Planning to Apply for a Visa? Thinking About Extending Your Foreign Employee's Work Contract? Waiting For a Result of Your Application? When planning an application, being aware of the appropriate timing is critical to the success of the process. Where sufficient time is catered for, the success chances increase dramatically. We have compiled a rough overview of latest average Home Affairs processing times.

Temporary visas

4-8 weeks (when lodging within South Africa) and 2-12 weeks (when lodging at a mission abroad)

Permanent residence

12-24 months (with exceptions both below and above this time)

SAQA evaluation

required for almost all work visas - SAQA now requires that the foreign educational institution which issued a qualification or degree, verify such document. Due to varying responsiveness on the part of these foreign institutions, the SAQA processing times vary between 15 days and several months.

Department of Labour (DoL) recommendation

required for general work visas4 months and longer. DoL requirements and processes are complex, not transparent or consistent, and not open for discussion. DoL uses this process to monitor the employer's compliance with all of the various pieces of legislation which DoL is responsible for. A work visa recommendation can therefore well be refused due to the employer not meeting a minor security requirement. Challenging this practice has been tricky to say the least.


process to get around DoL, SAQA and other requirements - 4 months and more

SA police clearance

3-4 weeks

Whilst newer applications, submitted after the law changes of May 2014, are being finalized within relatively predictable timeframes, "old" applications from before that date seem to be stuck in the system. A number of interventions have been made, and processes tried out, to resolve this issue, but results have been unsatisfying.