How Can I Get an Overseas Travel Visa?

Most of us love to travel. We often save up for months, or even years on end, just to spend a few weeks abroad drinking in the sights and sounds of a different culture. And with an increasing level of global connectivity shaping the world, travel is becoming more and more commonplace as time goes on. What was once a luxury of the super-rich, is now a pastime for more and more of the middle class. Sadly though, there are still many barriers in place that you’ll have to tackle before you can go jet-setting around the world. One of the big ones involves getting your travel visa for the country in question. So then… How do you get it? How much does it cost? And is it needed for every country? How Can I Get an Overseas Travel Visa?

Generally speaking, each country will have its own prerequisites for getting a valid visa and entering its borders. Some countries will have very stringent restrictions, and some will have quite relaxed ones. Others may even grant you an exemption if you are a South African citizen and require no visa whatsoever. 

Other countries may also have a type of shared-visa which will allow you to travel through various areas with only one specific document.  

How Can I Get an Overseas Travel Visa?
How Can I Get an Overseas Travel Visa?

Individuals wishing to receive a visa will need to consult one of the embassies, consulates, or Visa application centres of the country in question, or check online for digital resources. 

What are the Requirements for a Travel Visa?

Because there are so many different types of visas out there, it’ll be impossible to give you a detailed breakdown of the individual requirements needed for each one. 

Instead, let’s take a look at one of the more common choices which can serve as a helpful example – 

UK Visa Application ProcessHow Can I Get an Overseas Travel Visa?

Find out if you need a visa – Depending on your situation, you may not even need a visa in the first place. In certain countries, having a family member or marital partner who is a citizen of that country, may enable you to travel more freely than in others. 

Find out what kind of visa you need – There are a lot of different visas available to you depending on the nature of your visit. Make sure you’re getting the right one and that you’re not applying for, let’s say, a work visa when you’re actually just going there for a short vacation.  

Make your application – Go ahead and apply for your visa with all the necessary documents in tow. This will usually include things like your passport, proof of accommodation during your time in the country, a detailed itinerary, etc. 

Make sure you’ve completed the relevant tests – Certain South Africans may need to get tested for Tuberculosis(TB) before they’re allowed into the UK for an extended period of time. 

Schedule a UK visa appointment – The agency in question should inform you of any necessary appointments you’ll need to schedule before your request can be approved. There may be a lengthy waiting period attached, so make sure that you apply early. 

Go to any necessary visa interviews – You may need to attend an interview or two before you can finally receive your visa. 

As you might imagine, some of this stuff can get pretty complicated, so you may want to consult with a travel agent who can help you streamline the process. 

What is the Easiest Country to get a Visa for?

As mentioned, some countries don’t even require South Africans to get visas for temporary visits. If you want to stay in one of these countries for longer, many of their visas are far easier to obtain than you might expect. 

Some of the visa-exempt countries for South African citizens include – 

  • Argentina 
  • Barbados
  • Brazil
  • Fiji
  • Jamaica 
  • Mozambique
  • Peru
  • Uruguay
  • Zambia
How Can I Get an Overseas Travel Visa?
How Can I Get an Overseas Travel Visa?

Which Countries Give Free Citizenship?

While most countries require you to marry a citizen or have a native birth certificate for free citizenship, many nations have quite lax immigration policies in place so long as the individual wishing to immigrate can speak the language, support themselves, has no criminal records, etc. 

Some of the easier places to immigrate to include – 

  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Spain

How Much Do Travel Visas Cost?

Visa application costs will differ based on the country in question, as well as on the type of visa you apply for. 

For example, the application for a UK visa lasting just 6 months will normally cost you around R2000, whereas a UK visa which stays valid for up to 5 years will end up being closer to R14 000. 

It’s also important to note that a visa does not grant unchallenged entry into a country, and a person may still be rejected by the immigration officials of that nation. 

What is the Best Country to Migrate to?

The answer to this question will depend on the personal situation and motives of the individual in question, as each country offers various benefits and drawbacks to immigrants. 

For example, an English-speaking South African moving to the UK may find themselves earning much more money for the same amount of work, but they’ll also have to cope with a drastic change in culture, climate, and politics if they wish to thrive. 

Alternatively, you may find an abundance of opportunities in a place like Thailand or Japan, but you’ll most likely need to learn an entirely new language before you can make the move. 

All in all, immigration is a massive upheaval within anybody’s life and should never be attempted without intense forethought and planning. Take some time to research your ideal destination and, if you have the money, try vacationing beforehand to check if you can really live there. 

Where do Most South Africans Immigrate to?

If you’re hoping to find a small community of South African ex-pats abroad, your best bet would be to look in places like the UK and Australia, as the vast majority of immigrants travel to these two countries. 

Additionally, a fairly large number of South Africans also immigrate to the US and New Zealand, so you should also be able to find some friends there as well. 

How Can I Get an Overseas Travel Visa?
How Can I Get an Overseas Travel Visa?

In Conclusion – How do I get a Travel Visa and How Much Will it Cost?

The application process and cost of any visa will differ greatly depending on the country in question and the type of visa you wish to acquire. 

Generally speaking, you will need to approach the embassies, consulates or Visa centres of said countries and apply with them, although many countries also allow you to do this online via their websites. Immigration officials and/or travel consultants will normally be able to show you how to get your visa and will let you know when a visa is not even necessary. 

In certain circumstances, marital partners or family members living within the country may allow you to move about more freely due to your connection. You will usually need a lot of relevant documentation when you apply for your visa, including things like your passport, proof of your accommodation once you’re in the country, your itinerary, etc. 

You may also be required to schedule visa appointments and participate in various interviews before you can be approved. Additionally, South Africans moving abroad may need to submit to certain tests for diseases such as TB. 

It is important to note, however, that not all countries require a visa for travel, and some allow largely unfettered access for South African citizens, at least on a temporary basis. That said, the vast majority of South Africans tend to emigrate to the UK and Australia while many others also go to the US and New Zealand. 

The cost of a visa application will depend on the country to which you are applying, as well as on the specific type of visa you want. For instance, a visa which will remain valid for just 6 months will end up being far cheaper than one that lasts for 5 years. 

Additionally, travellers should note that a visa does not allow unchallenged access into a foreign country and they may still be denied access by an immigration official once they get there.

Disclaimer Finance101: All of our posts are for research purposes only. Finance 101 aims to assist its readers with useful information on the laws of our country that can guide you to make financial decisions that will enable you to become more financially independent in the future. Although our posts cite the constitution in many instances, they are intended to assist readers who are looking to expand their knowledge of the law & finance-related queries. Should you require specific legal/financial advice we advise you to get in touch with a qualified financial expert.

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