What is the change? South Africa’s diplomatic missions in New Delhi and Mumbai are facing increased workload and staffing shortages that have caused serious processing delays.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals applying for work permits or visas at South African missions in New Delhi or Mumbai should submit their applications as soon as possible and anticipate delays.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas, permits and other immigration-related services.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals in need of immigration-related South African missions in New Delhi or Mumbai.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing times have increased across the board. Short-term visa applications are taking three weeks to process, as opposed to the standard five to seven business days. Work permits are also taking significantly longer than the standard 60 business days to process.
  • Business impact: Business travelers should submit visa applications as early as possible and build extra time into their schedules because of the delays in processing.
  • Next steps: BAL will continue to follow reports of delays at South Africa’s missions in India and will inform clients if processing times become significantly better or worse.

Background: The delays are due to a shortage in staffing and an increase in demand for visas, permits and other services. South African officials in India have reported that they are experiencing roughly double their normal workload. There is no indication at this point of when delays might be alleviated, but the backlogs are serious. More than 800 applications are pending in Mumbai, and officials this month were still busy with visa applications from June.

BAL Analysis: Travelers in need of immigration-related services at South African missions in India should submit applications as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary delays in their travel.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in South Africa. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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