Arriving in South Africa and Visas

▢ Airport

For international participants arriving in the city, it is recommended to book a flight to the O.R. Tambo International Airport (commonly abbreviated to by passengers by the acronym “ORTIA“). It is the busiest airport on the continent of Africa and is situated in the Kempton Park district of Johannesburg, 23 km north-west of the city centre and 46 km south of Pretoria city centre. To reach the city, the following options are available:

→ Taxis, shuttles, mini buses and shared transfers widely available at the ground level of the main terminal. Always check that you are travelling in a licensed vehicle to avoid scams. Estimated travel time: 46~55 minutes.

→ Gautrain: there is a specific train station at the airport and the service is called Gautrain. Estimated travel time: 57 minutes.

→ Car: car rentals are also available at the airport. Highway R21 offers an almost direct connection to Pretoria. Estimated travel time: 46 minutes.

▢ Visa

All international conference participants must possess valid identification and travel documents before entering South Africa. Each participant is responsible for arranging their own visa, as per the applicable laws.

The conference organisers strongly recommend that all participants check, as soon as possible, the rules for entering South Africa that apply to them. The organisers also strongly recommend that visas be requested at least 2 months before travelling. There have been cases in past conferences where late visa applications from participants led to their inability to attend the conference.

The Visitor Visa  allows for stays of up to 90 days and is the recommended visa for attending the conference. Citizens from most countries in Africa can enter South Africa solely with their citizen card, while citizens from other countries must carry a passport. Additionally, South Africa offers visa exemption to several countries, as you can see here. Please check this information against the South Africa Embassy / Consulate in your country.

▢ Visa invitation letter

A visa invitation letter can be issued by the conference organisers upon request from the participant if the following criteria are met:

  • The participant plays a role in the conference (author of an accepted paper, session chair, moderator, panellist, etc.);
  • The participant has paid the registration fee, or this fee has been waived by the conference organisers (e.g. scholarship);
  • The participant requests the visa invitation letter during the online registration (tick the box “I require a visa invitation letter”).

The letters will be issued in digital format only and as soon as possible. Nonetheless, the conference organisers will not be held responsible for any visa-related issues or delays, nor can they speed up visa issuing within the embassies, consulates or the South Africa Department of Home Affairs.

▢ Useful links

South Africa Department of Home Affairs: Visas