What You Need To Know About The Research Visa South Africa


  1. The research visa for South Africa allows researchers, scholars, and professionals to conduct academic or scientific research projects in the country.

  2. To qualify, you need to have a host institution in South Africa that supports your research.

  3. The duration of the visa depends on the research project’s length, and it is important to apply well in advance.

  4. Financially, you must demonstrate sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependents.

  5. Other requirements include a valid passport, medical insurance, police clearance certificates, and a detailed research proposal.

  6. Remember, the research visa is temporary, so plan your project timeline accordingly.

What Is A Researcher Visa

visitor's visa section 11(1)(b)(iii)

Are you a driven researcher seeking to explore new horizons? 

Look no further! The Research Visa is your gateway to groundbreaking discoveries, vibrant academic institutions, and a diverse research ecosystem. 

Immerse yourself in rich cultural heritage while collaborating with top-notch scholars and accessing state-of-the-art facilities. 

Experience the thrill of unravelling scientific mysteries amidst breathtaking landscapes. 

Whether you’re delving into wildlife conservation, pioneering medical breakthroughs, or uncovering historical treasures, South Africa welcomes you with open arms. 

Seize this opportunity to embark on a remarkable research journey that will leave an indelible mark on your career.

What Is A Visa To Conduct Research

researcher visa

Imagine having the opportunity to delve into the realm of knowledge and pursue your passion for research without the constraints of a traditional job. 

That’s exactly what the Visa in South Africa offers. 

It allows you to immerse yourself in your chosen field, explore groundbreaking ideas, and contribute to the global pool of knowledge. 

This visa is specifically designed for individuals who seek to engage in independent research projects or collaborate with esteemed academic institutions. 

So, if you’re driven by curiosity and eager to make significant contributions to your field of expertise, the Visa is your key to unlocking endless possibilities in the realm of discovery.

When it comes to research activities, it’s important not to confuse them with activities that require a work visa. 

Let’s break it down: If you’re offered a job position where you become part of the institution’s personnel structure, then you’ll need a work visa. 

The term “work” refers to business, commercial, or paid activities within South Africa.

However, this doesn’t include activities covered by other visa categories or work performed for a foreign employer that only involves partial activities in the country. 

So, remember, conducting research is a unique endeavour that falls outside the scope of traditional employment, and the visa requirements reflect this distinction.

If you need to work then the following visas are available:

  1. Critical Skills Work Visa


  2. Corporate Workers Visa


  3. General Work Visa


  4. Intra-Company Work Visa

Embark on your research journey in South Africa today!

Apply for the research visa and unlock endless opportunities. Start your application now!

Who Can Apply For The Visa

who can apply for the visa

Individuals who are engaged in academic or scientific projects.


  1. Researchers
  2. Scholars
  3. Professionals

Those involved in research activities are eligible to apply for the visa.

First-time visa applications cannot be submitted in South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs made changes to the immigration act in 2014.

First-time visa applications must be submitted in your country of permanent residency. This visa does not lead to permanent residence.

What Is The Duration Of The Research Visa?


The duration of the research visa can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the nature of your research project. 

Typically, the research visa is granted for the duration of the research activity or project you will be involved in. 

It is important to note that the research visa is a temporary visa and is typically issued for a maximum of 3 years, which can range from a few months to a few years. 

The duration will be specified in your visa approval. 

It is essential to plan your research project timeline and ensure that your visa duration aligns with your research needs.

If you require an extension, you may need to apply for a visa renewal or extension before your current visa expires.

What Are The Requirements For The Visitor’s Visa Section 11(1) (B) (iii) Research


  1. Complete the online form accurately as handwritten forms are not accepted by the Department of Home Affairs (The South African Embassy accepts handwritten forms)


  2. Ensure your passport is valid for at least 30 days after your intended departure from South Africa according to regulation 9(1)(a).


  3. Submit your application in person at least 60 days before your visa’s expiry date. If the visa was issued for less than 30 days, submit it no later than seven working days before it expires.


  4. Provide a valid return air flight ticket or proof of reservation.


  5. Include a recently bank-certified statement showing sufficient financial resources for the last three months as required by section 11(1)(b) of the Act.


  6. Submit a medical report.


  7. A radiological report is not required for children under 12 years of age or pregnant women.


  8. If accompanied by dependent children, provide proof of parental responsibilities, written consent, and relevant documentation.


  9. If accompanied by a spouse, provide a marriage certificate or proof of the relationship as per regulation 3.


  10. Provide a statement or documentation detailing the purpose and duration of your visit according to regulation 11(1)(a).


  11. If dependent children are accompanying or joining you, include proof of consent, a court order (if applicable), a letter from the receiving person, and their identification documents.


  12. For applications related to attending an activity or event, including a letter from the organizing organization confirming attendance and remuneration details, if applicable.


  13. If travelling from or transiting through a yellow fever endemic area, provide a yellow fever vaccination certificate, unless in direct transit.


  14. If applicable, include an affidavit for spousal relationships, documentation proving cohabitation, financial responsibilities, and details of children in the relationship.


  15. Provide proof of a recognized union under the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, 1998, if applicable.


  16. Include divorce decree, death certificate (for late spouse), or legal separation order if applicable.


  17. Provide proof of payment for the applicable fee.


  18. Submit an original police clearance certificate from each country where you resided for 12 months or longer after turning 18, except for South Africa, which should not be older than six months at the time of submission.


  19. A biometric enrolment fee is applicable.

How To Apply For The Visitor’s Visa Section 11(1)(b)(iii)

dependent and spouse requirements

To apply for a Visitor’s Visa under Section 11(1)(b)(iii)

  1. Prepare your application package with all the necessary documents and forms.


  2. Visit the nearest South African embassy, consulate, or visa application centre.


  3. Submit your application form, pay the fee, and provide any requested biometric data.


  4. Keep your receipt to track the progress of your application.


  5. Wait for a decision on your visa application.


  6. Once approved, collect your visa from the embassy or consulate.


  7. Make sure to review the specific requirements and guidelines provided by the South African authorities for a successful application.

Embark on your research journey in South Africa today!

Apply for the research visa and unlock endless opportunities. Start your application now!

Can I Study With This Visa?


can i study with this visa


No, you cannot study with a research visa. If you wish to pursue full-time academic studies, you will need to apply for a study visa specifically designed for that purpose.

To qualify for a study visa, you must have been accepted at an educational institution in South Africa. 

This means that you need to have received an official letter of acceptance from the institution where you intend to study. 

The acceptance letter should confirm your admission, the duration of your course, and the details of the program you will be enrolled in. 

It is an essential requirement for the study visa application, as it serves as proof that you have been accepted into a recognized educational institution in South Africa and that you meet the necessary criteria for pursuing your studies in the country.

The Department of Home Affairs will only accept institutions that are registered with the Department of Education.

What Are The Financial Requirements For The Permit


financial requirements for the visa


To qualify, you need to meet the monthly financial requirement of R8,500 per person for the entire duration of your stay in South Africa. 

This means that as the main applicant, you should have R8,500 per month, and if you have a spouse and children joining you, they should also have R8,500 each per month. 

These funds should be readily available to cover your living expenses and ensure you can comfortably support yourself and your family during your research period in South Africa.

Which Institutions Can I Apply Through?


Which institutions are in south africa


There are several educational institutions in South Africa where you can apply depending on your field of study and academic interests. 

Some popular universities in South Africa include :

  1. The University of Cape Town,
  2. Stellenbosch University,
  3. University of the Witwatersrand
  4. The University of Pretoria. 

These institutions offer a wide range of programs and courses across various disciplines. 

It is advisable to research and identify the specific university and program that aligns with your educational goals and requirements. 

Each university has its application process, so make sure to visit their official websites for detailed information on admission criteria, application deadlines, and procedures.

What Are The Pros & Cons Of The Research Visa


What Are The Pros & Cons Of The Research Visa


Pros of the visa:

Opportunity: The visa allows you to engage in academic or scientific research projects in SA, providing you with the opportunity to pursue your research interests and contribute to the field.

Lengthy stay: The visa allows for a longer stay compared to other temporary visas, allowing you to focus on your research for an extended period.

Professional development: Being involved in projects in South Africa can enhance your professional development, expand your network, and provide valuable experiences and collaborations.

Cultural exchange: Living in South Africa and interacting with local researchers and scholars can offer a rich cultural exchange, allowing you to learn from diverse perspectives and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Cons of the visa:

Limited scope: The visa is specific to conducting research and does not provide authorization for other activities such as employment. If you wish to engage in other activities, you may need to explore other visa options.

Study restrictions: The visa does not allow you to study at an educational institution in South Africa. If you intend to pursue formal studies, you would need to apply for a study visa instead.

Financial obligations: As with any visa, there may be financial obligations involved, such as visa application fees, medical insurance costs, and meeting the financial requirements for the duration of your stay. It’s important to consider these financial aspects before applying for a visa.

Residency limitations: The visa does not automatically qualify you for permanent residency. If you wish to obtain permanent residency in South Africa, you would need to explore other immigration pathways.

It’s important to carefully evaluate the pros and cons based on your specific circumstances and goals to determine if the visa aligns with your objectives and long-term plans.