At the moment, American citizens can go to South Africa without a visa for up to 90 days. It is required to apply for a South African visa if you intend to stay in South Africa for an extended period of time. Consult the various visa kinds to ensure that you apply for the suitable visa based on your reasons for visiting South Africa.
The length of stay does not have to be consecutive. You can come and go as you like during your first 90 days, but after that, you will need to apply for a new visa if you want to stay longer than three months.
South Africans can visit America for a short stay of up to ninety days without a visa. However, you must obtain a visa if you want to stay longer than this. Check with a local consulate to find out how long you need a visa for.
Residents of 28 nations can currently enter South Africa visa-free for up to 30 days, while passport holders of an additional 48 nationalities, including citizens of the United Kingdom, can visit South Africa visa-free for tourism or business for a maximum 90-day stay.
In addition to these visa-free regimes, other forms of entry permit are required for certain categories of foreign nationals. These include employees of international organizations, multilateral development banks, donor countries' governments themselves as well as some other exceptions.
South Africa's immigration department offers a number of ways for travelers to obtain a visa. The main two methods are through the postal service or at one of the department's diplomatic offices around the world. There is also a mobile application called "Visamobility."
The British embassy in Pretoria has this warning for Britons planning to travel to South Africa: "British passports will be checked by security officers at all major airports and ports before passengers board their flights. Officers may take up to 60 minutes to complete checks on each passenger."
However, once in South Africa, Britons say there is no need to apply for a separate visa if traveling as a tourist or business traveler. They should also be aware that if they fall into any of the categories not permitted into the country without a visa, they will not be able to leave until one has been obtained.
Visas are not required for US nationals (holders of US passports) visiting the Republic of South Africa for ninety (90) days or less for tourism or business. There are some nations that do not require a visa if the applicant is visiting South Africa for fewer than 30 days. These countries include Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland.
In addition, British citizens who arrive in South Africa with a valid passport and a return ticket home will not be asked to show a visa.
South Africans can visit the United States without a visa as long as they have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the expiration date of their visa. They also need to present a copy of their ID card or birth certificate upon arrival. If there is any suspicion that you may not meet this requirement, you will not be allowed into the country.
Americans don't need a visa to enter South Africa through either of our airports. However, since there is no specific category for American tourists in the list of exempt countries, it's best to check ahead of time to make sure you aren't given an expensive surprise when you reach the border.