South Africa visa processing time

What is the South Africa visa processing time? This is a question you should ask yourself before you apply for a visa to South Africa. When you submit your visa at the South African embassy, you should expect to wait for 8-12 weeks to get the visa. In some cases, you may not wait this long, but visa processes can be very unpredictable.

On the one hand, as the South African ministry of foreign affairs is trying to harmonize all applications from foreign missions into a single pipeline, the system has been riddled with faults; secondly, the number of applications for South African visas has increased in recent times, so South African embassies are dealing with significant backlogs of visas. Furthermore, more applicants apply for a visa during selected months of the year, so how soon you get your visa will depend on the period.

Let us also not fail to mention that the type of visa you apply for also matters. Some visas require more vetting processes than others, so they take more time.

So it is always best to apply for a South African visa on time to avoid disappointments and delays.

Types of South African Visas

Visit Visa: A visit visa is issued to family and friends of South Africans or foreigners who are permanent residents in South Africa. This visa allows them to visit and spend time with their loved ones in South Africa.

Tourism Visa: South Africa has one of the most robust tourism industries on the continent, which attracts millions of people to the country. This visa is for foreign tourists who wish to visit South Africa to enjoy the wildlife and green landscapes on display. Tourist visas are short-term visas.

Business Visa: This is a non-work visa for those coming to South Africa on business. You can use the visa to attend business meetings, events and conferences in South Africa.

Spouse/Children Permit: The spouse or child of a foreigner may enter the country on a permit to work or Study. But they must provide evidence to prove their relationship.

Fiance/Fiancee Visa: This is a special visa issued to a visitor who is about to marry a South African resident in the next 90 days.

Medical Visa: A Medical visa is for those seeking treatment in South Africa. It is valid for 3 months.

Work Visa: Foreigners employed by a South African concern must obtain a work visa before working in South Africa. Work visas are valid for one year and above.

South Africa Visa Requirements

In addition to the completed and signed application form, you need the following to apply for a visa to South Africa.

Valid Passport: A valid passport with a minimum of 30 days validity counting from the departure date is required. The passport should also have 2 unused pages for entry and departure stamps.

Processing Fee: The processing fee for the visa must be paid to the designated bank account of the South African embassy or consulate, and the receipt must be attached to the set of documents.

Yellow Fever Vaccination: Yellow fever vaccination is required for certain countries with a certificate to serve as evidence.

Photograph: Two recent coloured passport-sized photographs

Return Ticket: Reserved return travel ticket to their home countries.

Proof of Financial Means: The applicant must prove that they are financially capable of meeting their needs by providing a signed bank statement covering three months with enough balance to cover their expenses.

The embassy will also request your contact address for correspondence, like your phone number or email address. If your application is accepted, you will be informed and invited to the embassy to pick up your visa and passport.

How To Apply For A South African Visa Online

Most applicants must visit the South African embassy in their country to apply for a visa, but citizens of some selected countries may apply for short-stay visas online. Here are the steps to take.

  • Visit VisaHQ

  • Select South Africa as your destination

  • Select your country of origin

  • Choose the visa you want

  • Fill out the application form

  • Upload all relevant documents

  • Pay the processing fee

  • Submit for approval

These are the steps required to apply for a visa to South Africa online. But remember that the online process is only for tourism, business, and short visits. For long-term visas, you need to visit the embassy. Also, note that online application is only for citizens of selected countries and not for everyone. When filling out your application form, ensure that you only provide valid information and documents; otherwise, your visa application will be rejected.

The South African visa processing time is between 8-12 weeks visa, depending on several factors, so endeavour to apply on time to enter South Africa.

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    This article was published by VisaHQ, a world leader in visa processing. Since 2003, VisaHQ has 20 offices in 6 countries and has helped countless tourist, business travellers, diplomats, workers, and students obtain their visa. With a 4.41 star rating on, VisaHQ is committed to innovation, service, security, and simplicity in the visa application process.