The South African government dramatically increased the rate of visa application rejections over the past few weeks.

Key Points:

  • Over the past two weeks, reports have shown a 70% to 80% increase in rejections for visa applications.
  • The South African government has yet to officially confirm the reason for the increase; however, the assumption is that it is an attempt to clear the application backlog.
  • Authorities are notably rejecting Intra-Company Transfer work permit applications at a higher rate than other applications.
  • Applicants who receive a rejection can reapply or appeal the decision within 10 business days after receiving the rejection. The current processing time for an appeal is three to four months.

BAL Analysis: The South African government appears to be rejecting an increased number of visa applicants to help reduce a visa backlog that built up over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers should be aware of this trend and are encouraged to work closely with their immigration providers if an employee has an application rejected. BAL will continue to follow this development and will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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