What is it?

Foreign researchers can apply for a long-term visitor’s visa for a period of up to 3 years.
  • The research assignment must be confirmed by the South African learning or research institution hosting the foreigner, as well as by the applicant’s foreign employer on behalf of whom the research shall be conducted.
  • The researcher visa can be renewed from South Africa without limit, but does not allow the holder to apply for a change of status to a different visa type while in South Africa.
  • Spouses and children can apply for matching dependant visas to accompany the main visa holder to South Africa
  • Certain research fields are also recognised as “critical skills
  • The time spent working in South Africa on a researcher visa is not counted towards permanent residence on the basis of permanent employment (link to PRP worker), but may be counted as relevant work experience for critical skills (link to PRP critical skills).
  • The researcher visa is only required for research assignments longer than 3 months. Foreigners who will be visiting South Africa for period not exceeding 3 months can instead apply for authorisation to conduct work on a visitor’s visa in terms of section 11(2) of the Immigration Act (link to short-term work visa)

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