South Africa – Police Clearance Certificate Alternative Announced For Some In-Country Applications

Beginning October 1, the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa announced foreign nationals would no longer need to apply for a South African police certificate at a police station, if filing in country, for a temporary residence visa or permanent residence permit.   Applicants applying for a temporary residence visa or permanent residence permit out of the country must still obtain a South African police clearance certificate.

Foreign nationals may use a visa center to collect fingerprints, which are required for the temporary residence visa or permanent residence permit, to run a background check.  The processing time for the automated check can take 24-36 hours to complete.  The current processing time for a police certificate is 3-4 months.