Types of Visas
Types of Visas
- Visas for medical treatment
- Visas for working in the entertainment industry
- Visas for attending a conference
- Visas for compliance of Treaty conditions
- Visas for crew (maritime)
- Visas for cultural / economic / social exchange programmes
- Transit visas (foreigners enroute to the neighbouring countries)
Visa for people requiring medical attention
- This visitor’s visa is issued to people who want to visit South Africa for medical treatment of less than three months. All applications for visits for medical purposes must:
- Include a letter from a medical practitioner or medical institution, indicating the nature of the ailment, the reason/necessity for treatment, the period of treatment and particulars of the appointment/s made in South Africa
- Include full details of the person or institution responsible for the medical expenses and hospital fees. If your medical scheme or employer will be liable for the expenses incurred, proof of medical cover must be submitted
- People who require medical treatment for longer than three months must apply for a temporary residency permit.
- Emergency patients transported by emergency flights or vehicles will be allowed entry if they do not have a visa. Immigration officers will facilitate their entry by not applying clearance procedures. However,
- The person in charge of the emergency flight (or the pilot, the driver of the vehicle or the aircraft /vehicle owner) must report the entry and presence of the patient as soon as possible to an office of the Department of Home Affairs
- An immigration officer will visit the patient and if necessary, will issue the necessary medical permit. If the patient does not have a valid passport, she/he will be issued with a permit to legalise his or her stay for the duration of his or her hospitalisation.
Visas for people in the entertainment industry
- If you are from a country that is not exempt from South African visa requirements and do not intend to work for longer than six months, then:
- You must submit an application for a visa with the relevant documentation as listed on the application form, pay the prescribed fee and you must also request for authorisation to work on the visitor’s visa at your nearest South African embassy or mission. If approved, your visa will be endorsed to allow you to stay and work for a period of between 30 and 90 days.
- You may apply only once for an extension of your visitor’s visa - for a further 90 days (making your stay a total maximum of 180 days or six months). To do so, you need to submit an application to any office of the Department of Home Affairs together with the temporary residency and pay additional fees as prescribed
- You must make your extension application before your current visa expires.
- If you are from a country that is exempt from South African visa requirements, and do not intend to work for longer than six months:
- You may proceed to a South African port of entry with the relevant letters from the local or international agency or company confirming your full particulars, purpose and period of visit and your designation
- The immigration officer will issue you with a visitor’s permit – valid for between 30 days and 90 days – along with the required authorisation to work
- You may apply only once for an extension of your visitor’s visa - for a further 90 days (making your stay a total maximum of 180 days or six months). To do so, you need to submit an application to any office of the Department of Home Affairs together with the temporary residency and pay additional fees as prescribed.
- You must make your extension application before your visa period expires.
Visas for people attending a conference in South Africa
- Normal procedures must be followed for applying for a visitor’s visa
- whether you are from a country that requires you get a visa
- The application for a visa must be supported by a letter or invitation for the conference
- The conference organizer should notify the Department of Home Affairs that the conference is taking place - giving all the relevant details and a list of delegates, if possible
- The Department of Home Affairs will then notify all South Africa representatives abroad, authorising them to issue visas to the delegates providing that
- nothing detrimental is know about the delegate, and that
- all visitor visa requirements are met
Visas for people who are visiting in compliance of Treaty Conditions
A treaty permit is an official document that gives foreigners permission to enter South Africa to participate in programmes that have been agreed upon by South Africa and the visitors’ respective countries. Applications can be made at any South African embassy or mission abroad.
You will need to
- Complete application online
- Submit the following documents with your application form:
- A letter from the relevant organ of state involved in the agreement to confirm the nature of the programme and the agreement under which the programme will be conducted, your participation in the mentioned programme and the type of activities you are expected to perform under the agreement
- A police clearance certificate from all countries you and your spouse lived in since the age of 18 years and for all dependent children of 18 years or older who will accompany you whilst in South Africa
- Medical and radiological reports (note that children under the age of 12 years and pregnant women are not required to have radiological reports) o A written undertaking by your employer accepting responsibility for the costs related to the deportation of you and your dependent family members, if required. If your employer is a government department and is unable to submit the mentioned written undertaking, the sending country may submit on your behalf
- Documents relating to your marital status and minor dependent children (if you will be accompanied by a spouse and/or dependent children)
- A yellow fever vaccination certificate if you travelled from or intend travelling to or through a yellow fever area
- A passport valid for at least 30 days after your intended stay in South Africa.
Visas for people who are crew members (maritime)
A crew permit is issued to a foreigner who is a member of the crew of a ship. A crew permit may be issued for a maximum of three months at a time. Applications can be made at a port of entry in South Africa.
You will have to submit the following:
- A valid passport
- A letter of request from the owner of the ship, including an undertaking of responsibility for such person’s compliance with the Immigration Act, 2002
- Proof of sufficient financial means of the owner of that ship to cover day-to-day needs and medical expenses
- A deposit, if deemed necessary by the Department of Home Affairs, in order to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the crew permit. Such a deposit shall be refunded to you at departure or after the permit has been issued to you. The payment of the deposit may be effected by means of a bank guaranteed cheque or credit card at places where such facility exists
- Proof of settlement of an outstanding fine incurred by the conveyor.
Visas for cultural / economic / social exchange programmes
An exchange visa may be issued to you if you are participating in a programme of cultural, economic or social exchange that is organised or administered by an organ of state, or a public higher education institution in conjunction with an organ of a foreign state.
You can apply for your exchange visa at any South Africa embassy or mission abroad.
You will also need to provide the following documentation:
- Applications are online (application for a temporary residency permit)
- A valid passport
- A letter from the entity, organisation or family where you intend to conduct your programme in South Africa, confirming the status or existence of the exchange programme. The letter should prove that you qualify to register or participate and the entity, organisation or family will be responsible for you during your stay
- A letter from an organ of state or a sponsoring body of your home country, confirming the status or the existence of the exchange programme, and that you have been accepted to register for the programme.
Transit visas (foreigners enroute to the neighbouring countries)
If you are a national of a non-visa exempt country and are in transit to a neighbouring country, you will be required to be in possession of and to produce a valid transit visa upon entering South Africa.
The transit visa is applicable for those traveling to neighbouring countries i.e. the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Kingdom of Swaziland, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique.
Requirements for extending your visa
- Once a person arrives at a South African port of entry, the visa is then regarded as a visitor’s permit. Most visas or visitor’s permits are issued for a maximum period of 90 days.
- If your visit exceeds 90 days, you will need to apply for temporary residence permit instead of a visitor’s visa.
- Remember that the requirements for a temporary residence permit is not the same as a visitor’s visa.
- If the need arises to have your visa extended, you will need to contact any office of the Department of Home Affairs and apply for the extension of the visitor’s permit
- You will need to complete the temporary residency and pay additional fees as prescribed.