Foreign directors and DP’s working on local commercials now require specialist S11(2) visas

All CPA members and clients are requested to read the following correspondence from FIVA which outlines visa requirements for foreign directors and DOP’s working on South African commercials:

Dear FIVA users


Directive 4 of 2018 granted holders of the FIVA letter a waiver stating that Directors, DOP’s and Photographers entering SA with a FIVA letter may do so as Oversight travellers.

We would like to clarify that this courtesy will only be extended to these job descriptions if they are entering for an international production, and this waiver does not apply if the origin of the production is local South African.

Fiva will still assist Directors, DOP & Photographers who apply for our letters through registered South African Production companies, but if the project is a local job these travelers along with all other crew brought in for such a production would receive a Specialist letter and would need to apply at an embassy for s11.2 work Authorization. On this basis these applicants will still enjoy certain waivers granted when a FIVA letter is issued such as a reduced amount of paperwork, faster processing times etc, but they cannot enter SA without work authorization. Please note that in order for a South African company to pay the international traveler for his/her services, such a person needs the s11.2 work authorization to obtain a tax number from SARS.

The Waivers granted to FIVA were done in order to make South Africa as attractive as possible and keep South Africa Competitive in relation to International Service work, they were not granted in order to make it easier for freelance foreigners to work for local companies directly.

The FIVA developers are in the process of including a question relating to the origin of the production in order to easily determine the origin of the production.

As always we are here to serve you and the Industry as best we can.


Rudi Riek
Film Industry Visa Assistance NPC
  +27 81 525 0690
+27 (0)28 423 3595