The South African Department of Home Affairs has issued Immigration Directive No.5 of 2023 with the aim of reducing the burden on people applying for South African visas.1  This is in relation to documents that must be provided when applying for temporary visas or permanent residence permits.

Previously, a radiological report was required to ascertain the health of an applicant in the form of a chest x-ray for all foreign nationals applying for visas above the age of 12.  In addition, a police clearance certificate was required from all of the countries in which an applicant has lived for 12 months or longer, where over the age of 18.

The radiological report requirement has been waived completely, while the police clearance certificate requirement has been partially waived, as explained in detail below.


The administrative requirements for visa applications are rather onerous and can cause delays in submitting applications for temporary visas.  They can also lead to additional costs where a foreign national has lived and worked in many other countries prior to travelling to South Africa.  This waiver will reduce this burden for foreign nationals applying for visas.

Radiological Reports

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has abolished the requirement to provide a radiological report for the main visa applicant and his/her dependants. 


While foreign nationals are still required to provide a medical report, the exclusion of a radiological report will greatly reduce the effort required in obtaining and collating documents for visa applications.

Police Clearance

Following this directive, all foreign nationals applying for visas will only need to provide police clearance certificates for countries that they have lived in for 12 or more consecutive months in the last five years, before an application can be submitted. 


This is a welcome change from the past system, which required police clearances from countries the applicant has resided in since that person was 18 years old, for the past 10 years.


  • These changes potentially can lead to a lot of cost saving and fewer burdens for applicants.
  • The document gathering time will be reduced, allowing companies and assignees to more easily meet their assignment start dates.
  • With fewer document requirements and complications, the processing of visas can be completed more efficiently by the Department of Home Affairs – which will positively impact the backlog at DHA.

Given the change in procedures described above, mobile employees and / or their employers who require clarification and guidance should contact their qualified immigration counsel or a member of the KPMG Immigration team with KPMG in South Africa (see the Contacts section).


1  Department of Home Affairs:

Department of Home Affairs, Immigration Directive No. 5 of 2023.

Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in South Africa.


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