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Frequently Asked Questions
South Africa is located at the southern tip of the African continent. It is a vast country with 11 official languages and an incredibly diverse population. It is known for its excellent wine and being one of the world’s largest producers of gold. However, if you want to visit South Africa, you must express extreme caution. The US State Department, along with most other western countries, advise you to be very careful during your trip there. The crime rate is pretty high, and often involves foreigners. Below, we will provide some valuable information that will help you get around and have a lovely and safe time during your trip.
First of all, we will talk about entry requirements. South Africa’s visa policy contains a list of countries and territories whose citizens are exempt from requiring a visa to visit the country. There are 80 visa-exempt nationalities, and if you find yourself among them, you can enter and stay in South Africa without a visa for a period that varies from 30 to 90 days, depending on your nationality. All you need is a passport that will be valid for at least another month from your date of departure from South Africa. It must also have at least one blank page available for stamping.
In case you are not among the 80 visa-exempt nationalities, you must go to the nearest South African diplomatic mission and apply for a standard visa. Keep in mind that when you are required to have a visa, your passport must have at least two blank pages available for stamping. The good news is that South Africa has decided to introduce the electronic visa system by the end of 2019. We do not have more information about it at the moment, but as soon as the South Africa eVisa goes live, iVisa will be able to help you with the online application process.
The best time to visit South Africa is in the spring or fall. That is when the temperatures are more bearable. In the summer, most of South Africa is dominated by the rainy season, except for the Western Cape, and it can get pretty hot.
As mentioned in the introduction, there are 11 official languages in South Africa, but you do not have to learn any of them. That is because most South Africans speak English as a second language, so you should get around just fine.
Most people who take a trip to South Africa go there because they are interested in its natural history. The national parks are a treasure, and you will be amazed at how many species of animals you can see in one place. There are natural reserves, as well as farms and private collections. For one thing, you should not go to South Africa and skip visiting the Kruger National Park. There are numerous species of animals, dangerous or otherwise, but you will have a fantastic experience there.
If you are interested, you can go whale watching in Hermanus, Walker Bay. The experience is breath-taking. However, make sure you manage your expectations. Not all who go to Walker Bay actually get to see whales. They have their own schedule, after all. You may get lucky, or you may not. Nature’s choice.
In Eastern Cape, you can go to the Addo Elephant National Park. Very few things even begin to compare with these giants walking a few hundred feet from you. The Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary may also interest you. It was built by Four Paws, an animal organization, back in 2007.
If you are looking for some exciting things to do while in South Africa, you can try diving. Thanks to its location, the country has a very long coastline. It is known for its large marine life, such as sharks and whales, but there are smaller fish as well. Plus, there are many wrecks you can explore. You will need a guide, of course, but a tour is not that expensive, and you will have a great time.
River rafting is also available in South Africa. Most people who are interested in rafting go to the Orange River, which is located at the border with Namibia. There are many tour operators that provide 6-day trips in blow-up boats. Not only that you will get some adrenaline, but you will be able to sleep under the stars at night.
A lot of people who go to South Africa decide to do some volunteer work as well. You can work for a few days with the Rainbow Nation, which is currently working on the preservation of the Big 5. You can also do construction work or social work if you have the necessary skills. The choice is yours.
We should talk a little bit about safety. As mentioned above, South Africa is not the safest destination you can travel to. The crime rate is pretty high, often involving tourists. You should not go alone, especially as a woman. Avoid walking down the streets at night alone. You should not wear any expensive jewelry, and all your electronic devices should be kept in your bag whenever you are not using it. You should always use common sense to keep yourself safe.
You should also mind the beggars in the street. You may see many children and mothers with babies asking for money. Refrain from offering cash because that will only keep them on the streets. Also, bear in mind that many con-artists and thieves pose as beggars.
As far as health is concerned, Malaria is endemic, but only in the north-east part of the country. HIV is widespread throughout the country, so you should take extra precautions. We advise you to avoid public hospitals when possible, but the private hospitals are world-class.
The food in South Africa is known to be delicious, and it is very cheap as well. You can eat like a king for a small price. We recommend that you try the local cuisine because it is very tasty, but you will also find some European influences. While the municipal water is safe to drink, we still recommend that you purchase bottled water.
People in South Africa are nice and polite towards tourists. As long as you show respect, you will not be bothered. Again, use your common sense and behave like you would in any western civilization, and you should be alright.
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An e-Visa is an official document permitting entry into and travel within a certain country. The e-Visa is an alternative to visas issued at the ports of entry or visiting an embassy/consulate to obtain traditional paper visas. e-Visas are linked electronically to the traveler's passport.
Our service starts with information. You can use our up-to-date visa requirements tool to search if you need a travel visa. It's as simple as telling us where you are from and where you are going. Based on this information we will tell you how much the visa costs, the number of entries, the start date and give you an action step such as applying directly on our site!
It depends on the country issuing the visa. For many countries such as Australia ETA and Turkey e-Visa, the process can be done in 15 minutes through our rush service. For other countries such as the India tourist Visa, the process usually takes 24 hours. The exact time can be found on each application form. What we guarantee is that your application with iVisa will be the fastest way to apply anywhere.
The documents must be printed on a sheet of blank A4 white paper. Double-side or reduced printing will not be accepted.
We help you get your travel visa in the simplest and fastest way possible. Through easy-to-use online application forms and world-class 24/7 customer service, we make the whole visa process quick and simple! We also use best practices when it comes to protecting your data and credit card.
iVisa offers two types of Visa: Electronic visas (e-Visas) and traditional paper visas, based on your destination. In addition, we also offer the following services/documents that are required by certain countries: ETA (electronic travel authorization), Tourist Cards, Visa on Arrival pre-registration/approval form, Tourist Invitation Letters, and Embassy Registration service.
- Select the country to which you are requesting the visa
- Select the type of visa and read the instructions carefully.
- Select Apply Now
- Fill in the application form
- Pay using a Visa Card, Mastercard or other debit card.
- Await approval via email, then download and print the e-Visa from your account.
- Present your printed e-Visa to the immigration officer at the port of entry.
Please note most countries offer the ability to process a travel visa without a service fee. The main reason we process thousands of travel visas per month is we save you time and frustration. Our service includes an easy to use website and application form. It is much easier to process your application with us especially for mobile users and large groups. We send all of our clients the visa days before travel. This is especially helpful for those passengers who purchase the visa months in advance. We also have a 24-hour customer service with professionals that are based in the United States and speak English. We accept multi-currencies and our website can be translated into over 20 languages. We believe our fee is worth your time and sanity but please note all governments do have their own "free" service.
If you have already applied on our site, please log in to your account and look for your order/application. An account is generated for you automatically after payment is received. Click the link in your confirmation email to set up a password or visit the log in page to set up the password and enter the account. Please note in most cases your visa will be delivered to you via email and can be found in your account after logging in.
If your visa application is not approved by the government agency, we will provide a full refund of all service fees under our approval guarantee. We cannot refund the visa fee (if applicable) since this is a third party fee that is paid directly to the government agency. If a mistake is made on your application, we will process your visa again at no cost. Please note refunds are credited back to the same credit card used.
If we have not processed your visa, we can make changes without a problem. We do check your information for mistakes as well. If you have already processed your visa, If we have submitted your application to the appropriate government agencies, some will allow to make changes, while others do not. Please contact us immediately (preferably through chat) if you notice an error on your application.
Some countries may require proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. You can see more info here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list It's the passenger´s own responsibility to verify these regulations before traveling to the chosen country.
In order to download your invoice, please log in to your account and download it directly from there.
You may reprint the e-Visa in your email account. Alternatively, you may retrieve and reprint the e-Visa by using your iVisa account.
Yes. The iVisa system does not retain your credit card information after the transaction is processed.
All visas grant travelers the permission to travel to a country's port of entry. Whether you are granted entry or not will be at the discretion of the Immigration Officer at the entry point.
If your visa application has not been submitted for processing you will receive a full refund. However, if your application has been submitted, then we will not be able to provide a refund.
When the visa has to be shipped to you, the processing times do not include this shipping time. It is from when we receive your application to obtaining the approval. Most visas (e-Visas) are sent via email upon approval so shipping times will not apply.
No, we are not affiliated with any government agencies. We are a private company that specializes in processing travel visas for travelers worldwide.
Unfortunately, we are not able to, since the government agencies do not inform us of the reason(s) behind the decisions.
If your visa is not approved, we advise that you contact the nearest embassy/consulate for more information on what your options are.
We accept Visa, Master Card, American Express, and PayPal.
All citizens from these territories applying through our website will have their application processed with the nationality/citizenship specified in their passport. As an example, a traveler from Puerto Rico will have their request processed as USA nationality. This does not apply to the travelers under the BOTC (British Overseas Territories Citizen) category according to the British Overseas Territories Act of 2002.