south africa visa

South Africa Visa for Indians - Definitive Guide

Dubbed as ‘the rainbow nation’, South Africa is one of the world’s most visited destinations for tourists, businessmen, job seekers, and even for students. The South Africa visa for Indians lets Indian nationals enjoy its amazing wildlife, take advantage of the booming economy, and so on. 

What is South Africa Visa?

The South African visa is an endorsement that lets you enter the Republic of South Africa for various purposes. A lot of nationalities do not need a visa to enter the country. However, as far as India is concerned, only the official, diplomatic, and service passport holders are exempt. All the ordinary passport holders will need an India to South Africa visa to enter the country. 

How to Apply for South Africa Visa?

 South Africa Visa for Indians


The application for the South Africa Visa for Indian citizens is largely done offline. Before starting the application, you must ensure that you are eligible to travel to the country on a particular category. You can then make the application as follows - 

  1. Gather all the documents required as per the visa type. 
  2. Visit the website of the South African Home Affairs
  3. Fill in the South Africa visa application form with your details.
  4. Along with the documents and application form, visit one of the South Africa High Commission authorized Visa Application Centers (VAC) to submit the application.  

Note that you will have to provide your biometrics at the VAC. As a result, they will be taking your digital photograph, as well as fingerprint scans. 

Also, ensure that you provide correct information and genuine documents. Providing false information and fake documents are grounds for visa rejection. 

South Africa Visa Types

Based on the purpose of your visit, the South African entry permits can be classified into the following different types - 

  • Tourism - This is granted for people who are travelling to the country to take part in tourism, spend their holiday, visit their family or friends, etc.
  • Business meeting/Conferences - This type of visa is issued for people visiting South Africa to take part in business-related activities. 
  • Research/Training - This is issued if you are travelling to the country to take up research work or training in the country. 
  • Study - This type is granted if you have to visit the country to pursue education. 
  • Work - These are for people who have to go to South Africa to take part in long term work activities. 
  • Relative - This is issued to people who are an immediate family member of a citizen or permanent resident living in South Africa.

Apart from these, there are also a few other categories. However, these are the most common ones for Indians travelling to South Africa. 

South Africa Visa Requirements for Indian Citizens

As per the South Africa visa policy, the documents required for South Africa visa are as follows. However, note that based on the exact type of the document, there will be additional documentation required. 

  • A passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of intended travel.
  • Filled application form.
  • Photos as per the specifications.
  • Covering letter explaining the visit.
  • Confirmed flight tickets. 
  • Proof of accommodation such as hotel bookings, an invitation letter from the host, etc. 
  • Bank statements for the past 3 months. 

South Africa Visa Photo Requirements

The South Africa visa photo specifications are as follows - 

  • South Africa visa photo size: 35mm X 45mm
  • Colour: Coloured
  • Head must occupy the central position
  • Must be captured within the last 3 months
  • Background: Solid, plain white or grey
  • 80% face coverage
  • Neutral expression
  • Glasses: Non-thick framed and prescription glasses
  • Headgears - only for religious reasons
  • Facial hair - permitted

Note that, In certain cases, the high commission my ask you to submit additional documents or even to attend an interview.

South Africa Visa Fees

The South Africa visa cost is dependent on a number of factors. It can vary according to the type of the visa, the VAC service charges, as well as on the foreign exchange rates. As a result, ensure that you check the exact amount before starting your application. 

Entry Purpose Stay Duration Validity Fees
Multiple entry Normal Visitor 90 days 3 months 5301.0
Multiple entry Normal Study 90 days 3 months 2301.0
Multiple entry Normal Work 90 days 3 months 2301.0
Multiple entry Normal Dependant 90 days 3 months 2301.0

South Africa Visa Processing Time

The South Africa visa duration depends on the type of visa. Tourist permits are granted for durations less than 90 days. The work or study permits may be granted with longer durations. Similarly, the processing time also varies according to this. Apart from this, it can vary as per the number of entries, the volume of applications at the High Commission, and so on. Normally, most types will need at least 7 working days and a maximum of 30 days to process. As a result, ensure that you apply well in advance. 

How to Check South Africa Visa Status?

You can check the South Africa visa application status by clicking here, and entering the reference number and date of birth. Alternately, you may contact the travel agency you have applied through to know the status. 

How to get a visa for South Africa?

The applications for the permit for South Africa has to be made through one of the VACs. However, the applications are processed by the South African High Commission in New Delhi or the Consulate General in Mumbai. You can also apply for it through a reputed travel agency. Applying through them is generally considered as an easier and faster process. 


Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Extend My South African Visa?

You can extend your South African permit easily. You can do this by visiting the website of the VAC and applying for an extension at least 60 days before the date of expiry.If you are not able to get the extension within the time, you must leave the country immediately. 

What is the medical Test for a visa for South Africa?

As per the high commission requirements, there are no requirements for a medical test for any of the permits. However, you will require yellow fever vaccination certificates if you are travelling to South Africa through one of the affected countries. In either case, it is suggested that you get a medical test before travelling abroad. 

How Much Bank Balance is Required to Get a South African Visa?

The high commission requirements state that you will need funds of an equivalent of at least 3000 South African Rand to apply for the visa. As per the requirements, you are expected to possess sufficient funds to support the entire duration of your stay. You must also make sure that the funds are easily accessible to you and that your transaction history is stable. 

How many months before the trip should I apply for a visa for South Africa?

This actually depends on the exact type of the permit. For short term categories, you can expect a shorter processing time. As a result, you may need to apply only about 3 weeks before your expected travel date. However, the long term permits can take much longer, and as a result, you may have to apply around 90 days before your expected travel date. 

What is the rejection percentage of a South African entry visa?

The rejection percentage is quite low for the South African permit. However, the chances of your application getting rejected are dependent on how well you can follow the instructions and how well you understand the process. Since the procedures and document requirements may become quite confusing for individuals, there can be chances that your application will get rejected. As a result, it is recommended that you use the services of a travel agency to apply.


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