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.

487 thoughts on “Visa Information: How to Apply for South African Visa in Nigeria

  1. I applied for sa visa at vfs abuja on 7th of august and I was told the processing will take 45 working days and I ought to travel on 11th of this month.what do u advise I do?

    • You Got the wrong info man.

    • Hello Tosin, how did you dance around this. Or does anybody have help to offer on similar issue.

  2. I want to travel to Sa to start a new life . how much would i need to get the visa

    • My stay in nija wat happen to ur old life in nija? Why did u want to start a new life in a country u knew noting about is not that easy here in SA

  3. I want to travel to SA, how Much is Visiting Visa, pls inbox Me the Amount and flight ticket……

  4. Plz can I get an invitation from someone I know in southafrica

  5. Good day kemi. I applied for a south African study visa in March 2013 but i was denied. They said inconsistent information. I was to apply in july at south african high commission abuja but i was told to come back in November because student application has been close till that time. I feel i was denied the first visa because of the b1-1738 form was not corrected completed . I wish i could ask some specific questions from the form and you tell me the best word to use

    • Hello kemi.. I have sent my questions to the email.

    • Pls whats the address of the south africa high commission? I’ve been granted admission into university of Johannesburg. So how did u go about the application form? Was it issued to u at the south africa high commission? Pls reply…. thanks

  6. Pls i want 2 travel 2 Southafrica on visiting pls how do i go about it

  7. Hi, I applied to join my husband who is a student in SA at vfs but was given 3 months visa. pls how do I go about changing it for a longer period

    • Hi Ladun, Apply for visa extension here in Nigeria, before travelling. SA Home Affairs no longer process visa extension.

  8. Waoo the explanation i got here is super,,how to apply for south africa visa,is user free,i love it,good job south africa people.

  9. Good day sir, am I.K, I need a south Africa visa on visit or tourist, how much is it.. pls reply me sir

  10. Hi Kemi, I’m a South African and have a friend in Abuja who would like to come to visit me in SA, what is the procedure for me on this side to help him get his paper work or what is the procedure and cost for his travel arrangement?

    • Hi Tebogo,

      Documents required from you are:

      1. Scanned copy of your residence permit
      2. Letter of Invitation ( should include your address and phone number)

      All other documents ( listed in the post) should be provided by your friend.

  11. Please Kemi can one do overstay appeal in Nigeria Lagos and Abuja and also apply for permit same time.

    • Hi Neny, what kind of permit?

  12. Thanks for ur reply. Please where do I apply for the extension and what are the requirements. Thanks again

  13. my name is eraworhe emmanuel i hail from delta state,i graduated from delta state university ..i want to visit my brother in south Africa ;what are the procedure?here is my number u can inbox me 07037884067 and how much is the visa.

  14. Thank you for this piece of information. The amount of the visa fee and charges were not mentioned in their site.

  15. I have been flying to south Africa for the past 2years , my last visa will be running off in December. Within this 2years i got married in south africa .but i lives in nigeria and do not wish to move to south africa, I shall need a visa that will enable me visit my family in south Africa more than one month. How do I go about it? . Thanks

    • Hi ben, You should probably apply for Long Term Visa and get a residence permit.

    • Hi ojo, what are the needs for the long time visa

    • Hi ojo, I wish to know about the requests for a long term visa and where the submission can be made

  16. Please I want to know more info on how to go to south African

  17. Hi kemi,
    Pls is birth certificate part of the requirement for a study permit in SA

    • Hi kemi,
      Is birth certificate need for a study permit….pls kindly respond

  18. My comments is still on moderation

  19. I need a research visa to SA. Do i approach the VFS or the SA high commission for VISA. Thanks for anticipated response

    • For Visa applications, please visit VFS Office.

  20. please, is the self introduction letter from the person in south africa or the applicant? i am confused about this. thanks for helping!

    • Hi Gloria, Self-Introductory letter is from you.

  21. Hi Ojo, do vfs treats long team visa? And what are the requirements

  22. Can I get a cheap school in south Africa and how much is the school fees

  23. Hello kemi
    Sent you a mail but u are yet to reply so I decided to ask the question here.In the south Africa B1-1738 form,there is a place ‘’proposed duration of stay in south Africa.If I submit my application on Monday 3th November 2014,what would be
    1. Proposed date and place of departure for south Africa
    2. Anticipated date and place of arrival in south Africa
    3. If the course is 19months ,what would be my intended date of departure from south Africa

    • Hi Vincent,

      I can decide or know your proposed date of departure. If you submit your application on the 3rd of November, it depends on the VFS Global and amount of time it will take to verify your document and to approve your application. It shouldn’t take more than 2 weeks. You have to leave South Africa before your visa expires.

  24. There are different schl wit different fees depend on which course u wish to opt for and sch, u can still get a schl wit average fee of R8000 per semester without accommodation

  25. Hi Kemi, All thanks to God cos I was admitted into the university of Johannesburg and I’ve been given my admission letter, so I want to know if I can get the visa application online or I need to go to the south Africa high commission? Pls kindly reply back… thanks

    • Hi Emmanuel, You should submit your application to VFS Global, Oregun Ikeja.

  26. Please Ojo where can I get the application form cos I haven’t gotten it. Where is the VFS Global located in ikeja? And pls are they going to give me the application form there to fill? Please reply. Thanks

    • Goto SA high commission in lagos to get d application form as well as d medical n radiological forms. U have to fill the forms.u need a yellow fever form as well as a police clearance

  27. Hi Kemi,
    1. Is it true that i cannot get “study permit” in SA unless i have been offered admission in SA?
    2. Also , where can I get the study permit?
    3. how much does int’l passport cost and where can i apply for it?

    • Hi Temmy, You have to get an admission into a University in SA before you can process your study visa.

  28. Hi kemi,I am working with a reputable company in nigeria ,I want to go on vacation trip to south Africa for 7 days trip,I want to know how much should be my bank deposits and is it compulsory that the bank details should be stamped,what documents did I need to present to them?thanks in advance

    • Hi Kelvin, You should have a minimum of 600000Naira in your account. You need to get your bank details stamped from your bank.

  29. My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different internet address and thought I might check items out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Appear forward to checking out your web page again.

  30. Hi Kemi , How are you and hope you had a wonderful weekend . I’ll be on leave next month and want to travel to SA with my Wife and son .I have checked the application and requirment to submit but couldn’t find any information to submit to the application for my wife and son.Please tell me what they need and to be included to the requirment i am submitting. thanks and God bless you

    • Hi Dele, In addition to the requirement listed in the post “How to Apply for South African Visa in Nigeria“, Kindly include the birth Certificate for your son. Your marriage certificate. How old is your son?

  31. thanks for your heads up sis Kemi , My son is 8 Months old .

  32. Hi Everyone, i am a Nigerian expatriate who lives and works in Malaysia, i am currently in Harare, Zimbabwe for two weeks. I will be flying South African airways from Harare -> Johannesburg -> Doha -> Malaysia, do i require a South African transit visa while waiting for about 1hour at the airport for a connecting flight to Doha,Qatar?

  33. Hi Kemi, i am a Nigerian IT expatriate who lives and works in Malaysia, i am currently in Harare, Zimbabwe for two weeks. I will be flying South African airways from Harare -> Johannesburg -> Doha -> Malaysia, do i require a South African transit visa while waiting for about 1 hour at the airport in Johannesburg for a connecting flight to Doha,Qatar?

    • Hi Josh, You can apply for the South African Visa at Zimbabwe or you fly another airline

  34. Hi Kemi , Sorry i got confused and lost somehow. The link you sent me as 4 forms to be filled and submitted .Is that the right form to fill for family visa ? or do i have to print those forms in 3 places and fill sepearately for the 3 of us going to sa , Myself ,wife and baby . Please send me the link to download the family application form if it going to be a different one or explain to me how to proceed please. Because i am to submit my application latest next week to ensure i meet up with my leave. thank you and God bless

    • Hi Dele, You are to fill the same form for your wife and kids.

  35. Hi miss Kemi, I v sent in my visa application and awaiting pick up. I did notice something in ur previous comments about having a minimum of 60,000 in my account. As of when I submitted, I had a closing balance of 13,000 a debit of 2m. Is this going to be a problem?

    • I did mentioned a minimum of N500, 000 to N600, 000. I guess your application was reviewed before you submitted. I guess you have no problem if you were able to submit.

  36. OK thanks.

  37. Hi Kemi, please what are the proceedures and documents my invitee from SA is to possess if i am to be invited by a friend from South Africa and does he needs to send his documents , e.g . National Identity card, Bank statement , invitation letter e.t.c , through the Home Affairs of south africa to the home Affairs in Nigeria? thanks in anticipation as your kind advise, shall be warmly welcome.

  38. Hi Kemi, fantastic job. Submitted application on Fri 14 Nov. Have a mtng on Fri so need to travel tomorrow.
    yet to collect passport. Been to vfs Lagos. They said to hold on. They give you nos no one ever answers. What can I do? Can I get anyone in the embassy to speak to?

    • I even sent a mail to them. Received a reply dat they would contact me when it’s ready. Really frustrating.

    • Hi Ronke, Maybe you can get it when you get back. or are you travelling outside Nigeria and you will need your passport. Try calling the South African High Commission – 01-4612067 or 01-4612050.

  39. Hey, I have been offered a place to study in the university of cape town, how do I go bout the process of getting a study permit?…s it exactly the same as the normal long term visa process?

  40. Yes Kemi, I need the passport. My meeting is in Swaziland. Called those nos. They don’t answer d phones.

  41. \ (•̃͡-̮•̃͡)
    ☁/ \☁ greetings,i visited sa but i overstayed,am back in nigeria but i need to go back with my kids to study,can you advise me on what i should do,thanks

    • Hi Ada, have you paid the fine?

  42. Hello Kemi,
    Thanks for all your kind response
    My mom overstayed in south Africa during which she applied for an overstay which took so long and she decided to head back home. At the airport she was declared “undesirable” and given a form.I have followed the process writing to . i got a reply from them and was given 2 numbers to call which are ringing and no-one is answering them. Is it possible for me to go to the SA High Commission.Will I be attend to? or what is my next step.

    • Hello nixe nixe,I’m in the same dilemma as your mum.when I waited since august and got no response on the phone numbers, I headed to embassy at VI. The lady who attended to me was so saucy. She told me to keep calling because home affairs have the final say. I really wish there’s a way out.if there’s any positive info, I will definitely keep you posted

  43. Good-day kemi,
    Thanks for all your responses to my questions and several others, you’ve been wonderful.. i asked a question sometime in august i saw the reply but unfortunately i couldn’t travel as i had several work commitments. However, i have made plans to travel by April next year as part of my annual leave. Vacation is for three weeks, i have explained to my fiance all the documents that will be needed from him.
    Please can you advice on what to tick on the single/ multiple entry box
    – how many months should i apply for as i intend to go back by November.
    – Also must i book a ticket before applying for the visa?

  44. Hi,
    I will be applying for a student visa to SA and I don’t know the first thing about SA visa applications. I need your help. Thanks

  45. I want to travel to SA for 2weeks Annual Leave from my working place. Which type of visa do I need from Nigeria. And kindly helpme me list type of additional document I may need to submit

    • Hello Kemi,you have been scarce hope all is well….happy new year

  46. Hi kemi, please can I have your email address. I have an issue I can’t post on the wall. Its about my overstay appeal. Thanks

  47. Pls advice on this,my husband just got his five years permit nd my daughter and I wants to go and join him there.pls what type of visa do we request for nd how do we go about it.thanks

    • Hi Mercy, You can apply for direct residence visa too. This type of visa is issued to families of anyone who has a work permit for five years. But your daughter must be under 21 years of age. If she is, you are both qualify for permanent residence visa/permit. You will have apply directly to the South Africa High Commission at 24 Molade Okoyo Thomas Street, Victoria Island, for this type of visa.

  48. Pls how much does it cost to travel to SA

    • Do you mean the visa fee?

  49. Hello kemi! I intend to visit SA as a tourist. Would u advise I go through a travel agent or is it something I can process on my own as a first timer? Thanks

    • Hi Jennifer, You can process the visa yourself. If you have the complete and valid documents, you can submit your application at vfs.

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