How to Get a Visa to Travel to Africa: A Comprehensive Guide

Obtaining a visa is an important step when planning your trip to Africa. Learn about visa-free countries, yellow fever certificates, Section 11 visas and more.

How to Get a Visa to Travel to Africa: A Comprehensive Guide

Obtaining a visa to travel to Africa is an important step in planning your trip. It's essential to check the entry requirements of each country you plan to visit at the local embassy, consulate, or an accredited visa management company to get the most up-to-date visa information before you travel. You can also find a list of holidays that missions will celebrate this year on the website. To receive updates on the status of your application, type your email address in the upper right corner of the application form.

Green card holders (non-U. S. passport holders) and nationals of other countries should check the list of visa-free countries to see if they need to apply for visas. If their countries don't appear on the list, they must apply for visas.

There are also countries that are visa-free if the applicant is traveling to South Africa for a period of 30 days or less. Additionally, some countries are required to apply for visas but are exempt from paying visa fees. The yellow fever certificate is only required if the applicant is passing through the yellow fever belt area before entering South Africa. For urgent or short-term work, a Section 11 visa can be issued (no longer than 3 months). When a new extension is required within the Republic, an extension may be allowed for a final period not to exceed three months.

However, applicants who have been issued a Section 11 visa and have been extended for another 3 months cannot apply for a Section 11 visa within the same calendar year. If a visa was issued with dates that overlap in a new calendar year, the dates corresponding to the new calendar year will be calculated as part of the new calendar year. Applicants should be aware that Section 11 is not a work visa and should not be used for regular and continuous work activity. For original equipment manufacturer (OEM) technicians who must travel to RSA year after year to maintain and repair the equipment, such applicants must re-apply for authorization each year. Section 11 consecutive applications submitted in the same year by the same applicant in the Mission will not be accepted.

Within the Republic, extensions or renewals that do not exceed 3 months will only be accepted once per calendar year. Unfortunately, internships in companies and organizations in South Africa are not allowed under the Immigration Act, as amended. Therefore, visas cannot be issued to foreigners for internships, including foreign students whose studies require an internship. Tourist and business visas are not required to travel to South Africa; however, you will need your passport, passport photo and proof of travel. Even when traveling with a U. passport, it can be useful to check the travel recommendations of other countries such as Canada, Britain and Australia to see if their health and safety advice matches those of the State Department.

Most travelers need hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines, while some travelers should receive hepatitis B or rabies vaccines. It's also advisable to have vaccines for any type of trip; some are mandatory to travel to Africa and authorities check them at the airport before allowing visitors in. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in being denied entry, detained, deported or considered inadmissible to enter South Africa in the future. Finally, visit the Department of Interior's website for the most up-to-date requirements for traveling with minors to or from South Africa.

Tia Szymansky
Tia Szymansky

Having Spent 8 Years Travelling, I have decided to Live in Africa for the past 2 years. Love every moment of it and sharing my best guides and tips if you plan on travelling here. Africa is always oversighted due to media and I believe with my blog, I can help revive the African Travel and Tourism Industry and invite you all here for a fantastic time :)

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