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. Please is the repatriation fee compulsory and if yes how much is it. Thanks

  2. Pls I was just issued a. Single entry visa for just 2 weeks only when I applied for a 3. Months visitors visa.. is it possible for me. To change the single entry to multiple entry??

    • Hi Obinna, you can apply for an extension.

  3. Pls kindly inbox me

  4. hi i traveled to south africa in 2013 and i overstayed for two month. I went to the south african embassy in 2014 and i was told i had to wait for two years before applying for a visa again. Now its 2015 what do i do

    • Can get it for u

    • Emmanuel, have u been sorted? I need same help too

  5. Hey Kemi:

    I would like to marry my Nigerian woman, right here in South Africa. She still lives and works in Lagos.

    What are the all requirements? Both from my side and hers!

    Your utmost assistance is envisaged.

  6. Hello. Please I want to travel to sa for a week with my son. I am a single mother. how do I go about the application for visa and what documents would I need for application. Thanks

  7. My uncle who stay in SA want to send scanned documents to me, pls. Sis kemi I wnt to kno if they will accept scan document

    • Hi Deji, Scanned documents are not allowed. They only collect the original document, but it also depends on the kind of documents such as your uncle’s resident permit or passport page, scanned copies of such are allowed

  8. Please, I intend traveling to South Africa soonest. I learnt i will need to persent a form filled by medical personnel. Please can i get a soft copy of the form and also a copy of the police report and I can get them filled and signed by the required personnels.
    I have search online but can find any link to downloading these forms.
    I anticipate your reply.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Tola, You can download the application form online. You don’t need to present a form filled by Medical personnel unless you are travelling to South Africa for medical treatment.

  9. He av sent d original documents to me last DEC but I cud nt submit my application due 2 church activities n when I got to VSF this month I was told he needs to update his bank statement with DEC and JAN, can he scan only this to me

  10. My uncle sent original documents to me last year DEC but I cud nt submit my application due 2 church activities n when I got to VSF this month I was told he needs to update his bank statement with DEC and JAN, can he scan only this to me

  11. @Oluwakemi Ojo, pls I need your response to my enquiry plssss

  12. What’s the required documents for spousal visa pls? I want to apply for spousal permit! Am married to a south african since 2012! But I don’t know how to go about the application!

    • Hi Bode, Are you in South Africa? If you are, please visit the Home Affairs Office for your resident permit processing.

  13. Pls how much am going to spend in total to ST

  14. Thanks for the help you’re rendering here. Which of the centre receives student visa application? (2year study). Is it at the commission? Or VFS

    Thanks again

  15. Am not in South Africa! Am in Nigeria!

  16. Please sister oluwakemi I like to know what requirements to have and what amount to have in my statement of account? Thank you ma.

  17. Please I went to study in south Africa for 3yrs, I got back last year December, I want to know hw I can go abt collecting my repatriation fee.Thanks

  18. Please I need a sample of the self introduction letter. Please kindly send to my mail box.

  19. Please, is there a particular time one can apply for a South African Study Visa, or is it anytime in the year? Your response on this will is most important to me. Thanks.

  20. please am i going to print out the form and filled it black ink

  21. Hi, if going to South Africa to study, is it a must that I have a relative who lives there already?

  22. I need to know more about South Africa Visa Application

  23. Pls I want to apply for a study visa to south Africa, and my course is 3yrs, pls what are the requirements for students applying for a study visa.

  24. Kemi hi, this is my first application to south Africa, i just started filling my forms, want to know if its advisable to tick the multiple entry box, my fiancee is resident there although still trying to renew his permit. Also i would want to apply for my masters degree programme this year, is it possible to just apply for a visitors visa this first time and later apply for the student visa later on this year??

    Thanks in Anticipation

    • Hi Ooma, If you are applying for the first time, I will advise you to choose single entry, you can always apply again when you want to visit SA.

  25. Good evening. I’m a S African lady and I ll be coming to Nigeria to get married -what documents do I need to bring to Nigeria and what documents do we both need for us to apply for spousal permit . Plz note that our Home Affairs laws have changed since 2014 Thanx

    • Hi Marcia, do you intend to stay in Nigeria permanently?

  26. Hello kemi, thanks for the “time saving” write up. I intend to visit a snr brother of mine currently doin his masters degree program in SA.
    From the list of requirements, he’s supposed to send me
    1. An invitation letter
    2. Proof of address of residence via utility bills and co
    3. Copy of his permit and passport data page
    4. His six months bank statement

    My question: can these all be scanned and sent or the originals are required. Of course I know the data page and resident permit wud not require d originals to be sent, but for the others, do they need to be the original copies esp the letter.
    Tnks. Awaiting your reply.

    • Hi Victor,

      The Invitation Letter can be written and sent to you via mail, then you can print out. I will advise you to submit your own six months bank statement. He can send you a scanned copy of his utility bills etc.

  27. Please can I apply for visa in lagos?

    • yes

  28. I need to renew my SA visa. I was given a 3 months visiting Visa..i traveled and spent a week and came back. Now my Visa is expired , how do i renew it ?

  29. Please I need a sample of the self
    introduction letter. Please kindly
    send to my mail box. and how much will i have in my account to show.

  30. Please what are the necessary requirements for Work and Study Visa to South Africa? What is the minimum and maximum amount that one must have in his/her account?

    What is the requirements for someone who is traveling to South Africa to seek for Work and living?

  31. Thanks for the reply,is it that the permanent residence permit can’t be done here in Abuja

  32. He long does it take to collect a study permit dat u ave submitted

  33. Pls how long does it takes south Africa high commission in Abuja to issue relative permit to pple. Thanks

  34. I want to no if there is any available flight to south Africa now

  35. if I want to book a tickect .and I booked sometin like 6/4/2015 to 6/5/2015
    most I come back that.same day which is 6/5/2015

  36. Hi,Kemi I just want to apply for SA visa,I want to go and start MLM(GNLD) biz over there and I want to spend minimum of 3 years in SA,which visa would I apply for?
    And tell me the price in Usdollar

  37. great job you are doing.
    kindly forward me a sample of self introduction letter in my inbox.
    thank you very kindly.

  38. my brother stays in SA,,,,wat is required for a visitors visa

  39. Please leave your comment…hy,pls i want to apply for student visa to sa,hw will i go abt my first tym,nd it is mandatery u must hv a relative ova dere…..pls i nd advice..nd replies…

  40. Kemi, pls can u link me with sure agent for SA tourist visa? Very urgent pls.

  41. hi oluwakemi, I do not understand what is meant by Booking Verifiable Flight as contained in the visa application requirement. Does it mean that i have to first book a flight to SA and add the flight ticket to the documents i will be sending? Please explain this to me, I am a little bit confused.

    • Hi Osas, Your Booking Verifiable Flight is the your flight ticket to SA. Travelstart offers a product called Visa Denied Policy. You can book and pay for your ticket with Travelstart. Such ticket are called Verifiable Flight ticket. If you are not granted visa, your full payment will be refunded. For more info: Call: 01 2771346-50 / 08092373201

  42. Please i want to apply for south afrcan student visa and i wil like to know how long it wil take, also is there a period to apply

  43. Kemi, please how do i package my application in other to get 3 month visitor visa. I have something doing in SA that will take me almost 3 month and based on what i have seen with SA visa, many are issued 30days or 2 weeks with 3 month expiration time.

    Secondly, based on the new immigration law, is it possible to extend my visitors visa in SA without having to come back to Nigeria if the condition on my visa state that i can only stay for 30 days.

    Thirdly, am i allowed to travel to neighbouring country like Swaziland and enter again incase i have a multiple entry visa with condition of not staying more than 30 days on each visit

    • Hi Peter, Have you been to SA before? If you have, you might be lucky to get a 3 or 6 months visa this time around. Also, you can not extend your visa in SA. If you want an extension, you will need to process that here before leaving.

  44. hey Kemi,

    I am making plans for a two weeks break in SA, and i have actually not travelled before, what am I suppose to do about it before June because I intend leaving in June.
    I hope to hear from you soon.
    thank you.

  45. i found this page very helpful, kudos to your elbow. i want to travel to capetown south africa to visit a friend,start schooling there and i may probably work while schooling so i want to know the type of visa i should apply for and what are the requirements that i need to submit in order for my visa to be

  46. Please leave your comment… Hello good day, a friend want to send an invitation for me from SA, she want to know what requirements that is needed from Nigeria Thx

  47. Hello Travelstart,i want to ask how should the format for writing an introduction Letter to the Embassy of South africa for Both Self and from the Company.

  48. Pls I want to apply for the SA visa but don’t know were to start from pls I need someone to direct me on how to go about it

  49. Hello, please I have a conference to attend in 2 months time fully hosted by my employers – an SA organisation. I have the personal documents already, my question is, if the one page “Letter of Employer confirmation” they sent me is enough to assure my Visa.
    The letter details my identity, job position, purpose of visit, their being in full charge of my visit.

    • Hi Ada, Yes, The one page letter of employer confirmation will work. However, Your employer needs to introduce you… they need to send letter of introduction, introducing you as an employee of the company in Nigeria and that you are coming for a conference in SA. They will also include the conference and travel date, your passport number, your full name and your position in the company.

  50. Hello kemi,
    I had put in my application at the Vfs center in abuja some two weeks ago and my scheduled travel date was supposed to be 2 days ago.
    Basically, each time I do the online tracking, it still shows my application still under assessment. Given that my scheduled travel date which I also used in the application was 14th (2 days ago) and my visa is yet not ready, what normally happens in situations like this, if you’ve ever had an experience?

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