South Africa: Biometric Background Check Service Introduced

Further details are now available on the new biometric background check service which has replaced the requirement to submit manual police clearance certificates obtained from the South African Police Service.

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Nov 28, 2017
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The situation
On November 1, 2017, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) introduced a biometric background check service that has replaced the requirement to submit manual police clearance certificates obtained from the South African Police Service (SAPS) for applications for a change of condition, renewal or extension of a visa and Permanent Residence Permit within South Africa. The below further details are now available on this service:

  • Police clearance certificates accepted until December 31. Visa Facilitation Service Centre (VSF) offices will continue to accept manual SAPS police clearance certificates until December 31, 2017. After this date, the DHA will only accept biometrics for the purpose of checking criminal records.
  • Service limitations. The biometric service is only available for foreign nationals who submit an application at VFS for temporary residence visas or permanent residence permits. Foreign nationals who need to obtain a police clearance certificate for any other purpose should still request it from the SAPS.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to africainfo@fragomen.com.

© 2017 Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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