General information about temporary residence permits
The objectives of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No 13 of 2002), which was implemented on 7 April 2003, include:
- Facilitating and simplifying the issuance of permits
- Regulating the influx of foreigners by facilitating foreign investment and attracting skilled and qualified foreigners to South Africa
- Promoting tourism to South Africa.
The Act and Regulations are comprehensive. No decision is left to the discretion of an official and applicants may lodge an appeal when a decision has been made that will adversely affect them.
Documents required to apply for a temporary residence permit
The following documentation must be submitted with the temporary resident application Form BI-1738:
- A passport valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of intended visit
- A photocopy of valid residential permit, if applicable
- Permit fees (cash or bank transfer)
- 1 recent passport size colour photograph
- A vaccination certificate (if the applicant has travelled through or intends travelling to the yellow fever belt)
- Applicants travelling by air must:
- Be in possession of a return or onward ticket, or
- Lodge a cash deposit (to be advised by the foreign mission), or
- Submit a written undertaking by the prospective employer accepting full responsibility for the costs related to the deportation of the applicant and his family should it become necessary
- Police clearance certificates for all applicants 18 years and older
- Medical and radiology reports of each applicant (radiology reports are not required for children under the age of 12 years and pregnant women)
- An unabridged birth certificate
- Proof of custody or adoption of a minor, where applicable
- Consent from the parents of a minor, where applicable
- A marriage certificate, where applicable
- Proof of a spousal relationship by means of affidavit
- A divorce decree or proof of legal separation, where applicable
- A death certificate in respect of a late spouse, where applicable.
Where to apply for a temporary residence permit
Any foreigner who wants to enter South Africa must apply for the appropriate temporary residence permit at:
- the South African diplomatic representative in his/her country of origin, or
- at a South African diplomatic representative in a neighbouring country if there is no South African diplomatic representation in the applicant's country of origin
Applications for temporary residence permits are processed and finalised at the foreign offices of the Department of Home Affairs. Arrangements to travel to South Africa must only be made once the temporary residence permit has been issued.
All applicants must:
- Have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of 30 days after the expiry date of the temporary residence permit
- Ensure the temporary residence permit is valid at all times
Extending the validity of a temporary residence permit
Applications for the extension of a temporary residence permit must be done at least 30 days prior to the expiry of the permit and can be made at any Department of Home Affairs office in South Africa. There is a fee payable when applying for an extension of a temporary residence permit. Please refer to the different types of temporary residence permits above. (The fee for an extension is the same as for the original application).