Extending Visa for Foreigners in South Africa

Extending your stay in South Africa is possible through a visa extension, which involves renewing your existing visa. To apply for a South Africa visa extension, you will need to submit a fresh application, along with a set of specified documents and the necessary fee.

Key points:

  • Purpose: A visa extension in South Africa allows you to prolong your stay beyond the initial duration granted by your current visa.
  • Application: To request a visa extension, you must complete a new application process.
  • Documentation: Prepare and submit the required documents along with your application.
  • Fee: Payment of the prescribed fee is mandatory to obtain a visa extension.

Can I Extend My Visa in South Africa?

It is indeed possible to extend your visa for South Africa. There are various types of visas that can be extended, depending on the duration and purpose of your stay.

For short-term visits or business purposes, you can apply to extend the following visas:

  • Visit and Business Visas: These visas have no specific conditions attached and can be extended if needed.
  • Short-Term Work Permit: If you hold a short-term work permit, you can also apply for an extension to continue your work in South Africa.

Long-term visas are also eligible for extension and include the following categories:

  • Business Visa: If you have a business visa and require more time to conduct your business activities in South Africa, you can apply for an extension.
  • Critical Skills Visa: This visa is granted to individuals with specific skills that are in demand in South Africa. If you hold a critical skills visa and need to stay longer, you can apply for an extension.
  • General Work Visa: If you are employed in South Africa and hold a general work visa, you can extend your visa to continue working in the country.
  • Life Partner Visa: This visa is for individuals in a committed relationship with a South African citizen or permanent resident. If you need more time to stay with your partner, you can apply for an extension.
  • Relatives Visa: If you are a family member of a South African citizen or permanent resident, you can apply for an extension to stay longer in the country.
  • Research Visa: If you are conducting research in South Africa, you can extend your visa to continue your research activities.
  • Retired Persons' Visa: This visa is for individuals who have retired and wish to live in South Africa. If you hold a retired persons' visa and require more time, you can apply for an extension.
  • Spousal Visa: Similar to the life partner visa, the spousal visa allows the spouse of a South African citizen or permanent resident to stay in the country. Extensions can be sought if more time is needed.
  • Student Visa: If you are studying in South Africa and need to extend your stay to complete your studies, you can apply for an extension of your student visa.

Please note that there are certain visas that cannot be extended, including:

  • Corporate Visa: This visa is issued to foreign employees of companies operating in South Africa, but it cannot be extended.
  • Tourist Visa with Specific Conditions: If you hold a tourist visa with specific conditions that do not allow for extension, you will need to apply for a new visa if you wish to stay longer.
  • Intra-Company Transfer Work Visa: This visa is granted to employees who are transferred from a foreign branch to a South African branch of the same company. Extensions are not possible for this type of visa.
  • Exchange Visa: This visa is intended for young individuals participating in cultural, economic, or social exchange programs. Unfortunately, extensions are not available, and you will need to apply for a new visa if you want to prolong your stay.

For the most up-to-date information, it is recommended to consult the Department of Home Affairs, as their policies and procedures may change. As of the latest updates, the Department of Home Affairs is not currently accepting visa extensions, and applicants are advised to apply for a new visa instead.

Extending a Visitor's Visa: Is it Possible?

If you wish to extend your visitor's visa, it is important to understand the process and requirements. The Department of Home Affairs holds the authority to either approve or reject your application for visa extension. To ensure a successful outcome, it is essential to provide a written explanation detailing the reasons for your extended stay.

When it comes to the duration of the visa extension, the decision rests with the Department of Home Affairs. They will determine the number of additional days you are permitted to stay within the country.

Where to Extend the Visa While in South Africa?

To apply for an extension of your South African visa, individuals who are foreign nationals should visit the South African Department of Home Affairs. It is important to note that the application for an extension can only be made in person, while you are physically present in South Africa.

Alternatively, visitors have the option to engage the services of a registered immigration practitioner to assist with the visa extension process. It is worth mentioning that these agencies typically charge a fee for their professional services.

Below you can find the nearest VFS offices:


4 Linden Road, Essenwood Durban

Cape Town

7th Floor, 2 Long Street, two on Long Building, Cape Town, 8001

Port Elizabeth

Office 7C, 1st Floor Moffet on Main, Cnr 17th Ave and Main Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth, 6070


1st Floor Rivonia Village, Cnr Rivonia Boulevard and Mutual Road, Sandton


Cherry Lane Office Park, 1st Floor, 114 Fehrsen Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Brooklyn, 0181


Inner Arcade Shopping Centre Shop no 2, c\o Fatima Bhayat and Boom Street


Unit 3, Building 2, Agri Office Park, N12, Kimberley


Shop 13, Thornhill Shopping Centre, C/O Veldspaat & Munnik Ave, Bendor Park


5th floor, office 5F, Nedbank Building, 30 Brows street


Unit 5, Royal Eagle, 5 Progress Street


Suite 4, the Park, 14 Reid Street, Westdene

Required Documents for Extending Your Visa in South Africa

To apply for a visa extension in South Africa, it is important to have the following documents ready:

  • Completed Application Form 10 (DHA-1739): Fill out the form completely using black ink, ensuring that no questions are left unanswered.
  • Valid Passport: Ensure that your passport remains valid for at least 30 days beyond your intended departure date from South Africa. It should also have a minimum of two blank pages for visa endorsements.
  • Statement or Documentation of Purpose and Duration: Provide a clear statement or supporting documentation that outlines the purpose of your visit and the intended duration of your stay in South Africa.
  • Proof of Return or Onward Travel: Present evidence of a valid return or onward ticket. If you haven't purchased a ticket yet, you can alternatively submit proof of sufficient financial means to cover the cost of such a ticket or to facilitate your return.
  • Proof of Accommodation: Demonstrate that you have arranged accommodation in South Africa. This can be achieved through a hotel booking confirmation, rental agreement, or lease agreement that includes your name, the duration of your stay, and the details of the accommodation.
  • Proof of Sufficient Financial Means: Establish that you have enough financial resources to support yourself during the extended stay in South Africa. You can provide one of the following forms of proof:
    • Bank statements
    • Salary advances
    • Undertakings by a host in South Africa
    • Bursary documentation
    • Proof of medical cover
    • Cash availability (including credit cards and traveler's cheques)

By ensuring that you have all the necessary documents and meet the requirements, you can increase your chances of a successful visa extension application in South Africa.

Additional Documents for a South Africa Visa Extension

Study Visa

To extend your South African study visa, you will be required to submit the following additional documents:

  • Official Confirmation Letter: Obtain an official letter from the Registrar or Principal of the learning institution where you are enrolled. This letter should confirm that you need to extend your period of study and specify the duration of the extended study period.
  • Proof of Medical Cover: Provide proof of medical cover with a medical scheme registered in accordance with the Medical Schemes Act. This demonstrates that you have appropriate medical insurance coverage during your extended stay in South Africa.

Treaty Visa

If you are seeking an extension for a treaty visa, ensure you include the following documents:

  • Declaration from the State Organ: Obtain a written declaration from the relevant state organ that is a signatory to the treaty. This declaration should affirm your eligibility for an extension based on the provisions of the treaty.
  • Statement of Responsibility: Include a written statement from either the sending or receiving state acknowledging their acceptance of responsibility for any costs associated with deporting you and your dependent family members, if such circumstances arise.

Business Visa

For a business visa extension, it is essential to include the following documents:

  • Accountant's Document: Submit a document signed by a professional accountant who is a member of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants or a chartered accountant registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. This document should provide financial details and verify your business activities in South Africa.

Medical Treatment Visa

To extend a South African medical treatment visa, you will need the following:

  • Letter from Medical Practitioner: Obtain a letter from your registered medical practitioner or medical institution within South Africa. This letter should confirm the need for ongoing medical treatment and the duration of the extension required.
  • Financial Details: Provide detailed information and confirmation from either yourself or the medical institution covering the expenses related to your medical treatment, including medical expenses and hospital fees.

Work Visa

If you are applying for a South Africa work visa extension, ensure that you include the following documents:

  • Employer's Statement: Obtain a written statement from your employer accepting responsibility for the expenses associated with your deportation and that of your dependent family members, if necessary.
  • Department of Labour Certificate: Include a certificate issued by the Department of Labour, which verifies your employment status and ensures compliance with labor laws and regulations.

Relative's Visa

For a relative's visa extension, you will need to provide the following additional documents:

  • Proof of Relationship: Include evidence that establishes your relationship with the relatives in South Africa, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or other relevant documents.
  • Financial Assurance: Provide proof of financial means to support yourself and your relatives during the extended stay. This can include bank statements, employment contracts, or any other documentation that demonstrates your financial capability.
  • Police Clearance: Submit a valid police clearance certificate to demonstrate your good character and compliance with South African law.

Remember, the specific requirements and additional documents may vary based on the type of visa you hold and the nature of your visa extension application. It is always advisable to consult the official website of the South African Department of Home Affairs or seek assistance from an immigration professional to ensure accurate and up-to-date information for your visa extension application.

When should I apply for a South Africa visa extension before it expires?

To request an extension in South Africa, you are allowed to submit your application only once, and it must be done within 60 days before your current visa expires. This applies if you were granted a 90-day visa. However, if your visa allows you to stay for only 30 days, you should apply for an extension at least seven days prior to the expiration date of your visa.

How long does it take to process a South Africa visa extension?

The duration for processing a visa extension typically ranges from 30 to 40 days. However, it is important to note that occasionally, processing times may be extended due to the volume of applications received by the respective office.

What are the fees associated with a South Africa visa extension?

The fees associated with a South Africa visa extension vary depending on the type of visa and the duration of the extension requested.

Type of visa

Fee in South African Rand

Fee in USD

Visitor’s visa


(Approx.) 24

General work visa


(Approx.) 88

Treaty visa


(Approx.) 24

Medical application renewal


(Approx.) 24

Study application


(Approx.) 24

Retired person’s application


(Approx.) 24

Business application


(Approx.) 88

Family (Relative) visa


(Approx.) 24

Consequences of Overstaying Your Visa in South Africa

When it comes to overstaying your visa in South Africa, the consequences vary depending on the duration of the overstay:

  • Overstay of less than 30 days: If you exceed the allowed duration by less than 30 days, you will face a ban from re-entering South Africa for a period of 12 months.
  • Overstay of more than 30 days: If you overstay your visa for more than 30 days, the consequences become more severe. In this case, you will face a ban from re-entry for a minimum of 5 years.

In addition to the ban, if an immigration officer discovers that your visa has expired, the Home Affairs Department will impose a fine ranging from R2500 to R3000 (approximately USD 115 to USD 170).

However, there are two conditions under which you may be allowed to stay in South Africa even after your visa has expired:

Payment of the fine: By paying the imposed fine, you can potentially be granted permission to remain in South Africa despite the visa overstay.

Submission of an appeal: Another option is to submit an appeal to the relevant authorities. The success of your appeal will depend on various factors, including:

  • Visiting a spouse, child, parents, or other dependent relatives in South Africa.
  • Having a pending application for temporary or permanent residency.
  • Holding an employment contract in the country.
  • Engaging in studies in South Africa.
  • Demonstrating a medical condition that necessitates your continued stay.

Keep in mind that meeting these factors does not guarantee a positive outcome for your appeal, but they may positively influence the decision-making process. It is important to consult with the appropriate immigration authorities to understand your specific circumstances and determine the best course of action.

Extending Your Stay in South Africa as a Visa-Free National: Is it Possible?

For nationals from visa-free countries who desire to extend their stay beyond the standard 90-day or 30-day period, it is necessary to apply for either a visa or a residence permit. To avoid any complications, it is crucial to submit your visa application prior to the expiration of your initial 90-day stay. Failing to do so will require you to depart the country promptly.