Seriously, wouldn’t it be simpler to just abolish visa requirements altogether?

Did you know that according to the International Passport Index, South Africa ranks at 48 in the top 50 most powerful passports in the world – for real?!   But, according to the African Development Bank’s Visa Openness Report 2017, only 13 of the continents – a total of 55 countries – allow Africans visa-free entry.

If you travel often, applying for visa can be time-consuming and frustrating –  what we don’t realise about this everyday activity, though, is that it is also one of the most tailored and circumstance-based processes we follow. Visa regulations may be subject to wide interpretation, and each country’s evaluation process can literally have one rule for one type of traveller and a completely different rule for another.   It might not always seem fair, and it can certainly be a little (or greatly) on the confusing side, but if you are prepared then you can avoid the issues that often arise.

Enter the visa specialist – for an approximate cost of  R350 – R1800 (depending on the urgency) they can literally take the schlepp out of applying for a visa – they know exactly what documents are required, in what format and in some cases, can even attend the appointment on your behalf, or be waiting at the ready outside the airport doors or Consultate office with all the necessary documentation.   Your travel agent can also manage this process for you, for a small fee.

Things to consider –

Be prepared

Some of the documents required may take time in coming from source, e.g. birth or marriage certificates, letters of invitation and such, so make sure you give yourself ample time to get them all in order.

Purpose of travel

It is important to be clear about the purpose of your travel agenda; for example, applying for a tourist visa may be a lot simpler than applying for a business one, as are the requirements for a short- vs long-stay.

Be accurate

Follow the list of requirements to the letter. For instance, you need bank stamped, original bank statements, not digital copies downloaded from your online banking app. Or, make sure that your travel itinerary matches all letters of invitation, hotel bookings and flights – sometimes including a letter of explanation is helpful.

Be aware of a country’s visa and immigration rules which will assist you in providing fully compliant documentation.

When in doubt seek professional advice!

Countries visa-free to South Africans

 

Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Bahamas
Barbados Belize Benin
Botswana Brazil Chile
Colombia Costa Rica Dominica
Dominican Republic Ecuador El Salvador
Fiji Gabon Georgia
Grenada Guatemala Guyana
Haiti Honduras Hong Kong
Indonesia Ireland Israel
Jamaica Kenya Kosovo
Lesotho Macao Malawi
Malaysia Mozambique Namibia
Nicaragua Palestinian Territories Panama
Paraguay Peru Philippines
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Singapore
South Korea St. Vincent and the Grenadines Swaziland
Tanzania Thailand Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia Uruguay Vanuatu
Venezuela Zambia Zimbabwe

 

Visas on arrival

 

Armenia Bolivia Burundi
Cambodia Cape Verde Comoros
Djibouti Ethiopia Guinea-Bissau
Iran Jordan Kyrgyzstan
Laos Madagascar Maldives
Marshall Islands Mauritania Mauritius
Micronesia Nepal Oman
Palau Rwanda Samoa
Seychelles Tajikistan Timor-Leste
Togo Turkey Tuvalu
Uganda

 

Electronic Travel Authority visa required for South Africans

India Sri Lanka
  • Konrad Laker
    Konrad Laker

    CEO and owner of Gold Travel. The foundation of Konrad’s success stems from his background in accounting – after matriculating from Belville High he went on to attain a degree from Stellenbosch and UNISA, followed by a 4-year stint at SARS and completing his articles with Deloitte.  After starting his own accounting firm and working for 10 years as a financial accountant at Truworths, and desparate for a change, opportunity struck with the purchase of Gold Travel in 2011, and today Konrad owns three branches in Cape Town and Johannesburg.  http://www.goldtravel.co.za/

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