Visa Long Stay

What is a visa?

Every country has the sovereign right to decide who may or may not enter its territory. The purpose of a visa on the one hand is to ensure proper screening of applicants so that prohibited persons and undesirable persons are not admitted to the Republic of South Africa and on the other hand to facilitate the entry of approved applicants at South African ports of entry. Visas provide immigration officers with the necessary information to ensure that applicants are admitted for the correct purpose and period into the Republic of South Africa.

Possession of a visa does not guarantee the holder automatic admission into the Republic of South Africa. A visa only authorises the holder to proceed to the Republic to report to an immigration officer at a port of entry for the purpose of being examined as to his/her ability to comply with the (entry) requirements of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002), as amended.

When does a temporary residence visa issued abroad become valid?

Possession of a visa does not guarantee the holder automatic admission into the Republic of South Africa. A temporary residence visa issued at a foreign mission of the Republic of South Africa is deemed to be of force and effect only after an admission i.e. a temporary residence visa shall be affixed to the passport of the applicant and shall only be valid if an entry stamp has been affixed thereto at the port of entry and the date of such entry stamp shall be the effective date.

Types of temporary residence visas

How much does a temporary residence visa cost?

How long does it take to issue a temporary residence visa?

The processing times for long term visas may take 8 weeks and longer.

Can visa requirements be waived?

Yes. Upon application, the Minister of Home Affairs may, for good cause, waive any prescribed requirement or form (see Please note that the waiver request must be submitted and approved by the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria, before the visa application can be submitted.

Can an applicant appeal against a decision to refuse a visa?

Yes. An applicant, who wishes to appeal, must make representations to the Department of Home Affairs to review a decision within ten (10) working days of receiving such decision (see

Can a visa be issued for an internship?
No. The Immigration Act, as amended, makes no provisions for foreigners to undertake internships at companies and organisations in the Republic of South Africa. Therefore, visas may not be issued to such foreigners, including foreign students whose studies prescribe an internship (see Please note however that a special visa concession has been made for students from Germany who shall engage in internships at the German Embassy in Pretoria – further information is available on request from the Embassy in Berlin via email: berlin.consular(at) .


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