EXCHANGE VISA

This permit issued to applicants under the age of 25 years and valid for one year.

Exchange visa may be issued to foreigners who are not older than 25 years of age and wish to participate in cultural, economic or social exchange programs administered by an organ of the State or a public higher educational institution in conjunction with an organ of a foreign state.

Important Information on Applying for South African Visas

Applicants for visas will be required to apply in person at the South African mission. No appointment necessary.

please note:

IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH REGULATION 2(1) (A) OF THE IMMIGRATION ACT OF 2014, ONLY MACHINE READABLE TRAVEL DOCUMENTS (MRTDs) WILL BE ACCEPTED ON SUBMISSION OF VISA APPLICATIONS AND AT PORT OF ENTRY. THEREFORE, NO EXTENDED PASSPORTS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

Checklist of Documents to be Submitted:

  • A duly completed application form (DHA-1738) signed by applicant
  • Machine readable valid passport with at least two (2) unused (blank) pages labeled Visa when presented at the Embassy or Consulate; one page for affixing the visa or permit by the embassy/consulate and the other page for endorsement of entry/departure stamp by the South African Immigration Services. Passport must be valid for 30 more days after the intended return date from South Africa.

    PLEASE NOTE: In order to comply with Regulation 2(1) (A) of the Immigration Act of 2014, only machine readable travel documents (MRTDs) will be accepted on submission of visa applications and at Port of Entry. Therefore, no extended passports will be accepted.

  • Two (2) passport photos
  • Proof of itinerary/reservation of round trip air tickets. Please do not purchase air tickets until you obtain a South African visa.
  • Medical report on prescribed form (physical)
  • Radiological report on prescribed form (chest X-ray)
  • Original FBI certificate (full criminal background check report) and original police clearance certificate from all countries applicant lived in since age 18 for one year or longer.
  • Proof of hotel accommodation (confirmed hotel reservation) or a letter of invitation from the host with proof of address (relative or friend) in South Africa
  • $36.00 money order for processing
  • Proof of U.S. legal status (copy of green card,) if applicant not U.S. citizen
  • Stamped statement from the prospective employer certifying that:

  • The position exists.
  • The organ of state or foreign education and training confirming the
      existence of the exchange programme
  • The remuneration of the foreigner complies with labor requirements
  • The employer will provide for the welfare and needs of the foreigner
      whilst in his employ
  • Will inform Home Affairs if the foreigner does not comply with the terms
      and conditions of his/her permit or leaves RSA
  • The applicant will leave when his/her permit expires.

  • stamped letter from the Department of Education or a public higher educational institution in South Africa, confirming that it is responsible for organizing/administering the programme, outlining the activities and duration thereof, as well as confirming that it will take full responsibility for the student whilst he/she is in the country.
  • stamped letter from an organ of the foreign state, confirming the particulars of the student, including confirmation of the student’s registration with a tertiary educational institution abroad, as well as the date on which study will commence.
  • A report from a South African organ of state or learning institution prescribed in regulation 19(3)
  • Proof of financial means to cover your living expenses during your stay in the Republic in the form of stamped bank statements
  • A yellow fever vaccination certificate if that person traveled or intends traveling from or transiting through a yellow fever endemic area
  • Attention New York Applicants: The South African Consulate General in New York will no longer accept prepaid envelope/labels from FedEx and UPS with immediate effect. Applicants are welcome to enclose only USPS self-addressed, pre-paid courier envelope for this office to facilitate return services.
  • Attention Washington, DC Applicants:  With immediate effect, the South African Embassy in Washington, DC will no longer accept a $16.00 fee to facilitate return services, but will accept a prepaid envelope with a tracking number from either FedEx or US Postal Service.
  • Processing time for long visas exceeding 90 days may take up to 3 to 4 weeks.

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