Entry requirements (visa/passport)
If your visit to South Africa is for less than 90 days, you won't need a visa. If you wish to visit for longer than 90 days please consult your nearest Embassy or Consulate of South Africa before travelling. You are strongly advised not to overstay the 90 day limit as the South African Department of Home Affairs has recently introduced much stricter rules and penalties in respect of visitors who overstay without permission.
On 21 August 2014 the South African Minister for Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, announced a ban on entry for non-South African nationals travelling from countries designated as high-risk for Ebola. Irish nationals seeking to travel to South Africa from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone will not be permitted to enter the country. This is an emergency measure which can be expected to continue until the Ebola crisis in West Africa is resolved.
Your passport must have at least two blank pages and must not be damaged in any way. If your passport fails on either count, it will be returned immediately by the South African authorities. The Embassy of Ireland cannot help you at all if you are refused entry for either of these reasons.
Your passport must also be valid for at least six months from your intended date of departure from South Africa.
It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you when travelling to South Africa and you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times during your stay.
If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad, we can help.
What we can do:
- Issue you a replacement passport that will let you finish your trip, or;
- Issue you with an emergency travel document to get you home.
We’ll do our best to help you as quickly as possible but this can take some time. Your location and circumstances may limit the help we can give you.
You should contact the Irish Embassy in Pretoria to find out what you need to do to apply for a passport. They will also be able to advise you on the fees which apply.
Travelling with Children
Regulations are changing for travellers with children travelling to/from South Africa from 1 June 2015. There will be a significant change to requirements so travellers are encouraged to take careful note.
All travellers entering or leaving South Africa from 1 June must present the child’s full unabridged birth certificate to the immigration officer at the port of entry/departure. In the case of adopted children, an adoption certificate must be presented. The requirement is for either the original document or a copy certified by a suitable authority within the three months preceding the date of travel. Where the certificate is not in English or another of the official languages of South Africa, a translation must be presented, certified within the three months preceding the date of travel.
Where the child is not accompanied by one or both parents named on the birth/adoption certificate, an affidavit is required confirming the parent/s consent to the child travelling on the specific journey being undertaken. This affidavit must provide contact details for the parent/s not accompanying the child so that the immigration officer can verify consent, if s/he so wishes. Where one of the parents is deceased or an order of sole custody exists, official documentation of these circumstances must be presented to the immigration officer at the port of entry/departure.
If you have queries or concerns regarding these requirements we recommend that you consult with the Embassy or Consulate of South Africa in your country of residence, or with the South African authorities if you are resident in South Africa.
The currency in South Africa is the rand. Exchange control regulations mean that it’s difficult to buy foreign currency without going through lengthy and elaborate procedures.
There is a high incidence of credit card fraud and fraud involving ATMs. As at home in Ireland, when you’re using an ATM, be careful to ensure your PIN number can’t be observed by others when you’re withdrawing money. Offers of help from bystanders should be refused. Don’t change large sums of money in busy public areas.
South Africa has a subtropical climate and warm temperatures for much of the year. The Western Cape gets most of its rainfall in winter, but the rest of the country is generally a summer-rainfall region.
South Africa’s seasons are opposite to those in Europe.
Mon, 19 Jun 2017 11:32:08 BST