South Africa, in general, receives a huge number of foreign visitors every year. Most of these visitors, especially Europeans, obtain a 90-day visitors permit at the airports and border posts of South Africa.
If it is the wish of the foreign national to extend his or her visitors’ permit, it must be done at their local home affairs branch. The visitors permit extension must be applied for at least 30 days before the permit expires. To extend a visitors permit, one fortunately does not require alot of paperwork. For these extensions, the foreign national will need:
- proof of residence on where they reside in South Africa
- a bank statement in his or her name. This is to prove that the applicant has sufficient funds to sustain themselves in the Republic
- Flight details, as proof of their flight back to their home country.
- Original passport
- The necessary application fee
As per the current Immigration Act, if a visitors permit was issued for 3 months, it can only be extended with an additional 3 months. It should not be issued for more than 6 months. The current Immigration Act also allows foreign nationals to change from a normal visitors permit to a long term permit. Unfortunately this will change once the new Immigration laws come into place. The foreign national will not be able to change his or her conditions anymore.
Applicants from visa-restricted countries must still apply for their visitors permits at their nearest South African Embassy or Consulate before their flight to South Africa. If there is no condition on the visitors permit, he or she will be able to extend such permit at their local home affairs branch as well.
It is still our recommendation that each foreign national always check the dates issued on their visitors permits once obtained. Should you wish to extend your visitors permit, please ensure that it is done at least 30 days before your current permit expires.