Virginia, US

Feb 22 2018

Application Scrutiny Has Increased at Missions Abroad

South Africa

At a Glance

  • Over the last few weeks, South African Missions abroad have been requesting ad hoc documents for various South African visa application types without prior notice.
  • Requests range from new supporting documents to different formatting of current requirements.

The situation

South African Missions abroad have recently increased their scrutiny of immigration applications and have increasingly been following the below practices:

  • Requesting ad hoc documents without prior notice;
  • Requesting new supporting documents;
  • Requesting documents in different formats than current requirements; and
  • Requesting that documents that have an expiry date of six months, as per South African legislation, be submitted to the mission within three months of the document being issued (which is not as per legislation) (for example medical certificate or police clearance certificates).



Due to these ad hoc requests, it is expected that South African missions, embassies and high commissions will be increasingly exercising their discretion and requesting additional documents and increasingly scrutinizing applications in accordance with mission-specific requests. 

Travelers to South Africa should therefore work closely with their Fragomen team to ensure that application documents are in order for their submission.

Additional note

As a reminder, document lists and process information are in line with South African immigration legislation and based on feedback Fragomen obtains on a regular basis. However, the Department of Home Affairs and their representatives reserve the right to request additional information on a case-by-case basis and/or change processes and timelines. These changes are not communicated in advance and may only arise at the time of submission.

Looking ahead

Fragomen has raised these concerns with the Foreign Co-ordination office responsible for South African Representation offices abroad. We will continue to work closely with clients and the Respective South African office abroad to ensure that all applications submitted are compliant.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to