South African Immigration

Visitor Visa (Short and Long Term)

South African Visitor Visa Requirements & Process

Visitor visas may be issued for a period valid for longer than 90 days and up to 3 years at a time.

These 3 year visitor visas may be issued to the following:

  • Dependent spouses or children of foreigners with valid long term visas
  • Spouses of South Africans (with authorization to work)
  • Teaching at an international school
  • Working in the film industry
  • Foreign journalists
  • Visiting professors
  • Artists
  • Persons in the entertainment industry
  • Tour leaders / hosts
  • Foreigners testifying as state witness
  • These visas may be renewed for a further 3 years while in South Africa.

The process of applying for these visitor visas are more onerous than the short term visitor visas and various documentation are required to be submitted.

As a general rule, these long term visitor visas are applied for and issued by the South African Embassy, Consulate or High Commission operating in the foreigner’s country (save for certain exceptions).

The holder of a visitor visa may not as a general rule, change status and/or conditions while in South Africa.

Foreign spouses of South Africans may apply for either a relative visa, which prohibits work, or a visitor visa based on the relationship with the South Africa with authorization to pursue any of the activities listed in the Immigration Act (such as work, study, own business etc)