Situated on the southernmost tip of the African continent, South Africa is a country popular for its breathtaking sun-soaked beaches, pristine wildlife preserves, adventure sports, and everything in between. The country is a dream destination for backpackers and globetrotters who are enchanted with the idea of exploring untouched, raw habitats.

Every year, thousands of Indian citizens visit South Africa for a great many reasons varying from tourism to higher education to medical purposes. For every occasion, a different type of visa is applicable. A visitor’s visa, for example, will not apply to a foreign national looking for a job in South Africa, or those who wish to marry a permanent resident of South Africa. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they apply for the right kind of visa that is suitable for their purpose, and to start the application process well in advance to facilitate a hassle-free travel to South Africa.

 

An overview of the application process

A couple of things you should keep in mind before you begin the application process:

  1. The applicant(s) must download the South Africa visa application form from the link download form .
  2. Be very clear in your head about the purpose of your visit as you may be denied entry at the South African port of entry or checkpoint if the purpose of visit is not clearly stated.
  3. Make sure that your form is complete, all the details have been filled in the correct format, and all the necessary supporting documents have been attached.
  4. Submit the complete visa application form at any one of the following visa application centres – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa, Gurgaon, or Jaipur.
  5. All documents submitted from India, for example, NOC from an Indian company, need to be original for all categories.
  6. The applicant(s) must ensure that pay slips and bank statements are stamped and signed by the concerned authority for all categories.
  7. Documents issued in regional languages are not acceptable. They must be officially translated to English.
  8. Kindly note that Indian citizens who visit South Africa for short periods of stay, for example, for tourism purposes or to visit relatives and friends for a period of 90 days or less, are not required to pay a visa fee.
  9. Indian citizens who apply for a visitor’s visa must pay a logistic fee, which will depend upon the city in which the application centre is located.
  10. The visa will allow you to travel to a South African port of entry or a checkpoint, where an authorized immigration officer will evaluate your documents.
  11. The immigration officer has the final say in whether you are allowed to enter South Africa or not, and how long you can stay for that particular visit.
  12. An individual is permitted to apply for a visa personally as well as through a travel agency.
  13. If an applicant(s) wishes to receive notifications regarding their visa application, additional charges need to paid at the visa application centre.

 

Types of visa issued by the South African government

  1. Short Term Visa/ Visitor’s Visa for South Africa

Visitor’s visa is granted to Indian citizens for a period of up to 90 days. It is applicable to the following categories:

  1. Tourism and sight-seeing
  2. Visiting relatives or friends
  • Casual business visits
  1. To join a spouse who is in South Africa on a work or study permit
  2. To join parents who are in South Africa on work or study permits
  3. To join fiancé/ fiancée with the intention of getting married within 90 days
  • Study purposes, for stay up to 3months
  • Research
  1. Conferences
  2. To work in the production of a movie or   show
  3. For medical purposes
  • Sport events
  1. Long Term Visa for South Africa

A long term visa is applicable to the following categories:

  1. Study Visa- Those who wish to pursue an education in South Africa can apply for a study visa by completing Form BI-1738. Kindly note that visa issued for higher education studies and training institutions is granted for the duration of the course, which must not exceed a period of four years; for studies at primary school shall be valid for the duration of the studies, not exceeding eight years; for studies at secondary school shall be valid for the duration of the studies, not exceeding five years.
  2.       Medical Treatment Visa- It is valid for a one-time entry and maximum duration of six months.
  • Relative Visa- It is granted for a minimum period of 24 months and the stay may be extended. It is issued free of charge to a spouse and/or a dependent child of a South African citizen or permanent resident. Other immediate family members of a South African citizen or permanent resident may be issued a relative’s permit upon furnishing the supporting documents and paying the stipulated fee.
  1. Exchange Visa- Applicant(s) who wish to participate in a programme organised by a learning institution in South Africa in collaboration with a learning institution of a foreign state must apply for an exchange visa.
  2.     Business Visa- It is mandatory for foreigner nationals who are planning to establish a business or invest in an existing business in South Africa to apply for a business visa.
  3. General Work Visa- This type of visa is issued to non-resident citizens for the duration of the contract of employment, which must not exceed a period of 5 years.
  • Intra Company Transfer Work Visa- If a multi-national company decides to transfer an existing employee, who holds a significant position in the company, from an Indian branch to a branch in South Africa, the South Africa visa rules dictate that the employee must apply for an intra company transfer work visa.

Documents  required to apply for a South Africa visa

For Tourists

  1. A passport with at least 2 blank pages and validity of minimum 30 days after the scheduled date of departure from South Africa
  2. Fully completed visa application form DHA-84, written in black ink and block letters, and the signatures on the form should match the applicant’s signature on the passport
  3. Confirmed return flight ticket
  4. Proof of funds in the form of bank statement of past 3 months, stamped and signed by the concerned bank, with a minimum balance of INR 20,000 per applicant
  5. Proof of accommodation in the form of hotel booking receipt, clearly stating details of the applicant(s) such as full name, passport number and duration of stay, as well as the location and contact details of the hotel
  6. Duly signed letter from South Africa with name and contact details of the South Africa tour guide handling company, partnering with travel agency in south Africa
  7. Copy of itinerary signed by South Africa tour guide handling company
  8. NOC for leave from employer/ school/ university clearly stating the name, passport number of applicant(s) and duration of visit as well as the location and contact details of the concerned authority
  9. Vaccination certificate against yellow fever, if applicant(s) will visit a yellow fever belt
  10. Two recent passport size photographs in colour, no older than 30 days, with dimensions of 35×45 mm and a white background
  11. Original marriage certificate, if applicable
  12. Scanned copies of biodata pages of passport
  13. Original covering letter self-attested by the applicant stating the name, passport number of applicant(s) and duration of visit. It must clearly state the location as well as contact details of authorized signature’s name, designation and signature and that of the individual who will bear the expenses of the trip
  14. Birth certificate, in case of minor dependent children

For Business

Apart from the documents required for tourist visa, additional documents required are:

  1. Fully completed visa application form DHA-1738, written in black ink and block letters, and signatures on the form should match the applicant’s signature on the passport
  2. Proof of sufficient funds in the form of duly attested bank statements for the last three months, with a minimum balance of INR 13,650 per month
  3. Original covering letter that clearly mentions the purpose of the visit, self-attested by the applicant
  4. Proof of registration with the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (CPIC), Unemployment Insurance Fund, Compensation Fund for Occupational Injuries and Diseases, South African Revenue Service, where applicable
  5. Letter of confirmation must be submitted within 12 months of the issuance date of visa, that permanent South African residents constitute 60% of the total workforce.

 

For Students

Apart from the documents required for tourist visa, additional documents required are:

  1. Fully completed visa application form DHA-1738, written in black ink and block letters, and signatures on the form should match the applicant’s signature on the passport
  2. Original covering letter that clearly mentions the purpose of the visit, self-attested by the applicant
  • Proof of sufficient funds in the form of duly attested bank statements for the last three months, with a minimum balance of INR 13,650 per month
  1. Proof of legal adoption, if applicable
  2. Letter of acceptance from the concerned learning institution and the duration of the course
  3. If the applicant(s) is below 18 years of age, proof of physical address and contact number of the adult guardian who has taken responsibility of the applicant(s) and a confirmatory letter from the guardian

 

Fees for South Africa  visa application

  1. For Tourists

Indian citizens who visit South Africa for holidays or to visit relatives and friends for up to 90 days are not charged a visa fee. However, a logistic fee, which varies according to the location of the application centre, has to be paid.

For Delhi and Mumbai, the total fee per applicant = INR 2,040 (inclusive of all taxes)

For Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa and Bangalore, the total fee per applicant = INR 2,301 (inclusive of all taxes)

  1. For Business

Business visa fee = INR 7,892

For Delhi and Mumbai, the total fee per applicant = business visa fee + logistic fee = INR 7,892 + 2,040 = INR 9,932 (inclusive of all taxes)

For Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa and Bangalore, the total fee per applicant = business visa fee + logistic fee = INR 7,892 + 2,301 = INR 10,193 (inclusive of all taxes)

  1. For Students

Study term visa fee = INR 2,207

For Delhi and Mumbai, the total fee per applicant = study term visa fee + logistic fee = INR 2,207 + 2,040 = INR 4,247 (inclusive of all taxes)

For Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa and Bangalore, the total fee per applicant = business visa fee + logistic fee = INR 2,207 + 2,301 = INR 4,508 (inclusive of all taxes)

 

How can I make payments for the visa application?

The payment of Visa Fee/ Logistic Charges can be made in cash only.

Time required for processing South Africa Visa  applications

  1. For Tourists

For Delhi and Mumbai, the time required for processing is minimum 5 business days from the time of complete submission of application form and payment of charges.

As for Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa and Bangalore, the processing time is a minimum of 7 business days.

  1. For Business

The time required for processing a business visa application is a minimum 60 business days from the time of complete submission of application form and payment of charges.

 

  1. For Students

The time required for processing a study visa application is a minimum 60 business days from the time of complete submission of application form and payment of charges.

 

How can I get in touch with the concerned authority if I have a query?

You may reach VFS Global, the manager of visa application centres for South Africa visa in India, at their helpline number 022-67866066 or send an email to infoza.india@vfshelpline.com, for further clarification. Visit the following link for address and contact details for application centres.

 

 Tracking  South Africa  online visa application status

After you have successfully completed the application process, you may track the status of your application by following the instructions below:

  1. Click on this link
  2. Enter your date of birth and the reference number assigned to you.
  3. Click on “submit” button.

NOTE:  SMS Passport Tracking Facility fee is valued at INR 55 per applicant.