PASSPORT HOLDERS WHO ARE EXEMPT FROM VISAS FOR SOUTH AFRICA
SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE
- The holder of a national South African passport, travel document or document for travel purposes does not require a port of entry visa to enter the country.
- A staff member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) who travel on a SADC laissez-passer does not require a port of entry visa for bona fide official business visits up to 90 days and when in transit.
- Holders of United Nations Laissez-passers; volunteers attached to the United Nations; persons involved in any United Nations agency and persons performing services on behalf of the United Nations, including their spouses, dependent relatives and other members of their households, do not require port of entry visas when visiting the Republic for periods not exceeding 90 days, including official visits, transit or when applying for accreditation for placement at a UN mission in the Republic: Provided they are in possession of the relevant letters or identification documents to identify themselves at ports of entry as personnel of a United Nations agency.
- Members of foreign military forces attending any military related matters with the South African National Defence Force do not require port of entry visas or study visas, irrespective of their duration of stay, provided that they are in possession of valid passports and letters of invitation by the South African National Defence Force, as well as letters of consent from the military force of which they are members.
- Foreign commercial heavy-duty vehicle drivers from Lesotho, Botswana, Kingdom of Eswatini, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi do not require port of entry visas when entering the Republic, provided their visits do not exceed the period for which their respective countries enjoy visa free entry and on condition that they can produce a letter confirming their employment with a transport company abroad. Visitor’s visas in terms of section 11(1)(a) of the Immigration Act, with authorisation to conduct work in terms of section 11(2) of the said Act, may be issued for the period of the visa exemption status of the respective country, which period may not exceed 90 days at a time.
- General Work Visas are not required by foreign commercial heavy duty vehicle drivers who are employed by South African companies and originate from countries which enjoy visa free movement into South Africa, on condition that they can produce a letter confirming their employment on entry. In accordance with a High Court ruling by the North Gauteng High Court on 31 March 2011, foreign commercial heavy duty vehicle drivers may be issued with visitor’s visas in terms of section 11(1)(a) of the Immigration Act, with authorisation to conduct work in terms of section 11(2) of the said Act for the period of their countries’ visa exemption status, which period may not exceed 90 days at a time.
- With effect from 18 December 2015 travellers, with the exception of deportees, who transit through O R Tambo International Airport; Cape Town International Airport; King Shaka International Airport and Lanseria International Airport do not require transit visas as contemplated in section 10B(4)(a) of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No 13 of 2002). However, transiting passengers will be subjected to biometric capturing. Deportees transiting at any port of entry are required to be in possession of a transit visa at all times and must be escorted.
- The attached Schedule outlines national passport holders from countries who are exempt from port of entry visa requirements, the category of passport holders who are exempt from port of entry visa requirements and the period for which such visa exemption applies. Where a national passport holder of a specific country is required to be in possession of a port of entry visa to proceed to South Africa, the list also outlines whether or not an administrative processing fee is payable or not. Please note that countries marked with an asterisk are only subject to visa fees if the intended visit exceeds thirty (30) days:
- All travellers to South Africa are advised that if you are the holder of a national passport of a country whose passport holders are exempt from visa requirements, but your individual visa exemption has been officially withdrawn, a port of entry visa application must be submitted through the South African Embassy/ High Commission/ Consulate General in your country of origin or of long-term residence.
SOURCE: Home Affairs, Republic of South Africa.