U.S. Visas


U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country

South Africa

South Africa
Republic of South Africa

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications

Fee Number
of Entries
A-1 None Multiple 36 Months
A-2 None Multiple 36 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 36 Months
F-2 None Multiple 36 Months
G-1 None Multiple 36 Months
G-2 None Multiple 36 Months
G-3 None Multiple 36 Months
G-4 None Multiple 36 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2R $85.00 Multiple 36 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
I None Multiple 36 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 36 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 36 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 36 Months
L-2 None Multiple 36 Months
M-1 None Multiple 12 Months
M-2 None Multiple 12 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 36 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 36 Months
R-2 None Multiple 36 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 60 Months
V-2 None Multiple 60 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 60 Months 8

Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.


Visa Category Footnotes

  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.




General Documents

All citizens and permanent residents of South Africa are required to hold an identity document. Applications for civil documents can be expedited if the applicant's ID Number is provided.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available. Applicants should submit their requests directly to the Department of Home Affairs, Private Bag X114, Pretoria 0001, and should request a "long-form" birth certificate, which lists the details on the parents. Applicants should also provide their full name given at birth, their date and place of birth, and both parents' names, including the mother's maiden name. The request should specify that an English language copy is desired. In cases of illegitimacy or adoption, the long-form birth certificate will not be sent directly to the applicant (for reasons of confidentiality), but will be sent to the appropriate consular post. In cases where a search reveals that the applicant's birth was never registered, a form letter to this effect will be issued.

Death Certificates

Available. (Stertesertifikaat). Applicants should apply to the Department of Home Affairs, Private Bag X114, Pretoria 0001. All applicants must furnish the full name and date of birth of the deceased and the date and place of death.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available. Only unabridged ("long-form") marriage certificates are acceptable. There are three different laws under which a marriage may be formed in South Africa: (1) the Marriage Act, 1961, which allows for the solemnization of a civil or religious marriage between a man and a woman; (2) the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, 1998, which allows for the registration of marriages under African customary law; and (3) the Civil Union Act, 2006, which allows for the solemnization of a civil or religious marriage or a civil partnership between two people regardless of gender, thus making same-sex marriage legal in South Africa. The legal consequences of a marriage under the Civil Union Act are the same as those of a marriage under the Marriage Act. A person may only be married under one of these laws at a time, except that a couple in a monogamous customary marriage may contract a marriage with each other under the Marriage Act.

In order to obtain a long-form marriage certificate, applicants should apply to the Department of Home Affairs www.dha.gov.za, Private Bag X114, Pretoria 0001, and should furnish the full names of parties as well as the date and place of marriage, i.e., the name of the magisterial district where the church or registry office was located. The request should specify that a long-form marriage certificate (listing the prior marital status of both parties) is desired in the English language. Should the marriage certificate be issued in a language other than English, the applicant must also submit an English translation.

Divorce Certificates

Available. Application should be made to the registrar of the High Court or at Regional divisions of the Magistrate's Courts. 

Adoption Certificates

Please check back for update

Identity Card

Please check back for update

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available. Criminal records since 1901 covering the entire Republic are maintained at the South African Police Headquarters, Pretoria. The period The Commissioner of the South African Police issues certificates upon application, stating whether or not a criminal record exists, and, if so, particulars of the offense as well as any sentence passed.

The police authorities require an applicant to present verification of identity, such as a Book of Life, or valid passport, and a payment of R59.00 (South African rand fifty nine payable in cash, cheque or postal order, made payable to the South African police).

To obtain a certificate that is issued in single copy only, fingerprints must be taken by the local police in the applicant's place of residence. The South African police forwards the completed fingerprint chart and the fee to the head office in Pretoria for issuance of the police clearance certificate. If the applicant is residing in the United States, he or she should forward a bank draft in the aount of R59.00 together with a completed fingerprint chart (bearing an official signature and stamp of the local police station) to:

South African Police Service
Criminal Record Centre
Private Bang X308
Pretoria 0001, South Africa

Alternatively, he/she should authorize a friend/relative in South Africa to submit the application on behalf of the applicant.

Court Records

Available. Requests should be addressed to the magistrate's court in the magisterial district where the trial took place. The full name of the applicant and the date of the trial are required.

Prison Records

Please check back for update.

Military Records

Military Records

Available. Non-officers who served during World War II received discharge certificates on Discharge Form D.D.342, size 6-1/4 x 8-3/4", inscribed in English on both sides, and which includes a description of the final discharge signed by the appropriate military official. Officers received release certificates on Release Form D.D.201, titled Release Certificate (Officer), size 8" x 6-1/2", inscribed in English on one side, Afrikaans on the other, bearing the dispersal office date stamp in the lower left-hand corner, and signed by the O.C., Dispersal Depot. Application must be made to the Chief of Staff, Personnel (War Records), P/B X281, Pretoria 0001. Full name, date of birth, and S.A. identity number and military number should be furnished. Persons who have served in the armed forces since World War II should write to the regiment to which they were attached, furnishing full name, date of birth and military number.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Please check back for update

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Johannesburg, South Africa (Consulate General) -- All visa categories (including all Follow-to-Join Refugees and Asylees)

Cape Town, South Africa (Consulate General) -- Nonimmigrant visas only

Durban, South Africa (Consulate General) -- Nonimmigrant visas only

Visa Services

All immigrant visas are provided through Johannesburg. Nonimmigrant visas are provided as indicated in the table below:

Location Areas Serviced


  • Gauteng Province
  • Free State
  • Mpumalanga Province
  • Northern Province
  • Northwestern Province

Cape Town

  • Eastern Cape Province
  • Northern Cape Province
  • Western Cape Province
  • St. Helena and Dependencies


  • Kwazulu-Natal Province