The UK Visa Application – A Guide for South Africans

UK Visa Application

Have you ever longed to explore the many iconic castles situated around Swansea or the scenic highlands of Inverness? The United Kingdom is filled with many treasures like this! The sovereign nation includes four distinct countries, offering you a diverse cultural experience. Whether it’s England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, you’ll have plenty to discover! With this guide on the UK visa application process, you’ll soon be on your way to enjoying an adventure through this incredible nation.

South African passport holders will need a visa for the UK. Fortunately, the entire UK visa application process is explained in this detailed guide. You will need to apply online with gov.uk or visa4uk.fco.gov.uk, and finish off your UK visa application at the various UK visa application centres in South Africa. Always apply for your visa at least 3 weeks before you travel to allow for the processing time (and to save yourself from any stress!).

Please note this process is applicable to South African passport holders.

Types of Visas to Apply for:

UK Visa stamp

There are different UK visas depending on what your holiday plans are:

Apply for the Standard Visitor Visa if you’re visiting the UK as a tourist or for business.

If you are passing through the United Kingdom on your way to another destination, you will need a transit visa. There are two types:

  • Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV)
  • Visa in Transit

Apply for a DATV if you’re not leaving the airport and not going through the UK border control when changing flights.

Apply for a Visa in Transit if you need to leave the UK airport. You will also need to apply for this visa if you need to go through Immigration, such as when checking in your luggage with a connecting flight.

Validity

  • Standard Visitor Visa – 6 months
  • Direct Airside Transit Visa – 24 hours
  • Visa in Transit – 48 hours

Your passport will need to be valid for at least six months after your return to South Africa.

Processing can take up to 30 days.

You will receive an email that will state your passport is ready for collection at the relevant UK visa application centre. When collecting your passport, provide the following documents:

  • TLScontact checklist (Form provided to you after the documents reviewing)
  • Copy and Original of your photo ID document
  • If collected by a representative, an original authorisation form and representative’s valid photo ID document (copy & original) should be added to above documents.

Visa Costs:

UK visa costs

The costs for these various UK visa types are as follows:

Standard Visitor Visa R1680.00
Direct Airside Transit Visa R642.00
Visa in Transit R1170.00

Both gov.uk and visa4uk.fco.gov.uk offer online payment platforms.

UK Visa Requirements:

For the Standard Visitor Visa, you will need the following documents when visiting the UK visa application centres:

  • Downloaded and completed application form
  • Current passport or other valid travel identification
  • Your passport will need a page that’s blank on both sides for visa stamps
  • Evidence that you can support yourself financially during your trip, such as bank statements or payslips for the last six months
  • Certified translations of documents that are not in English or Welsh

For Direct Airside Transit Visas and Visas in Transit, you will need:

  • Current passport
  • Travel booking confirmation (email or copy of tickets)
  • Valid visa for the country for which you are departing the UK

Where to Apply:

Online

The earliest you can make your UK visa application is 3 months before your date of departure.

You can apply online for a UK visa.

UK visa application centres

After applying online, you will need to register on TLScontact’s website, then make an appointment with the UK visa application centre that’s nearest to you. There are 5 in South Africa. See below for more information.

Visa Application Centre – Cape Town

Address: 2 De Smit Street, Green Point
Hours: Monday to Friday:  08h30 – 15h30


Visa Application Centre at The Atrium – Durban

Address: 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, 3rd Floor, The Atrium
Hours: Monday to Friday: 08h30 – 15h30

This visa application centre is easily reached with the MyCiTi bus service. Off-street parking is available should you visit by car. Metred taxis are also available to get you to the application centre.

Parking is available at The Atrium should you be coming by car. Taxi services are available as well.

 

Visa Application Centre – Port Elizabeth

Address: Ground Floor, Fairview Office Park, 66 Ring Road, Greenacres
Hours: Monday to Friday: 08h30 – 15h30

Parking is available at the Fairview Office Park and the Greenacres Shopping Centre. Taxis and Uber are all available in Port Elizabeth to get you to this application centre.

 

Visa Application Centre – Johannesburg

Address: 2nd – 3rd Floor, 24 Central Building, 8 Gwen Lane and Fredman Drive, Sandton
Hours: Monday to Friday: 08h30 – 15h30

The building in which the visa application centre is based offers paid underground parking.

In Johannesburg, taxis and Uber are available to get you to the visa application centre.

 

Visa Application Centre – Pretoria

Address: 1st Floor, Menlyn Corner, 87 Frikkie De Beer Street, Menlyn
Hours: Monday to Friday: 08h30 – 15h30

Parking is available in the Menlyn Corner complex. Taxis and Uber are available to transport you to this visa application centre.

 

The UK visa application centres are closed during the weekend, during South African public holidays and during the Queen’s Birthday Privilege Holiday and Spring Bank Holiday.

How to book an appointment

UK Visa Application form

  • Visit gov.uk’s application page to start your application.
  • Confirm the type of visa you are applying for (see below)
  • If you are applying for a Standard Visitor visa, complete the following steps
  • Fill in the application form.
  • Confirm that you have a valid passport.
  • Fill in the declaration form.
  • Confirm the information you have supplied and the supporting documents you will supply (see below).
  • Confirm the duration of your visa.
  • Follow the online prompts to make your payment via credit/debit card.
  • Once you are finished, you will need to download and print out your form (this to be taken to a UK visa application centre).
  • Visit and register on TLScontact’s website to further ensure your application goes smoothly.
  • Make an appointment and visit one of the UK visa application centres (mentioned above) to finalise your application. Make sure to have the original versions and copies of the relevant documents when doing so.

For Transit Visas, register on the Visa4UK service to complete your application. You will need to confirm whether you are employed, whether you have funds for your trip, and what your travel plans are. Once you have completed the application, have the application form printed to take to your nearest UK visa application centre.

Children under the age of 5 need to apply for their UK visa in person at an application centre in order to attend a biometric enrolment appointment. All applicants will need to provide a live-capture digital photograph. This is due to the current rules that govern the collection of biometric data. Parents additionally need to book an appointment at the UK visa application centre for children when applying for their UK visa. Children under the age of 5 do not need to provide fingerprints.

Where to print your documents

UK Visa Internet Cafe

All documents for your UK visa application must be original. You can have them printed at the following places. Each shop ranges from within walking distance to a few minutes’ drive from the UK visa application centres:

In Cape Town:

Jetline

Address: Shop 2, Sovereign Quay, 40 Somerset Road, Greenpoint 
Contact: + 27 (0) 21 421 2122 / greenpoint@jetline.co.za

In Durban:

PostNet – Cowey Park

Address: 91 Problem Mkhize Road, Essenwood, Berea
Contact: + 27 (0) 31 208 0166 / musgravep@intekom.co.za

In Port Elizabeth:

PostNet Greenacres (The Bridge)

Address: Fair View, Shop G14 The Bridge Mall, Ring Road, Newton Park
Contact: + 27 (0) 41 363 3606 / thebridge@postnet.co.za

In Johannesburg:

Jetline

Address: Shop G06, 2 Merchant Place, 1 Fredman Drive, Sandown
Contact: + 27 (0) 11 784 2095 / sandown@jetline.co.za

In Pretoria:

Jetline Menlyn

Address: Shop 301, Menlyn Main Central Square, Corner of Aramist and Dallas Avenue
Contact: +27 (0) 12 348 7560 / menlyn@jetline.co.za

 

All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart is not affiliated to immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information.

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Our Readers Comments

  1. Hi David Daniel Hendricks

    Thanks for the much needed info.

    I really appreciate.

    • Hi Yohan,

      You’re welcome. 🙂

  2. Would appreciate type of password required by UK online visa registration for ordinary visa. Have all other requirements as frequently visi,t my UK family in London who book and pay for my visits, but forgot recent password and thus cannot register online for visa. What characters, capitals, numbers, and number of characters for registration is required? Thank you

    • Hi there,

      I’m afraid we are not able to help there. For this you would need to contact them directly and they will be able to provide you with the correct info and answer any questions you might have.

      Hope you come right so you can apply for your visa.

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