After learning that I will be making a trip to South Africa, I was a little apprehensive because I have never been that far before. Of course, what other obvious course to take than ol’ trusty Google search to find out any Visa requirements that I’d need to prepare for. I was hoping I could get away with the process and the hassle; unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I then went further into my Internet search (as what I usually do) and was surprised to find out that there wasn’t enough information on the Visa application process for Philippine passport holders. Apparently, it’s not a hotspot for Filipino travelers! I found one blog discussing a little about it though it is a bit outdated. I was left frustrated and anxious.
Imagine that feeling of excitement of knowing that you’d be going to South Africa but all the while suffering inside because you know nothing about what you need to do in order to even get there. I hated it. And I don’t want my readers to suffer as I did it so I prepared these easy breezy steps you need to follow to get that golden ticket (aka Visa!)
TOURIST VISA TO SOUTH AFRICA
STEP 1: COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS BAE (BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE!)
- Valid passport (valid at least 6 months beyond departure date to South Africa)
- Photocopy of passport (bio-data page)
- Two passport sized photographs (white background)
- Flight Itinerary/Airline Booking! For the best deals, you may find the cheapest flights on SKYSCANNER.
- Proof of accommodation (photocopy or print copy of hotel booking/address of South African contact)
- Proof of sufficient funds to support the applicant for his/her length of stay in SA e.g. bank statement or certificate (original/certified copy)
- Employment Certificate provided by employer. If self-employed, provide business details;
- Detailed itinerary for the duration of your stay. Here’s a sample.
- Letter of intent stating the purpose and duration of visit. Here’s a sample of what I did:
- If coming from or travelling through a yellow fever area prior to arrival to South Africa, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required;
(As of 1 October 2011, South Africa requires all travelers journeying from yellow fever risk countries to show proof of yellow fever vaccination by means of a valid yellow fever certificate.
Countries for which a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for entry into South Africa are Angola, Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Guinea-Bissau, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guyana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, and Zambia.)
11. Visa fee of Php 2,525.00 for a visit exceeding 30 days. No Visa fee for a visit less than 30 days;
12. A fully completed Visa Application Form (BI-84), form only available at the consular office. You may fill it up once you visit the office for your visa application
STEP 2: SUBMIT THE REQUIREMENTS AND APPLICATION
South African Embassy, Manila
29 Flr Yuchengco Tower, RCBC Plaza
6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Tel: (02)-533-0608 or (02) 734-0187
- CONSULAR HOURS: 9:00AM – 12:00NN – Monday to Thursday
- PICK-UP HOURS: 1:30PM – 3:30PM – Monday to Thursday
TAKE NOTE ELSE YOU SUFFER:
-Incomplete applications will not be accepted
-You don’t need to call for a visa application schedule but make sure to be in the office as early as you can
-Additional requirements may be requested if the officer sees the need to do so
-A bond or deposit of PHP35, 000.00 maybe be asked during the release of VISA and will only be refundable if your condition and status has not been changed. Luckily I wasn’t asked for this. They must have known I won’t be changing my status anytime soon. Heehee
– VISA PROCESSING TAKES APPROXIMATELY 5 WORKING DAYS. IT MAY TAKE LONGER WHEN AN APPLICATION IS REFERRED TO SOUTH AFRICA OR ANOTHER MISSION FOR VERIFICATION AND DURING PEAK SEASON. Unfortunately, mine took like 13 working days coz I had to return for an interview to clarify and verify some of my personal information. Just to be safe, apply for a visa at least one month before your trip.
– SMILE AT ALL TIMES. Application process may take long once you are in the South African embassy. You might be least prioritized if you act up so maintain your composure hehe! Be patient because good things come to those who wait. Pak! Ganern!
Two simple steps and you’re on your way to that great safari, wildlife, and rich cultural and nature adventure in South Africa!