#COVID19: SA’s lockdown and Intergate’s way forward

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected each and every one of us on a global scale. Schools, universities, businesses and all other entities are faced with the same crisis, one that is unprecedented to say the least. Our duty as global citizens is to do our part in an effort to flatten the curve.

South Africa’s decision for a nationwide lockdown

All of South Africa have been called upon by President Ramaphosa, to unite in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. Due to his swift and decisive decision making, South Africa will be on a nationwide lockdown for 21 days. This will start at midnight on the 26th of March and end at midnight on the 16th of April 2020.

What is a lockdown?

This is an emergency protocol taken by government in terms of the Disaster Management Act. It requires that all those in South Africa stay at home with exception of certain individuals and industries providing essential services.

How will this affect Intergate’s business operations?

Intergate will remain operational for the duration of the lockdown. Our offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg will be closed, however our staff will be working from home. We will do everything possible to ensure minimal disruption to our services.

The coming weeks will no doubt be extremely difficult for many of us. As a nation we can only hope that the measures taken will protect our communities from further spread of the virus.

How does this affect VFS application centres and their operations?

We have received formal confirmation that VFS Global’s offices in South Africa will be closing. Submissions and collections will not be possible during this time. South African embassies and VFS Global offices abroad are likely to also close.

These closures will likely delay processing of applications already submitted to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). This may cause a significant delay in the issuing of visa and permit outcomes.

Please also note that DHA closures will also prevent us from following up on the status of submitted applications. We ask that our clients are patient during this time as these factors are out of our control.

For those of you whose existing visas will expire during the lockdown period, please try and remain calm. You will no doubt have many questions regarding your legal status in South Africa, however we await clarity on this.

DHA have not yet issued a special directive for these kinds of cases. VFS have however indicated that it is likely that provision will be made for these foreigners. Please be assured that as soon as we have any information in this regard, we will communicate this.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with developments

It is likely that there will be changes in the coming weeks. We will continue to share news and developments as it happens. If you’d like to stay up to date, we suggest signing up for our newsletter or to please follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Please also feel free to contact us at info@intergate-immigration.com if you have any immigration related questions.

Read President Cyril Ramaphosa’s full speech here.