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Overview of South Africa visa and Foreign exchange policy

4 months


Passport Requirements

All travelers except the following require a passport:

1. Travellers with a Seafarer’s Identity Document, a Seaman Book, or any Merchant Seaman Identification document issued by any country as long as they travel on duty.

2. People without nationality or citizenship holding documents for travel purposes No. BI 105 that is issued by the Republic of South Africa.

3. Refugees and people without nationality or citizenship are holding documents that are issued by the United Nations.

4. Travellers with ‘Kinderausweis,’ a German identity document issued to children aged less than 16 years old, provided the document contains a photo of the child.

5. Travelers with a ‘Laissez-Passer’ given by:

  • United Nations provided they are traveling on duty;
  • African Union as long as they are traveling on official business;
  • Southern African Development Community on condition that they are traveling on official business.
Night at skopje in macedonia

Document Validity

Passports and alternative papers, or either of them, must be valid for at least 30 days beyond the period of intended visit.

a. South African citizens may enter with a passport that must be valid upon arrival

b. Residents of South Africa may enter with travel papers that have to be valid upon arrival.

Additional Information

1. Deportees: the Department of Home Affairs requires prior notification of the deportee’s personal and passport details. This applies to landed deportees in addition to transiting ones.


  • When transiting, deportees must usually have a transit visa regardless of nationality.

2. It is necessary for South African citizens with a double nationality to use their South African passports when entering and departing from South Africa.

3. Passports and alternative papers of all non-South African citizens must have at least one blank page in the passport for entry or departure endorsements by the South African Immigration Service. Please note that this might not include the ‘amendments and endorsements’ or ‘observations.’


Children aged 15 years old and younger can be included in a parent’s passport on condition that the passport bearer accompanies the child.

Visa Issuance

Before arrival: Tourists are kindly requested to reach South Africa’s nearest representation.

Visa Exemptions

All travelers must hold a visa except the following:

1. South African citizens.

2. Travelers staying for no more than 90 days given they are:

  • Botswanan citizens;
  • Citizens of Paraguay and Zimbabwe with ordinary passports;
  • Citizens of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Venezuela and United States of America;
  • Travelers with British passports that are endorsed ‘British Citizen’;
  • Travelers with British passports endorsed ‘British Overseas Territories Citizen’ with the label ‘Citizen of Virgin Islands.’


  • Drivers of heavy-duty commercial vehicles are exempted for a stay up to no more than 15 days; when entering South Africa, they must be capable of producing a letter proving their employment with a foreign company.

3. Travellers staying for no more than 30 days provided they are:

  • Citizens of Cyprus, Hungary, Mozambique, Poland, Slovak Republic, or Thailand with ordinary passports;
  • Governmental employees of Zimbabwe;
  • Citizens of Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, and Zambia;
  • Travelers with British passports that are endorsed ‘British National (Overseas)’;
  • Travelers with passports which are issued by Hong Kong (A Special Administrative Region of China) and Macao (A Special Administrative Region of China);
  • Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Republic of Benin, Bolivia, Cape Verde Island, Costa Rica, Gabon, Guyana, Jordon, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Namibia, Peru, Seychelles, and Turkey.

4. Travellers staying for no more than:

  • 90 days for citizens of Colombia, Jamaica, and Turkey with service, diplomatic or official passports;
  • 90 days for Vietnamese citizens with official or diplomatic passports;
  • 120 days for citizens of Albania, Hungary, Paraguay, and Slovenia with official or diplomatic passports;
  • 30 days for citizens of Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, and Rwanda with official or diplomatic passports;
  • 90 days for Tanzanian citizens;
  • 90 days for citizens of Angola, Bulgaria, Comoros Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Mexico, Mozambique, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Thailand, and Tunisia with official or diplomatic passports;
  • Ninety days for Belarusian citizens with official or diplomatic passports.

5. Volunteers with the United Nations agencies holding ordinary passports as long as they have proper United Nations identification documents.

6. Travellers staying for no more than 90 days provided they have a ‘Laissez-Passer’ issued by the Southern African Development Community and is traveling on official business.

7. Travelers with a ‘Laissez-Passer,’ given by the United Nations, provided they travel on duty.

8. Foreign residents with a valid immigration permit.

9. Travellers with a ‘Laissez-Passer’ issued by the African Union as long as they are traveling on duty and staying for no more than 90 days.

TWOV (Transit Without Visa)

1. TWOV is permissible for travelers continuing their trip towards a third country (applicable only through Johannesburg) and:

  • holding confirmed onward tickets;
  • Provided they do not exit the airport’s international transit field.

2. There is limited hotel accommodation available in the transit area of Johannesburg airport. Therefore, notification of an overnight stay is required in advance.

Additional Information

1. Travellers should have a sufficient means of support, all necessary documents for their next trip, onward or return tickets (or enough money for a refundable deposit in place of tickets).

2. Travellers without nationality or citizenship entering South Africa must have papers for the return journey to the country in which such papers were issued.

3. The traveler can extend the expected visit as long as he has applied for an extension at least 30 days before the expiry date of the visa, permit, or visa exemption period.


If travelers do not abide by entry rules, they will be fined and denied entry. Besides, the transporting carrier will pay a fine of ZAR 10,000, and the departure of the flight concerned will be delayed.


Import Regulations

1. There are no restrictions on importing the following:

  • 250 milliliters of eau de toilette and 50 milliliters of perfume for each person;
  • 250 grams of tobacco and 200 cigarettes and 20 cigars;
  • One bottle (one liter) of alcoholic drinks or liquor and two bottles (2 liters) of wine;
  • Other articles (duty-free, new, or used) up to a value of ZAR 5,000. Goods imported from Eswatini (Swaziland), Botswana, Namibia, and Lesotho are excluded from VAT up to a value of ZAR 25,000 per individual.
  • For travelers from Botswana, Angola, Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, the United Republic of Tanzania, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, twenty-five kilograms of handmade products for commercial purposes are made of plastic, glass, leather, wood, or stone.


  • The import of alcoholic drinks and tobacco products is restricted to travelers who are older than 18 years old.
  • Allowances will be given only once per person for any 30-day duration, after 48 hours or more of absence from South Africa.
  • Residents of South Africa must carry any NEP and TRD 1 forms accompanying reimported items.

2. The following items are restricted:

  • Import of plants and plant material requires an import permit for importing vegetable oils, honey, fruit, seeds, a.o. Seeds, margarine, and flowers;
  • There are many restrictions on the import, and declaration upon arrival is required to import cheese and other dairy products, meat, and processed meat. An import permit from the Director of Veterinary Service is needed before importing the above.
  • All medicines, except those intended for personal use, require an import permit. Narcotics are prohibited. Also, pornography containing children and bestiality, flick knives, and explosives are prohibited.

Export Regulations

  • South Africa residents might register valuables with Customs before departure by completing a TRD 1 and TC-01 forms. In South Africa, the TRD 1 type should be maintained and shown upon return. Goods to be returned priced at more than ZAR 50,000.-require a bank-obtainable NEP form.
  • Free exports of household consumables up to a value of ZAR 5 000 (foodstuffs, cleaning products, etc.)


All pet animals and their products have to be transported as manifested cargo under an Air Waybill; this also applies to transit if the transshipment is involved.

* Exemptions:

  • Guide-dogs as long as they accompany a blind person. Such dogs are allowed to be accompanied in the cabin and cleared in the customs area of the traveler’s arrival hall. It is recommended to notify the manager of the local station of the transporting carrier before departure as the veterinary official has to be called to clear such dogs. It is essential to abide by all relevant rules.
  • (ESAN/SVAN)-Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals. A special letter from a registered mental health specialist must accompany these puppies.
  • A veterinary import or in-transit permit must be acquired from the Director of Veterinary Service, Private Bag X138, Pretoria before shipment of the pet animals; this import must be valid on the date of entry into the Republic of South Africa, and all required papers must accompany the cargo.
  • Pet animals need to have microchip implants for recognition (readable by an ISO 11785 or ISO 11784 scanner). Besides, a health certificate is required showing that the dog or the cat:
  • has been inoculated against rabies less than one year and no less than thirty days before delivery, in the case of the primary vaccine;
  • It comes from an area where no cases of rabies have been discovered within a 25-kilometer distance for six months before the pet’s exportation.
  • A veterinary official will confirm the required health documents at the cargo terminal of the transporting carrier or its handing agent before the animal’s shipment.

Baggage Clearance Regulations

A traveler’s luggage should be cleared at the first airport of entry in South Africa.

  1. Exception:

Luggage of transit travelers whose destination is outside South Africa as long as the travelers do not leave the airport transit area.

Airport Tax

Passengers are not required to pay any airport tax on departure from the airport.

Currency Import Regulations

* Residents:

Residents are permitted to import local currency (ZAR-South African Rand): ZAR 25,000; international currencies and traveler’s cheques: unrestricted if, upon entry, sums over USD 10,000 are to be declared.

* Non-Residents:

It is permitted for non-residents to import local currency (ZAR-South African Rand): ZAR 25,000; international currencies and traveler’s cheques: unrestricted if, upon entry, sums over USD 10,000 are to be declared.


  • There is no travel restriction between South Africa and Lesotho, Eswatini (Swaziland), and Namibia, as they are part of the same shared monetary region.

Currency Export Regulations

* Residents:

Local currency (Rand-ZAR of South Africa): ZAR 25,000. A single discretionary payment of ZAR 1,000,000.-per calendar year can be allowed for persons aged 18 (ZAR 200,000 for persons under the age of 18) when arranged by an authorized dealer; foreign currency: up to ZAR 160,000 per adult and ZAR 50,000 per child (under the age of 12) per calendar year. An approved distributor requires prior approval. Amounts are reduced to ZAR 25,000 per person if no prior clearance has been received. Kruger coins can only be approved with the South African Reserve Bank’s prior approval.

* Non-Residents:

Non-residents are allowed to export local currency up to ZAR 25,000; export of traveler’s cheques (also in ZAR) and foreign currencies is allowed up to the amounts that are imported and declared.


  • There is no travel restriction between South Africa and Lesotho, Eswatini (Swaziland), and Namibia, as they are part of the same shared monetary region.

Additional Information On Regulations

South African residents must declare all precious articles such as cameras, jewelry, watches, and video cameras via a Customs Declaration Form. On the day of departure, this type must be endorsed by the customs officer on duty at the Foreign Departments;

  • If one item’s value is higher than ZAR 2,000 or the total value is higher than ZAR 6,000, a NEP-form must be obtained, filled in, and stamped at any commercial bank. The NEP-form must be endorsed by the customs officer on duty at the Foreign Departments on the departure day. If residents do not obtain the customs declaration form or the NEP form upon departure, the goods can be kept for proof of local purchase. If travelers do not comply with the export laws, they may be obliged to pay duties.

Arms and Ammunition Regulations

1. Residents and citizens of South Africa need a firearm license of the Republic of South Africa.

2. Travellers need a temporary import permit, which will only be issued for foreign hunters and members in an organized sport shooting occasion. By applying upon arrival, the traveler can obtain a temporary import permit; or by applying to the Central Weapons Registration Registry, Private Bag X811, Pretoria 0001, South Africa at least 21 days before arrival. Please refer to for an application form (SAPS 250) and full information, including additional certificates that must accompany the application.

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