The Ministry of Home Affairs has recently extended the validity of short-term visitor visas and long-term temporary visas that will expire during South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown.

Short-term Visitor’s Visas:

  • All short-term visas issued for up to 90-days have been automatically extended until Sept. 30, 2021, without needing to submit a visa renewal application.
  • The automatic extension only applies to foreign nationals who arrived in South Africa between Dec. 1, 2019, and March 14, 2021, and have not left the country since March 15, 2020.
    • The extension does not apply to foreign nationals who arrived after March 15, 2021, or who were issued a visa on or after March 15, 2021.
  • Foreign nationals who qualify for the automatic visa extension whose initial short-term visas have expired may leave South Africa on or before Sept. 30 without being declared undesirable due to a visa overstay.

Long-term Visas:

  • All long-term visa holders whose visas expired on or after March 15, 2020, except Intra-Company Transfer Work Visa holders whose visas have been issued for the maxim four-year duration, can apply to renew, amend or obtain a new category of visa should they qualify.
  • Foreign nationals must apply to renew or change the conditions endorsed on their existing visa or change their status to another visa category on or before Sept. 30, 2021. Otherwise, they must leave the country.
  • Visa holders who submit applications on or before Sept. 30, 2021, may remain in the country while their applications are processed but must comply with the conditions endorsed on their current visas at all times even if their visas have expired until they receive their renewed, amended or new visa.

Additional Information: Official information on the extension and eligibility requirements can be found here in the South African Gazette.

BAL Analysis: The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and BAL will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

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