Entry requirements

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 30 days from the date of exit from South Africa.

Your passport should have at least 2 blank pages when you present it at immigration to enter or leave South Africa.

Visas

If you’re visiting South Africa on holiday for up to 90 days, you don’t need a visa.

For more information on visas contact the South African High Commission or the South African Department of Home Affairs.

Travelling with children

New rules will apply from 1 June 2015. Parents travelling with children into or out of South Africa may be asked to show the child’s unabridged (full) birth certificate, and where only one parent is accompanying, parental or legal consent for the child to travel (eg an affidavit from the other parent, a court order or – if applicable – a death certificate). You should travel with these documents in case you’re asked to provide them. There are other requirements for children travelling unaccompanied or with adults who are not their parents. For more information, contact the South African High Commission or the South African Department of Home Affairs.

Residence permits

New rules apply from 26 May 2014. If you live in South Africa, you must have valid residence permit in your passport when entering and leaving the country. Receipts issued by the Department of Home Affairs for applications to renew a permit will not be accepted by the immigration authorities. Instead of fining individuals whose permits have expired, you may be blacklisted and prevented from applying for a visa to re-enter South Africa for a period from 12 months to 5 years. For more information, contact the South African High Commission or the South African Department of Home Affairs.

If you’re issued a Form 19 ‘declaration of undesirability’ at the port of entry/exit and you wish to appeal against the decision you should email overstayappeals@dha.gov.za and include a copy of your current passport, copy of your last valid visa, copy of the Form 19 and proof of application for a residence permit.

Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry into, transit and exit from South Africa but should have a minimum of 6 months validity.

Yellow fever

You must have a yellow fever certificate issued at least 10 days before arrival in South Africa if you have travelled from a  country with yellow fever, or if you have transited more than 12 hours through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. This includes when entry is solely to transit through a South African airport. If you don’t have a valid certificate, you’ll be denied entry to South Africa.

In January 2015, the South African authorities removed the requirement for proof of yellow fever vaccination for travellers arriving from Zambia, Tanzania, Eritrea, Somalia and Sao Tome & Principe.