How to apply for a South African visa

If you intend to travel to South Africa for business or for the Johannesburg shopping festival. There are a few documents that are required for a smooth visa application process. I will highlight the documents needed, also note that a South African visa take a minimum of 7 working days to process so ensure to make your application early enough to avoid inconveniences. You will also have to part with a processing fee of Kshs 5,850.

The South African embassy in Kenya has outsourced their visa application process to VFS GLOBAL so you have to go through them to get your visa. One good thing about the VFS GLOBAL site is that it allows you to track your visa application hence enabling you to plan. They are located at 2nd Floor, West 1 Offices. Along Parklands Road Nairobi, Kenya opposite to “The Centre Point” commercial building.


The documents required include:

  1. Completed application form ( it can be downloaded here)
  2. A photocopy of a valid Yellow Fever Certificate (Centre page with signature)
  3. Verifiable return flight booking
  4. Signed confirmation of employment/study letter from employer/institution with contact details ( full name of employer, approved signatories, physical address and phone numbers)
  5. A valid passport (should be valid for a period of 1 month after departure from S.A)
  6. Photocopy of bio-data page of your current passport
  7. Passport size photo (45*35 mm)
  8. Self-employed applicants require a letter from their business, certificate of registration, documents with current contact address. If retired you are required to submit a written statement.

Holiday Visitors

In addition to the above requirements, they also need;

  1. Confirmed hotel reservations
  2. Proof of funds to sustain you in the form of an original 3 months statement signed and stamped by your bank or 3 month’s pay slips signed and stamped.
  3. A statement by the applicant confirming purpose and duration of visit.
  4. Sponsors business/tax registration documents
  5. Marriage certificate/affidavit accompanied by a letter if one’s spouse is taking care of expenses.

Business Visitor

They also require;

  1. Signed introduction letter from an employer where applicable with contact details, stating purpose and period of visit. (signed email attachments and faxes are acceptable)
  2. Proof of funds in the form of an original 3 month bank statement which is certified or 3 months’ pay slip signed and stamped
  3. A signed letter of invitation /confirmation of training/conference from the inviting host with full details of the company’s authorized representative’s physical address and phone numbers (landline is compulsory)
  4. Confirmed hotel reservations.

Visiting a Friend or Family Member

  1. Signed letter of invitation from a person living in South Africa with physical address and phone number
  2. Self-introduction letter with physical address, phone number with purpose and period of visit
  3. Certified copies of host’s identity documents, if a foreign national in S.A, a copy of the permit legalizing their stay in the country should be attached.
  4. Proof of funds in the form of 3 month’s bank statements or pay slips.