Your Complete Guide to Applying for a South Africa Visa in Nigeria: Requirements, Procedures, and Tips

South africa visa in nigeria

When planning to travel to South Africa, you need to apply for a South African visa in Nigeria. The visa is one of the essential documents needed for your flight. It is important to know the requirement and process of obtaining a South African visa in Nigeria. Also, you could be denied entry if you do not apply for the correct visa/ permit.

You need to obtain your visa before travelling because visas are not given at the ports of entry to South Africa. The visa is proof that the application has been accepted and that the visa officer has found you eligible to gain access into the country.

Below is a list of the categories and various forms of visas available to you.

There are two major types of South African visa and they are;

Non-immigrant visa

Immigrant visa

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Non-immigrant visa

 This Visa holds an option to travel without the need for citizenship. The visa is considered to be a visitors’ permit upon arrival in South Africa. The validity of the permit is calculated from the date of entry into the country.

The visa is issued for a maximum of 90 days. There are restrictions to the activities you can involve in based on the purpose for which your visa is issued.

The charges for the visa are reviewed annually. Therefore, you need to confirm the cost with your nearest South African mission or Department of Home Affairs. The requirements for applying for a South African visa in Nigeria are also subject to change. It is essential to confirm with the embassy to know the current requirements and whether you are qualified for application.

The visitors’ permit or non-immigrant visa could be issued for tourism, research/ conferences, voluntary/ charity programmes, sports activities, visiting family and relatives on work/ study visas etc.

However, there are further sub-categories of non-immigrant or visitors’ visas that are peculiar to your desire. These include:

Also Read: How to Apply for US Visa In Nigeria

south african visa

1. Work Visa  

This is a temporary residence visa that comes in different categories. It is issued to foreigners that have an offer from an organization in South Africa. 

The visa is issued to foreigners for a period of time. The application is lodged through the Visa Facilitation Centres across the country or the nearest South African Embassy. The work visa is issued for a specific period depending on the kind of work visa applied for.

Some examples of work visas are;

Intra-Company Transfer Work Visa

Employees who are transferred by foreign multi-national companies to any branch in South Africa need to apply for an intra-company transfer work visa.

The visas are issued for 4 years without renewal or extension. When applying for this type of visa you need to submit the following

a. A letter showing an employment contract with the country abroad

b. A police clearance record from the former country you lived for 12 months or longer.

c. Essential documents for spouse or children if they will accompany you

d. Declaration of financial status as proof that you can cover all expenses pending the time you receive your salary. It could be either a travellers’ cheque, bank statement or cash.

e. A cash deposit of equal value to return the ticket

f. A valid passport 

g. A letter from the South African country confirming the transfer. Details of the letter should include occupation, confirmation that the duration of employment will not be more than 4 years and the capacity in which you will be employed

h. Medical reports

i. A letter of undertaking to confirm the validity of your passport, confirm acceptance of the position. The permit is issued and to accept that you will leave the country once the period of four years comes to an end.

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Critical skills work Visa

This type of visa is issued for a maximum period of five years. To apply for this visa you need to have the following documents ready for submission.

a. Financial status declaration to prove that you can handle all expenses before receiving a salary

b. A filled and duly signed application all done by you

c. A valid passport

d. A police clearance certificate

e. A document that serves as proof of employment 12 months after obtaining the visa. It should contain the specific occupation and area of employment.

 f. Proof of certificate of registration with any board recognized by South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

2. Medical visa

This visa is issued to those visiting South Africa for medical reasons within less than three months.

 However, if your treatment would last for more than three months, you must apply for a temporary resident permit. If you will be accompanied by someone it is essential to have the particulars of whoever will be accompanying you.

In cases of emergency patients who require urgent attention, they are allowed entry without a visa.

However, the pilot who flies in the emergency patient is required to report the entry of the patient to an office of the Department of Home Affairs without delay. The patient would be visited by an immigration officer and will be issued a medical permit for the period of treatment.

When applying for a medical visa you must have the following documents. The documents needed are;

a. Detailed information of the person or institution that would be responsible for medical bills and hospital fees

b. A valid International passport with at least one free page for a visa

c. Completed and duly signed application form

d. Proof of medical coverage if the expenses will be handled by a medical scheme or your employer

Also, proof of financial means is required if any of the above-mentioned would not be liable for your medical expenses

e. Letter from a medical doctor/practitioner/ institution the letter should include;

The reason or urgency of treatment, the nature of the sickness and the period required for treatment

Document showing appointment for treatment in South Africa

3. Study visa:

For students who intend to study in South Africa, you can apply for a South African study visa in Nigeria. There are steps to be taken if you are applying for a study visa. The visa application must be done at the nearest South African embassy or mission abroad. It can also be done at any VFS centre near your institution of learning. The visa is valid for the period of study.

To apply for a study visa, you will need to complete the BI-1738 form. Some other documents required for a study visa are;

a. Proof of medical cover

b. An official letter from the academic institution you want to study. The letter should contain the duration of the course, specification of the course and confirmation of provisional admission and acceptance.

c. Radiology and medical test reports

d. Valid passport for at least 30 days deadline after the expiry of the visa

e. Certificate of vaccination may be required

f. Payment of required visa fee

g. A cash deposit equal to the price of a return ticket.

For African students, you would be required to submit a letter of undertaking from a recognised government or institution to take full responsibility.

For those over 18 years, you will be required to submit a police clearance from the country you live. The clearance is to be submitted with the application.

Minors also would be required to;

i. Submit a valid birth certificate.

j. Consent letter from parents or parents with full custody and proof of custody. The letter should be a letter of consent for your stay in South Africa

k. Letter from the learner’s guardian attesting to guardianship

l. Relevant document of the learner’s guardian in South Africa

j. Submit proof of cover for all medical expenses during the duration of the study. It is to be renewed annually.

As a holder of this visa, you are allowed to work part-time for a maximum of 20 hours per week. You also need to have proof showing your financial capability to pay tuition fees and daily expenses during your stay in South Africa.

4. Business visa

This visa is issued to foreigners who have the intention to invest in South Africa’s economy either in an existing business or by establishing a new business. To invest in an existing business you will need to invest a specific amount of financial capital quota. To apply for a South African business visa from Nigeria, you will need to establish your business in South Africa. These are the following steps required;

a. Fill out the online application form.

b. Write an undertaking that at least 60% of the staff to be employed will be South African Citizens or permanent residents of South Africa.

c. A police clearance certificate from your resident country for 18 years

d. Yellow fever vaccination certificate if you would travel through endemic areas of yellow fever.

e. Have an undertaking to register with the following institutions

Compensation Fund for Occupational Injuries, The South African Revenue Service, Companies and intellectual properties commission, Unemployment insurance funds and any other recognised professional body.

 Note: The required capital can be reduced or cancelled depending on the type of industry or business you intend to establish.

5. Retired Person’s visa

This visa is issued to those who want to retire in South Africa. To apply for this visa you must abide by the financial requirements and regulations in the Immigration Act,2002. (Act 13 of 2002).

Thereafter you must submit your application and required documents alongside your Temporary residence permit.

You need to have;

a. A free page for a visa and a valid passport

b. 2 recent passport-size photographs

c. A copy of a valid resident permit

d. Proof of medical cover

e. Permit fees

f. Medical report

g. Police clearance from your resident country since you became 18 years.

Other forms of visa available in this category are;

Corporate visa, exchange visa, tourist visa, Maritime visa etc.

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Documents Required When Applying For A South African Visitors Visa

When applying for a visitors’ visa in Nigeria, there are some essential requirements you need. These requirements are needed to be submitted at the embassy to get your visa approved. For Nigerian citizens, visa requirements depend on your reason for entering the country and the duration of your stay in South Africa.

The required documents you need include;

  • Proof of sufficient funds to suffice for daily expenses during your stay
  • Valid international passport or travel document for a period of stay
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate
  • Statement of account
  • Visa application form filled and duly signed with black pen
  • Document showing payment of prescribed visa fees
  • Yellow fever vaccination card (may not be required)
  • Flight reservation
  • Proof of social ties to Nigeria
  • Pay slip for six months
  • Three copies of current passport data pages
  • Document showing the duration and reason for the visit.
  • Two colour passport photographs
  • If you intend to travel by air you need a return ticket
  • For a minor travelling alone, you need to include a letter of consent written and signed by the guardian

However, if you have underaged children flying with you, you need to include the following documents to the list above

Original birth certificate

Proof of custody

How do you apply for your South African visa in Nigeria?

Note that it takes about six working days or more to process your South African visa. The time frame varies as each application needs to go through critical screening.

You can apply for your South African visa at VFS (Visa Facilitation Service) Global in Lagos, Abuja or Port Harcourt. The application should be submitted physically at the designated application centre.

Location of VFS in Nigeria

Abuja Centre

The VFS centre in Abuja is situated at No 38, Lobito Crescent along Wuse2, Abuja.

It is open from Monday – Friday between the hours of 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Lagos Centre

The VFS application centre in Lagos is located at Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way, Opposite Treasure Garden Estate along the third Roundabout, Lekki Phase I, Lagos.

Their work hours run from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Port Harcourt Centre

The VFS Application Centre in Port Harcourt is situated at Vineyard Shopping Centre, 88 Woji Road, GRA, Port Harcourt

It is open from Monday – Friday between the hours of 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.

You need to get to the application centre in time because the centres have several entries accepted daily. You need to be there very early to avoid delay or not being attended to in time.

Ensure you take everything you need. You can also do well to check the South African Visa requirements need online for confirmation. After submission, you can monitor your visa application via the internet. You will get a notification once your application has been submitted and sent to the South African Embassy.

The visa can be collected at the VFS global centre. Ensure to go along with the receipt issued on the day of your application submission. Applications for your visa can be done at the nearest South African mission or any Department of Home Affairs.

However, for short trips such as visits, tourism and business trips, you are eligible as a Nigerian to apply for an online visa. This can be done through the South Africa E-visa Scheme.

South africa visa in nigeria

What Is An e-Visa?

The e-visa was initiated by The South African Department of Home Affairs in 2019. The main aim of this visa is to improve the visa application process for Nigerians.

How To Apply For The South African e-Visa in Nigeria

 Obtaining a visa from the South African embassy or consulate can be time-consuming and costly. The e-visa applies to all Nigerian citizens who intend to travel for business trips and short-term tourism.

The e-visa can be applied from the comfort of your home or office. It is valid for single or multiple entries depending on your duration of stay and other requirements. The e-visa is quite easy to apply for provided that you have a stable internet connection. You can apply for the visa on your phone, tablet or laptop etc.

However, before applying for the visa you need a valid passport, E-mail address and a debit or credit card for payment. To apply for the visa you need to fill out and submit an online application form. This doesn’t take long to fill. You will be required to fill in the following information such as;

Personal information and details of the trip, passport information. You will also be asked some health and security-related questions. Furthermore, you will be required to submit other supporting documents. Once your visa has been approved it is then linked to your passport. The date of arrival and validity period of the visa is confirmed upon approval. Note that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the intended date of your arrival.

Documents Required for the South Africa e-visa

You need to have a valid email address, your Nigerian passport and an active Credit or Debit card for payment of the visa fee. You also need to provide proof of sufficient funds to cover your expenses during the visit confirmation of a return or onward travel ticket yellow fever certificate(may not be required)

Immigrant visa

This applies to individuals who are relocating to become citizens of another country. This visa is issued as proof of permanent residency in the country.

Before applying for an immigrant visa, you need to be declared unprohibited and Desirable. To attain these qualifications you need to be able to contribute positively to the economic growth of South Africa.

 After thorough scrutinization by the Minister of Home Affairs. You will either get a positive or negative response. This will then determine your submission of your application for a resident permit.

There are two major permits which are: A direct resident permit or Residency-on-other-grounds permit.

Residency-on-other-grounds permits apply to foreigners That have unique skills and qualifications

That are self-independent (financially and in other areas) who is a relative of a South African citizen or permanent residence holder (They could either be biologically or Judicially adopted) Who intend to establish a business in South Africa qualify as a retired person

You qualify for a direct permanent residence permit with your spouse if you have both lived in South Africa based on a work permit. You must have lived in South Africa for at least five years or more

To proceed with an application you need to

  • Completely fill out the BI-947 form for submission alongside other documents such as
  • Police clearance for all areas you’ve lived in for at least a year since you were 18 years
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce or death certificate for a late spouse(if necessary)
  • Proof of custody for minors
  • Letter showing parental consent for minors
  • Proof of Judicial adoption
  • Valid temporary residence permit ( for those in South Africa already)
  • Full set of fingerprints

How much is the South African visa fee?

The South African visa fee is subject to change without notice. It is based on the current exchange rate.

Therefore, you need to confirm the current exchange rate and price of the visa before proceeding with the application.

All applicants are to pay in cash at Bank Implant inside VFS Centre. The fee can be changed without prior notice based on the current exchange rate. The visa fee current cost is based on the type of visa you are applying for. You need to ensure that you have a copy of the first page of your international passport when paying the required service and visa fee.

Need Help With South African Visa?

If you need help with your South African Visa in Nigeria. Please contact
Contact Travelwaka

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