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Visitor's visas

A visitor’s visa may be issued for various activities to be conducted within South Africa and includes the following:

  • voluntary work

  • research

  • academic sabbatical

  • teaching at an international school

  • accompanying spouse or independent children

  • in respect of films and advertisements produced in South Africa, including, but not limited to, an actor, cameraman, hairstylist, make-up artist or lighting and sound engineer

  • a foreign journalist seconded to the Republic by a foreign news agency

  • a visiting professor or lecturer or an academic researcher

  • an artist who wishes to write, paint or sculpt

  • a person involved in the entertainment industry, travelling through the Republic to perform

  • a tour leader or host of such a tour

  • a foreigner who is required to stay in the Republic in order to testify as a state witness in a criminal court case: Provided that in such a matter, the application shall be initiated by the relevant Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions

  • work authorization for spouses or life partners of South African citizens or permanent resident holders.


A visitor’s visa may be issued for a period of three (3) years.

If you are the spouse or a child of the holder of a business or general work visa, you may apply for change of status from a visitor’s visa to study or work from within South Africa.