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South Africa Visa Guide

International Working Holidays is here to help you - our amazing NZ volunteers - get through the visa application as painlessly as possible. 

tracking Claire Welgevonden Big 5 Volunteer.jpg

Important notes

  • NZ Passport holders must obtain a VISITOR visa for South Africa for stays less than three months. 
  • NZ Passport holders must obtain a VOLUNTEER visa for stays more than three months. 
  • TRANSIT - until we know for sure, we are recommending everyone transiting through South Africa obtain a visitor visa - we cannot get a straight answer on if you need one or not from the South African Embassy - they don't know. 
  • The South African High Commission has two South African Visa Application Centres in Auckland and Wellington.
  • The centres, are run by VFS Global. They feature an appointment-based system, secure dispatch system, and walk-ins will also be accommodated.
  • Visas cost $181 (including VFS service fees).
  • New Zealand passport holders in Australia can apply for visas at the South African High Commission in Canberra, and must bring proof of residence. 
  • Those in other countries can also submit their applications at the nearest South African Embassy, High Commission or local VFS VAC.
  • The centres are open 0830-1500 Monday - Friday. 

Documents required

  • Completed Application form DHA-84.
  • Original valid machine readable Passport / Travel Document valid for no less than (30) days after the expiry of the intended visit with three (3) completely blank pages.
  • One (1) passport size photo.
  • Travel itinerary showing onward or return flight details (PRELIMINARY BOOKING ONLY, PLEASE DO NOT MAKE FIRM TRAVEL BOOKING). In the case of transit purposes, proof of onward passage. Our travel team will provide this for you.
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover the living expenses in the form of: Recent bank statement for 3 months, or Cash available / traveller's cheques. $1100NZ per month. 
  • The Visa letter (we have provided you already), signed and dated. This doubles as your proof of accommodation and food provided. 
  • A recent certified copy of our South Africa partners ID which we have provided you.  Scanned copy is acceptable. 
  • Leave letter from the employer if applicant has ongoing employment in New Zealand
  • Visa fee. 
  • Yellow fever certificates are required if the journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.

Notes for ALL applicants 18 years and over applying under volunteer visa:

  • Copies of bank statements for last three months showing at least $1100NZ of savings per month of your visa. The bank statements must be provided in the applicant’s name and must be sufficient to cover the full duration of their volunteer period in South Africa. 
  • If the amount is being transferred to the applicant’s account from the parent’s / spouse account, a letter must be written by the applicant stating that the funds transferred will be used for the sole purpose of their visit in South Africa.

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Please, bear in mind that failing to meet any of the following requirements will also render the application incomplete (For an application to be considered complete, all couples and families applying together must still provide complete sets of required documents for EACH applicant. This includes copies of bank statements, flight tickets, accommodation, marriage certificate certified copies (where applicable)

  • All copies of ID/Passport/Residence permit of host in South Africa must be certified copies – that is, certified by the Police in South Africa or a Commissioner of Oaths;
  • Invitation letter from host in South Africa must be signed;
  • All bank statements must be stamped by the bank, or accompanied by a separate letter from the bank verifying the account, name and address of the client.
  • To apply for your volunteer visa from NZ go to: Start the Visa application here
  • The required documents are listed here: Required Documents for the South Africa Volunteer Visa

These details are correct at time of publishing but please check the VFS Site for up to date info. 

Processing Times

  • Processing time is 5 to 7 working days from receipt of application if application is complete.
  • Applicants can only lodge their applications if the intended travel date to RSA is within next 90 days.
  • Applicants should also note that processing times are minimum as stated, and in some cases may take longer.

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