South Africa: COVID-19 update on validity of visas

In brief

The Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa has extended the validity period of legally issued visas, which expired during the period of the national lockdown in South Africa. These visa holders are permitted to remain in South Africa, under the existing conditions of their visas, until the expiry date of their relevant extension.


Contents

In more detail

The Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa has issued amendments to the previous concession extending the validity period of legally issued visas, which expired during the period of the national lockdown. These amendments mean that legally issued visas, which expired during the period of the lockdown, are deemed to be valid until the end of June 2021 and July 2021 respectively.

Key extension dates to note include:

  • The validity period for short term visas, such as a tourist visa issued for a period not longer than 90 days, has been extended until 30 June 2021
  • The validity period for asylum and refugee permits has been extended until 30 June 2021
  • The validity period for longer-term temporary visas, issued for a period of three months to three years, has been extended until 31 July 2021

These visa holders are permitted to remain in South Africa, under the existing conditions of their visas, until the expiry date of their relevant extension. Those visa holders that would like to be repatriated to their country within this period, can depart South Africa without being declared undesirable persons. This extension does not apply to people who entered South Africa from 15 March 2021. People admitted into the country from 15 March 2021 must adhere to the normal validity period of their visas.

The Minister is inviting those holders of longer-term temporary visas, which expired during the period of the national lockdown, to renew their visas before 31 July 2021. 

The Department of Home Affairs is still to communicate further details on how to renew asylum and refugee permits, while the Refugee Reception Centres remain closed. 

Further details regarding the amendments can be obtained by reaching out to your usual contact in the Johannesburg Employment & Compensation

Contact Information

Copyright © 2022 Baker & McKenzie. All rights reserved. Ownership: This documentation and content (Content) is a proprietary resource owned exclusively by Baker McKenzie (meaning Baker & McKenzie International and its member firms). The Content is protected under international copyright conventions. Use of this Content does not of itself create a contractual relationship, nor any attorney/client relationship, between Baker McKenzie and any person. Non-reliance and exclusion: All Content is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal and regulatory developments. All summaries of the laws, regulations and practice are subject to change. The Content is not offered as legal or professional advice for any specific matter. It is not intended to be a substitute for reference to (and compliance with) the detailed provisions of applicable laws, rules, regulations or forms. Legal advice should always be sought before taking any action or refraining from taking any action based on any Content. Baker McKenzie and the editors and the contributing authors do not guarantee the accuracy of the Content and expressly disclaim any and all liability to any person in respect of the consequences of anything done or permitted to be done or omitted to be done wholly or partly in reliance upon the whole or any part of the Content. The Content may contain links to external websites and external websites may link to the Content. Baker McKenzie is not responsible for the content or operation of any such external sites and disclaims all liability, howsoever occurring, in respect of the content or operation of any such external websites. Attorney Advertising: This Content may qualify as “Attorney Advertising” requiring notice in some jurisdictions. To the extent that this Content may qualify as Attorney Advertising, PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A SIMILAR OUTCOME. Reproduction: Reproduction of reasonable portions of the Content is permitted provided that (i) such reproductions are made available free of charge and for non-commercial purposes, (ii) such reproductions are properly attributed to Baker McKenzie, (iii) the portion of the Content being reproduced is not altered or made available in a manner that modifies the Content or presents the Content being reproduced in a false light and (iv) notice is made to the disclaimers included on the Content. The permission to re-copy does not allow for incorporation of any substantial portion of the Content in any work or publication, whether in hard copy, electronic or any other form or for commercial purposes.