Transfer and Rectification of Temporary Resident Visa


The following administration process applies to transfers and rectifications of visas issued by the Department of Home Affairs. It only applies to valid visas in lost, damaged or stolen passport. It is not applicable to expired passports.


The Department of Home Affairs will only accept requests for rectifications in the following instances:

Approved: Visa labels

Names: Where the names of the applicant are incorrectly spelled or are not captured as indicated by the applicant on their application form

Visa category: Where the visa category is incorrectly captured and is not the same as the one applied for by the applicant. The visa label will only be corrected if VFS can confirm and prove that the category as per the checklist on the pdf is correct and the category on the visa label is incorrect.

Reference Nr: Where the application reference number on the visa label is incorrect and does not correspond with the reference number allocated to the applicant on their original visa application form.

Dates: Where the issue date and the expiry date do not correspond, for instance where the validity period of the visa is issued for a period longer than the period prescribed for the category applied for. Eg, a visitor’s visa issued for 4 years

Visa conditions: Where the conditions of a visa are incorrect. For example; where the applicant applied for a work visa which is granted, but has the incorrect name of the employer or the position.

Visa conditions - Secondary activities: Where the conditions on the visa were supposed to have more than one activity. For example; “to continue employment with ABSA bank as a general manager while studying with WITS university”.
The Department will accept a rectification if the visa was issued as “to continue employment with ABSA bank as a general manager” and the applicant requests that the correct secondary activity of study be added.

Note: This will only be done if in the original application this was the full purpose of the application. This rectification does not apply to applicants who wish to add a secondary activity later after receiving the visa.
This service (Rectification) is free of charge. No DHA/VFS fee payable.


The Department of Home Affairs will only accept requests for visa transfers in the following instances:
Where the applicant wishes to transfer a temporary residence permit (Issued before June 2014) or temporary residence visa (Issued after June 2014) for any of the following reasons:

  • A valid visa in a lost/stolen passport
  • A valid visa in a damaged passport
  • A valid visa in a full passport (no sufficient pages) – VFS must verify this claim at the time of submission of application at VFC.

The applicant will have to make a new temporary visa transfer application at VFS. This service (Visa Transfer) is NOT free of charge. There is no DHA fee but the VFS fee is payable.

Important Notes:

  • The Department will re-issue a new visa label with the SAME expiry date of the visa label in the lost/stolen/damaged passport.
  • The Department will not transfer/rectify any visa label which has less than 60 days before it expires.
  • No new (additional) days/expiry dates will be given to the applicant.
  • The only new information on the new visa label will be the new VFS rectification/transfer reference number, the new passport number and the issue date.
  • The visa conditions will remain the same.
  • The application must have (where possible) the copy of the visa to be transferred. NO screen dumps from MCS or Track and Trace obtained from DHA Regional Offices or Head Office will be accepted as proof of validity.
  • No visa transfer will be made from an expired passport to a new passport, regardless of the expiry date of that visa label, the applicant must submit an application to renew their visa.


  • If you wish to rectify/transfer a visa issued at a Regional Office of Home Affairs prior to June 2014:
  1. The applicant must submit the copy of the written confirmation letter together with VFS Checklist attaching any other document required (such as an affidavit issued at a South African Police Services detailing the reasons for the request).
  2. If the written confirmation from DHA is positive, a new visa label with the same expiry date as the lost/damaged/stolen visa will be issued to the new passport. The visa transfer/rectification process should not be used to extend any visa or legal status of the applicant or change the visa category or conditions.

Due to the different time zones and operating hours, it may take longer to verify a visa that was issued abroad. Applicants can expect a slightly longer response time from DHA.


  • If you wish to rectify/transfer a visa issued through VFS (in South Africa) after June 2014:
  1. The applicant must submit a transfer/rectification application directly online and comply with the VFS transfers/rectification checklist.
  2. If the application is approved, a new visa label with the same expiry date as the lost/damaged/stolen visa will be issued to the new passport. The visa transfer/rectification process should not be used to extend any visa or legal status of the applicant or change the visa category (except where it is clear that the error was made by the Department).

Please note: The Department will not re-issue any visa labels through VFS for holders of Quota Work Permits as this category has been abolished. The Visa Adjudication System of DHA is not enabled to print visas for Quota Permits. Holders of such are advised to apply for any of the new category of visas that they qualify for or contact the call centre of the Department for advice.


Section 8 of The Immigration Act stipulates that an applicant aggrieved by a decision issued by the Department may, within 10 working days from receipt of the Rejection Letter make an application in the prescribed manner to the Director-General for the review or appeal of that decision.

In terms of procedure a negative decision already issued by the Department can only be reviewed by following the Appeal process. No requests for a review of any negative decision will be accepted if it is not submitted as an Appeal. All requests for review of a decision as a result of:

  • Mistakes perceived to have been made by the adjudicator
  • Where the applicant believes that they have been rejected on a wrong category
  • Rejection reasons considered to be wrong by the applicant
  • Where the adjudicator claims that one or more supporting documents were not in the application but the applicant insists that the documents were attached
  • Any other negative reason not mentioned above

Where there are spelling/typing or material errors in the rejection letter related to the reference number, visa category and names of the applicant, the VFS manager should send an email to the relevant manager at DHA for correction. There is no rectification of the decisions contained in the rejection letter.


Immigration Regulation 2(3) states that “The period of validity of a passport contemplated in section 9(4)(a) of the Act shall not be less than 30 days after the foreigner's intended date of departure from the Republic”.

A temporary residence visa should not be issued for any validity period that exceeds the expiry date of a passport. A visa issued beyond the expiry date of a passport shall immediately lapse on the same date that the passport expires and will not be transferred to a new passport.

A visa issued with an expiry date beyond that of a passport is considered to have been issued in error and when discovered shall be withdrawn.  In terms of section 48 of the Immigration Act 2002, as amended, no illegal foreigner shall be exempt from the provision of this Act or be allowed to sojourn in the Republic on the grounds that “he or she was admitted or allowed to remain in the Republic through error” or misrepresentation or because his or her being an illegal foreigner was undiscovered.

Not with standing anything mentioned above, VFS is advised in the interim to allow applicants who are carrying an expired passport which was endorsed with a visa that expires beyond the passport expiry date to submit applications for visa transfer to a new passport. This is to allow the applicants to have a valid visa endorsed onto a valid passport as defined in Immigration Regulation 2 and to regularize their status properly.

The Department will in the meantime address the issue of expiry dates at the adjudication level in order to prevent the re-occurrence of this error in future.

Documents Required

Transfer supporting documentation required

  • Certified copy of the visa to be transferred.
  • Certified copy of passport (old)
  • Certified copy of passport (New)
  • Sworn Affidavit where the old passport and visa are lost or stolen

Rectification supporting documents required

  • Certified copy of visa to be rectified.
  • Proof / supporting documents for rectification.
  • Passport copy / Refugee status Permit.

Processing Time

The Department of Home Affairs is committed to the following turnaround times for specific categories of visas and permits:

Permanent residence finalized within 8 months (Only for extra-ordinary skills, general work and business applications)

Temporary Residence visa applications for Business and general work visas will be finalized within 8 weeks or less (40 working days) and

Temporary Residence visa applications for Critical skills work visas will be finalized within 4 weeks or less (20 working days).

All other categories for Temporary Residence visa applications will be finalised in 60 working days from date of submission at VFS (renewals, change of conditions, extensions. Not applicable to Appeals)

All other categories for permanent residence permit applications will be finalised between 12 months to 24 months from date of submission at VFS.

You can track your application online on VFS Global website to determine status of your application.

Visa Fees


DHA Application Fee

VFS Service Fee

Transfer of Temporary Residence Visa



Rectification Post VFS



Rectification Pre VFS



Premium Lounge (Optional Service)



All fees are inclusive of VAT and to be paid in South African Rand. Above listed fees are non-refundable once the application is received by VFS Global and Department of Home Affairs.

Once all supporting documentation is available as per the documentary checklist kindly proceed to complete the online application form. You will be required to pre-pay a minimum amount of R1350 in order to secure and schedule your appointment online.

Payment to secure your online appointment can be made in three methods:

  • Online payment via Debit/Credit card through the secure online portal
  • Pre-payment at Standard Bank by downloading and completing the online generated bank receipt and depositing the cash into the nearest Standard Bank
  • EFT payment through the secure online portal

Note- When selecting the pre-payment option, after payment has been done you are required to visit your online application form after 3 working days to proceed to schedule your appointment.