid, long-term or unlimited residence permit for Germany, Austria or Switzerland. (e) Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of the stay. (f) Return or Onward Ticket. (g) Fee (depending on the consulate, in cash, by bank transfer or crossed check; Berlin: bank transfer no later than 5 working days before submitting the application). (h) If applicable, yellow fever vaccination certificate after staying in infected areas and after transit with a stay of more than 12 hours in a yellow fever endemic area. (i) Proof of foreign travel health insurance (in English). (j) Statement or documents justifying the purpose and duration of the trip. (k) If applicable, a company letter from your own company and a letter of invitation from a South African company (business trips) or proof of enrollment at a university. (l) Proof of accommodation (e.g. hotel booking). Transit visa: (a) -(j) and (l) Visa for destination country. A stamped, registered return envelope (DIN A5) must be enclosed with the application. (a) -(j) and (l) Visa for destination country. A stamped, registered return envelope (DIN A5) must be enclosed with the application.
Inquiries before departure to the consular representations (see contact addresses).
Visitor visa: 5-10 working days; Study and work permits: pure processing time usually 15 working days. However, it is recommended to plan longer processing times for approvals.
Proof of sufficient funds
Proof (bank statements from the last three months) of sufficient funds, proof of the purpose of the trip and return or onward travel tickets may be required.
Documents required upon entry
Note: Citizens of all countries, visa-required or not, are usually granted a visit permit (Port of Entry Visa) at the border, provided that they can present the following documents: Machine-readable passport, visa if necessary, documents that state the purpose and duration of the visit Confirmation of stay, valid return or onward travel ticket, sufficient funds (bank statements from the last three months certified by bank), address of stay in South Africa and yellow fever vaccination certificate, if applicable. A visa is not a guarantee of an entry permit. Special regulations apply to persons with a criminal record. Details from the consular representations (see contact addresses). Required vaccinations: Yellow fever vaccination certificate, if the traveler enters South Africa from a yellow fever area designated by the WHO or has stayed longer than 12 hours in transit at the airport in a yellow fever area designated by the WHO. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is not required for direct transit through a yellow fever area.
Extension of stay
Travelers wishing to extend their visa-free stay must apply to the Department of Home Affairs for a fee-based extension at least two months before the expiration date stamped on their passport. This requires, among other things, a return or onward travel ticket, proof of health insurance and proof of sufficient funds.
Entry with children
German: Machine-readable children’s passport or your own machine-readable passport. Attention: Children’s passports with an extension or update label cannot be used to enter South Africa. Austrians: Own machine-readable passport. Swiss: Own machine-readable passport. Turks: Own machine-readable passport. Note: All travel documents for minors should have at least two blank pages for visas upon departure. The same visa regulations apply to the children as to their parents. Attention: Foreign minors who are exempt from a visa and who are accompanied by one or two parents/guardians or by a third person, are no longer required to present birth certificates and travel permits, even if parents and children do not share the same last name. Nevertheless, the Federal Foreign Office recommends that you continue to carry both documents with you. Entirely unaccompanied persons under the age of 18 must present an unabridged or complete original birth certificate showing both parents upon entry and exit. If the birth certificate is not in English, you should also have a certified translation. An international birth certificate, which is presented in the original, is recommended. Minors who are traveling entirely unaccompanied also need a declaration of consent no older than six months, a copy of their passport and contact details of their parents/guardians or a certificate stating that that the declaration of consent is not required (court order on sole custody or death certificate). In addition to the certificate/declaration of consent, minors traveling entirely alone require a letter of invitation, contact details, a copy of the passport and, if applicable, the visa or residence permit of the person to whom the minor is traveling in South Africa. Since June 27, 2012, children need their own travel document (machine-readable passport / children’s passport) for trips abroad (also within the EU). Entries of children in the parental passport are no longer possible.
Entry with pets
All animals must obtain the appropriate import or transit permit from the Department of Agriculture prior to departure, which is valid on the date of entry. A health certificate is also required for each pet, confirming that the animal comes from a place within a 25 km radius of which there has been no case of rabies in the last 6 months and that the dog/cat is a maximum of 3 years (for cats 1 year) and has been vaccinated against rabies at least 2 months before entry. Pets must have an implanted microchip.