Visa Information: How to Apply for South African Visa in Nigeria

SA Airways

Want to apply for a South African Visa and you don’t know how to go about it? Don’t worry we have a wealth of experience and knowledge in this area because we go through the whole process now and then. We are proud to share our knowledge with you.

Before you can apply for a visa, you need a valid Nigerian Immigration passport (validity of at least 30 days after the intended stay). You can easily apply for an immigration passport online or go to the nearest Immigration office in your state or city.

There are different types of visas; people who want to migrate to South Africa and stay there for a long time are advised to apply for a Long Term Visa. You must have a very good reason for your long term stay. If you want to apply for a long term visa, you have to apply directly to South Africa High Commission in Lagos or Abuja.


The most common type of visa is the Visitor’s or Tourist Visa. Visitor’s visas are issued for temporary visits. The purpose of the visit may be to visit family and friends, vacation or holiday, business, study, attend conference or training and transit visa – just passing through South Africa.

Other types of short term visas are Official and Diplomatic Visas, which are normally issued to Government officials. A Study or Student Visa is issued to students who wish to study in South Africa for a long period. (more than 3 months).

Visa Requirements

  • A valid International Passport ( Ecowas passport)
  • Two identical passport size (45mmx45mm) photographs on white background showing the complete face.
  • Application Form (BI84) fully completed in black ink only
  • Copy of passport data page as well as copies of existing visa and previously issued visas. 4
  • Self-introduction letter with physical address and phone number.
  • Introduction/Recommendation letter from an Employer
  • Verifiable hotel reservation/bookings
  • Copy of international vaccination card (yellow fever card)
  • Proof of financial status (six months recent bank statement) or financial support letter from employer with six months bank statement in a case where the Employer is sponsoring the trip.
  • Applicant travelling on an official business should attach a letter of invitation/confirmation of training/conference, etc. from a South African Company with full details of the Company’s Authorised representative; physical address and phone numbers (landline number compulsory).
  • Birth Certificate for Minors/Children travelling with parents. Where applicable, a consent letter with copies of parents’ identification card/passport data page, which should be attached to the application.
  • Marriage Certificate where applicable and if the intended stay will be for more than 90 days.
  • Booking Verifiable Flight

Click here for the complete South Africa Visa Requirements check-list from the South African High Commission, Nigeria. Click here to download and print the South African Visa Application Form.

How to Apply for a South African Visa

You can apply for a South African visa at VFS Application Centres in Lagos or Abuja. The application process is fast and simple if you have all the required documents. Applicants are required to submit their applications personally at the Application Centre.

South African Visa fees including the service fee is N18, 000. Payment are made only to the bank at the Application Centre and you can only make payment after your application documents have been checked and packaged for you. If the required documents are not complete, you cannot make any payment and your documents will not be accepted. You will have to go back, repackage your documents and make sure they meet the visa requirements and then come back to submit.

You should make sure that you have all the documents indicated on the requirement check-list or else your visa could be delayed or may not be granted.


Submission time is between 8am to 3pm on Monday to Friday except on public holidays. About 200 application entries are accepted daily in Lagos while 150 entries are accepted in Abuja. If you are the 201th person in Lagos or 151th person in Abuja, you will have to come back the second day.

Submission period is always crazy, there are always a long queue with lots of applicants in a day. Sometimes more than 300 applicants are there that some would have to come back the next day. This happens a lot during the festive periods; therefore, you need to get to the application centre as early as 7 am so that you can submit early and not wait for a long time.

Visa Processing

According VSF Global, visa application processing is resolved within 6 working days of the application submission. However, from experience, it does not work that way, some visa applications require additional processing time which takes longer than the 6 working days required for routine processing. It really depends on your travel time from the date you submitted your application. If you are travelling a week or two weeks after you have submitted your application, it is likely you collect your passport before someone whose travel date is a month or two months away, even if you submitted your applications the same day.


Collection time is between 11am to 3pm on Monday to Friday except on public holidays. When coming for collection, bring along the receipt you were given on the submission day. You will be alerted through an SMS when your application has been sent to the South African Embassy on the submission day and you will be alerted for collection when your passport arrives back to the VSF Global Centre.

You can track your application online by entering your ‘Reference Number’ and your ‘Date of Birth’ and you will know if it is time for collection.

VFS Global Office Addresses

South Africa Visa Application Centre, Lagos
Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way, Opposite Treasure Garden Estate
Third Roundabout, Lekki Phase I, Lagos

South Africa Visa Application Centre, Abuja.
No. 38, Lobito Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja.

South Africa Embassy Address in Nigeria

South Africa High Commission, Lagos
24 Molade Okoya Thomas Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

South Africa High Commission, Abuja
71 Usuma Street, Maitama, Abuja


If you have any questions about how to apply for a South African Visa, please let us know in the comment box below.


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Our Readers Comments

  1. a south african film production company applied for visas for Nigerian actors to work in South Africa on a commercial from 8th to 10th April 2015. they were told that 5 working days were needed. they intended submitting all necessary forms and docs on 26th March but were told that the embassy was closed until 1st April. in the end the visas could not be issued until well after 8th April. can you let me know what a reasonable period to expect granting of the visas would be and confirm for me that the embassy was closed from 26th March to 1st April. many thanks.

  2. How long will it take the visa to be ready if I apply this week

  3. Thanks for a job well done on this platform. Pls Kemi,my daughter and I was denied a relative visa saying wrong application. Can we apply for a visiting visa immediately or we ll have to wait for some time.thanks

    • I wish to go for tourism in South Africa as a Nigerian. What are the documents I need to submit to the embassy. Thanks

    • Hi Adedayo, thanks for your comment. We do not specialise in visa of any kind. I would suggest you contact the Embassy direct and they should be able to assist or point you in the correct direction.

      Best of luck.


  4. i am a citizen of nigerian and i will like to travel to south african just for a tourism and how would i apply for the tourism visa in nigerian

  5. How much can i do south african visa

  6. Please leave your comment…I would like to know how much is the air ticket to South Africa.

    • Please leave your comment…i apply 4 three month den give me three month 7 days i used seven day but i steel have a month b4 my visa expire can i used it again b4 he expire.

  7. Good day, I heard it takes longer to process a visiting visa application in abuja say 2months or more than compared to two weeks or less in lagos. Kindly help confirm or vindicate this assertion.

    • Confirmed! I had to personally postpone applying for the visa in abuja because I was told the same thing when i called the VFS Global office in Wuse 2. I’d rather wait for a few weeks to apply in Lagos than have my visa delayed for close to three months.

  8. Please leave your comment…I love south is o country dt is alway in my mind.but I dnt knw what to do because am poor I don’t have money for visa.but I pray dat God wil help me.Amen.@my number @+2348176012124 OR +2348166428704

  9. Hi there,

    I am a South African citizen married to a Nigerian national. I need to write a letter of invitation for my mother-in-law to come and visit for up to 3 months to help with our baby due in August 2015. Please advise what should be included in the invitation letter that I need to send to her for her application.

    Kind regards,

  10. I’m a South African Citizens, have a Nageria friend I will like to invite him for a Wedding in September first week its vasable for him to start and apply for a Visit Visa now in June or still early for it.

    • Hi Sibongile, Your friend can start his application in July or August.

    • I’ve been denied before for the VISA to south Africa last year August but I want to apply now.
      though I’ve another country visa on my passport now.I hope I’ll not be denied again.

  11. i have applied for south africa visa in feb 19 and my mine application was rejected bicos of xenophobic,pls which time can i applied again.

  12. Wanna knw how to apply 4 s.a visa if I av no 1 dere, bt jst wanna change environment.

  13. The requirements I need to know pls

  14. please how much will it cost me to apply for visa and south africa ticket pls

  15. Is yellow card required for children below 10 years

  16. Please leave your comment…hw much South African visa and ticket will cost me

  17. Hello I am Nigerian i got Admission now in one of the school in south Africa how to apply for south Africa visa pls.

  18. Hi i got admission in one of the school in south Africa what are the visa requirements.

  19. Please how many working days d visa will be processing

  20. How do I apply for south Africa visa how much is it and how many month will I be giving.

  21. Pls, can admission letter be used instead of study permit cos I was asked to add study permit of my friend who is going to squart me but its expiring this month and an extension for study permit has not been given to her. Don’t know what to do and I intend resuming 1st week, next month. Pls, I need your prompt response. (Am applying for a Study VISA)

  22. for first timer who wants to visit sa how many months visa will they give

  23. I intend to pursue a master program in a south african university in January 2016 please what are the required documents for applying for study permit

  24. i was denied visit to SA on twice,i need to visit SA for this Dec

  25. Hi am Abdullahi idris i submit application for south Africa visa on 7 August, 2015 in lekki lagos state visa application centre why delaying because is more than five working days now

  26. for the first time of travel to S.A how many month will be given for a visit

    • Hi Peter, Thanks for your comment. It really depends on your purpose of visiting. You can be given at least 3 months.

  27. please how much is flight ticket to southafrica and I want to apply for visiting visa to southafrica,I want to know how much is ther cost and the details how to apply for visiting visa.thanks

  28. what is verifiable hotel booking. i made an hotel booking, and they sent me an email about my reservation, but the money has not been deducted from my account. is this the email that i will print as reservation booking to accompany my other document. although the hotel has my account details in the form i filled online. must i pay and get a receipt before i apply or does that email make do for a verifiable reservation. they gave me a code for my name anyway.

    • Hi Funmi, It is preferable you book directly with a hotel so that your reservation can be verified.

  29. Oluwakemi Ojo… I don’t envy you at all. Nigerians just like asking stupid questions and the simple reason is we fail to read. How much is visa? The same thing that was said in the write up,how much is ticket….Lmao. Google is your friend people….

    • Thanks Dammy :)

  30. Please I have a girlfriend in south africa and she’s kinda trying inviting me to her place to be staying with her same time working, please I just wanna ask what type of visa do I suppose to apply for and how much is it gonna cost me? 2. Is it preferable for her to do the processing over there for me?

  31. Pls for d reference letter,i am a student not yet working. What reference letter can i use

  32. Am here in south africa can i help my friend apply for visa here in south africa while he is in nigeria?

  33. My husband to be is a nigerian and im south African he came to sa with visitor visa and he extend it while he was here so now he want to come back here so i want to know what to do next cos they dont understand that visa he did the renewal

  34. am here n south African i want someone to visit me here from Nigerian what should i do

  35. Pls I will be travelling to New Zealand but I have to use South African Airways that will fly to south Africa and Then switch plane to Indonesian Airways before continuing my joining, I need your advice on (1) do I need south african visa (2) if yes, what type of visa. Thank you

  36. if dey are inviting me from south Africa, what are the necessary things to do………….. pls I need ur reply bcos its very urgent

    • Please leave your comment…if somebod is inviting u in south africa what are the necessary thing required for one to do

  37. I want to travel to SA I don’t know how to start,I will like to be a student there and when am up the way I want I will be a hip pop rapper I love southarfrica songs emtee,,cassper,nasty c,da less,anatii

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