23 December 2016

South Africa's change in visa requirements for New Zealand passport holders

Following the recent announcement of South Africa’s change in visa requirements for New Zealand passport holders, now specifying that New Zealanders do require a visa in order to travel to South Africa, South African Tourism wishes to reassure all tourists that South Africa remains a welcoming destination, open to all tourists from across the world wishing to experience our unique and diverse tourism offering.

Between January and September 2016, South Africa welcomed 16 001 tourists from New Zealand which is a 19% increase when compared to the same period in 2015. This is growth that we would like to continue to see from this market and therefore are working together with the Department of Home Affairs and the South African High Commission to ensure that the visa application requirements are clearly communicated and that the process is as seamless as possible for all New Zealand nationals wishing to come experience our beautiful country,

To ensure a seamless experience for all New Zealand passport holders wishing to travel to South Africa, South African Tourism would like to highlight the following:

  • The revised visa requirements for New Zealand passport holders will only come into effect from 16 January 2017.  If a traveller from New Zealand travels to South Africa before the 16th January 2017 and returns after that, that traveller does not need a visa, therefore departing the Republic of South Africa after the 16th January 2017 will not pose a problem as there will be no requirement of a visa when departing.
  • New Zealand passport holders with already booked flight arrangements travelling before the 16th January 2017 are still exempt from visa application and can travel to South Africa, but those needing to travel from and after the 16th January 2017, regardless of whether or not they have already booked their flights, will need to apply for visas amidst existing plans.
  • All New Zealand passport holders wishing to apply for a South African visa must do so in person at the South African High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand as per the South African Immigration law and regulations
  • Turnaround time for visa issuance is between five and seven working days and this entails;
    • applicants submitting their applications in person;
    • meeting the requirements as detailed on the Department of Home Affairs website i.e. visa application, valid passport, ticket or itinerary for travel, bank statements and any other document  required at the time of application.  Please visit www.dha.gov.za for more details on documents required to apply for a South African visa.
  • Any further queries regarding turnaround times of visa applications can be directed to Mr David Jordaan, one of the managers in the mission in Wellington who can be contacted at JordaanD@dirco.gov.za.
  • New Zealanders living anywhere else in the world (including Australia) that do not have permanent residency in that country, have to go back and apply from the country of origin (in this case Wellington and NOT in Canberra, Australia).
  • If transiting through OR Tambo International Airport, Lanseria, Cape Town or King Shaka airports, New Zealand nationals do not need transit visas, but if transiting through other ports, transit visas are required.
  • The South African High Commission in New Zealand will be closed for the Christmas break from Friday 23rd December 2016 and will re-open on the 4th January 2017. This means that applications will be accepted as at the 4th January 2017 again.
  • For more information the South African High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand can be contacted from the 4th January 2017.
  • Any telephone enquiries on consular matters will be taken  on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 09h00 and  12h00 (midday).  Please however note that no telephone calls with regard to consular matters will be taken on any other day or outside these hours. The telephone number to use is + 64 4 815 8484.
  • The South African High Commission in New Zealand, situated on Level 7, State Insurance Tower, 1 Willis Street, Wellington, can also be contacted via email using the email addresses: wellington@foreign.gov.zawellington@foreign.gov.za or consular@sahcwellington.co.nz

“Between January and September 2016, South Africa welcomed 16 001 tourists from New Zealand which is a 19% increase when compared to the same period in 2015. This is growth that we would like to continue to see from this market and therefore are working together with the Department of Home Affairs and the South African High Commission to ensure that the visa application requirements are clearly communicated and that the process is as seamless as possible for all New Zealand nationals wishing to come experience our beautiful country,” says Mr Sisa Ntshona, Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism.