Volunteer Visas and Permits for the Baywatch Project

For the majority of countries (most of Europe, Canada, and the US) no visa is required for those coming in to South Africa to volunteer for 90 days or less. For volunteers in this category, simply proceed a port of entry with your passport and covering letter from The Baywatch Project. This will entitle you to a temporary residence permit, with a voluntary work amendment, for 90 days.


For a list of those countries from which volunteers do require a visa please contact your nearest South African High Commission/Embassy.


If you are from a country from which volunteers do not require a visa but are planning to stay in South Africa for more than 90 days, you have two options:


1) Proceed to South Africa with your passport and covering letter, at which point you will be admitted for an initial period of three months, within which you may apply for an extension of your permit, for a further three months (maximum). You will be charged for this service.


2) Apply for volunteer visa through your nearest South African High Commission/Embassy with the following:

  • Cover letter from the Baywatch Project which will confirm the nature and period of your services and that it is not a paid post
  • Medical Certificate
  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport valid for no less than 30 days after expiry of intended visit
  • Police clearance certificate in respect of all applicants over 21 years of age, in respect of all countries where you have been a resident for one year or more, to be submitted within 12 months of the application, if not immediately available.


Visa applications take approximately three weeks to process and you should be prepared to stand in line for a while if you go to your nearest South African High Commission/Embassy.


NB. In the UK there is no such thing as a police clearance certificate, however, if you go in to your local police station they will tell you how to access information held about yourself on the police national computer. The certificate you get through this process is equivalent to a police clearance certificate.



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