Cape Town Facts

Visas & Taxes

If you are considering visiting Cape Town and the Western Cape, here's some basic information for entry requirements to South Africa.


For detailed information on visas you may visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website at Department of Home Affairs or visit the South African Department of Foreign Affairs at Department of Foreign Affairs. You may also visit South African Tourism for more information.

Who should apply
Entry permits are issued free on arrival to visitors on holiday from many Commonwealth and Western European countries, as well as Japan and the United States of America. If you are not entitled to an entry permit, you will need to get a visa (also free) from your local South African Embassy. You will need a visa if you (as a passport holder) intend to stay in South Africa for longer than the exemption period of two weeks. You will also require a visa if you intend to work or study, take part in a sport event or take up permanent residence.

How to apply
If you are subject to visa requirements, you will need to apply for your visa at least 4 (four) weeks before you depart. You will have to await the outcome of your visa application before you depart. You can apply for your visa at your nearest South African Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.
  • For more information on who needs to apply, i.e. visa requirements and how to apply, please visit: Foreigners travel requirements.
  • For more general visa information, online forms and to confirm which categories do not need visa's, please visit the Department of Home Affairs.

Taxes and Duty
You can bring all your personal effects duty free to the value of R 3 000. For additional goods of up to R 12 000, a flat rate of 20% duty is charged. Thereafter, normal custom duties apply. You are also allowed to bring limited quantities of luxury items into South Africa, duty free. These items include:
  • Wine - up to 2 litres per person
  • Spirits and other alcoholic beverages - up to one litre per person.
  • Cigarettes - up to 200 per person.
  • Cigars - up to 20 per person. Perfume - up to 50ml per person.
  • Eau de toilette - up to 250ml per person.

The alcohol and tobacco allowance only apply to people over 18 years of age. Persons younger than 18 years of age will not be permitted with any tobacco or alcohol products.When leaving South Africa, you are permitted to take up to R 500,00 in South African Reserve Bank notes. A 20% levy is applicable on amounts above R 500,00.

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