How to Apply for a South Africa Tourist Visa for Filipinos in Qatar

South Africa, officially known as the Republic of South Africa ,is an ideal destination for those who are interested in wildlife, lush greens, and a bit of history. There are also various accommodations that fit your budget.

ALSO READ: How to Apply for a Bahamas Tourist Visa

For Filipinos who want to visit this country, a valid passport and a tourist visa are required. Once you have these ready, you can start packing your bags and begin your journey to this part of the world!

Lush views in South Africa

Tourist Visa Application for Filipinos

What makes South Africa an ideal tourist destination is its rich history, diverse culture, and captivating landscape. For Philippine passport holders, a valid passport and tourist visa are a must. The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Doha has enlisted the services of VFS Global to process visa applications. . 

Requirements for Visa Application

Visitors to South Africa, whether for tourism or for business, will need to get a visa, Specifically, a tourist visa is valid for 90 days. Before you embark on your journey, ensure that you have the following documents in order:

  • Passport: Should be valid for at least 30 days after your trip. It should also have at least two blank pages 
  • Duly accomplished Form BI-84
  • Proof of yellow-fever vaccination certificate (if required)
  • Document stating the purpose and duration of your visit
  • Two colored passport photos
  • Return ticket
  • Proof of financial capability 
  • Invitation letter (if applicable)
  • When travelling with children, provide proof of custody or consent if the minor is travelling alone

Procedure for Visa Application 

Visa applications are processed through VFS Global. You can find the application link on the VFS Global website. Allocate plenty of time for your application, as the average waiting time is around 20 days

Visa Processing Fees

The Department of Home Affairs website lists the fees for these services:

  • Visitor’s Visa R425 (or 81.88 QAR)
  • Renewal of Visitor’s Permit R425 (or 81.88 QAR)

Since the fees are known to change regularly, be sure to inquire about the updated visa fees when you apply.

South African Embassy in Qatar Contact Details

South African Embassy in Qatar Location

Video: Applying for a South African Tourist VIsa

The YouTube video by Cris Goosen provides useful information for Philippine passport holders on how to apply for a tourist visa to South Africa. While the video is intended for Filipinos residing in the Philippines, it still offers valuable insights for those applying for the visa..

Goosen shared her experience of being asked to provide documentary requirements not listed on the website. With this information, you can inquire with the visa processing agency if there are additional paperwork requirements.

However, since this video was recorded when travel restrictions were in effect, some advice may reflect the situation at that time. As an applicant, it’s your responsibility to confirm the schedule and other travel requirements.

You can watch the full video here:

Flight Options to South Africa

If you are planning your trip, it’s important to organize your flight options. Compare costs and travel times to ensure a schedule convenient for you.

Some airlines flying from Doha to Johannesburg include Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, FlyDubai, or Turkish Airlines. The average ticket price is around $700, with a travel time of almost 11 hours for a one-way flight.

You can purchase your ticket directly on the airline’s website or explore various platforms offering flight booking services.

Popular Tourist Spots in South Africa

Did you know that South Africa has three capital cities? The three branches of government each have their capital city. Aside from that, South Africa is known for its majestic landscape and game reserves. As you won’t have time to visit all of them, we have chosen some spots where tourists usually go.

Cape Town

South Africa’s legislative capital is a popular tourist attraction not only because of the long coastline but also due to the vineyards. The city is historically significant, playing an important role during the Dutch East Indies trade. 

For wildlife and bird species, various game reserves are available, showcasing popular species such as the lion, elephant, white rhino, buffalo, and cheetah. 

Visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and ascend Lion’s Head for a spectacular view of the city.


The country’s administrative capital hosts all foreign embassies and is home to rail and industrial centers. Additionally, there are other sites for foreigners to explore, such as the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa and Loftus Versfeld Stadium, named after the founder of organized sport in the area.


The judicial capital of the Republic of South Africa is also a haven for arts enthusiasts. Visit the Oliewenhuis Art Museum for its art collection and the Free State National Botanical Garden to explore more plants. The city also hosts an annual rose festival.


Located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, this small village is the birthplace of Nelson Mandela. There is also a museum showcasing Mandela’s life.


As the largest city and home to the busiest port in the country, Durban’s warm climate and extensive beaches make it an ideal tourist destination. In addition to the beach, visit the Moses Mabhida Stadium and take the Sky Car for a spectacular view of the city.


Known as “Joburg,” this city is also known as the home of Nelson Mandela. This city is the ideal destination if you want to know the country’s rich history. The museums and historical sites showcase these artefacts, some of the places you can go to the Mandela House and The Apartheid Museum. 

Do’s and Don’ts When Visiting

Now that you know where to go in South Africa, you should also be able to follow the customs and other traditions in the country. As a tourist, it would be best to blend in with the crowd and enjoy the sites.


  • Buy local. While you can go to the numerous malls in South Africa, you can visit roadside stalls, markets, and small boutiques located all over the country. You can buy products from local craftspeople. Remember that cash is the common means of transaction, so you’ll want to carry enough amount each day. You can convert your local currency to ZAR on arrival at the airport. 
  • Visit the national parks to see the wildlife in their natural habitat. If you are visiting between May and September, you can see the herds going to the watering holes. This is also the best time to go since it is a lean season for visitors.
  • Go on a safari. There are numerous nature reserves all over the country where you can enjoy visiting onboard an open-top safari Jeep. Continue your journey to see Tugela Falls, the second highest waterfall in the world. And if you are adventurous, you can also see the third largest gaping canyon at Blyde River. 


  • When driving in the city, don’t leave the door and windows unlocked. This is the practice of locals, so it would make sense to follow their lead. But if you are driving in the middle of nowhere, you could open the windows to let the air in.
  • As you go on a safari or tour the national parks, don’t get too close to the wildlife. While they may look calm and tame from afar, you will not know how they would react when you get close to them. 

Customs Requirements in South Africa

When you arrive in South Africa, you will need to declare the goods you have. At the Customs area, you need to go either to the red or green channel. The red channel is for the passengers who are carrying prohibited or restricted items or who are unsure how to classify their goods. 

Among the prohibited items are: narcotics, explosives, fireworks, poison, cigarettes weighing more than 2 kilos.

On the other hand, some items are considered restricted goods. Examples are gold coins, excess currency, and firearms or weapons. You will be allowed to bring your medication, but should have a letter or certified prescription from a registered physician. 

You can also bring duty-free goods, but the quantity would be limited. For instance, perfumes should not exceed 50 ml and eau de parfum should be 250 ml per person only. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What will happen if I overstay in South Africa?

The visa granted to visitors allows you to stay for 30 days. If you overstay without approval, you will be declared “undesirable.” This means that you will not be allowed to re-enter South Africa for the next five years.

  • Can I appeal my overstaying status?

If you feel that you have been declared as overstaying unjustly, you can write a letter of appeal to state your reason. For example, if you have to stay longer due to your medical condition, you should submit the appropriate medical certificate. When you submit your appeal, include the copy of the undesirability form and a photocopy of the relevant pages of your passport, including the bio page. Email these documents to:

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