Urgent Notice to all applicants for Temporary residence visas and Permanent residence permits

The Department of Home Affairs  issued a recent notification indicating that they will soon automate the process of obtaining a South African Police Clearance Certificate as from 1 October 2016.

Instead of the applicant going to a police station to apply for a police clearance, VFS will use the applicant’s biometrics (fingerprints) which will be captured when submitting their application and use them to run background checks against the South African Police Services database. On receipt of the electronic police clearance VFS will merge the records with the main application. This will transmit the contents electronically to DHA as a full and complete application. The SAPS database background check will take an average of 24 – 36 hours, which is far more efficient that the approximate 3 to 4 months that it takes currently to get a police clearance from SAPS.

The additional fee for an application requiring a SA police report, will be R175.00 (Incl. VAT) per criminal background check. The Department is already running this process successfully for both the Zimbabwean Special Permit and the Lesotho Special Permit applications.

Please be advised that the current manual submission of RSA police clearances will be accepted until the 31st of October 2016. This automation of the police clearance is only applicable to RSA police clearance certificates. Any other Police Clearance Certificates issued by the police or security authority in each country where the relevant applicant resided for 12 months or longer after attaining the age of 18 years will still be accepted manually.

What will be the impact of this change: This is a positive change for business and individuals as the timeframes will be significantly reduced when applying for visas and permits in South Africa. This will only be applicable to applicants filing applications at the Visa Facilitation Centre in SA.

Should you have any questions with regard to the above communication, kindly contact us.

NameMobile numberOffice number
Connie Peter+27 82 496 5827+27 10 500 0316  
Sunitha Jeewan+27 82 086 2229+27 10 500 0310 

The information contained in this Immigration Alert may not be relied or acted upon without prior consultation.

No liability is accepted for the consequence of any inaccuracies contained in this Immigration Alert.