How Long Does it Take to Process South African Visa in Nigeria
After completing application for visas to South African, it is usually common to find applicants apprehensive about how long it will take for their visas to be processed most especially the permanent resident permits applicants. For some, the visa processing time is just too long and they begin to get worried that there could be a problem with their visa application. This is not always the case.
Although, the visa processing website may state a number of days which appears to be short and bearable (this is usually put around six working days for short term visas, between six to eight weeks for long term and ten months for permanent residence), applicants must bear in mind that this duration may be longer and unstable.
It is advised that most visa applications should be carried out at least one month prior to the applicant’s scheduled travelling time for short term visas, three month for long term and twelve months for permanent residence application.
There is a wide range of short and long term visas available to Nigerians to travel into South Africa. Each of this has its own specified procedures for obtaining it and also visa processing periods although on the average, visas belonging to the same class of visa take almost the same time to process.
Note: The visa processing and other waiting times stated below are exclusive to South African visas applied for in Nigeria only.
- Short Term Visitor Visa Processing Times
The short term visa types are issued to individuals travelling to South Africa for not longer than three months. As soon as the visa becomes invalid, the holder must return back to his/her country. South African short term visas are referred to as temporary residence permits. Short term visas include;
- Medical Visa for private hospitals and clinics only: these form of short term visas are issued to those willing to travel to South Africa for medical treatment in private clinics and hospitals.
- Training / Conference/ Meeting/ Interview Visa: Training Visas are issued to individuals who are travelling to South Africa for work, meeting, conference, seminar, interviews or trainings for which they will not be paid by any South African body.
- Holiday Visa: this form of short term visitor visa is issued to foreign individuals intending to travel to South Africa for vacation, tourism, cruising or other leisure activities.
Currently, the processing time for all the aforementioned short term visitor visa for applicants from Nigeria is a minimum of six(6) working days as stated by the South African High Commission.
- Long Term Visa Processing Times
This class of visa includes those issued to applicants whose purpose of travel to South Africa is for long term business venture, study, medical treatment, general work and those seeking permanent residence. The long term visa is also issued to applicants travelling based on intra company transfer and exchange. The validity period of the long term visa is usually between three to five years and allows the holder to engage in employment while staying in South Africa. Long term visas include;
- Business Visa: Applicants who intend to establish a business in South Africa may be granted the business permanent resident visa provided their business plan include over 60percent of their employees being South Africans and also such business must have a financial investment of at least ZAR5million in the South Africa.
- General work Visa: The general work visa or permit is the class of visa issued by the Director General to applicants who do not meet any specified form of work visa but are able to tender a letter of employment from a South African employer complies with the prescribed requirements in the Act.
- Medical treatment Visa: the long term medical treatment visa may be issued to a foreigner who intends to receive medical treatment in the Republic for longer than three months.
- Study Visa: The study visa is issued to foreign applicants who intend to travel to South Africa for the purpose of academic study or research that will take longer than three months.
- Critical skills Visa: This class of visa will be issued to individuals who possess certain critical skills that are considered important to the economy of South Africa. They are workers who are highly needed for ready jobs in the country as determined by the periodically in the Gazette.
- Relative Visa: an individual is allowed to apply for a permanent residence of South Africa by virtue of having a South African citizen (or South African permanent resident holder) as relative. The relatives permit is most suitable for individuals who are below 18 years of age and are direct relatives (first kin such as parent- child relationship) of a South African citizen or permanent resident.
- Intra company transfer Visa: Intra Company Transfer Work visa is issued to individuals who wish to travel to South Africa as a result of transfer from a branch or subsidiary of an international company outside South Africa to one within South Africa.
- Retired person Visa: The retirement visa/permit is a long term visa and has no age restrictions as to who can apply as long as such individual can meet the requirement. Applicants must have proof to show at least a monthly income equivalent of ZAR37, 000 in form of annuities, pensions or income from asset rentals.
- Exchange visa: this form of visa is for those willing to travel to South Africa to participate in a cultural, social or economic exchange program. Exchange visa are issued to individuals not older than 25 years of age.
Currently, the processing time for all the aforementioned short term visitor visa for applicants from Nigeria is a minimum of six (6) to eight (8) weeks as stated by the South African High Commission.
Permanent Residence Visa: this category of visa includes those issued to foreign individuals who wish to become permanent residents in South Africa.
Currently, the processing time for all the aforementioned short term visitor visa for applicants from Nigeria is a minimum of ten(10) months as stated by the South African High Commission.
It is important to note that the processing of South African visas in Nigeria varies from application to application as it is affected by individual specific assessment conditions.
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