When a foreigner intends to stay in South-Africa for a longer period of time, he or she requires a valid Temporary Residence Visa. At Barnard Incorporated our attorneys are equipped to assist you in applying for the correct Temporary Residence Visa. We shall firstly schedule a consultation, so as to evaluate your intended activities whilst in South Africa. The sound reasons for yourself wanting to stay in South Africa, will enable us to ultimately assist you in your application for a Temporary Residence Visa.

It is of utmost importance to apply for the correct Temporary Residence Visa. If you apply for the incorrect Temporary Residence Visa, you will be obliged to leave South-Africa in order for you to apply for a different (correct) visa from within your country of origin. In other words, you cannot simply apply for a change of status and/or conditions of a visitor’s visa from within South-Africa. A visitor’s visa can however be extended from within South-Africa.

How to Determine Which Temporary Residence Visa is Right for You:

We shall lend you a hand by establishing which Temporary Residence Visa you would qualify for by means of evaluating your current circumstances and your intended activities and conduct in the country. We will identify which of the following Temporary Residence Visas you could qualify for:

  • Visitor’s visa [sec 11] – issued to a foreigner who has a port of entry visa and provides the prescribed financial or other guarantees.
  • Study visa [sec 13] – issued to a foreigner intending to study for a certain period in South Africa.
  • Treaty visa [sec 14] – issued to a foreigner conducting activities in South Africa in terms of an international agreement.
  • Business visa [sec 15] – issued to a foreigner intending to establish or invest in a business in South Africa.
  • Crew visa [sec 16] – issued to a foreigner who is a member of the crew of a conveyance in South Africa.
  • Medical treatment visa [sec 17] – issued to a foreigner intending to receive medical treatment for not longer than three months in South Africa.
  • Relative’s visa [sec 18] – issued to a foreigner who is an immediate family of a citizen or permanent resident.
  • Work visa [sec 19] – issued to a foreigner who intends to work in South Africa.
  • Retired person visa [sec 20] – issued to a foreigner who intends to retire in South Africa.
  • Corporate visa [sec 21] – issued to a corporate applicant who intends to employ foreigners for purposes of work.
  • Exchange visa [sec 22] – issued to a foreigner participating in an exchange programme in South Africa.
  • Asylum transit visa [sec 23] – issued to an asylum seeker at a port of entry.

The Application:

There are very specific requirements that have to be met when submitting your visa-application; essential documents must accompany your application whilst simultaneously complying with the prescribed time frames. Should you make use of our services, we will ensure that your application is in order - which in turn will increase your chances of a successful outcome. We shall further ensure that you are kept up to date with the progress of your application.

When applying for a new visa or renewing your current visa you must be in possession of a valid passport – i.e. one that does not expire in the near future and has sufficient blank pages for your visa to be affixed to.

The Outcome:

Should your application be successful, you will receive a visa stipulating specific terms including an allocated time period for your stay. The terms and allocated time period will depend on the type of visa you applied for. For example, a Relative’s Visa will only be valid for a maximum period of 24 months from date of issue.

In the event that your application is unsuccessful, you shall have 10 days from date of receipt of the negative outcome to bring an application to the minister for the review or appeal of the decision. In this instance, we can also assist you.

The Consequences of Not Having a Valid Temporary Residence Visa:

In the event that a documented foreigner fails to renew his or her visa upon expiry thereof, or alternatively leaves South-Africa prior to the expiry of his or her current visa, he or she will no longer have any status in South-Africa and will be dressed with an “undesirable” status. Receiving the status of an undesirable foreigner will most likely occur whilst traveling and having to cross any border where a passport and visa check ought to take place.

The consequences of being allocated the status of an undesirable foreigner, is that you will be disqualified from entering South Africa for a period of between 1 and 5 years.

Unfortunately, once your visa expires there is not much to do but leave South-Africa as you cannot make an application for the renewal or the extension of your visa once it has expired. You should apply for the renewal of your visa at least 60 days prior to the expiration date of a current visa, due to the lengthy process time at the Department of Home Affairs.

In conclusion, we can assist with:

  • Visa applications;
  • Review or appeal of an unsuccessful visa-applications; and
  • Renewal of temporary visas.

For further assistance, please send an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give us a call at 0861 088 088 and we will gladly assist you.


In addition to rendering the complete spectrum of Attorney and Conveyancing services generally associated with an Attorneys Practice, we also dispose over specific competencies in commercial and mercantile matters, civil and criminal litigation in all forums, alternative dispute resolution and construction- and mining law.

We are always on standby to receive your query - 24 Hour Emergency Line - 072 727 2231