South African Visa Categories


Visiting and Holliday:

Depending on one’s country of origin, a person can holiday on a visitor’s visa in South Africa for between thirty to ninety days with the possibility of an extension from within the Republic. While some country’s citizens automatically get entry for a given amount of time at a port of entry (at an airport or border), other country’s citizens may have to apply before arriving at a port of entry in the Republic. It is best to check South Africa’s visa policy towards your country prior to arrival in the Republic [Link].

Temporary Visit:

A Temporary Residency Visa is for a person who seeks to remain in South Africa for those intending to stay in the country for non-holiday purposes. Such reasons for a longer term stay in the Republic can include study, retirement, work and/or charitable activities or on the basis of a spouse or relative. Temporary residency visas can be for six months up to five years depending on the category that one is applying under. First time temporary residency applications must be done from the person’s country of residency, after which a change of status or renewal can be applied from within the Republic.

Permanent Stay:

Permanent Residency is for a person who wishes to remain in South Africa indefinitely and can qualify for such status on the basis of their work, spouse, extraordinary skills or retirement. If a person is currently on a valid temporary residency South African visa, permanent residency can be applied for within the Republic. The outcome of such residency takes between eight to twelve months and therefore it is recommended to first apply for a temporary residency visa and keep it valid whilst awaiting a permanent residency permit outcome.


If you require help in deciding which South African Visa will suit your needs best, please feel free to contact us, and we will do our best to help you with your decision.