Notice on RSA Police Clearance Certificate

Notice on RSA Police Clearance Certificate


Offices open to the public as follows:


Monday to Friday: 8:00 to 16:00
Saturday: 8:30 to 12:30
Every last Wednesday of the month: 9:00 to 16:00


The Immigration Regulations of the Immigration Act, No. 13 of 2002 define a Police Clearance Certificate as follows:

“A certificate issued by the police or security authority in each country where the relevant applicant resided for 12 months or longer after attaining the age of 18 years, in respect of criminal records or the character of that applicant, which certificate shall not be older than six months at the time of its submission: Provided that the certificate shall not be required from a foreign country in the case of renewal or extension of a visa but from the Republic”.

With effect from the 01st of October 2016 The Department of Home Affairs will automate the process of obtaining a South African Police Clearance Certificate. Instead of the applicant going to a police station to apply for a police clearance, VFS will use the applicant’s biometrics (fingerprints) which we are already collecting in the current process and use them to run background checks against the South African Police Services database. On receipt of the electronic police clearance VFS will merge the records with the main application and transmit the contents electronically to DHA as a full and complete application. The SAPS database background check will take an average of 24 – 36 hours, a great improvement from the 3 to 4 months that it takes currently to get a police clearance from SAPS, as reported by applicants.

The total fee per adult applicant in addition for this service will R175.00 (Incl. VAT) per criminal background check. The Department is already running this process successfully for both the Zimbawean Special Permit and the Lesotho Special Permit applications.

Please be advised that the current manual submission of RSA police clearances will be accepted until the 31st of October 2016. This automation of the police clearance is only applicable to RSA police clearance certificates. Any other Police Clearance Certificates issued by the police or security authority in each country where the relevant applicant resided for 12 months or longer after attaining the age of 18 years will still be accepted manually.

For more information regarding the above process please contact the VFS contact centre at +27(0)12 425 3000 or by email at You may also contact the Home Affairs Contact Centre at 0800 60 11 90 or via email at