Do I need a Visa?

Portuguese citizens travelling on a Portuguese passport, do not require to hold a visa when travelling to South Africa for an intended stay of 90 days or less, or when in transit. If the intended stay will exceed  90 days, then a valid visa is required.

For other passport bearers, please see the  list of countries exempt from visa control below.

Countries exempt from South African visas

Subject to change without notice.

1. Exempt and intend to stay 90 days or less

If you hold a national passport (diplomatic, official or ordinary) or a travel document for the any one of the following listed countries / territories / international organisations, you will not need to apply for a visa before arriving at a South African port of entry if you intend to stay in the country for 90 days or less:

African Union Laissez Passer Liechtenstein
Andorra Luxemburg
Argentina Malta
Australia Monaco
Austria Netherlands
Belgium New Zealand
Botswana Norway
Brazil Paraguay
Canada Portugal
Chile San Marino
Czech Republic Singapore
Denmark Spain
Ecuador St Vincent & the Grenadines
Finland Sweden
France Switzerland
Germany

Tanzania (90 days per year from 1 Novemebr 2010)

Greece United Kingdom of Great Britain
Iceland Northern Ireland
Ireland

British Islands of Bailiwick, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man and Virgin Islands

Israel British Overseas 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 Cuna), Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, the Sovereign Base Areas of Cyprus, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the Turks and Caicos Island
Italy Uruguay
Jamaica Venezuela
Japan United States of America
  Zimbabwe

 

 

2. Exempt and intend to stay for 30 days or less

If you hold a national passport (diplomatic, official or ordinary) or a travel document for the any one of the following listed countries / territories / international organizations, you will not need to apply for a visa before arriving at a South African port of entry if you intend to stay for a period of 30 days or less, or are in transit:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Cape Verde
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Gabon
  • Guyana
  • Hong Kong (only with regard to holders of Hong Kong British National Overseas passports and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports),
  • Hungary
  • Jordan
  • Lesotho
  • Macau (only with regard to holders of Macau Special Administrative Region passports (MSAR))
  • Malaysia
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Seychelles
  • Slovak Republic
  • South Korea (Republic)
  • Swaziland
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Zambia

 

3. Exemption for Diplomatic Official and Service Passport

If you hold a national passport (diplomatic, official and service) or a travel document for the any one of the following listed countries / territories / international organizations, you will not need to apply for a visa before arriving at a South African port of entry if:

  • you intend to stay for the period indicated in brackets below or less
  • you are in transit
  • and on condition that your visa exemption status has not been withdrawn by the Department of Home Affairs
 
Albania (120 days) Morocco (30 days)
Algeria (30 days) Mozambique (90 days)
Angola (90 days) Paraguay (120 days)
Belarus (90 days) Paraguay (120 days)
Bulgaria (90 days) Poland (90 days)
Cyprus (90 days) Russian Federation (90 days)
Comoros (90 days) Romania (90 days)
Croatia (90 days) Rwanda (30 days)
Egypt (30 days) Slovak (90 days)
Guinea (90 days) Slovenia (120 days)
Hungary (120 days) Tanzania (90 days)
Ivory Coast (30 days) Thailand (90 days)
Kenya (30 days) Tunisia (90 days)
Mexico (90 days) Vietnam (90 days)
Madagascar (30 days)  

 

 

4. General Visa exemptions

 
  • Commercial heavy-duty vehicle drivers who
    • enter the country from Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Malawi
    • provided that their visits do not exceed 15 days
    • and on condition they produce a letter confirming their employment with a transport company or entity
 
The same principle applies to Zimbabwean commercial heavy-duty truck drivers, except that their sojourn may not exceed 30 days at a time.  The afore-mentioned does not apply to commercial heavy-duty truck drivers who transport goods for a South African transport company.  Such drivers must be in possession of a valid work permit.
 
  • Staff members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)who
    • travel on SADC laissez-passers
    • travel on bona fide official business
    • and stay for 90 days or less, or are in transit
 
  • Holders of UN laissez- passerswho
    • intend to visit South Africa for 90 days or less
    • visit the country for official business purposes
    • are in transit
    • are accredited for placement at a UN mission in South Africa for the duration of their accreditation
    • are volunteers attached to UN agencies and travelling on ordinary passports, provided they are in possession of relevant letters or identification documents to identify themselves at ports of entry as personnel of an UN agency.
      • Holders of United Nations Laissez-passers
      • Volunteers attached to the UN
      • Persons involved in any United Nations agency
      • Persons performing services on behalfd of the UN

Members of military forces attending any military related matters with the South African National Defence Force are exempt from visa and study permit requirments, irrespective of their duration of stay provided they are in possession of letters of invitation from SANDF as well as letters of consent from the military force of which they are members.

For more information, please check the Department of Home Affairs' Website: www.home-affairs.gov.za