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).
- 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.
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.
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 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.
Want to share your travel stories, photos and experiences with the world? Send it to innocent[at]travelstart.com