South Africa Welcomes Tourists: Get Your Visa for the Trip
South Africa is now open for tourists after months of being in a strict lockdown. The virus situation has drastically improved, and the number of infected people has been on a rapid decline. Due to this tendency, a few restrictions have been lifted or canceled altogether , and now foreigners are welcome to explore the country yet again. Check the following post to learn more on how to get to South Africa and enjoy its culture in the COVID-19 times.
Who Needs a Visa
Over 50 countries have signed a special visa abolition agreement with South Africa. It makes the process of crossing borders twice faster. If your country is on the list, you don’t have to apply for a visa beforehand and you can stay for 30 to 90 days, depending on the citizenship you hold.
If you can’t find your country on the list, then start preparing documents in advance to get the visa in time. It can take several weeks before your application is finalized.
Apply in Person
Unfortunately, it’s not yet possible to obtain an eVisa like in other countries. But a new online system is about to be launched soon. It’ll make the process faster and more convenient for tourists. Meanwhile, you’ll have to contact the nearest Embassy to submit the necessary documents in person. Book an appointment in advance to avoid queues.
Before you submit the application, check if you’ve got all the documents you need:
- Your international passport with pages for entry and exit stamps
- 2 color South African visa photos
- Booked flight tickets
- A bank statement proving your ability to cover the expenses
- Medical insurance
- A filled-in B1-84 form
The application fee is $36. You’ll get the results in about a month, but usually the process is much shorter, if you had attached all correct documents. Wait for a notification from the Embassy and come pick your visa up or order a courier delivery service.
Get Your Photo 100% Compliant
It’s particularly important to follow photo requirements to avoid delays or rejections. Make sure it’s 35×45 mm, with shoulders in the frame. There must be space between the top of your head and the upper part of the image.
There are other official requirements to meet to have the application accepted. They are hard to follow by non-professionals, so check the compliance and edit the photo online. Here is how it works:
- Take a picture from home using your smartphone. Choose a well-lit area and watch out for over or under exposed spots. It must be even, with no shadows in the frame
- Choose the best shot and don’t try to photoshop it yourself
- Upload the file to an online photo tool and wait for a couple of seconds. The system will process the document and give you a download link to your digital picture and a template ready for printing. Take it to the post office or offline photo center to have it printed out. This way, you save on money and time.
New Restrictions to Follow to Keep Safe
- Take several masks to wear in public places. Change them regularly and use alcohol-based lotions to disinfect surfaces. It’s forbidden to gather in groups of more than 250 people indoors and 500 outside.
- Foreigners must submit a PCR test with negative coronavirus results. It must be taken no earlier than 72 hours before the departure. If passengers don’t have a vaccination certificate, they’ll have to quarantine for two weeks.
- All travelers will have their temperature measured. If border officers notice flu-like symptoms, people will be asked to take an additional test. If it shows positive results, they’ll also have to quarantine for 2 weeks.
- The hotels, tourist attractions, and events will be open. However, people must follow the rules of social distancing.
Tourism is a huge deal for South Africa and the nation’s economy in particular. This is why the government does everything to make the country as safe as possible. To make your stay in South Africa twice as enjoyable, ensure all your documents are correct, the vaccine certificate is translated and the photos are up to standard. Follow this and you shouldn’t meet any problem on your way to a relaxing vacation.