Visa Information

Passport holders from certain countries are exempt from South African visa control for a period of ninety (90) days.

A visitor's permit for a period not exceeding three (3) months may therefore be issued to such passport holders at a South African port of entry e.g. international airport, provided that he or she is able to submit the following documentation to the immigration officer:

  • a passport valid for no less than thirty (30) days after departure from the Republic of South Africa, and containing at least two (2) blank pages for endorsements;
  • documentation confirming the purpose and duration of the visit, if applicable;
  • proof of a valid return air ticket or payment of a deposit, or both the return air ticket and deposit, which shall be refunded after the foreigner's final departure;
  • a yellow fever vaccination certificate, if the applicant travelled or intends travelling from or through a yellow fever endemic area: provided that the certificate shall not be required when the applicant travelled or intends travelling in direct transit through such area.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs website to see whether you are exempt.

If an academic visit is for a period exceeding three (3) months, an appropriately endorsed visitor’s permit may be applied for and issued at a South African mission abroad before proceeding to the Republic of South Africa. It is each visiting academic’s responsibility to maintain the validity of his/her permit.

Please contact your nearest South African High Commission or Embassy to confirm the requirements or visit the Department of International Relations and Cooperation website. The different forms that you will need are available from them.

The application procedure

  • Obtain and complete application form BI-84 Form 11.
  • Pay the non-refundable application fee of 425 ZAR.
  • Make sure your passport is valid for longer than the duration of the study period.
  • Apply for police clearance from your local police station in the country where you have resided for the past 12 months as well as any other countries where you may have resided since the age of 18.
  • Obtain a medical certificate from a medical doctor
  • Have chest x-rays and obtain a radiological report
  • Pay a repatriation guarantee. The cost to you will be similar to the cost of a single ticket plus airport taxes from South Africa back to your country of origin. Keep the original receipt in your possession. You may reclaim this deposit upon return to your country of origin.
  • Present proof of funding, e.g. a bursary award letter.
  • You will also have to provide proof of medical cover recognised in SA from a provider that is registered with the SA Council for Medical Schemes in terms of the Medical Schemes Act, 1998.
  • Click here  for a list of Medical Aid Providers. 

If you experience difficulties with this application for medical cover, please contact Linda Uys | 021 808 4628 for assistance.

Download the Radiological Report and Medical Certificate

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