Visitor Visa

South African Visitors Visa

Visitors Visas are for international travellers (citizens of other countries) who have permanent residence outside South Africa and who wish to visit the country on a temporary 90 day Visitor’s Visa. A Visitor Visa is usually valid for 3 months unless the visa has been applied for on other grounds. The visa can be extended for a further 3 months, as long as the application is made 60 days prior to the expiry of the current Visitor Visa and as long as there are no restrictions. A long stay Visitor Visa allows a foreign national to remain in South Africa for a period exceeding 3 months, but not exceeding 3 years.There are two kinds of Visitors Visas:

  1. The short term Visitor Visa which is valid up to 90 days
  2. The long term Visitor Visa which is exceeding a period of 3 months but not exceeding 3 years.

SHORT TERM VISITOR VISA candidate can apply for a short term Visitor Visa to South Africa for:

  • Visit to family or friends and tourism purposes
  • Business purpose
  • Conferences
  • Medical Purpose
  • Sport Events


Long-stay Visitor Visas are a collection of many visa sub-categories.A candidate could qualify for a long-stay Visa if:

  • You have been accepted to teach at an international school;
  • You have been supported by your educational institution to take an academic sabbatical;
  • You are accompanying your spouse or life partner who holds or qualifies for a valid Work Visa, Study Visa, Business Visa, Retirement Visa, Relatives Visa, Treaty Visa or Crew Visa;
  • If you are accompanying child/children you would also qualify on the above ground;
  • Your job is involved in film or advertisement produced in South Africa, including, but not restricted to an actor, cameraman, hairstylist, makeup artist or sound and lighting crew;
  • A foreign news agency that is requesting a journalist to cover a story in South Africa;
  • Conducting research activities with proof of financial support;
  • If you are an artist who wishes to perform, write, paint and sculpt;
  • You are a tour leader or host of such tour;
  • You are the spouse or life partner of a South African citizen/permanent resident and have been offered a job, registered to study or has opened and conduct your own business;
  • You, as parents, are both foreign nationals on Temporary Residency Visas and have had a child that was born in South Africa (please note that one cannot work on this Visa).
  • Visitor’s Visa Section 11(6)
    Visitor’s Visa section 11(6) is ONLY issued to a Spouse or Life partner of a South African citizen or permanent residence holder. Such person must apply for a Visitor’s Visa section 11(6) to allow him or her to work, study or conduct business. It cannot be issued to any other dependent person (brother, sister, mother, father, etc…) Please note that you cannot change status to an Alternative Visa from within South Africa. Should you wish to change, you will be required to submit in your home country or previous residence. Please be aware that you will be eligible to apply for permanent residency once you are able to prove that a relationship has existed with a South African citizen or permanent resident holder.
  • Academic sabbatical and research
    In cases where an individual wishes to conduct research in South Africa, or take an academic sabbatical, they need to apply for an Extended Visitor’s Visa. This Visa is valid for a maximum period of three years, and the applicant needs to meet a number of requirements. They must show proof that they are able to support themselves financially for the period of their stay in South Africa, or that they have an adequate sponsor. They should also provide some indication as to the nature of their proposed activity in the country, as well as documentary support from any organization in South Africa with which they are affiliated.

Volunteer Visa

The South African volunteer visa (long-stay visitor’s visa) allows foreign nationals to partake in volunteer or charity work within the Republic. The volunteer visa in South Africa category does allow the applicant to receive a daily stipend to offset their expenses, but does not allow for remuneration beyond this.In order to qualify for a South African volunteer visa, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • The unpaid work must be under the order of a bona fide charity or volunteering institution.
  • Written statement of purpose of visit.
  • The applicant must provide proof of sufficient financial means.
  • The applicant must supply proof of return flight ticket (provided the duration of stay does not exceed 12 months).
  • A person who is unable to comply with the requirement to submit proof of a valid return ticket may be required to make a deposit; provided that such deposit shall be refunded to the depositor after the final departure of the applicant or after a permit contemplated in section 25 of the Act has been issued to the applicant; provided further that the payment of the deposit may be effected by means of a bank guaranteed cheque or credit card at places where such facility exists.
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