South Africa has resumed a number of immigration services after the country moved its national lockdown to level 1 on Sept. 20. The government also announced a number of entry requirements for inbound travelers.

Key Points:

  • Immigration services have resumed at King Shaka International Airport, O.R. Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and other commercial entry ports.
  • The Immigration Services Inspectorate has resumed full operations.
  • Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) has resumed processing Temporary Residence Visas and South African missions abroad are determining which offices will resume processing temporary residence visa applications.
  • Permit adjudication for the processing of Temporary Residence Visas and Permanent Resident Permits will continue to operate, as it did during alert level 3 and level 2.
  • The Port Control Operations Centre will continue normal operations and immigration support services will also continue.
  • The Department of Civic Services will provide passport application and issuance services during the current lockdown level 1 period.
  • The validity of legally issued visas that expired during the lockdown has been extended until Jan. 31, 2021. Previously, the validity of such visas had been extended to July 31, 2020 and then re-extended until Oct. 31, 2020. The extensions, including the most recent one until Jan. 31, 2021, are only for visa holders within the country.
  • Inbound travelers must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate from a test conducted within 72 hours of departing the country of origin. The test must have been conducted by a certified medical professional and include this person’s name and signature. Inbound travelers will be required to take a mandatory COVID-19 test if displaying any COVID-19-related symptoms or if they have been in contact with people who have been infected with the virus. They must also provide proof of their accommodation address within South Africa to cover the possibility that they are later required to enter self-quarantine. Those that have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with an infected person will be tested for COVID-19 at their own expense. Travelers with positive test results must enter a 10-day quarantine at their own expense within a designated site.
  • Leisure travelers from high-risk COVID-19 countries are not allowed into the country. The list of high-risk countries is here. Exceptions exist for business travellers with rare and critical skills, diplomats, investors, repatriated individuals and professional athletes.
  • All international air travelers must have health insurance with sufficient coverage to pay for COVID-19 testing and quarantine.
  • All travelers from African countries are allowed to enter provided they have valid travel documents. They will be screened for COVID-19.

Additional Information: Under current plans, international travel will be allowed to resume Oct. 1. International travel by air will only be allowed at King Shaka International Airport, O.R. Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport. The number of points of entry at borders and ports that reopened Oct. 1 will be limited initially. South African transport minister Fikile Mbalula said that the country will adopt a risk-based system that will consider individual countries’ COVID-19 infection rates when determining restrictions on travel into and out of South Africa. Additional information is expected soon.

Analysis & Comments: The resumption of some immigration services and international travel will allow greater movement of people into South Africa. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

Rest of World Source: Deloitte. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more. Deloitte Legal means the legal practices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited member firms or their affiliates that provide legal services. For legal, regulatory and other reasons, not all member firms provide legal services. This includes Deloitte Tax LLP in the United States which does not provide legal and/or immigration advice or services. This communication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte network”) is, by means of this communication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this communication. © 2020. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.