VisaHero can represent you and submit your visa request without appearing in-person at any South African Mission.

U.S. citizens (U.S. passport holders) visiting the Republic of South Africa for ninety (90) days or less for tourism and business purposes do not need visas.

U.S. green card holders (non-US passport holders) and nationals of other countries must check the list of visa exempt countries to see if one needs to apply for visa. If your country name is NOT listed, you will need to apply for a visa. Note that there are countries exempted from visa if applicant is traveling to South Africa for a period of 30 days or less.

All foreigners (including US citizens) who intend to conduct short-term or urgent work in the Republic of South Africa, including, but not limited, to service technicians, trainers/instructors and film crews, for a period not exceeding three (3) months must apply for 11(2) short-term work visa. If you need a visa, you must contact and find the requirements needed from the South African Mission within your jurisdiction.

South African Missions in the United States:

  • The South African Embassy in Washington, DC
    3051 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20008
    Tel: (202) 232-4400
    For residents of Alabama, Arkansas, District of Colombia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Wisconsin
  • The South African Consulate General in New York City
    845 Third Ave, New York, NY 10022
    Tel: (212) 692-2401
    For residents of Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont West Virginia, British Virgin Islands, St Martins, Bermuda and Cayman
  • The South African Consulate General in Los Angeles, CA
    6300 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90048
    Tel: (323) 651-0902
    For residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming including the US Territory of Guam

At the South African Embassy, your visa request must be submitted in-person, and by appointment only. The Consular office is open Monday-Thursday between 9:30am-12:30am and it’s closed every Friday. Please make sure that all of your supporting documents for visa application are ready before requesting an appointment. Your current passport must have (2) two unused visa pages for Immigration’s entry and departure stamp. The period of validity of passport cannot be less than 6 months after from your intended date of departure from the Republic of South Africa. You can find this information through its Embassy’s website.

Determine the type of visa you need based on your purpose of travel:

  • Tourist visa : going to South Africa for tourism, visit family, or attending a conference/event.
  • Business visa : going to South Africa to conduct business meetings.
  • Temporary work 11(2) visa : short term or urgent work in the Republic of South Africa, including, but not limited, to service technicians, trainers/instructors and film crews, for a period not exceeding three (3) months.

Three (3) months of your most recent bank statement (checking or savings account) is required for a visa request. This statement must be stamped by the bank (not notarized). We find a lot of people having difficulty completing this requirement. Contact VisaHero or call (202) 936-6000 if you have any questions.

As of January 2024, here are the South African visa options available through the Embassy:

Tourism 3 Months Up to 90 Days 5-8 Days $36
Business 3 Months Up to 90 Days 5-8 Days $36
Short-term work 3 Months Up to 90 Days 5-8 Days $36

Tourism in South Africa

South Africa is one of the most popular travel destinations on the African continent, offering a wide array of attractions and experiences for visitors. Here’s a brief overview of tourism in South Africa:

  • Diverse Landscapes
    South Africa is known for its diverse landscapes, ranging from lush forests to arid deserts, and from rugged coastlines to dramatic mountain ranges. The country’s geographical variety allows for a wide range of outdoor activities, from hiking and mountain climbing to surfing and safari adventures.
  • Wildlife and Safari Experiences
    South Africa is synonymous with wildlife and is home to some of the world’s best safari destinations. The Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Africa, is a major attraction for spotting the “Big Five” (lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and rhino). Other notable wildlife reserves include Addo Elephant National Park and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.
  • Cultural Attractions
    South Africa has a rich cultural heritage, with a mix of African, European, and Asian influences. Visitors can explore historical sites like Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, and the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, which documents the struggle against apartheid. Cape Town’s vibrant neighborhoods, such as Bo-Kaap and Woodstock, offer a glimpse into the country’s diverse cultural tapestry.
  • Scenic Beauty
    South Africa boasts stunning natural beauty. The Garden Route, a scenic drive along the southern coast, is famous for its breathtaking views and charming towns. Table Mountain in Cape Town offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding coastline, while the Drakensberg Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop for outdoor activities.
  • Wine and Culinary Experiences
    South Africa is also known for its wine industry, with the Cape Winelands region offering numerous wineries and tasting tours. The country’s culinary scene is diverse, with a mix of traditional African dishes and international cuisine. Cape Town, in particular, is renowned for its food markets, innovative restaurants, and vibrant culinary culture.
  • Adventure Tourism
    For thrill-seekers, South Africa offers a range of adventure activities, including shark cage diving, bungee jumping from the Bloukrans Bridge (one of the highest bungee jumps in the world), and paragliding over Cape Town.
  • Beach Tourism
    Beach Tourism: With a long coastline stretching along the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, South Africa has a variety of beautiful beaches. Durban is known for its warm waters and popular surf spots, while the Western Cape offers more rugged and dramatic coastal scenery.

Overall, South Africa’s combination of wildlife, culture, adventure, and scenic beauty makes it a top destination for a wide variety of travelers.

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