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.

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. can u do dubai visa with 2 years working permit how much and where is your place in nigeria your phone number may be i can call u

  2. I submitted my visa application a month ago, and I will be travelling one week from now but I have not heard from VFS to collect my passport with visa. What should I do??

  3. Hi, Kemi
    I applied for south african visa. At Billings way embassy since july 1 in which the conference I was to attend was July 11 to July 18 up till now I have not receive any sms for collection. How should I go about it. Thanks

  4. Pls can you assist me on how to get a Turkish visa.i have a company here in Nigeria and we are trying to get a partner outside Nigeria. We found a company that are willing to be partner ,they sent us a letter to visit them and see how there company looks like.
    But a friend of mine told me that the letter must be noterise one, i tried to get intouch with the company and the company told me that they don’t do such and they don’t notify any body if they want to invite any body to there company.
    So pls kindly tell me what to do

    • Hello bukky you are not sending me any message ,i guess you can’t be of any assistance to me or why are you not replying me

    • Hello Shola, I apologize! Please, how can I be of help?

    • Sorry kemi not bukky lol, is there anything u can do to assist or not pls let me know thanks.

  5. Hi Kemi. Thks for your earlier help. My mum applied for a month stay in SA and it has been approved but she may want to stay longer than that. The visa shows that it will expire in 3 months but it Is stated also that she is to spend one month. I heard u can extend ur stay, pls I need to know more about that and how to do that?

    • Hi Tunji, I have sent you an email.

  6. I have been studying in south Africa for the past 3 years. and I will finish the PhD program this year. my study permit expires Dec and my graduation is April next year which I will like to attend. pls what are the document that I need to process the extension so that I can go for the graduation? am currently in Nigeria. thank you

    • Hi Omolade, Even though, you can apply for an extension in Nigeria, I will advise you to process it in South Africa. Processing Time in South Africa for visa extension in SA takes 30 to 40 days. You need the following documents to apply:
      – Passport valid for no less than 30 days after expiry of the intended visit.
      – Statement or documentation detailing the purpose and duration of the visit
      – Proof of a valid return or onward ticket or sufficient financial means to purchase such ticket or to facilitate the return of the applicant.
      – Proof of sufficient financial means
      – A proof that you are a student of a University in SA

  7. I’ve apply for renew of my passport since March and I’ve taking my photograph but they’ve call my to take my passport and we’re in August now the year in going to end I really need this passport to process my document

  8. Hi,

    Please can you help give me exactly all I would need as a Pastor to travel, live and work in SA.


  9. pls what is d cause of visa delay in south Africa embassy abuja my application has been Der for a month nw

  10. Hello oluwakemi,

    How do I go about the application of a study permit, I’ve gotten my yellow card and admission letter. How can you be of assistance and is there a time the application forms are submitted….. Thanks looking forward to your reply

    • Hi Seun,

      If you have gotten all your documents, I will advise you to go ahead and submit your application at VFS Global.

  11. Hello good evening pls I wanted to know what’s the least amount that can be in my girlfriend account she is spornring my visa and all the bills to south africa how much should she have in her bank statement that’s Host Bank statement

  12. Hello pls can u let me know if my girlfriend cans send me a scaned copy of all this docs can I use them to apply for my visa * Invitation letter
    * Host utility Bill
    * Certified copy of host ID
    * Host Bank statement
    * Flight reservation

  13. Hello pls can u let me know if my girlfriend can send me a scaned copy of all this docs can I use them to apply for my south african visa * Invitation letter
    * Host utility Bill
    * Certified copy of host ID
    * Host Bank statement
    * Flight reservation

    • Hi Mike,

      Yes, she can send them to you.

  14. Please and please how long does student Visa take… Abeg my addmission Letter just came and am to resume on d 1st of Sept 2014 am just Confused… Please reply sonest

    • Hi Godswill,
      If you are to resume on 1st of September, I would advise you to start processing your visa as soon as possible. It shouldn’t take less than 2 weeks if all your documents are valid and complete.

  15. i am expecting visa visit invitation letter from southafrica,but through Email.I want to know if Email visa visit invitation letter is acceptable at southafrica embassy in nigeria?

    • Hi Henry,
      It would be nice if your host can make the letter more professional. By drafting it in a word document and attaching it in a mail so that you can print it out.

  16. my name is Tunde how I can I apply for south Africa visa..i apply for that last year but I was denied so how can I apply for that a again because I don’t want them to denied me again..i will be happy to hear back from you asap..Thanks

    • Hi Tunde,

      If you have all the documents listed above, you will not be refused this time around.

  17. You have really tried answering everyones questions despite some repeating questions! I appreciate you. It shows Nigerians now responds to consumers. Aunty Kemi I will like to do biz with you. I recently applied for a UK visa with genuine documents, am a Federal govt. Worker but the idiots refused me! I only wish to go for sight seeing for two weeks on invitation. How do I address my appeal? Lead me. Use my email. Tnx.

  18. Oluwakemi Ojo,you are the best. I have a question,I am being invited by my fiance to south Africa,he has sent all necessary document,but I’m a student and my account is not so fat,so he told me to get some one that can introduce me and give me their own bank account statement,will that be ok?

    • Hi Voke,

      Thanks for the compliment. 🙂 #blushing. Instead of getting someone to introduce you, why don’t you ask someone to transfer some cash into your account for a month. then you can get a 6 months bank statement and submit all your documents. Getting someone to introduce is not likely to be accepted. Unless you are working and your company introduces you and give you their bank statements to submit.

  19. Dear Oluwakemi Ojo,

    Please i need your assistant ,i wants to travel to Thailand since January this year but is difficult for me . i even attend Ndlea interview at ikoyi lagos but still they yet to issue my visa clearance form .

    Your assistance is needed please.

  20. Dear Oluwakemi Ojo,
    Please i need your assistant ,i wants to travel to Thailand since January this year but is difficult for me . i even attend Ndlea interview at ikoyi lagos but still they yet to issue my visa clearance form .
    Your assistance is needed please.

  21. Pls admin how much do u think it requires 4 d visa and airline 2 south Africa

    • Dear Toheeb, 300k should it all, visa plus the ticket

  22. Hello, I am Olusegun, am in need of your help, I want to school in South Africa and I want to know how many weeks it takes to do the processing for the school also for the Visa, I need to travel as soon as possible because I must leave Nigeria latest 10th of September, please help me out, how can my admission to the university and the visa processing be fast

  23. Hello, I am Olusegun, am in need of your help, I want to school in South Africa and I want to know how many weeks it takes to do the processing for the school also for the Visa, I need to travel as soon as possible because I must leave Nigeria latest 10th of September, please help me out, how can my admission to the university and the visa processing be fast?

    I wait for your reply soon

    Best Regards

    • Hi Antonietta,

      If your resumption date is 10th of September, I’ll advise you to submit your application at VFS Centre as soon as possible. If you are documents are valid, your visa shouldn’t take less than 2 weeks to be issued.

  24. Hi kemi,
    Thanks for your informative responses.
    Kindly advice the certified centres for the yellow fever vaccination for a study permit at the south african embassy. Because I have heard that they reject some vaccination certificate if not done at the right place.
    Also how recent must the medical and x-tray test be when submitting your document at the embassy?


    • Hi Dpizle,

      For SA Visa, Kindly go to the Airport for Yellow Fever Vaccination Permit.

  25. Hi kemi,
    Please I work and live in Lagos Nigeria, I will like to apply for South African visa for just a short holiday, I have a friend who lives in SA. I’m trying to do a package that caters for my flight visa and accomodation but it’s for just 7 days and I intend to also spend some time with my friend…so I want to inquire,
    1)how do I go about this
    2)do I need to book a hotel reservation and pay for a ticket before filling out my application
    3)since I would like to also spend some time with my friend, must I book for a reservation that’s equivalent to my length of stay?

    • Hi Omawunmi,

      Yes, You need to make a hotel reservation for the amount of days you will be spending in SA, book your flight online with Travelstart and submit them with other required documents.

  26. Pls I need a 3month visa to south africa how much will it cost @oluwakemi ojo pls I don’t mind if we talk on phone if u don’t mind.

    • Hi Linus,

      South Africa Visa Fee is N18, 000 and you can apply directly to VFS Global, Ikeja

  27. Hi Kemi,
    My name is Mike, i reside and work in PH. Early last year i applied for SA Visa in lagos but i couldnt make the trip again and i still have my Naija passport with the SA embassy in lagos. How do i get my passport back? some one told me i should go to Abuja before i can get the passport. Pleasde advise

    • Hi Michael,

      If you applied to VFS Lagos, you write a letter requesting for your passport and submit it to the application centre or send a mail to

  28. Hi Kemi, I am a Nigerian and I want study in South Africa, I want to process my admission into the University of Western Cape because the admission for the school is on now, now I’d like to know how fast my admission would be from the school and the school will resume next month, please help me, can I still make it and go for the admission processing online and how many weeks will it take for my admission to be granted?

  29. I love to go to south africa how can I do it I need ur help

  30. Ppls I want to come nd stay to wrk nd also to study likewise….wat am I suppose to do

  31. Hello kemi. Upon arriving at johannesburg,what documents am I gonna present at the point of entry.I will b staying with a friend in SA

    • Hi Harry,

      Your passport and visa will be checked at the point of entry. If you will be staying in a hotel, you might be asked for your hotel reservation document.

  32. I want to ask,is possible for virgin Nigeria passport to apply for south africa visa?i was told someone need to get other countries visa on it before applying for it how true is d statement
    your reply is higly welcome on my e mail

    • Hi Babatunde,

      You can apply for SA visa even if you don’t have any visa issued on your passport.

  33. Hey kemi,
    i want to find out if there’s any form of online application for south african visa. Or is it a must i submit in person at the VAC (Visa application centre).

    • Hi Yinka,

      You can only download the application form online, fill it and submit in person at VFS Global office in Lagos or Abuja.

  34. HI my name is waheed i was employed by a company in south Africa can you tell me the list of document that i need to provide i m looking forward to read back from you thank you

  35. HI my name is waheed i was employed by a company in south Africa can you tell me the list of document that i need to provide please send to my email i m looking forward to read back from you thank you

  36. I inted going for honeymoon in november aftrer my white wedding in november. My spouse already has her visa. Can I apply now against november and should I add a copy of her visa in my application?

    • Hi rex, Yes, you can apply now, yes, if possible you can add a copy of her visa in your application or you can apply without it too.

  37. thanks, for ur respond always. Pls S.A denied visa with red stamp on passport it takes how months to re-apply and is dat paticula passport useful to re- apply?. Pls i need ur respond

    • Hi Lawal,

      Yes, you can reply again if you have all the required documents and you have valid reasons for visiting SA.

  38. I got admission in UniVenda, South Africa to study PhD for February 2015 academic session, please is the study permit application on presently and if so, till when, so as to come Abuja centre to collect and submit my application forms. Am presently in Kano. Also, can I have your contact number Kemi, thanks for all your honest posts and replies.

  39. Am planning to do marriage by December. I want to do my honey moon with my wife in South Africa.I have an uncle in SA which is ready to send an invitation.How do I go abt it?

  40. Hi, Kemi
    Please am still expecting a good reply from you soonest today….

  41. Hi,Please i applied for SA is over 2 weeks now and yet when i check from VFS website it says its still being processed at the SA embassy.Should I be worried? my travel date is on 10th sept.

    • Hi Nixe,

      Don’t panick, Your visa should be out before your travel date.

  42. Hello Kemi,

    I applied for a South African visa on the 31st of July 2014 and till this date, i have not heard from VFS about my application. I am suppose to be in South Africa on an official assignment which was scheduled for August 11th till October.

    I need to know what to do.


  43. I have travelled to south africa twice on a visitor 3 month multiple entry visa spending just a week each on each trip now i want to reapply for another visa what does it entails as per documents and this time around i need like a year permit thanks

    • Hi Kehinde,

      You will provide the documents you have been providing for your application. You may be given 6 months or 1 year visa.

  44. Hi kemi can my sista dat jst got to south african last week on a 3month visa extend her stay nd she wan to start schooling ova deir

  45. Pls i nid rply nd can she extend it ova deir?

  46. Good evening
    I hope u had a great day. Please I have travelled to Sa before and 2 years ago I gave an agent to help me renew my visa but I got tue biggest surprise of my life that I got my passport back with red stamp and since I have not been able to travel. Now I want to go for my honeymoon in Sa. Should I go and apply for visa? Will I be granted access? Am suppose to travel on the 26 of September. Please help me cos my wife wants Sa. What do u think should I apply?

    • Hi Richard,

      You can travel to SA again if you have all the required and valid documents.

  47. pls, i like to travel to qater or dubai pls sis kemi how can i go tru dis and it wil cost me how much. Visa wit work permit? Pls reply tru my emeil:

  48. There is clearly a bundle to realize about this. I suppose you made some good points in features also. eddddedcbgbkkdfb

  49. Please kindly give me the phone numbers of SA lagos and abuja contact numbers


  50. pls i want to now if I will have problem with SA immigration. my visa will expire on d 11th of September 2014. and I intend to stay till d end of d month. doe I am still in Nigeria. thanks pls rely.

    • Hi Sunday, I would advise you to apply for an extension before you leave or else, you will not be allowed to stay.

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