South African Visa Process for Digital Nomads Made Simple

South Africa has emerged as an enticing destination for digital nomads seeking diverse landscapes and vibrant cultures.

South Africa has not yet introduced a specific visa tailored for digital nomads. But, for those interested in remote work in South Africa, here’s a breakdown of the application process for a South African visa:

Essential Information for Visitors’ Visas in South Africa

Visitors’ visas cater to international travellers looking to visit South Africa temporarily for tourism or business, with a maximum stay of 90 days. The visa confirms that your application has undergone review at a South African embassy, mission, or consulate, ensuring eligibility for entry based on a specific purpose.

Upon arrival at a South African port of entry, immigration officials determine your eligibility and the duration of your stay. Strict adherence to the activity or reason specified in the visa is crucial. The permit’s validity period is calculated from the entry date, detailed under the “conditions” section on the visa label. Applying for the correct visa/permit is vital to avoid entry refusal.

Requirements for visitor visas vary by country, with exemptions for some. Please see list here:

Each application is treated individually, so consulting the nearest South African mission, consulate abroad or the Department of Home Affairs is advisable. It’s important to note that visa fees are applicable and subject to annual updates. Payment can be made in various currencies depending on the country. Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airlines insist on visas before allowing boarding. Arriving without a visa may result in a return flight to the traveler’s home country.

Foreigners with long-term status in neighboring countries transiting through South Africa are exempt from the transit visa requirement if they have proof of their status.

Who Gets a South African Visa?

South African visitors’ visas may be granted for various purposes, including visits to family or friends, tourism, business, study, voluntary activities, research, conferences, medical purposes, and sports events.

Required Documents

When applying for the visa, you need:

  • A passport or travel document valid for at least 30 days after your intended visit’s expiry.
  • A completed Form BI-84 (visa application).
  • Payment of the prescribed fee.
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate (if required).
  • Documentation confirming the purpose and duration of your visit.
  • Two color passport photographs.
  • A return or onward ticket for air travel.

If travelling with children, additional documents are needed, including proof of guardianship or custody.

Requirements for Entering South Africa

For a visit to South Africa, ensure you have:

  • A valid and acceptable passport.
  • At least one blank page for endorsements.
  • A valid visa if required.
  • Sufficient funds for daily expenses.
  • A return or onward ticket.
  • Yellow fever certificates if your journey starts or passes through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.
Visa process for Digital Nomad

Visa Fees

Fees for a visitor’s visa under section 11(1) of the Immigration Act are applicable to passport/travel document holders of specific foreign countries using an ordinary passport. Diplomatic and official/service passport holders are exempt from visa fees. Note that countries marked with an asterisk below incur visa fees only if the intended visit exceeds thirty (30) days:

View full list here

Please note the application process and fees are subject to change without notice.

Source: Department of Home Affairs at

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