The visa facilitation services (VFS) is a company that provides visa assistance and tracking services. It manages the administrative tasks of issuing visas and passports on behalf of its clients. The VFS works for government institutions and not individuals. It is this same function that VFS South Africa performs. It manages the issuing of visas and passports to South African citizens. With VFS services, you can apply for visas, and track the progress and status of your application.
To track the status of your visa application, you first have to apply. Before beginning the visa application process, ensure that you know what category of visa you want to apply for and the different forms and information that will be required of you.
What are the requirements for a South Africa visa?
Every specific visa category or type has some specific requirements and documents that you need to submit alongside your application. However, we will be listing out some of the basic requirements that may apply to all types of visas.
The documents required to apply for a visa:
- You are required to have a passport or any other travel document that will still be valid for up to 30 days after the day you intend to return to your country.
- There should be two empty pages in your passport so that you can record your entry and exit.
- You are required to have a visa application form (Form BI-84).
- Proof that you have paid the application fees.
- You must also have a yellow fever card.
- You should have a document that clearly states the reason you are requesting an entry visa and how long you intend to stay in the country.
- You are required to have to colour passport-sized photographs.
- If you are travelling by air, you should have a return ticket.
- If you are travelling with minors or you have minors who will be coming to meet you in South Africa, then you have to attach these support documents:
- A proof that you are the legal guardian or custodian of the children.
- If the minor isn’t accompanied by an adult, then you will be required to include a consent form from the guardian.
- You have to prove that you are capable of shouldering expenses when you are in the country. You do so by including:
- Salary advances.
- A bank statement.
- A signed undertaking by the person hosting you
- The cash you have available including your credit cards and cheques.
These are the basic requirements to apply for a visa. If your visa application process is successful, you will have some documents to be able to enter the country:
- First, you’ll need a valid passport with a visa
- Enough money to cover your expenses
- A yellow fever card and a return ticket.
If you are in a country that has visa-free privileges then you might not require a visa to enter the country.
How to apply for a visa with VFS
Step 1: Apply online
- Launch the VFS South Africa official website on your device
- Click on the complete online form button
- You will need to fill the online form correctly. It is important that you do not hurry over it.
- Once you have completed the form, you will be required to pay a mandatory application fee of R1350 to book an appointment after you must have completed the online process.
- You can pay using either of these methods; a prepayment method at Standard Bank, you can pay by Credit or debit card, or you can use an electronic fund transfer method.
- Check that you have all the required documents ready.
Step 2: On-site appointments
After booking online, you will be given a date for your appointment at the VFS centre. You are required to bring the following along with you;
- Your appointment letters.
- Print out your online application form.
- Have proof that you have paid the application fee.
- Include all supporting documents.
- Lastly, go along with a valid passport or any other travel document.
When you arrive at the centre, you will be given a token, wait until you are called up and then file in your application. Upon receiving your application, you will be given a receipt that acknowledges that your application has been received. You will need that receipt to take back your documents. Please ensure that all necessary documents are included in your application, because no other document may be added after you have submitted it.
Step 3: Provide supporting documents.
You can simply go to the VFS website, click on visa types and see exactly what documents are required for the type of visa you are applying for.
Step 4: Add biometric data.
You would be required to add biometric data such as your fingers and add a digital photograph. The fingers are taken using a scanner that doesn’t require any ink or chemicals. You will have to scan all ten fingers so make sure you don’t have any cuts or decorations that might affect the scan. For the photograph, you are not allowed to wear sunglasses. You are only allowed to have a head covering if it is for medical or religious reasons, and your hair shouldn’t go over your eyes.
Step 5: Decide how you would like to receive the decision.
Decide if you would like to receive the decision along with your documents in person or you would have a representative do it, either way, your original passport is needed to collect your documents. You would also have to provide a letter of authorization with your name on it, should you decide to send a representative.
How to track your application
After submitting your visa application, you can track the status of your application by using the VFS tracking south Africa tool. Tracking your application status is so simple it only takes three steps:
Step 1: launch the VFS platform on your device
Step 2: click on the “track your application” button.
Step 3: log in to your account by inputting your AURN number and your last name and hit submit. You will be redirected to a portal where you can see the status of your application.
How long does it take to get a visa in South Africa?
The time it takes to get a visa in South Africa varies based on the type of visa you are applying for. Critical skills visas for statutory bodies last up to 6 – 12 months while visas for non-statutory bodies take only 8 to 12 weeks. General work visas take up to 12 months, business visas take up to four months while other visa types including study and spousal visas take 4 to 12 weeks.
Visa costs in South Africa
Like the visa duration, the cost for visas in South Africa varies as well. If you are applying through the Visa Facilitation Service, the visa cost is standard for all visa types. It cost R1350. But should you decide to apply through the Department of Home Affairs, the cost varies. General work visas, critical skills and corporate work visas all cost R1520. Visitor’s visas cost R425. Study and medical visas cost the same as visitors visas at R425. You can check the DHA website to find the specific visa type you would need.
We hope this article has been helpful to you, and you are now able to use VFS services to apply and track the status of your visa. If you have any other questions that this article has not addressed, please check the Visa Facilitation Service and Department of Home Affairs websites.