What is a visitor visa for South Africa
A visitor visa in South Africa allows a non-visa exempt foreign national to visit the country for tourism purposes and needs to be applied for prior to arrival in South Africa.
The visitor’s visa for South Africa also covers many subsets such as the long stay visitors visa, the visitors visa with spouse and visitors visa with children.
Who is a visitors visa for?
The visitor’s visa is for a temporary stay in South Africa of up to 90 days and is mainly used for recreational and leisure visiting. Perfect for holidaymakers or for visiting family for a short period of time. South African visitor’s visas are by far the most popular visa issued for those entering the country as South African tourism continues to grow. While the long stay visitors visa can cover a stay of up to 3 years depending on certain conditions being met.
To qualify for a South African visitors visa you will firstly need to pick the correct one to match the reason for your visit.
Before you apply for a visa please make sure you’re not departing from a visa exempt country, see the list here. https://www.savisas.com/visa-exempt-countries/
Long stay visitor visa South Africa
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.Long-stay visitor visas are a collection of many visa sub-categories.A candidate could qualify for a long-stay visa if:
- You are an accompanying spouse or life partner to a foreign national who holds or qualifies for a valid work visa, study visa, business visa, retirement visa, relative’s visa, treaty visa or crew visa
- Your accompanying child/children would also qualify on the above grounds
- You are partaking in an academic sabbatical supported by your educational institution
- You are teaching at an international school
- Involved in films and advertisements produced in South Africa, including, but not restricted to, an actor, cameraman, hairstylist, make-up artist or sound and lighting crew
- You are a journalist in the employ of a foreign news agency
- Conducting research activities, with proof of financial support
- 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 you have been offered a job, registered to study or has opened and conducts 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
Visitor visa – accompanying spouse
To enable us to apply for an accompanying spouse visitor visa the following evidence will need to be provided:
- Marriage certificate/spousal affidavit
- Divorce decree (if applicable)
- Proof of court order awarding custody (if applicable)
- Support confirmation from spouse.
- Undertaking to repatriate the family from the temporary residence permit visa holder’s employer.
Visitor visa – accompanying child
To enable us to apply for an accompanying child visitor visa the following evidence will need to be provided:
- Proof of support from parent(s)
- Undertaking to repatriate the family
- Proof of funds
- All minors under the age of 18 need to possess an unabridged birth certificate when entering or exiting South Africa.
Visitors visa validy and duration
For what duration is a South African short stay visitor visa valid?
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 on the current permit. Restrictions to a visa are endorsed onto the face of the visa and may include “may not change status”, “may not renew”, etc.
For what duration is a long stay visitor visa valid?
A long stay visitor visa in South Africa can be issued for any period not exceeding 3 years, provided the foreign national controls sufficient financial resources to sustain him or herself while in South Africa.
Pros of a visitor’s visa
- Processing time is faster than other more complex visas
Cons of a visitor’s visa
- You cannot work, open a business, or study even on a long-term stay visa. You will need to reapply should you want to work or study
- You need to reapply should you want to extend your stay