The Minister of Home Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, recently announced a special dispensation for foreign visitors coming to South Africa to attend the FIFA World Cup Soccer matches.

In terms of general visa dispensations in South African Immigration Law and also in line with international best practice in this regard, foreign nationals entering South Africa for any purpose whatsoever require visitor permits.

Countries that, in terms of bilateral agreements with South African government that are visa exempt may simply enter South Africa on their foreign passports and be granted visitors permits for a period not exceeding 90 days for the purpose of any of the following:

Visa exemptions are negotiated between countries and may vary from time to time.

A list of visa exempt countries, valid as at date of this update, can be viewed by clicking here.

It is, however, advised that you do contact your embassy or visit the Department of Foreign Affairs website in order to view the latest visa exemptions.

By way of example, the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, most EU and Common Wealth countries and certain of our neighbouring countries enjoy visa exempt status.

The position differs somewhat, however, where a visitor intending to come to South Africa to be a spectator at the World Cup is not from a visa exempt country and, to this end will have to apply at the Embassy in their country of normal residence, for an appropriate visitors permit “visa”.

The so called “soccer visa” will be granted at the Embassy and/or High Commissioner and/or Consular Mission of application on an expedited basis.  According to a Department of Home Affairs’ source, such application should be processed in 3 – 4 working days.

This is one of the first dispensations currently being made, i.e. an express processing.

The next dispensation being granted is that the visa application fee of R425.00 which is normally payable in this regard, excluding visa exempt countries, will be waived to any applicant providing all the relevant proof and sufficient documentation proving that they are attending the Soccer World Cup.

The following documentation will have to be presented to the South African High Commission, Embassy or Consular Mission when applying for the permit:

The Department of Home Affairs is also referring to the “soccer visa” as an “event visa”.

A further dispensation being made by the Department of Home Affairs at the various ports of entry is that a designated “express lane” will be available upon arrival by ticket holders and any holder of a ticket who can provide proof of their “event visa” will be expedited through the process.

Should you require any further information or perhaps acquire a “visa pack” which would include all the relevant forms and draft documentation then e-mail

If you have any further queries relating to this special type of visa then please do not hesitate to e-mail us at



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