Procuring information regarding various aspects of visa is one of the major exercises that a citizen should go through before booking flights to South Africa. Factors such visa validity and entry requirements must be paid heed to.
South Africa is one of the world’s leading holiday destinations with thousands of travellers visiting the country every year to revel in an atmosphere that is exceptionally wonderful! The nation is regarded by many as the most diversified region of the world, making flights to South Africa even more popular among tourists. People who are able to grab cheap airfares on flights to South Africa can get themselves acquainted with several scintillating South African cities like Johannesburg,Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban. However before getting their cheap flights to South Africa, holiday makers need to get themselves sufficiently acquainted with country’s visa policies.
Information on Visa Requirements for South Africa
- Citizens of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, British Islands Bailiwick of Guernsey and Jersey, Isle of Man and Virgin Islands and Republic of Ireland do not need a visa for an intended stay of 90 days or less and when in transit.
- Travellers can get their visa extended from the Department of Home Affairs upon their arrival in the country. Those travellers who have overstayed in South Africa without any approval from the relevant authority will be required to pay a fine. These individuals will not be allowed to re-enter South Africa until the fine has been paid in full. In serious cases, offenders may be even arrested and detained before they are made to appear in a court. In such kind of cases, overstayers may have to pay a very substantial amount in fine and then they will be deported at their own expense.
Documents Necessary at the Port of Entry
The immigration officer at the place/port of entry can request for the following documents/requirements before allowing British travellers to enter the country:
- The immigration officer might ask for the vaccination certificate before allowing travellers to enter South Africa.
- British citizens might also be asked to furnish proofs of possessing sufficient funds to cover the living expenses incurred during their holidays in South Africa. These proofs can be in the form of recent bank statements (3 months), salary advises (3 months), and cash available or travellers’ cheques.
- It is also essential for the applicants who are travelling by air to be in possession of a return or onward ticket.
- The immigration officer at the entry point can ask the British applicants for statements and/or documents that can confirm purpose as well as the duration of visit in South Africa.
- Individuals can also be asked to furnish documentation detailing the purpose of the visit as well as information on institutions or people (if any) involved in South Africa.
- British applicants might be asked to provide proofs of permanent employment or other commitments thereof. Applicants are advised to get all these documents in order before they board flights to South Africa.
Other Entry Requirements
- Travellers must furnish a yellow fever certificate issued at least 10 days prior to arrival in South Africa if they have travelled from a country where yellow fever is prevalent. Anyone who does not have a valid certificate will not be allowed to enter into South Africa.
- A traveller’s passport must be valid for no less than 30 days after the end of his intended visit in South Africa. The authorities in South Africa officially state that only a single blank page on the passport is required for entry in the country. However, there have been instances when visitors have been refused entry in the country and have been sent back as some official have insisted on at least two blank pages on the passport. Therefore, it is best for applicant to have two blank pages in the passport on arrival.
Other Significant Considerations
- The office that deals with foreign passport holders is located in London and is open on Monday to Friday from 09h00 – 11h00. Collections will be from 11h00 – 12h00. The office is closed on public holidays.
- If an application for an extension is made 30 days prior to the expiry of the original permit then the period may be extended by a District or Regional Office of the Department of Home Affairs for an additional three months. However, sanction of such application is completely at the discretion of the Regional/District representative of the Department of Home Affairs.
- Visitors who hold a UK passport and are seasonal visitors (more than six months) to South Africa can apply for the Retired Person’s Permit. This permit, if approved, is granted for up to four years.
- Once permitted to enter South Africa, UK passport holders are recommended to keep their eye on the expiry date that is given to them on the Temporary Residence Permit (on the green control sticker). Failure to act in accordance may lead to prosecution and/or a fine in terms of Section 49 and Section 50 of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002.
(Source: All information has been derived from the websites of Foreign and Commonwealth Office and South African High Commission in the UK which must be consulted for detailed information on the subject).
Disclaimer: The information in this article relating to visa/entry requirements is correct at the time of publishing. You must consult the relevant Embassy or Consulate for updated info on visa policies as requirements may change. You should check the up-to-date position in good time before booking/departure.