Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Home Affairs, has extended the validity period of legally issued Long and short-term visas that expired during the lockdown period to 30 September 2021.
This means that Foreign Nationals who have not left South Africa since the declaration of the National State of Disaster in March 2020 and those who arrived with valid visas between December 2019 and 14 March 2021 have been automatically extended.
Holders of such visas are permitted to remain in the country under the terms of their visas until the applicable extension expires. Those who wish to be repatriated to their home countries during this time period may do so without being labelled as undesirable.
The extension does not apply to people who arrived in the country after March 15, 2021. The normal validity period for visas issued to people admitted to the country beginning March 15, 2021, applies.
Holders of longer-term temporary visas, such as study visas, treaty visas, business visas, medical treatment visas, relatives' visas, general work visas, critical skills work visas, retired person's visas, and exchange visas, that expired during the State of National Disaster are encouraged to renew their visas at www.vfsglobal.com/dha/southafrica before September 30, 2021.
Refugee Reception Centres continue to be closed and Asylum and Refugee permits have also been extended until September 30, 2021. Asylum seekers and Refugees are encouraged to renew their permits through the online platform.
Directions communicating these amendments will be gazetted by 30 June 2021, in accordance with the National State of Disaster Regulations.
Since the online extension system was activated in April 2021, the Department had approved the extension of 9 788 Section 24 (refugee status) and 28 249 Section 22 (asylum seeker permits) as of June 25, 2021.
Holders of a visa or permit must follow the terms and conditions of their visa, and any activity not specifically authorized by such visas or permits is prohibited.
We provide expert guidance and application support that is tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.
Please contact us if you are considering visiting South Africa or if you are unsure whether this announcement applies to you or affects your status.