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South Africa eVisa Requirements for British Citizens
Currently, British citizens are not eligible for South Africa eVisa, but it is expected that they will be soon.
The South Africa eVisa is an online visa application that permits holders to travel to South Africa without having to apply for a visa at an embassy or consulate.
The eVisa for South Africa is a new digital visa to travel to South Africa . At the moment, only citizens from some countries may use the system, although further eligible countries, including the United Kingdom, are expected to be permitted soon.
The South Africa eVisa requirements for British citizens are expected to be straightforward. The online system will allow British passport holders to complete an easy application process to gain a visa ahead of their leisure or business trip.
What Is a South Africa eVisa for UK Citizens?
The South Africa eVisa is a digital visa that allows eligible passport holders to enter South Africa without visiting a South African embassy or consulate beforehand.
Travelers can stay in the country for short visits. The eVisa, which is applied for online, can be used to enter South Africa once or multiple times depending on the traveler’s needs.
The South Africa eVisa is valid for different lengths of stay according to the nationality of the applicant and the reason for visiting South Africa. Validity is confirmed once the eVisa has been granted.
The eVisa application form is straightforward and quick to complete. Applicants from approved countries must meet certain requirements to have their travel authorization granted.
Although not a requirement, it is recommended that travelers who have been granted an eVisa carry a printed copy or ensure they can gain access to a digital copy in the unlikely event of problems with the electronic system.
Do British Citizens Need a Visa for South Africa?
British citizens who wish to travel to South Africa for short-term tourism or business purposes are currently not required to obtain a visa. Each year more than 400,000 British travelers take advantage of the visa exemption scheme to visit South Africa.
The United Kingdom is among a list of almost 50 countries that can enter South Africa without a visa. Citizens of these countries who hold valid national passports can arrive at any port of arrival and enter South Africa for up to 90 days .
However, to visit the country for longer periods of stay , it is currently necessary to apply for a South Africa visa for British citizens from a South African embassy or consulate in the UK.
However, once the eVisa application has been implemented for citizens of the UK, it is expected that British travelers requiring a visa for South Africa will be able to apply exclusively online .
Moving to South Africa from the United Kingdom
Citizens of the United Kingdom who wish to travel to South Africa to live , take up work or study, must contact a South African embassy or consulate in their country of residence.
In addition, any British traveler who intends to remain in South Africa for longer than 90 days for business or tourism must obtain a long-stay permit, either from an embassy, or through the online system once available for UK passport holders.
How Can I Apply for the South Africa eVisa from the United Kingdom?
When the new online system is extended to include other nationalities, UK passport holders will be able to apply online by filling in the South Africa eVisa application form .
This online form will require travelers to input personal information and passport details , answer a few questions about health and security, and supply details of their planned visit to South Africa.
Ahead of applying for the eVisa, travelers should ensure they have:
- UK passport valid for more than 6 months beyond the intended date of arrival in South Africa
- C urrent email address
- C redit card or debit card to pay the eVisa processing fee.
Applicants will also have to submit proof of the following:
- Sufficient funds to cover the trip
- Evidence of return or onwards travel ticket
- Yellow fever certificate
The yellow fever certificate is only required for travelers who have visited regions in Africa or South American with a risk of yellow fever.
It is advisable to ensure that all the information provided on the application form is correct , in order to avoid any processing delays or a rejection of the application due to small errors.
Upon approval, the eVisa will be automatically electronically linked to the traveler’s UK passport and its validity period will be confirmed by email.
If a British applicant wishes to change travel dates after approval, they will need to apply for a new eVisa.
Passport requirements for the South Africa eVisa for UK applicants
As the South Africa eVisa is digitally tied to an individual passport, travelers from Britain will be required to use this same passport when entering South Africa .
If the UK passport used in the application changes (for example, it is renewed, lost, stolen or damaged) it is necessary to apply for a new eVisa for South Africa .
How will I receive my South Africa eVisa from the United Kingdom?
A British citizen who has successfully obtained a South Africa eVisa linked to their passport will be notified via a message sent to the applicant’s current email address.
If the eVisa cannot be approved, applicants from the UK should visit their nearest South African diplomatic government office in the UK to submit an application for a South Africa embassy visa.
Covid update for south africa.
Last update: 16/10/2023
South Africa welcomes international visitors. All COVID-19 travel measures have now been lifted. Consult South Africa’s visa policy to see the entry requirements for each nationality.
Familiarize yourself with the South Africa visa policy and find out the travel requirements for your nationality.
Visa requirements checker
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The southernmost country in Africa offers that rare thing to Brits: a long-haul flight with no jet lag at the end. The seasons may be flipped to some degree, but in such a big country there’s always somewhere that’s looking at its best whatever the time of year. In January, Cape Town and its surrounds bask in a Mediterranean-type climate (hello, wineries!) while at the other end of the “rainbow nation” is Kruger National Park, where you can spot almost any member of the classic safari checklist in the dry season that peaks in August. The latter month also sees Namaqualand and other dry northwestern corners turn into dazzling carpets of wildflowers. A dynamic coast that sees the meeting point of two oceans, the rampart-like mountains of the Drakensberg, moving monuments to history, and cities that captivate with their contradictions are all part of what makes this country feel like a small continent of its own.
But what are the entry requirements? Here’s everything you need to know .
Main photo: the view of Table Mountain from Lagoon Beach, Cape Town (Getty Images)
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What are South Africa’s entry requirements?
Brits travelling on a UK passport can enter South Africa for any purpose for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. The date by which you must leave the country is indicated on your entry stamp. Those holding dual nationality with South Africa must enter and exit the country using their South African passport.
Check Foreign Office advice for South Africa here .
Can I travel to South Africa if I’m not vaccinated?
Yes. South Africa has removed its Covid restrictions, meaning travellers no longer need to provide proof of vaccination to enter. There is no longer any testing requirement, face masks are no longer required indoors and there are no limits on gatherings.
However, you may still be required to complete a health form to enter the country. You can check local updates here .
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Warnings and insurance.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice .
Before you travel
No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide as well as support for British nationals abroad which includes:
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RULES OF ENTRY AND STAY
All COVID restrictions in the country have been lifted. You no longer need to provide a vaccination certificate or PCR test.
the passport must be valid for at least 30 days after the expected date of departure from South Africa + 2 blank pages for entry stamps.
+ It is necessary to have a completed Health Declaration
Yellow fever vaccination is often required for travelers arriving from endemic areas of North and South America and Africa. Passengers arriving from non-infected areas are not required to have yellow fever certificates.
Therefore, travelers planning a trip to South Africa should visit their doctor at least 6 weeks before departure to get the necessary vaccinations.
Apart from the yellow fever vaccine, there are no mandatory vaccinations for South Africa, although there are a number of recommended ones .
Travelers are strongly advised to meet all requirements for entry into South Africa. For example, every foreign national must have a valid South African visa upon arrival.
If you do not need a visa to enter , your total stay in the country must not exceed 90 days.
Citizens of 14 countries can now obtain an e-Visa to South Africa. The South African e-Visa was launched for travelers from 14 countries in February 2022. This e-Visa is valid for short-term stays in South Africa, tourism, and other permitted activities.
Documents required for submitting an e-Visa application
To enter South Africa, you must have a passport that is valid for at least 30 days from the intended date of departure. It is necessary to have the same passport with you that was used when submitting the application since the e-Visa and the passport are connected electronically.
How to get a South African visa at the embassy
Travelers who are not citizens of one of the 14 countries must obtain a visa in person at a South African embassy or consulate before departure.
This process can be longer and more expensive than applying online due to longer waiting times and costs associated with a trip to the embassy.
Currently, submitting an application in paper form can entail:
- appointment at the embassy
- visiting the embassy with relevant supporting documents to submit the application
- payment of the application fee
- return to the embassy after obtaining a visa.
The above may not apply to all applications, the specific process depends on the type of visa, as well as the circumstances of the traveler.
Documents required for obtaining a visa to South Africa in paper form
Below is a list of accompanying documents that may be required to obtain a guest visa at the South African embassy or consulate:
- Passport or travel document valid for at least 30 days after leaving the country (passport must have 2 unused pages for stamps).
- Completed BI-84 form (visa application)
- Proof of payment of the application fee
- Yellow fever vaccination certificate (if applicable)
- Documents confirming the purpose and duration of the visit
- 2 color passport photos
- Round-trip plane ticket
- Proof of financial resources for the duration of your stay in South Africa (e.g. bank statements, salary advances, scholarships, cash or credit cards, etc.).
Foreigners traveling with minors must provide the following additional documents:
- Proof of custody or care or
- Guardian's consent in the case of an unaccompanied minor.
Transit visas are issued to foreigners (up to 3 days) who will pass through South Africa on their way to neighboring countries.
Travelers transiting through the following international airports are exempted from the need for transit visas, but will undergo biometric control directly at the airport:
OR Tambo International;
Cape Town International;
King Shaka; and
Travelers using land ports of entry to transit through South Africa will need to apply for a port of entry visa.
Requirements for a transit visa:
- DHA-84 application form. The application must be filled out and signed in black ink only.
- A valid passport/travel document, valid for at least (30) days after the end of the intended visit, with three (3) completely blank pages.
- One (1) passport-size photo.
- Route sheet with data on the onward flight.
- Proof of visa/permit/resident status in destination country is required.
- An undertaking by the government of the host country confirming that it will take responsibility for the deportee(s) and accept the deportee(s) in the country of origin if necessary. Supporting documentation relating to accompanying persons to be provided.
- Transit visa fee (if applicable). Fees depend on the nationality of the current passport. Where fees are payable, the current fee is AUD 47.00 (non-refundable). Check here if you have to pay a visa fee: Visa countries.
- Payment must be made in Australian Dollars (AUD) payable to the South African High Commission by postal money order or bank check.
*Personal checks or credit cards are NOT accepted. Incorrect payment is not accepted; in case of incorrect payment, the check or postal money order will be returned to the applicant.
ENTRY WITH PETS
Dogs and cats imported into South Africa must have an ISO 11784/11785 microchip.
The microchip must be implanted before or together with the rabies vaccine. Tattoos are not accepted in South Africa.
Dogs and cats imported into South Africa must have a valid rabies vaccination. Vaccination must be done at least 30 days before the date of import.
The authorities of South Africa require that dogs and cats enter South Africa with a rabies vaccine that was given no more than 12 months before the animal was imported.
If your cat/dog is coming from Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, or Northern Ireland, you do not need to have a rabies vaccination. However, we recommend that you get vaccinated against rabies as South Africa is not rabies free.
Puppies and kittens under the age of 3 months do not need vaccination against rabies. In order for puppies and kittens to travel to South Africa, their mother must be vaccinated against rabies more than 30 days and less than 1 year before they are born. Once puppies/kittens arrive in South Africa and reach the age of 3 months, they must be vaccinated against rabies.
In addition, we strongly recommend that you vaccinate your dog/cat with all the necessary annual vaccinations that are given in your country.
Vaccination against kennel cough is also recommended.
If you wish to import a dog into South Africa, your dog must pass the following blood tests within 30 days before the date of export:
- Brucella canis
- Trypanosoma evansi
- Babesia gibsoni
- Dirofilaria immitis
If your country is free of one or more of the diseases listed above, your dog will not need to be blood tested for diseases that your country is free of. Please note that the veterinary authorities of your country must officially declare this.
Dogs that test positive for any of the five diseases will not be able to enter South Africa. Dogs requiring quarantine in South Africa will be re-tested for these five diseases.
During quarantine, if your dog tests positive for Brucella canis, Babesia gibsoni or Leishmania, your dog will have to return to the exporting country. If your dog tests positive for Dirofilaria immitis or Trypanosoma evansi during quarantine, you will be given the opportunity to treat your dog as necessary. After the treatment, the dog will need to be tested again, and only with negative results will it be released from quarantine. If you choose not to treat the dog, you will have to send it back to the exporting country.
It is important to note that all costs (such as quarantine, testing, treatment and reshipment of the dog) are the responsibility of the owner.
Unlike dogs, cats imported into South Africa do not need to undergo any of the above blood tests.
The veterinary health certificate provided with the import permit must be completed within 10 days before the flight.
The veterinary certificate must be completed by a private veterinarian and certified by the veterinary authority of the exporting country.
The original health certificate must be presented to the State Veterinarian of South Africa at the port of entry.
Dogs and cats entering South Africa from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Swaziland must undergo a health check within 7 days before the flight.
Dogs and cats entering South Africa must have a veterinary import permit. The import permit is usually issued within 2-5 working days. The original import permit must be presented to the State Veterinarian of South Africa at the port of entry. Pet owners can send the original import permit along with the dog/cat or it can be presented to the officials at the airport by the person that will collect the pet.
Dogs and cats entering South Africa from the following countries are not required an import permit:
Dogs and cats can enter South Africa only as declared cargo (with an air waybill), as pet owners cannot bring their pets to South Africa as excess baggage or in the cabin of an aircraft.
Dogs that need to undergo quarantine can enter South Africa only through the international airports of OR Tambo (Johannesburg) or Cape Town.
Cats and dogs (which do not require quarantine) can also enter South Africa through Durban International Airport.
Dogs entering South Africa from the following countries will not be quarantined: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Comoros, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungry, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Reunion, Romania, Seychelles, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, United States, and Zimbabwe.
If your country is not listed above, your dog will be quarantined for 14 days.
If your dog is coming from an island, you should contact the Ministry of Agriculture to find out if your dog will be quarantined upon arrival.
Cats entering South Africa are usually not quarantined.
Here are some questions about bringing pets to South Africa:
Is a rabies antibody test required to import a dog or cat into South Africa?
Dogs and cats do not need to be tested for rabies antibodies to bring them into South Africa.
I have a small dog. Can I bring my dog on the plane?
No! Pets may enter South Africa only as declared cargo.
How long does it take to import a dog/cat into South Africa?
The duration of the process depends on many factors, such as: where you are moving from, what animal you have (dog or cat), the age of your pet, etc.
It is recommended that pet owners start the process 2-3 months before the planned travel date.
Can I bring my pit bull to South Africa?
South African authorities allow pit bulls and other "dangerous" dog breeds to enter South Africa.
National emergency response service - 10111
Emergency help from a mobile phone - 112
*By dialing this number, you will get to the automated menu. Don't let it upset you. This menu serves to control the sequence of care and screen out abuses in the medical and emergency care system.
Ambulance - 10177
*This number can be used in the event of a medical emergency and can be called in conjunction with the fire and police services, respectively, depending on the presence or absence of casualties.
Other useful contacts are available at https://www.santam.co.za/blog/what-we-do/the-top-emergency-numbers-every-south-african-should-have/
For information and advice on South African customs regulations, visit the official customs website: https://www.sars.gov.za/customs-and-excise/travellers/arrival-in-sa/
INFORMATION FOR MOTORISTS
To drive in South Africa, foreigners must have a full license issued in their country of residence. Valid licenses are those printed in English; if the license is in any other language, an International Driving Permit (IDP) must be obtained.
Licenses must be signed by the permit holder and have a photo.
Drivers must always have their driver's license with them when on the road. Travelers are also advised to make a copy of the permit as a backup.
When it comes to renting a car, rental companies have different policies regarding the validity of a driver's license. Customers should check with the car rental company in advance.
Are there any special requirements for driving or renting a car in South Africa?
Driving is done on the left side, and cars drive on the right. Roads are generally good and you don't necessarily need a 4WD in South Africa.
In South Africa you may find yourself driving very long distances, so stop often as fatigue is a major cause of road accidents.
Also, refuel regularly as there are few gas stations in the country.
PRACTICAL ADVICE FROM EXPERIENCED TOURISTS
1. What is the safest way to travel around cities.
- Renting a car is a great option. The roads are mostly in good condition.
- Enjoy quality public transportation in Cape Town with MyCiti. They have a great mobile app that you can use to plan routes, calculate fares, and even top up your myconnect card. The card costs R35.
- Gauteng has the Gautrain train, which is a very safe option, but has a limited number of routes.
- Taxis are not recommended for tourists.
- Uber is a safe option. Check your Uber and the Uber driver as there have been reported cases of people posing as Uber drivers.
- Hitchhiking in South Africa is not safe.
2. Although most shops and restaurants accept credit cards, it is still a good idea to carry some cash (especially small change). ATMs are readily available in most shopping centers, gas stations and supermarkets if you want to withdraw money. You can also withdraw money at the airport upon arrival. However, it is best not to travel in South Africa with large amounts of cash.
3. South Africa's electrical grid is 220/230 volts, and outlets accept two-pronged or three-pronged rounded plugs. Hotels often have 110-volt outlets for electric shavers and USB outlets for other electronic devices.
4. In accordance with South African law, please note that smoking is not permitted in public places and buildings unless they are specifically designated as smoking areas.
5. Often, wherever you park - outside a restaurant, on the beach, in a supermarket, etc. - you will encounter young men who will offer to look after your car and protect it from being broken into while you are away, in exchange for a fee (a few rands) upon your return.Some of these guards are officially hired by the establishment, and some are young unemployed guys who are just trying to make some money.
Representative offices and embassies of the South Africa around the world: https://www.southafricavisa.com/list-of-south-africa-embassies/
Entering South Africa as British Citizen
The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.
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- I applied for insurance, but haven’t received the code. What to do? In this case, we advise you to reload the page, clear the cache, change the language on the page, or use another browser.
- What should I do if I haven’t received the policy to the specified mail for more than 30 minutes? Please, contact the hotline and provide the data specified when applying for the insurance.
- I cannot pay for the insurance, what should I do? If your payment fails, we recommend contacting your bank, they often do not trust payment systems. You need to confirm that it is you who are doing the transaction.
- Where can I read the terms and conditions of my insurance contract? You can read about the terms of the insurance contract on our website in the section of the insurance policy registration.
- What if I have purchased a policy but my trip is canceled? Please inform the hotline of the portal about the reasons for the trip cancellation, and we will gladly reschedule your dates
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UK Dual Citizenship for South Africans
If you wish to apply for British nationality and keep your South African citizenship, you first need to get permission from South African authorities. Get in touch with IAS UK immigration experts to find out more.
Call us on 0333 305 3612 for immediate help & assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.
Request a call back from our immigration experts
Page contents, british dual citizenship for south africans.
- Applying for for UK-South African dual citizenship
- Retaining your South African nationality
- Travelling to and from South Africa
Your rights as a British-South African dual citizen
Frequently asked questions.
- How can we help?
Dual Citizenship for South Africans
The United Kingdom allows dual citizenship, which is the right to become a citizen of another country while holding second (or multiple) passports.
However, it may get more complicated when it comes to your South African passport if you wish to become a UK national. The 2006 South African Nationality Act stipulates that any South African citizen over the age of 18 who wish to hold dual citizenship must first apply to retain their South African nationality.
If you are applying for British Citizenship from South Africa and you want to keep your first nationality, you can seek the professional advice of IAS’ UK immigration lawyers. Call us today to book your first advice session with one of our specialists, and to discuss your case.
The South African Citizenship Act states that a South African national must apply and be granted permission to retain their South African citizenship, prior to the acquisition of foreign nationality.
This is something you must always take into account before applying for UK citizenship and before requesting a British passport .
If you don’t obtain this prior permission, you will automatically lose your South African nationality on the voluntary acquisition of foreign citizenship.
This rules only apply to South African citizens aged 18 or over. If you are a minor, you are not required to apply for permission to seek your home country nationality, if you acquire British citizenship before you turn 18.
How to apply for retention of South African citizenship
According to Section 6 of the Citizenship Act, South African citizens must apply for permission to retain their nationality before they apply for UK dual citizenship.
Failing to do that will result in the loss of your South African citizenship.
Under certain circumstances, you may not need to apply for South African citizenship retention. For example, if you obtained British citizenship by birth , as one of your parents was born in the UK, you would automatically qualify for a foreign passport and you wouldn’t need to apply to retain your South African citizenship.
If you wish to apply for British citizenship, you must first request to maintain your South African nationality.
One year before you submit your application, you must provide detailed proof of continuous residence, along with a copy of your South African passport.
You can submit your request to the Home Affairs head office in the UK by completing the DHA-175 and DHA BI-1664 forms.
Get in touch with IAS UK immigration lawyers to find out more and receive assistance with your British citizenship and South African nationality retention applications.
How to retain your South African nationality
The first step is to apply for a Certificate of Non-Acquisition from the UK Home Office.
One of IAS’ UK immigration lawyers in South Africa can help you submit this request, which will result in a letter confirming that you have not yet acquired British nationality.
The second stage is to submit your application to the South African High Commission.
This is an essential phase, where you are applying for a Certificate of Retention. If your request is successful, you will be able to apply for British nationality and be a dual citizen.
This application can be done either in person or post. Your IAS consultant can provide you with more advice.
Entering and exiting South Africa
According to the South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 2004, it is an offence for a South African citizen holding dual nationality to enter or depart the Republic of South Africa using the passport of another country.
In other words, if you have dual citizenship, you must by law enter and leave South Africa using your South African passport. You can still use your British passport to leave and enter any other country, according to that country’s rules.
As a South African dual citizen, you can use your British passport and nationality freely when travelling outside of South Africa.
However, if you are in South Africa, you are not allowed to use your UK nationality to gain an advantage or to avoid any responsibility or duty which you would otherwise have or not have been entitled to.
Get in touch with our expert immigration attorneys to learn how to get UK dual citizenship. Contact us
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Last modified on Jun 17th, 2023 at 2:40 pm
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How do I avoid losing my South African citizenship when applying for UK nationality?
To retain your South African citizenship, you must request formal permission from the South African Department of Home Affairs. If your application is successful, you will receive a “Letter of Retention”, proving that you are entitled to British dual nationality.
What happens if I try to enter South Africa with my British passport?
According to the 2004 Act, all South Africans departing or arriving at a port of entry in South Africa with a foreign passport will be issued with a warning. This will give you three months to obtain a South African passport.
The same applies if your South African passport has expired.
Can I resume my South African citizenship after I have lost it?
The only way to resume your South African citizen once you have lost it by applying for UK nationality is to move back to South Africa permanently.
If you were born in South Africa, you will never lose your right to permanent residence in this country, even though you lost your nationality. Once back in South Africa permanently, you will be able to apply for the resumption of your citizenship.
What happens if I lose my South African citizenship?
By renouncing or forfeiting your South African citizenship to get British nationality, you may affect the immigration future and background of your children and family. Besides, this can have a serious impact on your taxes or from an inheritance tax point of view.
I have UK dual citizenship. Can I lose my South African passport?
Based on the South African Citizenship Act of 1995, in the past, the Minister of Home Affairs could deprive a citizen of their nationality for having used the citizenship of a foreign country. However, this has now been repealed and you don’t need to seek permission to use your British passport.
How do I enter South Africa if I renounced my citizenship?
If you have renounced South African citizenship and you obtained British nationality, you have lost your right to a South African passport. In this case, you need a certificate from the South African authorities to entry with your non-South African passport.
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South African visa information
What you need to know about south africa's entry requirements..
This page is for people travelling to South Africa, and covers the requirements for entry to the country.
Most visitors to South Africa, including UK passport holders, won't need a visa if they're staying less than 90 days.
Important information if you are travelling with children: Please read the section below about children carefully as there are specific requirements you should be aware of.
For more information and advice, contact the South African High Commission .
What you'll find on this page:
Apply for a visa to South Africa
Information for UK passport holders
Travelling with children
Apply for a South African visa
Most people travelling to South Africa won't need a visa, if they're staying for less than 90 days. However, if you do need one, we can help. We've partnered with VisaCentral , the global visa and passport experts. They can apply on your behalf for a fee. And if you're a Flying Club member, you'll also earn two miles for every £1 you spend.
You can also apply for your visa through the South African High Commission in London:
South African High Commission
South African High Commission South Africa House Trafalgar Square London WC2N 5DP
Tel: (0) 20 7451 7299
If you are a UK passport holder visiting South Africa, your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 30 days from the date that you leave the country. Your passport should have at least 2 blank pages when you present it at immigration to enter or leave South Africa.
This guidance is for UK passport holders only. Passengers from other countries should check with the necessary Government department in their country of residence for travel information.
Travelling to South Africa with children
There have been some recent changes to South Africa’s immigration rules. These affect everyone who has children under 18 years old who are travelling to or from South Africa, with or without their parents or guardians. The requirements apply regardless of nationality. In order to be allowed to travel, customers affected by this change must bring the necessary paperwork when travelling.
Where parents are travelling together with a child , the parents must produce an unabridged birth certificate* for the child (certified copies are acceptable).
If only one parent is travelling with a child , they must prove consent, in the form of an affidavit from the other parent, or a court order, or (where applicable) a death certificate for a deceased parent.
If a person is travelling with a child who is not their biological child , they must produce an unabridged birth certificate* for the child (certified copies are acceptable), an affidavit from the child’s parents or legal guardian giving consent to travel, and copies of the identity documents or passport of the parents or legal guardian.
Unaccompanied minors must prove consent for their own travel into or from South Africa, in the form of (i) a letter or affidavit from one or both parents or legal guardian (if only one parent then also a court order under which he/she has full parental responsibilities); (ii) a letter from the person who is to receive the child in South Africa, containing his or her residential address and contact details in South Africa where the child will be residing; (iii) a certified copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in South Africa; and (iv) the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.
Further information can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website or the UK Foreign and Commonwealth website .
*The unabridged birth certificate must display both parents' names on it.
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Everything You Need To Know About South Africa Visa
All UK nationals can visit South Africa, and can stay inside the country for 90 days without a visa.
Depending on the purpose and nature of the foreign national’s visit, authorities in South Africa have classified their visas into several types, and some of the most noted ones are mentioned below.
South Africa tourist visa
UK citizens intending to visit South Africa for tourism-related activities can apply for a tourist visa. Even though a tourist visa is not required for British nationals to enter South Africa, the traveler should meet the conditions mentioned below to stay visa free.
- The passport of the applicant should be machine readable, and it should have a minimum validity of six months. The passport should also have two blank visa pages for possible markings. If the passport of the foreign national is less than six months, it is highly recommended to renew it before starting your trip to South Africa.
- The traveler should hold all documents that shows the nature and purpose of the trip.
- In order to visit South Africa for tourism-related activities, the foreign national should hold proof of sufficient funds. As a proof of sufficient funds, the foreign national can carry recent bank statements during the trip.
- It is necessary to hold proof of onward and return flight tickets.
- The UK citizen should hold all documents that are required for the next destination.
- Before the journey, the traveler should confirm with the airline that boarding is allowed without a visa, as these rules are subject to change.
South Africa business visa
South Africa issues business visas to foreign nationals who intend to visit the country for business-related activities. It should be noted that British nationals do not need to obtain a business visa to stay in the country for 90 days.
However, the traveler should make sure that he or she is meeting the conditions mentioned below.
- During the journey, the traveler should carry a machine-readable passport with a minimum validity of six months, and two blank pages.
- It is necessary to old proof of sufficient funds.
- In order to stay visa free in South Africa for business purposes, the applicant should hold all documents that prove the nature and purpose of the trip.
- The traveler should hold proof of onward and return flight tickets. It is also recommended to carry the full version of the itinerary.
- The traveler should also hold all documents required for the next destination.
- It is always recommended to confirm with the airline company that boarding is permitted without a visa.
Note: Even though British nationals do not need a visa, citizens of countries like India who reside in the United Kingdom should obtain a visa to enter South Africa.
South Africa transit visa
Citizens of the United Kingdom do not need a visa, if they are transiting to a different destination through South Africa.
In order to stay visa-free, British nationals should make sure that they are meeting the conditions mentioned below.
- To stay visa free, the foreign national should make sure that he or she is transiting through O R Tambo, Cape Town, King Shaka or Lanseria International.
- The applicant should carry a machine-readable passport.
- The passport of the applicant should have a minimum validity of six months. This passport should also have sufficient blank pages.
- It is necessary to hold visa for the next country where applicable.
- The traveler should hold all documents required for the next destination.
- It is necessary to hold proof of sufficient funds.
- The traveler should hold proof of onward and return flight tickets.
- Before the journey, the traveler should confirm with the airline company that boarding is permitted without a visa.
What will happen if foreign nationals overstay in South Africa?
South Africa is a country where laws are strictly followed, and violators will be compelled to face strict legal consequences.
As per the amended South African Immigration Act 13 of 2002, overstaying after the validity of the visa is considered a serious offense, and violators will be banned from entering the Republic for the next five years.
Note: On June 01, 2015, South African authorities revealed that minors under the age of 18 should submit their passport along with an unabridged birth certificate with particulars of both parents to enter the country. If the child is traveling with only parent, an affidavit from the absent parent should be submitted. If the child is traveling with another adult other than parents, it is necessary to submit an affidavit signed by both the parents. However, this move received widespread backlash, and as of October 2016, more than 13,000 tourists were denied entry to South Africa due to the unabridged birth certificate requirement. In 2018, authorities in South Africa revealed that they are planning to intend the scrap this requirement for children traveling.
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South Africa Visa Information
British citizens visiting South Africa for 90 days or less do not need a visa.
Passport Validity for South Africa Travel
Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in South Africa. Your passport must be machine-readable and have a free double-page inside (in addition to any amendment/additional pages you have at the back). Visitors who do not have these blank pages will be denied entry.
For more information, please check with the embassy.
Other Important Information
When travelling to Johannesburg or Tambo International Airport in South Africa, only bags with one flat surface are accepted; round or irregular-shaped bags, or bags with long straps, are not allowed. This is to enable the smooth running of the baggage-handling system. Plastic bags are banned in many of South Africa’s neighbouring countries, including Botswana, Kenya and Rwanda, so be aware if you are travelling through these destinations.
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South Africa travel advice
On this page:
South Africa travel alerts
There are currently no travel alerts - You're good to go!
Please check the travel advice for all countries in your itinerary .
You must check all requirements before heading to the airport.
For fully vaccinated travellers
There are currently no covid-19 travel restrictions in place. .
Your UK passport should be valid for at least 30 days beyond the date you plan to leave South Africa and have at least two blank pages.
If your passport was issued by another country, check the requirements for travelling to South Africa with the relevant government department.
Most customers can visit South Africa for up to 90 days without a visa.
Check with the South African Department of Home Affairs for an official list of visa-exempt countries .
Documents for children
The following documents are required if your child is travelling unaccompanied into or out of South Africa:
- A copy of their birth certificate or equivalent document
- parental consent letter(s)
- A copy of the passport(s) or identity document(s) of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s)
- contact details of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s)
- copy of a death certificate
- copy of an adoption order
- copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child.
If your child is South African, additional documents will be required, even if you’re travelling with them.
Documents required for South African children travelling together with both parents:
- A copy of the child’s birth certificate (or equivalent document) showing the details of both parents.
Documents required for South African children travelling with one parent/guardian or with anyone else:
- A letter of consent from the parent(s) not travelling with the child.
- Contact details of the parent(s) not travelling with the child.
- A copy of the passport(s) or identity document(s) of the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) not travelling with the child.
Further information can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website or the UK Foreign and Commonwealth website .
For non vaccinated travellers
There are currently no covid-19 travel restrictions in place..
If you passport was issued by another country, check the requirements for travelling to South Africa with the relevant government department.
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Can I travel to South Africa using my British passport? - South Africa Forum
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Can I travel to South Africa using my British passport?
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I hope someone can help me. I am South African born, married to a Brit and I have just received my British citizenship. Unfortunately I failed to retain my South African citizenship and apparently this has now been taken away from me.
I am sure this has been posted before, some time ago.
If you HAD applied to retain your http://S.A.Citizenship PRIOR to attaining British Citizenship, then you would have to enter South Africa on a SA Passport, as a S.A.citizen.
However you have lost your http://S.A.citzenship by attaining British Citizenship (if you did not previously apply to retain SA citizenship).
Therefore, you are a British citizen, travelling on a British passport, so what is the problem?
This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity.
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