South Africa

Frequently Asked Questions for U.S. and Canadian Residents


Passport Book

Your passport book cannot expire within 6 months of your release date. If it will, you must renew your passport before applying for any visas. Please pay the extra fees to expedite the renewal of the passport. Expediting times can take from 4–8 weeks to process.

Passport Pages

If your passport will be valid for the term of your mission, your passport book must also have a minimum of 6 blank visa pages (not including the final 4 pages of the passport). If it does not have these required blank pages, you must renew your passport book.

Please send your passport book to the Travel Office. All of the consulates require it to place the visas in them. 

If a photocopy of the passport ID page is also requested, please send both the passport book and the photocopy.

What if missionaries don't sign their middle name on their passport?

Missionaries should leave their signature as is.

Can I travel internationally before going to the MTC?

Please do not schedule any international travel within 45 days of your MTC date. This includes travel to Canada or Mexico and any cruises that are outside of the United States.

There is an error on my visa application(s). What do I do?

You may make needed corrections on your visa application(s) using white out tape (not liquid) and correcting the responses in BLACK ink. Please write legibly in CAPITAL LETTERS.

If missionaries lose their visa packet, can they get a new one?

Yes. Please call 1-800-537-3537 and ask for the visa packet to be mailed to the missionary.

When will missionaries get their passport back?

They will receive their passport and itinerary via FedEx about two weeks prior to their travel to the missionary training center.

Do missionaries need to send their documents in while they wait for their FBI letter?

No. Wait until you get your FBI clearance. Church Travel cannot apply for your visa without it.

What happens if a missionary's FBI clearance request is rejected?

This is common for senior couples. The consulate will accept two rejection letters from the FBI. Missionaries will mail in the two rejections instead of the actual FBI letter.

Please obtain a local police clearance letter/background check on police letterhead. It must be signed by someone at the police station. It should show that you have no criminal record. If you have a criminal record, please let Church Travel know immediately.

Personal Appearance Requirement at the South African Consulate in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, or New York

A personal visit to a South Africa Consulate is required. Church Travel will make these arrangements for you. Travel is completed in one day. Please do not make other personal plans for this day, as you could leave as early as 5 a.m. and return as late as 11 p.m. depending on where you live. Please follow all travel instructions provided. You will take transportation to the consulate, turn in your documents, provide them your fingerprint, and then return to the airport for your return flight home. The entire process at the consulate takes less than 30 minutes.

Transportation to the consulate is via taxi or Uber or Lyft. Please be prepared to pay the required fees upfront. Please plan on spending approximately $100 roundtrip. Keep your receipts and turn them into Church Travel for reimbursement.

We will provide you with all of the required visa and travel documents. Please guard these with great care after they are received and when traveling to the consulate. If they become lost or stolen, you will be required to start the passport/visa process over.

Your passport book will remain with the consulate for 2 weeks to process the visa. The passport and visa will be returned to Church Travel after it is processed.

When will I receive my passport and itinerary?

You will receive your travel documents within 7–14 days of your MTC date.

Will missionaries travel alone to the MTC?

Each missionary is flying from their home state and will connect in major airports such as Atlanta. Missionaries will meet up in major connecting points and continue travel to the MTC together.

Immunizations

Please refer all immunization questions to your personal doctor, or you may call the Missionary Department Nurse at (801)-240-6454 for further clarification.


Back Return to the Africa page.