Film Industry Visa Application & Assistance

Cape Town is an internationally renowned filming location, with professional teams from all over the globe travelling to this beautiful South African city every year. Getting your Cape Town film visa is an essential part of this process, and we aim to make it a quick and easy one.

Foreign professional teams are required to have the correct visas in place before travelling to South Africa. These visas allow the holder to work in South Africa on a temporary basis, in order to complete a shoot on location. There are systems in place for those in the film industry, to reduce the paperwork and time involved in getting a visa.

Getting a South African Entertainment Industry Visa

If you’re planning to use Cape Town as the setting for an upcoming project, it’s best to use a South African fixer company to service your production. This makes the process more streamlined and less time-consuming.

Your local service provider will have access to FIVA.

What is FIVA?

FIVA is the Film Industry Visa Assistance Program. It was first implemented in 2014, following an agreement between the Department of Home Affairs and three reputable industry associations:

The FIVA program issues letters to international personnel in the film and advertising industries, to help with the visa application process. With a FIVA letter, the visa application process is significantly quicker and requires much less paperwork.

Note that as part of the film and entertainment industry, significant waivers in the immigration regulations will apply to you. These waivers include an Oversight category, which will allow a large portion of your production to travel to South Africa without requiring work authorisation. There will also be numerous waivers that limit the amount of paperwork you need to submit for Specialist travellers, and a dedicated office to resolve any potential bottlenecks.

How to apply for a Visa with FIVA’s Help

To obtain a letter from FIVA, you will need to apply via a registered South African company. This company will apply to FIVA on your behalf, and then forward the letter for inclusion in your visa application. FIVA issues approximately 12 000 letters a year.

Without a FIVA letter, every member of your team travelling to South Africa would need to obtain an s11.2 visitors visa with work authorisation. Each traveller would also need to appear in person at the South African Consulate in your home country. This will be a much slower and more complicated process than working with a South African service company to get your FIVA letter.

Take advantage of the Film Industry Visa Assistance Program to reduce your production budget and simplify the logistics of filming in Cape Town.