South Africa Visa From UK – How To Guide

You typically need a visa to enter a new country as a foreign passport holder, no matter the duration of your stay in the place or even your mission therein. Nevertheless, there are exemptions. While many foreign passport holders will need a visa to visit South Africa, that is not usually the case for UK citizens. 

South Africa Visa From UK

As a holder of the United Kingdom passport, you don’t need a visa to visit South Africa, as long as you won’t be using more than 90 days in the country. Nevertheless, if you are visiting South Africa for a longer period other than business and tourism purposes, then you have to apply for a visa.

There are different types of South African visas. You apply for the one that suits your purpose of visiting the country – usually indicating your interest in staying for a long period of time. It can be a work or study visa. With the right documents, and fulfilling the requirements, you will be easily granted the visa. While an electronic visa makes the whole process and procedure smoother and easier (as you only have to apply through the online application system), you can still apply for a South African visa at an Embassy or Consulate around you.

 If you are going to be applying for a South African visa, then you should be aware of the crucial documents you must have before you can be granted a visa. These are: 

– A passport or travel document that must be valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of the applicant’s intended visit

– Applicant’s passport must have at least TWO unused pages for entry/departure endorsements

– A completed Form BI-84

– Payment of the prescribed visa fee/ proof of payment

– A yellow-fever vaccination certificate where expected

– Statement and/or documentation confirming the purpose and duration of the visit of the applicant

– Two colour passport photographs belonging to the applicant, preferably with white background

– A return or onward ticket for applicants who  are travelling by air


Kindly note that folks with minors travelling with them or joining in South Africa are required to submit these additional documents:

– Proof of guardianship or custody

– In the case of an unaccompanied minor, Consent from the guardian must be submitted

– Proof of financial means to pay for one’s living expenses while in the country. This can be in form of the applicant’s Bank statements, etc

– Undertakings by your host(s) 

–  Medical cover or cash available 

You are to submit these documents at the South African Embassy in London and you will be attended to. However, due to the current situation, it is necessary to reach out to the Embassy ahead of time and try to book an appointment before visiting their office. 

How Long Can British Citizens Stay In South Africa

For British citizens that travelled to South Africa for either tourism or business purposes, they can stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days only. To stay beyond that timeframe, British citizen has to apply for a visa that extends their stay in South Africa. With such visas like a work or study visa, you can stay in South Africa for a longer period of time as a British citizen.

Can British Citizens Live In South Africa?

Yes, British citizens can live in South Africa, but it has to be for good purposes that must be indicated while applying for a visa at the South African Embassy in the UK. Usually, it is easier to live in South Africa if you are working there or studying.

Can I Move From UK To South Africa? How?

Yes, you can move from UK to South Africa. To do so, you must apply for a visa that can keep you as a legal occupant for a long period of time. This will be done in the South African Embassy in the UK. Even if you have a UK passport, you won’t be allowed to legally stay in South Africa for a longer period of time without having the appropriate documents that will ensure your legal status. Hence, you should reach out to the Embassy and get an appointment to visit their office for your South African visa application

Do UK Residents Need A Visa To South Africa?

Yes, if the UK resident is not a citizen of the United Kingdom, or if, even as a citizen, they intended staying in South Africa for over 90 days, for purposes other than business or tourism. But if the UK resident is a UK passport holder, such doesn’t really need a visa to travel to South Africa for tourism or business purposes, as long as they won’t be there for over 90 days.

As a UK resident who is not a citizen of the United Kingdom, note that here are the types of South African visitors’ visas you may be granted:

– Visa to visit family or friends

– Visa for tourism purposes

– Visa for business purposes

– Visa for the spouse to join a spouse who is in South Africa on a work or study permit

– Visa for children to join parents who are in South Africa on work or study permits

– Visa for fiancée/ fiancé to join his or her partner with the intention of marrying within 90 days

– Visa for study purposes (max stay 3-months)

– Visa for charitable or voluntary activities

– Visa for research or to attend conferences in South Africa

– Visa to work in the production of a movie or show (i.e. in the entertainment industry)

– Visa for medical purposes 

– Visa to attend sport events

To apply for any of these visas, you must pass through the established structure and procedures, at the South African Embassy in the UK. You should have a valid passport, for at least 30 days from the intended entry to the country. Check out the documents you should possess and ensure you have them complete and in place before you proceed with your application. 

Can I Enter South Africa On A British Passport?

Currently, the South African government allows folks from about 28 countries around the world to can enter the country visa-free for up to 30 days. Nevertheless, there are 46 other countries whose citizens can enter South Africa visa-free for business or tourism purposes for up to 90 days. The United Kingdom is one of these 46 countries, as well as some other countries such as the United States of America. Hence, if you desire travelling to South Africa for tourism or business purposes and you intend to stay for less than 90 days, you can still gain access to the country with your British passport. Fortunately, the British passport is still one of the strongest passports around the world.



It should be added that British passport holders that have specific professional skills which are in demand in South Africa are able to apply for a South Africa work visa with ease, which usually enables them to live in South Africa for a longer duration of time. The application can be made at the  South African Embassy in London, or via a Visa Facilitation Services Center in South Africa.

While you don’t have to bother about a visa if you simply want to travel to South Africa for tourism or business purposes as a United Kingdom citizen with a genuine passport, you will be required to apply for a work or study visa at the South African embassy in London and provide a range of supporting documentation. Here is the address of the South African Embassy in London as well as their contact information:

South Africa House,

Trafalgar Square, London,


Phone: +44 (0) 20 7451 7299

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