I have arranged to do some volunteer work with a university in South Africa December 2014 to March 2015. I contacted the SA High Commission in Canberra and was told they won't accept an application for a volunteer visitor permit for work starting in December until early September. BUT I leave for South Africa to start a tour through southern and eastern Africa on 18th September and the processing time for the permit is 21 days.
My travel itinerary:
Arrive in SA 19th September
Leave SA 23rd or 24th September for Namibia on a tour.
Return to SA on 30th November or 1st December (~73 days after first entering SA)
Start volunteer work ~3rd December
Finish volunteer work ~16th March
Depart SA for Sydney on 18th March (>90 days since BOTH arrival in, and returning to, SA).
What can I do?
Is it possible to apply for a volunteer visitor permit in December after I return to South Africa? If so, how?
But there is still a problem. When I return to South Africa in early December my return flight to Australia is >90 days later, so will I be denied entry without a pre-approved extension?
Should I apply for an extension before leaving Australia so I can re-enter the country, and then apply for a volunteer visitor permit in person in December?
I'm really hoping someone can help. The High Commission hasn't been helpful at all, basically just repeatedly telling me I need to apply in September.