The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has announced that it will no longer be necessary for those applying for South African visas to obtain hard copies of South African police clearance certificates before South African visa applications may be submitted.
As of 1 October, 2016, VFS will use visa applicant’s fingerprints to automatically run background checks against the South African Police Services database. Applicants will no longer need to go to a police station to apply for a hard copy of the RSA police clearance certificate, as has been required for temporary residence visa and permanent residence permit applications.
The Process and Fees
VFS will in future obtain a police clearance certificate in electronic format using the biometric scans provided by the applicant on the day of submission. The police clearance certificate will be, merged with the visa application and automatically sent to the Department of Home Affairs in electronic format.
It is expected that the process of getting a South African police clearance certificate will now take 24-36 hours, instead of the current time frame of up to 4 months.
The fee per adult applicant will be R175.00.
Successful Test Phase
DHA ran successful pilot projects on the new system for both the Zimbabwean Special Permit and the Lesotho Special Permit application programs. Following its success, it was decided to extend the system to all visa applicants.
Current Applications and police clearance certificates from foreign Countries
South African police clearances certificates obtained by the applicant may still be submitted until October 31, 2016, after which the new system must be used.
Hard copies of police clearance certificates for other countries will however still be required.
Read the official notice here.
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