Applying for a Visa on an Indian Passport is a cumbersome and overwhelming process. Despite the e-Visa processes in place, the requirements of getting a Visa still remain stringent for many countries, including South Africa. After Schnegen and US Visas, the South African Visa is another topsy-turvy when it comes to making a correct application. Here’s what you need to know when you apply for a South African Visa to sail past smoothly.
Get Vaccinated before Applying for South African Visa
Yes! Even before you think of checking your financials, the first mandate is to get yourself vaccinated for ‘Yellow Fever‘. I suggest you do that because they are right. Yellow fever is incurable and by the time you find a way out, it takes over you. The Yellow Fever vaccination is available in 34 Hospitals in India which are specially listed to carry out the “Yellow Fever Vaccination”. Until 2012, you could get your vaccination done from any of the hospitals and carry the International certificate of vaccination and Prophylaxis. However, after that, a total of 41 hospitals across India are authorized to vaccinate and endorse it on the “International WHO Vaccination Card”, in which the doctor indicates the details of the vaccination.
It is mandatory to submit this Vaccination Card endorsed from the enlisted hospitals along with the Visa Documents, failing which the Visa may not be granted from the High Commission of South Africa.
Apply well in advance
The first time I had applied for a South African Visa, it was a disappointing experience. Not that it was good this time too, considering the fact that it takes more than 20 days if you really want your Visa in your hands. A lot of travelers need to cancel or postpone their plans due to delayed Visas. You might not get stuck due to non-correctness or incomplete documentation, but for the processing time. It simply takes a long desperate waiting for the Visa to come. When you apply for a Visa:-
- Do it well in advance – Take a minimum of 20 days ‘excluding the weekends’.
- Vaccination is mandatory – Keep at least 3 days in hand for it, if not less.
- Official Website – Website of the High Commission of South Africa in India
- Which form to use;- Form BI-84
Where to Apply:-
New Delhi: South African High Commission in New Delhi, India
B18 Vasant Marg
New Delhi 110 057
TELEPHONE: (+91) 11 2614 9411 to 20
EMAIL: [email protected]
Mumbai: South African Consulate General in Mumbai, India
20, Altamount Road
P O Box 6504, Cumballa Hill
Mumbai 400 026
TELEPHONE: (+91) 22-2351 3725 / (+91) 22-2352 3726
The next step is to check your financials. The financials only affect your Visa status to the extent that you have a consistently healthy bank account and have enough to sponsor yourself for the trip. Apart from that, you need 3 years of IT returns at hand, which makes sure you are a genuine traveler.
When you consider submission of your financials, consider these points below:-
- Use a bank account which has been sufficiently funded for a long time. You need to submit 3 months of bank statement.
- Do not use a bank account that you opened recently and stuff loads of money into it to fake your financials. You will be caught!! Trust me!
- IT returns is another solid proof of your financials. Make sure you give them for the documentation.
- If you are working and salaried, consider providing 6 months salary slip also, apart from bank statement, if you have lesser money in your account when making an application.
** Your bank account information is very much traceable as also the IT status. It is better to reflect as true a picture as possible, while making an application. It is otherwise only about time to grant Visa.
South African Visa Application Fees
Here comes the exciting part -the Visa Fees. The tourist Visa processing for South Africa is Gratis or FREE of cost, so you can apply without any other cost burden. So, as you read this post, please understand that you do not need to fall trap to creepy Visa agents who promise you moon for a fee. Instead, with little awareness, it is simple to earn a rightful Visa for travel, without putting ourselves into embarrassment.
All said and done, here is a list of documents you need when you apply for the South African Visa.
- Cover Letter addressed to the Consulate OR High Commission (In case salaried, on the Company Letter Head)
- Visa Application Form
- Original Passport
- Confirmed return flight tickets
- Confirmed hotel bookings
- N.O.C from your employer allowing you for the trip on Company Letter Head.
- 2 x Passport Size photographs – white background, 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm, 80% face covered in photograph
- 3 months bank statement
- 6 months salary slip (if salaried)
- 3 yrs IT return
- Day Wise Itinerary of the places you intend to visit.
It is a long and overwhelming wait, while you receive an intimation on your registered email address. Once the application is done, you get a tracking no. which you can use to check the status of your Visa process. Once the Visa is processed, the Visa along with the passport is directly couriered to your address.
In case you notice that you are not receiving any reply to your application, it is best to send an email to [email protected], at the VFS Global Office and the Consulate to politely prompt them for a status update. They are quick in their reply and update you within a day. Consider that your application is processed once you get a status like this from your tracking number.
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Picture Credits: Featured