The South African eVisa – what you need to know

The South African eVisa – what you need to know

Often referred to as a world in one country, South Africa is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world. It has evolved into a major holiday destination for international travellers thanks to its natural beauty, exciting wildlife safaris, historic attractions, adrenalin pumping activities and diverse culture. The weather is great almost all year round and the exchange rate offers amazing value for money against major world currencies like the Euro, the US Dollar and the British pound.

Although the country’s tourism industry – like most others – has suffered a setback due to the Covid-19 lockdowns and the subsequent bans on international travel, the situation is expected to improve with 19.5 million visitors expected to visit South Africa in 2022.

In order to visit South Africa, a valid visa will be required for all international visitors unless they are citizens of countries exempt from South African visas. Currently, visas have to be applied for in person at a South African consulate or embassy, where biometric data has to be provided inter alia. However, the long-awaited South African Electronic Visa (eVisa) system is expected to be launched in March 2022. It will be rolled out to 15 countries initially with more eligible countries being announced in the following months. Once the visa is launched, travellers will be able to apply for it easily on the official website or on Byevisa's page.

The eVisa is expected to boost tourism and economic activity as it will be easier and quicker to apply for and the entire process can be completed online within a few minutes as long as the applicant has all the necessary documents at hand. It will not be necessary to visit a South African embassy for a traditional paper visa either as the approved eVisa will be sent by email.

Once the traveller lands in South Africa, their movement through the country’s international airports will be more efficient as there will be no need to queue for a visa on arrival at the airport either. Facilities with smart technology are currently being installed at major South African airports to speed up the checking of electronic documents.

South African eVisa

OR Tambo International Airport

Which countries will be eligible for the South African e-visa?

The following countries will be initially eligible for the South Africa eVisa :

Uganda, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria and Philippines.

What are the requirements to apply for a South African eVisa ?

The following items are required to apply for a South African eVisa:

  • A valid passport with at least 30 days remaining after your intended date of departure from the country. However, it is safer to ensure that your passport expires at least six months after the date you plan to leave South Africa.
  • Two consecutive blank pages in your passport for entry stamps
  • Return air ticket confirmation
  • Proof of sufficient funds to pay for your expenses during your stay
  • If traveling with minors under the age of 18, the child’s birth certificate showing details of both parents will be required. If the child is traveling with only one of the parents, a parental consent affidavit signed by the other parent will be necessary.
  • Travelers from countries where yellow fever is prevalent need to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
  • The validity period of the visa and duration of stay normally depend on the applicant’s nationality, however they are usually issued for 30 days or 90 days.

Apart from visas, travellers to South Africa need to provide a valid negative PCR test certificate, not older than 72 hours before the arrival date. It is also advisable to check if there are any additional requirements before travelling as rules and regulations keep changing due to the pandemic.



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