Most people relocating to South Africa will require a visa. Citizens of visa-exempt countries such as the UK, Canada and the US are allowed to remain in the country for 90 days as long as they are there for tourism or business purposes.
Anyone who is not from a visa-exempt country, as well as anyone wishing to stay in South Africa for a longer period with the intention of studying, volunteering or working, needs to apply for a visa at their nearest South African embassy beforehand.
Immigration regulations in South Africa have been known to change almost overnight. Therefore, anyone planning a move is advised to keep an eye on the latest updates from the Department of Home Affairs.
Despite some improvements to the system, South African immigration processes are notoriously slow and regulations are often open to interpretation. Because applications are not points-based, but rather assessed on a case-by-case basis, it is increasingly difficult to navigate the application process. Expats may wish to consult a registered immigration practitioner who will be familiar with the latest developments in this area and be able to offer the best insights.