USA visas for South Africans – the most confusing visa, made a little simpler

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Picture form Crazyemt.

The US is a rather tricky country to go via, let alone get into. Put it this way, if the plane you are on even touches US soil (even if you don’t), you will need a visa for the USA. Always look out for airlines publishing flights to central America or Canada that these definitely do not stop in the US anywhere.

However if you do go to or via the states, you will need to organise a visa, yourself. They do not allow you to do an application through an agency or courier, you have to appear in person for a cosy interrogation by a self-important official. It’s not as simple as arriving for an interview though, you need to make and pay for an appointment to be interviewed, there are two ways to do this:

  1. go online and make an application online at
  2. Get a pre-printed bank deposit slip at You may need to wait up to 4 hours for the payment to be processed before contacting the call-centre to continue with the application process (the fee is about USD140 – payable in Rands equivalent)
  3. Continue by visiting or by calling 080-098-0444, 021-300-9700, 031-100-3000 or 010-500-8800

Keep your deposit slip, you may need this as proof that you have paid.

Finally before attending your interview with all the relevant documentation, make sure you have the exact right photo for the US visa. Pay a little extra and make sure you are at a decent and reputable passport photo shop, the incorrect photos could see you having to repeat the entire process – ensure you specify the photo is for a US visa.

Once you have everything together, head down to the consulate, remember the US government is paranoid about cars  –  so parking at the consulate is not always possible, you may need to park a few blocks away and walk. Good luck with it!

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Our Readers Comments

  1. Hi, my partner and I applied online for our UK visas. I requested the premium lounge interview (not knowing the cost) and hoped it would give us an indication of the amount before I submit the application. Unfortunately it didn’t so I left it as is and paid for the application, thinking it couldn’t be that much extra. When I registered my appointment I only saw the amount and I would like to change it but I can’t go back to change the premium lounge option. What is my best option…..should I cancel my online application and re-apply? Will I be refunded?

    • Hi there,

      Sorry to hear this. I suggest you try get hold of them direct as only they would be able to advise what the implication would be.

      Best of luck, and hope you come right.

  2. I am applying for a visa to visit the USA. We are planning a camping trip and will mostly camp in the national parks. However one of the questions on the visa application form is: Where will you stay in the USA. They require a street address. What do I say?

    • Hi Hanna,

      You would need to advise the name of the National Park. Could there be a Parks Board Address.

      As the Embassy is granting the visa, I would contact them direct, as they will be able to provide you with the info they would want you to provide on the visa application form.

  3. How much is the Visa fee from Nigeria to SA?

    • Hi Joseph,

      You would need to contact the Embassy direct where you will be applying for your visa.

      They will be able to advise on what documents are required when applying for a visa, the correct procedures to follow as well as the cost.

  4. I am in the process of applying fro a k1 visa to get married in the USA. Do I need to present physical evidence of en engagement when going for my interview. My boyfriend wants to propose when I am in the States.

    • Hi Anel,

      Thanks for contacting s.

      For this you need to contact US Embassy. They specialise in this area and will be able to answer any questions you might have on visa related queries and the correct procedures to follow and what documents are needed.

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