What is the change? The Department of Home Affairs recently announced that it would further extend the validity of visas that expired during the country’s COVID-19 lockdown.

What does the change mean? Short-term visas (those valid for 90 days or less) will be extended to June 30, 2021. Long-term visas under specific categories will be extended to July 31, 2021. Holders of such visas can remain in South Africa under the current conditions of their visas until the new expiration date.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Short- and long-term visas that expired during the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals in South Africa with visas that expired during the lockdown.
  • Next steps: Holders of short-term visas will need to leave South Africa on or before June 30. Holders of long-term visas that expired during the lockdown must apply to renew their visas on this website before July 31.

Additional Information: The South African government had previously extended visas that expired during the COVID-19 lockdown to March 31, 2021. Visas that were covered by this extension are now valid until June 30 for short-term visas and July 31 for long-term visas under specified categories. The visa extension does not apply to visa holders who entered the country on or after March 15, 2021. The normal visa period will apply to these individuals.

Analysis & Comments: The extension will provide foreign nationals with additional time to renew their visas or leave South Africa. Long-term visa holders authorized to continue their activities in South Africa under their current visa conditions until the July 31 deadline for long-term visas.

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