South Africa has become one of the favourite destinations of Ghanaians. Most Ghanaian travel lovers have visited South Africa already and a greater percentage of these visitors keep visiting.
The South Africa government recently promised Ghanaians a visa-free entry into the country but until that policy comes into force, Ghanaian passport holders will continue to obtain visas to enter the country.
In its bid to promote tourism, South Africa has one of the simplest visa application procedures in the world.
Below is a step-by-step guide put together by Jetsanza.com to help visa applicants obtain visas without engaging ‘Visa contractors’ or ‘Connection men’ who should be avoided at all cost.
Since most Ghanaians travel to South Africa as tourists, this article will focus on Tourist/Visit Visa applications.
South Africa Visa Application – Step-by-step guide
Visa Application Form
Visa Application Form (BI 84) must be fully completed in BLOCK letters and BLACK ink only (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FORM). Not all fields on the form apply to you. Only complete those that apply to you and indicate N/A (meaning NOT APPLICABLE) in all fields that do not apply to you.
A passport or travel document valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of your intended visit (2 copies of Biodata page must be attached). Passport must contain at least 3 unused pages for entry/departure endorsements.
Include an introductory letter from your Employer, School or self-introductory letter if you are self-employed. If you are self-employed, proof of self-employment must be added. This usually comes in the form of Business registration documents from the Registrar Generals’ Department.
Yellow-fever vaccination certificate
An international yellow-fever vaccination certificate is required for all travellersentering South Africa. Obtain this certificate from the hospital immediately you dream of visiting South Africa. A copy of front page and page with vaccination details must also be attached.
Two colour passport photographs
Flight itinerary is required. Do not confirm your bookings until you have been issued a visa or asked to do so. Make sure your travel dates on the flight itinerary match the dates of your hotel bookings or within the period you hosts expects you (that’s if someone is inviting you).
Proof of accommodation
If you have someone in South Africa you will be staying with during your stay in the country, the following documents are needed to serve as proof of accommodation:
Utility bill-in form of Recent Water or Electricity Bills(Rates and Taxes) or Tenancy agreement or Accommodation Lease Document from SA)
Signed Invitation letter from host
Certified copy of host passport or South African ID
For applicants who do not have hosts in South Africa can simply make a hotel reservation to serve as their Proof of accommodation in South Africa.
Proof of financial means
Applicants are to prove that they have the means to support themselves financially while in South Africa. The Proof of financial means comes in the form of Bank Statements; recent 3 months original Bank statements certified by the bank. Statements that are not certified are usually rejected. Some banks including SG-SSB do not certify Bank Statements. In such cases, you are to talk to your Branch Manager and insist on this.
If you are a salaried worker, include 3 of your recent payslips.
If your trip is being sponsored, the following are needed:
Letter of sponsorship
Recent 3 months original Bank statement certified by bank
Sponsor’s proof of employment
Copy of sponsors passport
For Corporate clients ONLY: Written Financial undertaking by the Host(s) in South Africa / Employer in Ghana
Tourist visa applicants are still REQUIRED to submit personal 3 months recent certified bank statement, even if sponsored.
Minors are also required to obtain visas. Below are the documents needed:
If a child is travelling alone or with one or both parents, a parental authorization or consent letter signed by both parents or guardian must be attached.
South Africa Home Affairs Parent consent Affidavit. Click HERE to download the South Africa Home Affairs Parent consent Affidavit.
Unabridged birth certificate.
NOTE: All the above documents in a language other than English must be translated.
Submission at the Visa Application Center
Once you have all the needed documents, make the Visa Fee and VFS Service Fee ready when submitting the application at the VFS Visa Application Center. Note that the South Africa Embassy or High Commission only accept applications through the VFS. The Visa fee is GHS 136 and a ridiculous VFS Service Charge of GHS 315. These fees are increased regularly so make sure you check from the VFS website for the updated Visa and Service Fees or call VFS on 0302 746211.
The South Africa Visa application Centre is located at East Cantoments near NAFTI. Locate them at the address below:
VFS Ghana Private Limited
South Africa Visa Application Centre
(Plot No. 29) No 9 Kakramadu Road
Note that, if you want your passport to be delivered to you at home when decision is taken, you can opt for it. It attracts a fee.
What happens after submission?
When the VFS receives your application, they will forward to the South Africa High Commission for a decision to be taken on your application. Decision to issue a visa is only the sole responsibility of the Consular. You will be notified by SMS or DHL (if you paid for courier) when decision has been taken and your passport is ready for collection.
You can also track the status of your application online HERE.
What to pack when traveling
Most (If not all) visa applications come out successful. Remember not to forget these when packing:
Yellow Fever vaccination Card
Return ticket (make sure days of stay corresponds to or less than the permitted number of days to stay)
Proof of accommodation
Funds for your stay (Cash and/or cards)