Applications for permanent residency in South Africa are considered in terms of Section 26 (Direct Residency Permits) and Section 27 (Residency-on-Other-Grounds Permits) of the Immigration Act 2002 (Act No 13 of 2002), and read with Regulation 33 of the Immigration Regulations.

A long term visitors visa allows a foreign national to visit South Africa for a period longer than 90 days, but which does not exceed 3 years. A foreign national will need to qualify for this visa, and must fall within a relevant defined category to do so. If you fall into one of the below categories, you may be eligible to apply for this kind of visa::

  • You are an accompanying spouse or life partner to a foreign national who holds or qualifies for another valid South African visa .
  • You are an accompanying child to a foreign national who holds or qualifies for a valid South African visa.
  • You are partaking in an academic sabbatical which is supported by the educational institution with which you are currently involved.
  • You are teaching at an international school.
  • You are involved in films and advertisements produced in South Africa.
  • You are conducting research activities, and you have proof of financial support for your stay in South Africa.
  • You are an artist who wishes to perform, write, paint and/or sculpt in South Africa.
  • You are a tour leader or host of such tour
  • You are the spouse or life partner of a South African citizen/permanent residentPlease note that this visa can be endorsed for work so long as you have been offered employment in South Africa,
    •  Have been registered or provisionally registered to study in South Africa, or
    • wish to open your own business in South Africa.

A long term visitors visa can be issued for any period exceeding 90 days but which does not exceed 3 years. Foreign nationals on this visa will from time to time need to prove their continuing legal eligibility and that they have sufficient finances to sustain themselves during their stay in South Africa. Failure to do so can lead the visa being revoked.

NB: Please take note that applications for long term visitor’s visas must be made prior to coming to South Africa. However, please note that a long term visitor’s visa can be applied for in South Africa where you are born in South Africa to parents who are both foreign nationals on temporary residency visas.

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