Extending a tourist visa... pls advise

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Extending a tourist visa... pls advise


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Old 29th July 2013, 08:01 AM
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Default Extending a tourist visa... pls advise

Hi,

I am on a tourist visa in South Africa with a EU passport.

During the last year, I have spent quite a bit of time in SA, and on the last entry I got 60 days rather than the usual 90 days. I need to renew it now, as it is 10 days from expiring.

Questions:
- Will I get an additional 90 days (or 60 days) if I drive to Mozambique / Botswana / Swaziland and back on the same day? Which of the countries is best?
- Will it be better if I stay 1/2 nights?
- Is it better if I take a flight instead?

- Is there any 'grace' period if I overstay? I have a flight scheduled for 20 days from today, but as mentioned, my current visa expires in 10 days.

I have read some posts in the forum re 'visa runs' but they are all quite old, I hope someone has fresh info!


Thank you,
J

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Old 29th July 2013, 09:04 PM
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"Visa runs", as they are known, are becoming more and more risky when your South African visa is running out. Many "swallows" (Europeans who come for 6 months of summer and return home for another 6 months) do a visa run after 3 months only to be given 7 days on re-entry.

That said, I don't want to put fear in your mind, and things will probably go fine.

So:
- Will I get an additional 90 days (or 60 days) if I drive to Mozambique / Botswana / Swaziland and back on the same day? Which of the countries is best?
--- No idea. Just be lucky. Most still are.

- Will it be better if I stay 1/2 nights?
--- I'd guess it's better to stay a bit, yes.

- Is it better if I take a flight instead?
--- I'd guess yes. The borders are where people take chances.

- Is there any 'grace' period if I overstay? I have a flight scheduled for 20 days from today, but as mentioned, my current visa expires in 10 days.
--- No grace period, you'll have the amount of days that are stamped into your passport.

Some people say they slap down their passports and tell the Immigration Officer "90 days, thank you!". I have no idea if that works.

Why not apply for a longer term permit?

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Old 30th July 2013, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnFlame View Post
Hi,

I am on a tourist visa in South Africa with a EU passport.

During the last year, I have spent quite a bit of time in SA, and on the last entry I got 60 days rather than the usual 90 days. I need to renew it now, as it is 10 days from expiring.

Questions:
- Will I get an additional 90 days (or 60 days) if I drive to Mozambique / Botswana / Swaziland and back on the same day? Which of the countries is best?
- Will it be better if I stay 1/2 nights?
- Is it better if I take a flight instead?

- Is there any 'grace' period if I overstay? I have a flight scheduled for 20 days from today, but as mentioned, my current visa expires in 10 days.

I have read some posts in the forum re 'visa runs' but they are all quite old, I hope someone has fresh info!


Thank you,
J

Why don't you just go to Home Affairs and extend your tourist visa? That would be the safest bet.

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Old 31st July 2013, 06:19 PM
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In your case i would go across the border for a day or two and come back and get your flight. Next time you come apply for a permit for the full length of your intended stay. If you had more than 30 days to stay in SA go to Home Affairs. Home Affairs takes about 30 days minimum to get your permit.

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Old 11th August 2013, 11:30 AM
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You will not get a new visa by going to Swaziland and I think Mozambique is also getting more difficult to get a visa renewal, don't know about Botswana. Going to home affairs for an extension is a bit of a joke. I went in September of last year for a 90 day extension to Dec, 15 and got approval, in April of 2013. I went ahead and overstayed my visa, the people at HA just said to show the people at immigration my receipt and a copy of the application and all would be o.k.. When I left in December, no one even looked to see when my visa was set to expire or noticed that I had overstayed by almost 3 months. Maybe I was lucky but they don't seem to be very strict on checking visas when you are set to leave at the airports. Border crossings may be more difficult but we did try to go to Swaziland to get an extension during our wait but again, no one even noticed we were expired and didn't give us any extension either. What can I say, its Africa.

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Old 12th August 2013, 07:50 PM
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So this is what happened: I went to Mozambique for the long weekend, to relax as there was nothing to do in South Africa.

On my way back, the passport control agent gave me some trouble, and told me I should be coming from my home country, not a neighboring country.

After a bit of arguing, he gave me a 90 days visa, but he also asked for my mobile phone number. He told me he would call me to 'arrange something', as he was living close to were I am staying (which he also asked).

I got two calls from an cell phone number that i don't recognize today, past 8pm. I was busy and did not answer. Not many people know my phone number.

I wonder if it is the guy and what should I do.

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Old 13th August 2013, 06:51 AM
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You were lucky, I think this may be bribery activity of some kind. There is no need for him to interact with you. Next time give a fake cellphone number.

As you can now see, it isn't going to be easy and eventually you may be granted a 7 day visa only. The route I now advise for you is a permit of some kind, dependent on your situation.

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Old 13th August 2013, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LegalMan View Post
You were lucky, I think this may be bribery activity of some kind. There is no need for him to interact with you. Next time give a fake cellphone number.

As you can now see, it isn't going to be easy and eventually you may be granted a 7 day visa only. The route I now advise for you is a permit of some kind, dependent on your situation.
Thanks for your comments. Yes, I am going to contact the embassy in my home country and proceed accordingly.

In the meantime, I also think this might be some sort of bribery activity; I am usually busy and can't answer the phone... Given that my passport is stamped (for 90 days), should I anticipate any problems? The guy just called again.

I had heard about people asking for bribes on the spot (let's say, when you are stopped by traffic police), but never about someone actually calling. Does that happen?

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Old 14th August 2013, 06:37 AM
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Do not bother to answer, it will go away.

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Old 18th November 2016, 09:09 AM
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I did three day trip "border hops" to Kopfontein / Gaborone.

On the third time the immigration guy had cottoned on to what I was doing and initially refused me entry. Fortunately I had with me a load of paperwork showing that I was in the process of applying for a CSV and he gave me another 30 day stamp....but, said that next time I had to return to my country of origin, which I did, and got a 90 day stamp at ORT

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