What documents do travellers to South Africa need?
 

You will need to bring a valid yellow fever certificate and your passport. If you will be travelling with children, this is what you need to know. 

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS TRAVELLING TO & FROM SOUTH AFRICA

Unaccompanied Minors

South African & Non-South African nationals travelling to and from South Africa require the following:

  • Copy of his /her birth certificate.
  • Parental consent letters.
  • Copy of the passport(s)/identity document(s) of the parent(s) / legal guardian(s).
  • Contact details of the parent(s)/ legal guardian(s).
  • Letter from the person who is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his / her  residential address and contact details in the Republic where the child will reside.
  • Copy of the identity document / valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the Republic.
  • where applicable-
    • copy of an adoption order.
    • copy of a death certificate of the deceased parent/ parents or legal guardian.
    • copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child.

Children Accompanied By Both Parents.

South African nationals travelling to and from South Africa, under 18 years of age, accompanied by both Parents require the following:

  • Valid Passport
  • Copy of Birth Certificate or equivalent containing the details of the parent or parents of the child.

Non-South African nationals travelling to and from South Africa, under 18 years of age, accompanied by both Parents require the following:

  • Valid Passport

Children Accompanied By One Parent

South African nationals travelling to and from South Africa, under 18 years of age, accompanied by only one Parent require the following:

  • valid passport.
  • copy of a birth certificate or equivalent document.
  • parental consent letter.
  • copy of the passport / identity document of the absent parent.
  • contact details of the absent parent.
  • where applicable-
  • copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child.
  • copy of a death certificate of the deceased parent.

Non-South African nationals travelling to and from South Africa, under 18 years of age, accompanied by only one Parent require the following:

  • valid passport.

Children Accompanied By A Person Who Is Not The Biological Parent

South African nationals travelling to and from South Africa, under 18 years of age, travelling with a person who is not their biological parent:

  • valid passport
  • copy of a birth certificate/equivalent document
  • parental consent letter(s)
  • copy of the passport(s)/ identity document(s) of the parent(s)/legal guardian(s)
  • contact details of the parent(s)/legal guardian(s)
  • where applicable-
  • copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights / legal guardianship in respect of the child.
  • copy of a death certificate of the deceased parent(s).
  • copy of an adoption order.

Non-South African nationals travelling to and from South Africa, under 18 years of age, travelling with a person who is not their biological parent:

  • valid passport

Children In Alternative Care

South African & Non-South African nationals travelling to and from South Africa in Alternative Care, classified by South Africa Law as foster care and  temporary safe care require the following.

  • Valid passport
  • Letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development where the child resides authorising his or her departure from the Republic as contemplated in section 169 of the Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005).

Children Under 18 Years of Age

  • South African law regards any person younger than 18 years as a child, as such refer to the conditions of entry specific for children travelling to and from South Africa as specified in this document or visit the official government agency website for the latest travel entry requirements for children.

Notes:

All specified Country travel entry requirements are subject to change. Passengers are required to check the official Government agency website for the latest updates.

 

Important information

The South African Department of Home Affairs (http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/applying-for-sa-visa) says the following:

Visitors’ Visas are for international travellers (citizens of other countries) who have permanent residence outside South Africa and who wish to visit the country on a temporary basis for tourism or business purposes for a period of 90 days or less.

A Visa simply indicates that your application has been reviewed at a South African embassy, mission or consulate and that the consular officer has determined you are eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose.

The Visa will allow you to travel to a South African port of entry where an immigration official will then determine if you are allowed to enter, and for how long you can stay for that particular visit. Visitors are restricted to the activity or reason for which their visas were issued.

On entry to South Africa, a Visa is considered to be a visitor's permit. The permit’s period of validity is calculated from the date of entry into the country and will be set out under the heading "conditions" on the Visa label. You must ensure that you apply for the correct Visa/permit. Entry in the country may be refused if the purpose of visit was not correctly stated.

Requirements for visitor’s Visas differ from country to country and the requirements are subject to change. As each application is treated as an individual case and you should make enquiries with your nearest South African mission or consulate abroad or any office of the Department of Home Affairs to see whether or not you are required to apply for a Visa.

Remember that there is a fee charged for issuing a Visa, and you should check the cost with the office as well as this is updated annually. The fee is payable in different currencies in different countries.

Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airline officials are obliged to insist on Visas before allowing passengers to board. If you arrive without a Visa, immigration officials are obliged to put you onto a flight back to your home country.

Foreigners with long term status (work permits/permit residence) in the neighbouring countries who transit the Republic to return to their employment or residence are not subject to the transit visa, provided they are in possession of proof of their status.

 

South African visitors’ Visas may be granted for:

  • visits to family or friends and also for tourism purposes

  • business purposes

  • spouse to join a spouse who is in South Africa on a work or study permit

  • children to join parents who are in South Africa on work or study permits

  • fiancée/ fiancé to join his or her partner with the intension of marrying within 90 days

  • study purposes (max stay 3-months)

  • charitable or voluntary activities

  • research

  • conferences

  • to work in the production of a movie or show (i.e. in the entertainment industry)

  • for medical purposes (max stay 3-months)

  • sport events

 

Passport holders who are exempt from Visas for South Africa

  • The citizen who is a holder of a national passport (diplomatic, official and ordinary) of the foreign countries / territories / international organisations listed below are not required to hold a visa when reporting to an immigration officer for an examination at a South African port of entry, subject to the terms and conditions set out in this list, including inter alia the intended period of stay in the Republic.

  • The holder of a national South African passport, travel document and document for travel purposes.

  • The citizen who is a holder of a national passport (diplomatic, official or ordinary) of the following countries / territories / international organisations is not required to hold a visa in respect of purposes for which a port of entry visa may be issued or by virtue of being a person contemplated in section 31(3)(b) [accredited in SA] for an intended stay of 90 days or less and when in transit:

 

African Union Laissez Passer Malta             
Andorra Monaco
Argentina Namibia (only ordinary passport holders 90 days per annum)
Australia  Netherlands
Austria Norway  
Belgium Panama   ​
Botswana  Paraguay​
Brazil Portugal 
Canada Russian Federation      
Chile (only ordinary passport holders) San Marino
Czech Republic Singapore
Denmark Spain
Ecuador St Vincent & the Grenadines
Finland Sweden
France Switzerland 
Germany (except in diplomatic staff due to assume duty at the Embassy and Consulates of Germany in SA) Tanzania (90 days per annum)
Greece  Trinidad & Tobago (only ordinary passport holders)
Iceland United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (only ordinary passport holders)  
Ireland British Islands Bailiwick of Guernsey and Jersey, Isle of Man. British Oversees Territories namely: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena and Dependencies (Ascension Island, Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha), Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, the Sovereign Base Areas of Cyprus South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the Turks and Caicos Island.
Israel United States of America (except in diplomatic staff due to assume duty at the Embassy and Consulates of the USA in SA)
Italy Uruguay
Jamaica Venezuela
Japan Zambia (90 days per annum)
Liechtenstein Zimbabwe
Luxemburg  

 

 

 

Important Contact Information

For full details on the South African travel requirements, please visit the Department of Home Affairs website or contact 0800 60 11 90