United Kingdom

gbEffective January 16 2012 all applications for a UK visa made in South Africa must be completed fully and the relevant visa fee paid via the online application system using either a Master Card or Visa/ Debit Card prior to visiting the visa application centre. In addition, the appointment to submit an application at the visa application centre must be booked online. This should be done at the same time as completing the online application form.

South African passport holders transiting the UK en-route to the US, Canada, New Zealand or Australia may travel to the UK under the ‘Transit Without a Visa’ (TWOV) concession.

The TWOV concession applies when:

A flight to the US, Canada, New Zealand or Australia is confirmed, departs within 24 hours of the passenger entering the UK and the traveller is in possession of the correct documents to enter the next destination. The concession allows passengers to connect to a flight either airside at the airport where they landed at or another airport, as long as the flight leaves within 24hours of entry to the UK.
However, passengers transiting to any of the 25 Schengen countries and who hold a category C Schengen visa must still obtain a UK visa.
More information on transit visas and other UK visas can be found at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/

The UK Border Agency in South Africa has announced that it will introduce a Priority Visa Service. Customers can now pay an additional fee to fast track their visa application. Only limited number of Priority Visas will be sold each day. The cost is in additional to the visa application fee. The fee is payable at the Visa Application Centre only by debit or credit card (Visa or MasterCard).

A South African passport holder who has a valid common format Category D visa for entry to an EEA state, a valid common format residence permit issued by an EEA state and who holds a valid US/Canadian/Australian/New Zealand visa and are travelling to or from one of these destinations can transit the UK without a visa, provided they have a confirmed onward booking and are transiting within 24 hours. If they have a Category C Schengen visa, they need a UK transit visa.

The UK Border Agency – UK Border Agency in South Africa delivers visa services working in partnership with VFS Global. All visa applications will need to be lodged through one of VFS visa application centres. Offices can be found in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, access www.vfs-uk-za.com for address and office hours.

NB: All South African passport holders wishing to visit the UK are required to obtain a visit visa before travelling.

All UK visa applications in South Africa need to be submitted online and an appointment booked to visit one of the VFS application centres. This is a straightforward procedure that allow customers to complete their visa form online, choose a convenient appointment time/date and to pay online. The customer will then take a printout of their online form to the VFS office. This revised process help customers receive a faster and more efficient service when applying for their UK visa.

You must pay the visa application fee online by Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card before attending the visa application centre. We cannot accept any other types of credit or debit cards. When your online payment has been taken, you will receive a confirmation email from our payment provider WorldPay. You should submit a printout of this email as proof of payment when you submit your application at the visa application centre.

For more information access www.ukvisas.gov.uk or www.vfs-uk-za.com
or Tel: +27 (0) 861 837 221

The British High Commission adds that the agents should always double check with the airline to determine whether or not a transit visa is required as it will depend on the transit time between flights.

  • Telephone No : (012) 421 7802 / +27 (0) 861 837 221
  • Fax No : (012) 421 7888 – Visa Section
  • Street Address : 33 Veale Street, Brooklyn, Pretoria, 1st Floor, Lobby 4, Bank Forum.
  • Postal Address : P.O. Box 13611 or 13611, Hatfield, 0028
  • Visa Section : pta.visaenquiries@fco.gov.uk / info@vfs-uk-za.com