- Welcome to COP17/CMP7
- Conference Venue
- ICC 360 Degree View
- Conference Programme
- Dress Code
- Green Tours
- Travel Information
- Official Airport Shuttle
- Getting to the ICC
- Safety and Security
- Health Facilities
- Yellow Fever
- Staying Healthy
- Emergency Numbers
- Delegates with Disabilities
- Consignments and Shipping Information
- VIP Decals Instructions
COP17/CMP7 Visa Exemption: Who does this apply to?
Participants of the COP17/CMP7 Conference, will be exempted from South African visa requirements even if a visa is usually required.
These are all participants whose personal particulars are recorded onto a database shared by the South African Department of International Relations & Cooperation (DIRCO) and the South African Department of Home Affairs.
The Visa exemption applies to the following categories of people:
- Heads of State, government delegations (negotiators and Intergovernmental organizations) and registered journalists;
- Heads of State will follow Protocol Processes, but their delegates who fall outside Protocol Processes will follow the normal admission process (accreditation / visa exempt or visa required); and
- A fundamental requirement is the submission of the letter of participation to COP 17 / CMP 7 to Immigration authorities upon arrival.
Who is excluded from this exemption and where can I apply for a South African visa?
- Spouses, children, partners, extended family members and friends of COP17/CMP7 participants;
Visa applications can be made at any South African Embassy or High Commission office where South Africa is represented or in a neighbouring country if South Africa is not represented in the applicant’s country of residence. Information / further details can be accessed on the official website of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
What are entry/other requirements for Registered individuals?
The following documentation should be presented at the port of entry:
- A letter of COP17/CMP7 participation from DIRCO / the UN stating personal details / the organization’s COP17/CMP7 status; the purpose and duration of stay of the individual.
- Passport, valid for at least 30 days after the anticipated sojourn ends, with at least one unused page.
- Proof of funds: proof that the delegate can financially sustain him/herself within the RSA for the duration of the visit.
- Yellow fever certificate if the passenger has departed from/transited through a yellow fever endemic country. No vaccinations will be done at South African Ports of Entry. For more information on the yellow fever vaccination, click here.
- Proof of return air ticket, if travelling by air.
Who must comply with these requirements?
All nationals falling within the categories mentioned above, whether visa exempt or not, must comply with the documentation requirement upon arrival in South Africa.
It is imperative to note that individuals who are exempt from visas and who fall within the above categories and who wish to proceed to South Africa on that basis, must also comply with the abovementioned requirements.
What will happen if requirements are not met?
Every foreigner wishing to enter the Republic of South Africa has to present him/herself to an immigration officer at a port of entry for the purpose of being examined as to his/her ability to satisfy the entry requirements of the South African Immigration Act.
If a foreigner fails to meet the entry requirements, he or she will be referred to secondary admission /examination where an Immigration supervisor / UN / DIRCO dedicated officer will have the matter resolved; e.g. if a participant does not have the COP17/CMP7 letter of participation on his/her person or his/her baggage and it is lost, such a letter can be printed by a UN / DIRCO official in a sterile area at the airport. If requirements are still not met, normal entry refusal procedures apply.
Please note: every country has the sovereign right to decide who may or may not enter its territory.
For what duration will this visa exemption be applicable?
For the period, as indicated on the participation letter issued by the UN / DIRCO.
Can I change the purpose of my stay or remain longer after the event?
Yes, only upon application at the nearest South African Department of Home Affairs’ regional office, you may be allowed to do so. Detailed information and forms can be accessed at www.home-affairs.gov.za
What permit or document will be issued upon admission at a port of entry and how much does this visitor’s permit cost?
A foreigner will be issued with a visitor’s permit valid for the period as indicated on the participation letter, and it is free of charge, as it is issued at a port of entry.
Can I renew this visitor’s permit if I realise once in SA that I will need to stay longer?
Yes, this visitor’s permit can be renewed for another three months if need be.
Can I visit neighbouring countries and will I be readmitted back in to South Africa?
Yes, subject to compliance with the neighbouring country’s admission policies and provided that the South African visitor’s permit issued to the foreigner remains valid, such a person will be readmitted.