How to successfully apply for South Africa Visitor Visa from Nigeria

I hate visa applications.
But unfortunately, due to the diplomatic relationship of our beloved country with other nations, we have no choice but to apply for visas to plenty countries.

Visa applications can be so exhausting especially with some of the ridiculous demands and worse despite all the troubles, the application will now be rejected.

I know how I was discouraged from applying for the South Africa visa, I was told there were more cases of visa rejection than approvals. South Africa visa application from Nigeria doesn’t have to be a hustle if you follow the instructions and honestly provide all required information.

How to apply
  • Download the application form BI-84 for Short term/Visitor Visa only; for a long-term visa, you are to download the DHA-1738 Form 8.  
  • Fill the form in CAPITAL letters and BLACK biro only completely without leaving blanks. Write N/A in fields which are not applicable to you. 
  • The Checklist below details the required document you are to submit along with your application form. 
  1. Please note that only coloured photocopies are accepted.
  2. If a friend is hosting/inviting you, he/she should also send you a Letter of invitation.
  3. If self-employed, attach documents of ownership and a draft letter stating so. 
  4. If you are a student, ensure you attach a letter of introduction from your institution of study.
  5. You do not have to make pre-paid hotel bookings, there are a number of hotels which allow you make a reservation without payment.

Where to Submit your application

Applicants are required to submit their Visa applications (form and all required documents) personally at the VFS South Africa Visa Application centres in Lagos (Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way, Opposite Treasure Garden Estate Third Roundabout, Lekki Phase I), Abuja (No. 38, Lobito Crescent, Wuse 2) or Port Harcourt (Vineyard Shopping Centre, 88 Woji Road, GRA). There is a limit to the number of applications accepted daily.

Visa Fee

I paid 28,700 Naira when I applied for my visa in December 2016 but a friend who applied recently paid the sum of 31,310 Naira in Lagos. Prices for Abuja and Port Harcourt are slightly different.  Only 8,600 Naira goes to the embassy while the rest is the administrative fee for VFS. You can never be too sure of the exact amount until you get to the VFS centre. Visa application fee and services fee is paid at the bank teller counter situated inside the VFS Centre.

What next?

South Africa Visa processing turnaround time is a minimum of  5 working days from the submission date. I got my visa 15 working days after submission, but a friend got her passport back within 10 working days.

You can track your visa application online by entering your Reference Number and your Date of Birth here. I had to track mine because I never received any SMS from the VFS Centre meanwhile my passport was already with them for two days before I went there.

For collection, you will be required to come along with the pink copy of the receipt you were given when you submitted your application.

For more Information, you can visit the VFS Website

All the best with your application.
Bon voyage!

Related Posts:
72 Hours in Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa
The road to South Africa

Until my next post.

Molara Brown


  1. Very helpful information, thank you for sharing. :-)

  2. This is one of the countries I would like to tick off my list. They rejected a friend of mine too last month, despite the fact that he had been there twice.

    1. Now that is crazy, they have started doing UK style.

  3. Hi Lara, did you submit a self introduction letter? Could you please send me a sample to


    1. Hi Cornelius,

      Just seeing your comment, I will look for the letter and send it to you.

  4. South African visas are easily obtaine as long as all requirements are met. South Africa visas are issued to those who are in good health and have the cash to support themselves. I find a very good website for the esta us visa, If you want you can visit this site. Thanks

  5. Hi Lara, want to know like how much is expected to be in the personal account before submitting an application for South Africa Visa

    1. Hello Ayo,

      When I applied, I had around 400k in my account.
      What I would advise is that you have X2 of total trip amount in your bank account.

  6. Hi, Lara...did you pay for medical insurance...if yes, how did you go about payment since there is a $100 daily limit on transactions

    1. I did not require medical insurance when I travelled.
      Nowadays, I usually get my travel insurance from Leadway.

  7. It's easier going, but the living in RSA is difficult. RSA visa is easier thru agents for first timers