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South Africa Visa Guide for Filipinos

With our recent travel to South Africa, specifically in Johannesburg and Cape Town, we applied for VISITOR’S VISA LESS THAN 3 MONTHS at VFS Global located in Makati City.

My Personal Profile

Please do note that I applied having the following background:

  • Single
  • Employed
  • With Travel History (I have old visas and passport stamps from different countries)
  • Purpose of travel is tourism
  • Traveling with group of friends
  • With Booked Roundtrip Airline Ticket (NOT RECOMMENDED. We scouted a discounted flight that’s why we took the risk. Booked airline ticket will give higher chances of your visa being approved but it will not automatically guarantee that you will be granted one.)
  • With Confirmed Airbnb Bookings/Accommodations

Tip: You can opt to reserve Airbnb/hotel accommodations online with free cancellation. This means you haven’t paid anything yet and you can cancel for free in case your visa application gets denied. Just be mindful of the deadline of the cancellation so you will not be charged of anything.)

When can you submit your Visa Application?

You should submit your application no more than 30 days prior to your date of travel. This is mandatory.

Documents Required

Below are the requirements I actually submitted as indicated in the VSF Global page:

South Africa Visa Requirements

IMPORTANT NOTE: Depending on your personal background, you may be required to submit other documents (e.g. if you’re a business owner, student).

Also, I submitted other documents not listed in VFS Global page listed below:

South Africa Visa Requirements

Note: I submitted my old passport since I have old stamps and visas there but it was handed right back to me during the application. I also noticed that the visa officer did not verify the original copy of the photocopied documents I submitted like my ITR and in my friend’s case, Land Title Certificate. But an applicant before me was asked if he has a hotel booking.

How Long is the Application Process?

Upon submission, the VFS attendant will tell you that standard visa processing is 7 working days but it is the discretion of the embassy to release earlier. If you choose to have your passport delivered, expect an additional 1-2 working days.

Here’s my timeline:

April 3 (Tues): Submitted application to VFS Global.

April 6 (Fri): Passport has been dispatched via courier.

April 10 (Tues): Passport delivery (April 9 is Philippine holiday).

My visa application processing only took 3 working days. I could have picked up my passport 3 days from my application date have I not opted for delivery.

Application and Passport Pick-up Schedule

VFS Global South Africa Visa Schedule

Source: vfsglobal.com

Sample Cover Letter

NOTE: Adjust the list based on the documents you are going to submit. Update the information highlighted in red.

Reminders

  • Application with incomplete documents will not be accepted.
  • There must be 7 working days before the proposed flight itinerary.
  • No fixed flight arrangements should be made until the visa has been attained.
  • Applicant can submit their applications as walk in. No need to book an appointment.
  • Applicant may submit the application personally or by a representative. In case of a representative, NO authorization letter is needed.
  • Payment mode is Cash Only in Philippine Peso.
  • 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.
  • Standard processing time is 7 working days, but depending on the discretion of the embassy, it can be earlier or in some cases, may take longer.
  • All documents must be in English.
  • All application forms filled by hand must be original in BLACK INK only. Scanned copies will strictly not be accepted.
  • Make sure to check the holidays observed by VFS Global – South Africa here. Note that there are some Philippine holidays that they do not follow. Also be aware that there are South African holidays they do observe (e.g. Easter Monday) and the application center will be closed.
  • You will receive SMS and e-mail updates.

Fees

VFS Handling Fee – PHP 2000
SMS Updates (Mandatory) – PHP120

VFS Global – South Africa Visa Application Center

Address: Ground Floor, Ecoplaza Bldg., Don Chino Roces Ave., Makati City
Contact No.: + 63 2 790 4909
E-mail Address: info.saph@vfshelpline.com
Website: http://www.vfsglobal.com/SouthAfrica/Philippines/

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