How to Apply for a South Africa Visa for Filipino Tourists or Visitors

How to Apply for a South Africa Visa for Filipino Tourists or Visitors

If you’ve grown up watching the ‘Lion King’, as well as numerous other documentaries on BBC, National Geographic, etc., then I’m sure that South Africa is high up on your bucket list! Not only is it a safari superpower for the well-known ‘Big Five’ (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino), but it is also specked with rugged mountains, lush reserves, and diverse wildlife among many others that would instantly fill up your itinerary. In order to visit here, as a Filipino citizen, we need to apply for a South Africa visa first.

But don’t fret because it’s quite fast and easy to get one, and I hope that my visa guide and tips below will help you to on a successful application!

…But first, a disclaimer:

NO ONE can give you a guarantee on your South Africa visa’s approval — not even a lawyer, a consultant, a travel agent, or an embassy employee. Anyone who says otherwise is most likely going to be a scammer.

That being said, what I can offer you here is a comprehensive guide with helpful tips to increase your chances of getting that South Africa Visa.

Top photo of Elephants from Shutterstock.com.

How to Apply for a South Africa Visa

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Step 1: Determine the type of South Africa Visa that you need to apply for
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There are, of course, various types of South Africa visas out there that you can apply for: a visa for studying, a visa for working, a visa for marriage, etc.

But for this particular guide, I will only be discussing the requirements for a visit or tourist visa for less than 30 days since it’s an experience that I’ve gone through myself.

If, however, you have a complicated situation or a different purpose of visit, it’s best that you head over to this page for more information.

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Step 2: Prepare required documents
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Below are the required documents for acquiring a South Africa visa.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Applications with incomplete documents will NOT be accepted.
  • If you filled any of the documents below by hand, please ensure that it is in black ink only and that there are no erasures.
  • It is said that if you are traveling more than once a year, it is possible to apply for multiple entries of up to 3 years — but take note that  all decisions regarding the issuance of, number of entries and duration of a visa are at the sole discretion of the embassy, and it is not guaranteed that the embassy will grant your request.

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Passport – It should be valid for at least 30 days after the intended stay/departure date from South Africa. You must also ensure that there is at least two (2) unused/blank pages on your passport.
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  • Photocopy of passport – You must also submit a photocopy of the passport’s first page (which contains your passport bio-data and personal information).
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  • Passport photos – Provide two (2) recent passport-sized photos (35mm x 45mm) that are NOT older than 30 days/1 month.
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  • Duly accomplished visa application form – This is Form-11 (DHA-84) which you can download through this link. You must sign this and do ensure that your signature must match the signature on your passport.
    • Remember to write in capital letters and in black ink only.
    • Ensure that there are NO erasures.
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  • Vaccination certificate – This is only if you are you are arriving from or have been in transit longer than 12 hours at the airport of any of the following yellow fever risk countries…
    • Angola, Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Republic of the Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, 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, and Venezuela.
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  • Proof of financial resources – Provide a bank statement showing the past 3 months. This must be certified by the bank and not older than 7 days from the time of application.
    • The following are NOT required, however, it’s highly advisable that you submit them to increase your chances for approval on your South Africa visa:
      • For employed persons: Original Certificate of Employment and photocopy of latest ITR.
      • For self-employed / business persons: If you own a business, submit photocopies of your Business Registration issued by DTI / SEC, the company ITR, and Business Permit or Mayor’s Permit. If you’re a freelancer, provide latest photocopy of your ITR.
      • For students: School records and/or approval of leave of absence
      • Others: Photocopies of any of your real properties (car, land, condominium, etc.)
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  • Travel reservations – These are flight and hotel reservation(s) only for the entire duration of your stay in South Africa.
    • Hotels: I usually reserve my hotel stays via Booking.com and/or Agoda.com. With them, you can reserve a hotel with NO pre-payment and you can even cancel the booking a day before your arrival with NO cancellation charges at all. So yes, you can make reservations without any payment, you can change the reservation anytime, AND you can cancel them at no cost as well if in case your visa is not approved.
    • Flights: For the best flight deals, my go-to platform is Skyscanner. It scans through all the international airlines (budget and luxury lines) to present to you the best deals.


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  • Cover letter & itinerary – This should be signed by you (the applicant) and it should state your name, passport number, duration of visit, physical address, contact details, and work. You should also clearly mention who will bear the expenses of the trip — if it’s you or a sponsor. If you have a representative who is submitting your application for your behalf, you must put his/her contact details as well.
    • For a sample cover letter and itinerary that I made, you can see this link.
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EXTRAS:

  • If married – Bring your original marriage certificate (as well as a photocopy). The original is needed for verification purposes only at the time of submission.
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  • If you were invited – Provide an invitation letter with signature from your host in South Africa.
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  • If a minor – Take note of the following…
    • Submit a Parental Consent Affidavit form, as well as passport copy of parents and the child.
      • Provide an Unabridged Birth Certificate of child must be carried for Parental Consent Affidavit procedure.
      • If unabridged birth certificate is in local language, then an English translation affidavit must be produced along with the local language unabridged birth certificate.
    • In case of death of either parents, death certificate has to be produced. Or if both parents are dead, the South Africa visa procedure should be done by legal guardian (death certificates of both parents should also be submitted).
    • In case of divorce, the legal divorce documents has to be produced.
    • Affidavit less than 3 months old as part of the application.
    • You should keep the originals for your records while travelling.

NOTE: It is possible that the South Africa Embassy may request for more information or additional documents from you which is apart from the basic requirements above. For my case though, they didn’t ask for anything else (thankfully!).

Do you need to purchase travel insurance?
It’s always good practice to get travel insurance for your trip. To avail, I would highly recommend World Nomads since they offer the best price and coverage.

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Step 3: Submit to VFS Global
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VFS Global is the external service provider that receives South Africa visa applications on the Embassy’s behalf. You can also just walk in because there is no need for appointments.

To submit your application, you can do either of the following…

  1. Submit in person. VFS is open from Mondays to Fridays, except for holidays, to individual applicants from 7AM to 11:30AM and 1PM to 3:30PM (take note that they have lunch breaks). The address is at:
    VFS Global Services
    South Africa Visa Application Centre,

    Ground floor, Ecoplaza Building,
    2305 Chino Roces Avenue Extension Makati City
    Metro Manila 1231
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  2. Submit via a representative. Just provide an authorization letter with copies of your ID and the representative. For representatives, VFS accepts applications from 7AM to 11AM and 1PM to 3PM on Mondays to Fridays.
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IMPORTANT: You must apply at least 7 days (but no more than 30 days or 4 weeks) before your flight. So, nope, you cannot apply earlier than 4 weeks before your flight.

As for the payment, visa fee is FREE if you’re staying for less than 30 days — or Php 2,525 if you’re staying for 30 days and beyond. This does not include yet the service fee with VFS (Php 2,000), SMS notifications (Php 120, optional), and courier delivery (Php 370, optional).

Take note that you can only pay in cash and in Php.

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Step 4: Wait for the results of your South Africa Visa
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Visas that are less than 3 months take only 5 business days to process — but I actually got mine in just 3 business days after I passed my application! But of course, bear in mind that each application is subject to an individual assessment, so processing time may vary.

You can collect your passport from Mondays to Fridays, at 2PM to 4PM.

To give you an idea of my timeline…

  • August 28: Submitted my South Africa visa application to VFS
  • August 29: Got an email from VFS that my application has been passed on to the embassy
  • August 31: Got an email and SMS that I can pick up my passport at VFS

If you want to track your application, you can check here.

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Activities to do in South Africa?

Come read my posts about it by reading my detailed travel guides now!

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Booking Essentials

F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)

◘◘ Do I need to purchase travel insurance?
I highly advise that you get travel insurance for your trip. To avail, I recommend World Nomads since they offer the best price and coverage internationall.

◘◘ How early can I apply for my South Africa visa?
You must apply at least 7 days (but no more than 30 days or 4 weeks) before your flight. So, nope, you cannot apply earlier than 4 weeks before your flight.

◘◘ Can I apply for a multiple entry South Africa visa?
Yes! In fact, if you are traveling more than once a year to South Africa, it is possible to apply for multiple entries of up to 3 years. Just ensure that you indicate in your cover letter why you need this kind of visa, as well as provide the necessary documents and details to explain your travel plans. But of course, remember that the issuance of a multiple entry visa is not guaranteed as it is still up to the sole discretion of the embassy.

◘◘ How much money should I show in my bank account?
The Embassy of South Africa did not explicitly state a money requirement, so just make sure that your bank account covers the cost of your flight, accommodation and daily expenses for the trip (in a sense, about $50 a day for other expenses in South Africa is somewhat enough).

◘◘ How long does it take to get the results of my South Africa visa application?
Like I’ve mentioned above, it usually takes 5 working days (or more, if in case the Embassy wants more documents from you). But I got mine in just 3 working days.

◘◘ Will there be an interview?
I didn’t do any interviews. VFS was only there to collect and check your documents. However, it is possible that the Embassy of South Africa may request you to visit them for an interview after they receive your documents — but I’ve never heard of such a case when applying for a tourist visa only.

◘◘ How can I track my application?
You can check here to track the progress of your South Africa visa application.

◘◘ My application was denied. When can I apply again?
The Embassy nor VFS have provided no information about when you can re-apply — but the fact remains that you can re-apply. Just make sure that you identified what might have triggered a red flag on your application, and then ensure that your next application corrects that.
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Overall

South Africa Visa

Applying for a South Africa visa is relatively easy, and I hope that with this visa guide, I can help you prepare your documents and requirements better.

Let me know how it goes! Good luck!

How about you?

  • Do you have any other tips to add?
  • If you’ve already applied for a South Africa visa before, how was your experience?
  • Were you approved or denied? Please feel free to share your story!

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8 comments

  1. Incredibly useful tips and very detailed too! Thanks for this!

    Reply
    1. Hope it helps! :D

      Reply
  2. Hi Aileen,

    Thanks for making this post! I have 4 daughters and my husband and we plan to travel in the coming months but weren't sure about purchasing travel insurance because it's expensive. Your article really helped set my head straight so I thank you for that! :)

    Hope to read more from you soon!

    Much love,
    Jessica Hernandez

    Reply
    1. I'm so happy to hear that! Enjoy your trip :D

      Reply
  3. Great guide!

    Reply
    1. Thanks! :D

      Reply
  4. Thanks for useful tips

    Reply
    1. You're welcome :D

      Reply

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