I am currently staying with my boyfriend in Johannesburg, upon my arrival to SA I got a 90 days tourist visa but I need to stay 3 months more after the visa expires.
I am considering border crossing as an easier option to get my visa extended. Has any of you or anyone you know done that? If anyone has experience in this subject I would really like to know:
- What is the minimum days you need to stay outside of SA in order to get a new visa?
- Where is the best place to cross the border? (we were thinking of Botswana)
- How many days will they give me in the new visa? (as i need 90 days and heard of people who got only a week extension)
- If I re-enter SA while I still have 10 days in my old visa will they renew it? should i return only after my visa expires?
Thanks in advance for your answers,
Well, I don't know if I am going to be much help here. Yes, border crossing was at one stage a common way of extending your visa, and many used to do it. However, recently I have found that officials won't easily stamp you in for another 90 days and usually merely put a re-entry stamp in. You can try, and when returning request a 90 day visitors visa but I don't think you will get it unless you have left for quite some time i.e 30 days. I think the best is to go to Home Affairs and try and get a 30 day extension (which they should allow without question the 1st time), and keep doing that for the next 3 months (a little more difficult).
Another option, as you mentioned, is to leave the country just before your visa expires and come in again. Though once again it depends how "on-the-ball" the custom officials are.
Ultimately, you could also make an anonymous call to home affairs and ask them all these questions. You might get a straight answer.
Best border - any! It will be luck of the draw, and more based on the official you get.
Sorry I am not really helpful
Thanks for your reply.
Do you know anyone who tried this, returned after their visa expired, and did not recieve an extension?
And as for the home affairs option - I understood that if you do it the proper way they don't have a problem giving you a 90 days extension, do you know otherwise?
We stay in SA for the last 5 years now.
Border-hopping is a criminal offence now in South-Africa and the border-officials are not really keen anymore on coöperating to this offence.
There is a big chance that indeed they will only give you 10 days at max. (Maybe even just 5 ...)
I don't know which nationality you guys are but Europeans have the right to extend their tourist-visum for an extra 90 days !!! Just go to Home Affairs and apply for an 90 days tourist-visumextension. Probable cost : 400-500 South-African Rand. (Approx. 40-50euro) for 1 person.
Where about are you ? If you were around CT. Maybe I could help you a bit more.
Don't forget : time is of the essence when you want an official extension !
Just wanted to check in and have feedback on how it went ?
I am also considering just going to home affairs and just ask for an extension.... I guess we are many to fall in love with this country.
It was a very long time ago, but we did go to home affairs and I got three months extention.
There is no problem as long as you make sure that you meet all their requirements and bring all the documents they ask for (I remember mostly they wanted something like proof that you can financially sustain yourself there).
By the way there are many companies which offer to do it for you for payment, it's really not necessary! Rather stand in queue for an hour or so for yourself and save thousands of rands.
Good luck with that and enjoy SA!